Buying a property can be a stressful time. Everyone wants the process to run as smoothly as possible. Here are six steps you can take to try to protect yourself from being gazumped at the last minute.
1. Get Yourself in a Good Position Before You Start
Get your funds in order, and if you’re part of a chain, don’t make an offer to buy another property until you’ve received an offer on yours.
You can get useful advice from https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/moving-and-improving-your-home/buying-a-home/.
2. Build a Relationship with the Seller
Having a good buyer-seller relationship can help things to run smoothly. Keep your seller informed of progress with a view to exchanging contracts as quickly as possible.
3. Ask for the Property to Be Taken Off the Market
If your offer is accepted, ask the seller to remove the property from the market. This will show a commitment to the sale from both sides and prevent further offers being submitted.
4. Consider a Pre-Contract Deposit
A pre-contract deposit works by both parties paying an agreed amount to an independent solicitor. If either side later pulls out of the sale without good reason, they will lose their deposit.
It is worth setting out in advance what such ‘good reasons’ may be. For example, these may include the mortgage valuation coming in at a lower price than originally offered or a survey from experts such as a homebuyers report Hertfordshire revealing a serious unknown structural defect.
The advantage of this type or contract is the security it offers both parties. The seller knows that the buyer is unlike to change their mind at the last minute, and the buyer – who will need to pay for legal fees and surveys such as those offered by https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/Homebuyers-Survey/Home-Buyers-Survey-Hertfordshire – can be confident that the seller won’t accept a higher offer and walk away from their deal.
5. Ask for an Exclusivity Agreement
Also known as a ‘lock-out’, this works by asking the seller to take their property off the market for a set period of time after a price has been agreed, not accepting any further offers from other parties in return for the buyer paying a non-refundable deposit.
Ask the agents if they have a policy on gazumping where clients will confirm they won’t try to change the price at a later stage.