Call for an initial consultation

  • Sheffield 0114 272 9184
  • Chesterfield 01246 229 393
  • Hathersage 01433650718


Gazumping is on the rise

Gazumping is on the rise throughout the UK (excluding Scotland, where it is illegal), with figures now showing that 37% of buyers have been gazumped since 2014.

Last updated on July 4th, 2024 at 11:03 am


Caroline Murray

Gazumping is when you have made an offer on a property and the seller has accepted it, then someone else makes a higher offer and the seller accepts that offer, leaving your’s no longer valid.

In our article in 2022, we discussed a survey commissioned by specialist lender Market Financial Solutions (MFS) in April 2022, which showed that 31% of homeowners said they had been gazumped at least once since 2012.  According to MFS, this figure has now risen to 37% of homeowners having been gazumped since 2014.  Also, whereas in 2022, the majority (51%) of those gazumped had been in London and the south-east of England, the practice is now more widespread throughout England and Wales.

Unless contracts are signed, it is not illegal for a seller to accept another offer after they have accepted yours, whether that is because it is higher than your offer or they simply want to sell more quickly.  However, it is of course annoying and costly as you may have already incurred costs, such as for searches and other expenses. 59% of those surveyed said they had lost money through being gazumped.

Also, it appears that those aged 18 – 24 are more at risk of being gazumped, with 61% of this age range saying they had been affected, whereas only 20% of those aged 55 and above had the same issue. Interestingly, half of those aged 18 – 24 admit to gazumping themselves.

MFS’ research also shows that, in general, people want to see the practice of gazumping outlawed, with 78% of those interviewed saying laws should be introduced to make it illegal.  Fortunately for those people, this issue may be subject to review, as the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee has recently launched an inquiry on improving the home buying and selling process in England.

Caroline Murray, partner and head of Graysons’ property team says:

“Gazumping is an annoying practice and does cause distress to buyers when it happens.  There is nothing you can really do to stop it, although you can find some tips on what you could do to try and avoid it and what steps to take if you are subject to gazumping in our article “What is gazumping and how do you avoid it”.  You can also consider relatively inexpensive home buyer protection insurance that will cover some of your costs if your seller changes their mind and pulls out of the sale after they have accepted your offer.”

If you need advice or guidance on any issue relating to buying or selling property, contact our property experts now.  We can guide you through the process and help ensure that your property transaction goes as smoothly as possible. One of our clients said:

“We used Graysons for the purchase and conveyance of our house move. They went above and beyond in every respect. They helped when we didn’t understand the wording of documents and even helped when the stress levels got too much. I would highly recommend them.”

You can also get a no-obligation quotation for your sale or purchase by using our online conveyancing quotation system.

Author: Caroline Murray, partner and head of Graysons’ property team.

scroll to top