Gazumping returns outside Central London

Robyn Hall

September 3, 2013

Due to a short supply of properties in the super-prime areas buyers who are looking further afield for better value and more choice end up competing for the same homes.

Camilla Dell, managing partner of Black Brick, said: “During one week alone we received three enquiries all from British buyers who had suffered gazumping – one of the most irritating and stressful outcomes a buyer can face.”

Dell said one client, a UK expat family planning to relocate back to the UK later this year, had been looking for a family home in Richmond for the last six months but had been gazumped on three properties priced between £2.5m and £3.5m.

Another instance saw a single entrepreneur, living and working in London and experienced in buying and selling properties, being caught out by the practice. He offered £4.3m on an apartment in Hyde Park, W2, and was gazumped by another buyer at £4.5m, which was the full asking price.

Dell said: “As such it looks like gazumping is well and truly back and with a force. The last time we experienced a market like this was back in the heady days of 2007. Back then fierce competition was mainly confined to prime central London – Knightsbridge and Belgravia.

“The difference now is that gazumping is happening much further outside of the traditional core market of Prime Central London.

“This is partly down to buyers being priced out of super prime and looking further afield for better value and partly down to a constant lack of supply of sensibly priced well located properties that aren’t in some way compromised by being situated on the ground or lower ground floor or affected by the tube and busy roads.”

Black Brick’s advice to avoid gazumping is to be prepared by ensuring the finances are in place and solicitors are instructed. It is not possible to get gazumped after contracts have been exchanged so the agent advises brokers and clients to get from point of agreement through to the exchange as quickly as possible.

Dell added: “Above all the market is heating up and those acting without a buying agent need to arm themselves with as much ammunition as possible!”

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