Gazundering, a term that sends chills down any home seller’s spine, is where buyers decrease their previously agreed offer just before signing the contract. This isn’t always a deliberate move by the byer; sometimes, it results from an unforeseen event in the sales chain or revelations from a property survey.
CHAIN REACTIONS AND URGENT SALES
During periods of low buyer demand or when a sale needs to be completed quickly – such as in a long chain or when time is crucial – a seller might be forced to accept this reduced offer. This can risk the collapse of the entire sales chain. In such cases, a cornered seller may also decrease their offer on a new acquisition, triggering a chain reaction.
MITIGATING THE EFFECTS OF GAZUNDERING
So, how can you mitigate the effects of gazundering? Here are a few strategies:
SETTING CONTRACT EXCHANGE DATES
One way is to set an exchange date for contracts promptly. This can help discourage the buyer’s second thoughts or changes of heart.
Push your buyer to have their property survey completed quickly. Sometimes, lenders can have large backlogs, which could delay the process if your sale is chain-critical. In such cases, the buyer might need to consider changing lenders.
REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS AND TRANSPARENCY
Another strategy is to be realistic about your sale price. Beware of buyers whose stories seem inconsistent or suspicious. Don’t fall for the trap of a buyer offering above the asking price only to chip away at it as the exchange date approaches. Most buyers rely on lender surveys, which can lead to a property devaluation if deemed overpriced.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ESTATE AGENT AND PREVENTING DELAYS
Ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises in the buyer’s survey. Significant repairs can scare buyers or give them an excuse to lower their offer significantly. Having your estate agent inspect your house for potential issues a surveyor might flag can be beneficial. Choose your estate agent wisely. A reputable and well-trained agent will do everything they can to ensure a smooth sale and handle any aggressive behaviour from buyers. Also, prevent unnecessary delays. Hold-ups between both parties’ solicitors can allow the buyer to revise their offer. Ensure that you have promptly provided all the necessary information to your solicitor.
Don’t forget, our professional friendly advisors are on hand to support you and can help you explore all of your options.