Gazundering occurs when a buyer lowers their initial offer on a previously agreed-upon sale price, in order to exploit the seller into taking less money. This is a daunting prospect if you are selling in today’s property market, so this week we’re taking a look at some of the steps you can take to avoid being gazundered.
Get the survey sorted as soon as possible
If you know what sort of issues might be likely to come up during your home survey, then it’s a really good idea to get them fixed before you sell, if possible; in order to speed up the survey process and to prevent potential buyers from using any defects as an excuse to unexpectedly lower their offer. Get your survey out of the way as soon as you can and if your buyers are selling too, encourage them to get their survey done promptly as well, so that everything can move along smoothly and quickly.
Set a date for exchanging
Not all house purchases work like this due to chains, etc but – if you can – set a potential date for exchanging contracts, as this should encourage solicitors and buyers to move more quickly.
Be aware of the warning signs of gazundering
Stay on your guard – it is possible to spot some of the potential warning signs that you may be dealing with a gazunderer. For example, if the buyer offers much more than your asking price in order to get you to accept their offer, this could be a red flag that they are intending to gazunder you when you get closer to completion. It may see like you’re missing out by turning down a generous amount, but accepting a realistic offer will help to prevent you from being gazundered and losing even more money further down the line.
Be upfront and realistic
Don’t inflate the value of your home. Don’t hide any potential issues and be truthful and sincere about any essential repairs or damage that needs to be addressed. A survey should highlight these issues anyway – so it’s much better to be straight from the start. This avoids eroding any trust between you and the buyer and should speed up the process too. If you’re asking too much for the property, there is an increased chance that the buyer might lower their offer too – so be realistic and honest when it comes to setting your price.
As you may gather from the previous tips, speed is of the essence. The more you hang about, the more chances your buyer will have to reconsider and start quibbling with you. Make sure that your solicitors are acting as quickly as possible and that they receive all of the information that they need from you in a timely fashion. Stay in regular contact to ensure that they are doing everything that they should be doing to push the sale through.
Sadly, gazundering is still a common occurrence amongst buyers and sellers but if you follow these tips you should be able to reduce the chances of it happening to you.
If you do find yourself in the unfortunate position where an agreed-upon offer on your home is lowered and your buyer appears to be gazundering, speak to your estate agent and a financial advisor before considering a course of action. If you think that the lower offer is unfair and that perhaps the buyer is simply pushing their luck to see if you’ll accept less money, stand firm on your agreed-upon price and don’t back down Alternatively, if your survey has revealed some issues with your property and your buyer is using this as a reason to lower their offer, try renegotiating with them to reach a figure that you are both happy with.
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