Property shortage drives return of gazumping

Posted: 06 Jun 2006 08:51:15 GMT

            Property News - Property shortage drives return of gazumping

Gazumping, a practice first noted in the 1980s, is apparently making a return to the UK housing market.

It appears to have resurfaced largely because of a shortage of houses on the market as well high City bonuses this year that are allowing people to pay over the odds for a property, reports the Telegraph.

Gazumping is when, having accepted one offer, the seller decides to take a higher one that comes in at the last minute. While the estate agent is legally bound to pass on all offers to the client, there is also the slightly more dubious motivation of receiving a bigger commission.

Noel De Keyzer, a director of Savills North London, told the Telegraph that the practice essentially comes down to greed and a lack of respect.

"It is not a socially acceptable practice, in fact it is pretty awful, but money is the root of all evil. It brings out the worst in people," he said.

According to research from Spring Move, the Home Information Pack provider, gazumping affects ten per cent of all house sales, while transactions in the north-west and in London are most at risk.

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