Rightmove shares how to minimise your chances of being ‘gazumped’ by another home buyer

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Gazumping is when after your offer has been accepted on a property, another buyer decides to offer more than yours. The sellers doesn’t always accept the higher offer but when they do, you have been gazumped. When you’ve been gazumped, Rightmove said you can either reconsider your offer and raise it so it matches or exceeds the competing offer, or the vendor accepts the higher offer and you have to start again.

If you come back with a higher offer, the seller could still accept the new buyers’ offer if they’re in a better position than you.

A first time buyer with no chain would be a more appealing option, for example.

Gazumping takes place at any point before a contract has been exchanged which could be days after your offer is accepted or weeks.

Unfortunately, this means in some cases a buyer could have spent money on mortgages being approved and surveys and then still get gazumped, wasting precious time and money.

Being gazumped can be a heartbreaking process, especially if you had your heart set on a property.

Gazumping is legal in England and Wales as the agreement of purchase only becomes legally binding once you’ve exchanged contracts.

Before then, either party could pull out the deal and lead the sale to fall through.

So what can you do to minimise the risk of being gazumped?

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Rightmove has shared four tips to avoid being gazumped and make your position stronger.

1. Be prepared and move quickly

The sooner you exchange contracts, the better, so getting your mortgage approved and surveys done as soon as possible will point you in the right direction.

Before you make an offer, having your mortgage ready and solicitors notified will make you look better to sellers.

If you are dependent on the sale of your own home then Rightmove suggests only making an offer once you’ve accepted an offer on your property.

2. Be enthusiastic

If a seller sees how keen your are to buy their property, they could be less swayed by other offers, according to Rightmove.

Once an offer has been accepted, make sure the vendor knows how excited you are.

3. Ask the estate agent to mark the property as sold

You can also ask the estate agent to put the property as “Sold Subject to Contract” on Rightmove.

4. Consider other options

Rightmove suggests looking at other options if traditional sales aren’t working for you.

Online Conditional Auctions have become more popular, according to Rightmove.

You may have to do some research first but you could come out with a great deal.

A new build property is also a more straightforward process as there will be no chains involved and gazumping is less common.

If you are gazumped then Rightmove advises “keeping your cool”.

Try and understand where you can stand financially and work out a maximum you can spend on a property as you could always be outbid again.

Spending too much could put you in a sticky situation later on down the line.

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