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What is Gazundering?
House Selling

What is Gazundering?

Gazundering is when a buyer suddenly decides to pay less for a house right before the deal is supposed to be finalised. It's not very well-known outside the UK, but it can really put sellers in a tough spot. For example, just before she was about to finalise the sale of her house, Katharine Storr found out the buyers wanted to pay £30,000 less than they originally said.

As a busy mother of three children, with an imminent school move on the horizon, Katharine felt backed into a corner to accept. She'd been 'gazundered'.

What Is Gazundering?

Gazundering, is when a buyer lowers their offer at the last minute just before exchange, it's a peculiarity of the UK’s housing market. It means that even when you think your deal is done, it isn’t. Because failing to accept a lower offer means you could lose your buyer; your chain might collapse, and you’d have to start all over again.

The Prevalence of Gazundering

Contrary to what some might believe, gazundering is not a rare occurrence. Recent data from the House Buyer Bureau reveals that 31% of UK home sellers were gazundered in the six months leading up to November 2023. Nearly half of these incidents occurred just two weeks before the completion date, exacerbating the pressure on sellers to accept reduced offers or to revisit the lengthy and costly selling process.

Impact on Sellers

The emotional and financial toll on sellers cannot be understated. According to the same study, 73% of those affected by gazundering felt compelled to accept lower offers, driven by fears of jeopardizing subsequent property purchases or the daunting task of finding new buyers. This predicament highlights the urgent need for innovation and solutions within the housing market to protect sellers and ensure fairer transactions.

Strategies to Counteract Gazundering

To mitigate the risks of gazundering, sellers are encouraged to seek chain-free buyers, establish firm contract exchange dates, and streamline the selling process. However, the real estate market's lack of innovation has made these strategies less effective than desired. The reliance on trust, both in real estate agents and in the property chain, underscores the need for new approaches to secure transactions and minimize uncertainties.

House buying companies like UPSTIX

At UPSTIX, we are growing our ‘cash offer’ service to give sellers the confidence to move on with speed, certainty and none of the stress that ‘gazundering’ brings. We use data driven valuations, independently verified by local property experts, to make offers quickly and then purchase properties directly, akin to a cash buyer.

This means that everyone can get the chain-free buyer they desire, even in the throes of a broken property chain, Upstix have been able to reignite stalled sales, offering sellers a respite from the stress associated with collapsed chains.

If you find yourself being gazundered, don’t just ‘trust the process’ - look to a new one.

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