Gazumping – and why it benefits no one, least of all agents

Ed Mead
Ed Mead

Here is one of the most common scenarios when it comes to gazumping:


You agree a price with the seller.

You market the property.

You get loads of viewings straight away.

You agree an offer.

Two weeks pass…..

One of the original viewers bids.

Law requires you to pass on offer….

Seller decides they like higher offer.

Bidding war ensues, four buyers bid.

Best bids [nirvana for many] date set.

Property exchanges with chosen buyer.


So, through no fault of their own the agent is left with the following….

Three unsuccessful buyers annoyed they couldn’t buy and will never talk to selling agent again.

One successful buyer pissed off they had to pay so much and will never talk to selling agent again.

One quizzical seller who might think you undervalued in the first place – unless this was your deliberate strategy, and not many agents win listings on that basis.

The extra commission generated by a higher offer is minimal – and certainly not worth the hassle, e.g. selling a £300k property for £320k at average fees might generate an extra £200.

So, given how much bad press agents get on this subject and that it’s no fault of theirs and they’re accused of only doing it for higher fees – perhaps estate agents should mention the above when the press implies gazumping is their fault.


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  1. claris

    Absolutely spot on!. Everyone is either irritated, angry or completely cheesed off with the agent.

  2. Snyper

    Absolutely – have explained to many a buyer that I am not encouraging gazumping in any way shape or form as it does not benefit me – I couldn’t be bothered by the extra £10 commission it generates!

  3. LRC10

    “perhaps estate agents should mention the above when the press implies gazumping is their fault”

    All too true but the problem is that most of the time there is no means of response to a press article or newspaper publication.

    Agents are simply an easy target based upon old reputations.

  4. undercover agent


    This article is so incorrect that I doubt the otherwise respectable Ed Mead actually wrote it himself.


    If managed correctly, the unsuccessful buyers will not be annoyed at the agent, as they know a good agent should be working for the vendor, not the buyer. Agents should manage customers’ expectations correctly and professionally. If they don’t know how to do that, or can’t be bothered, they deserve a bad reputation.


    The successful buyer might be pissed off they had to pay so much on this occasion, but this will encourage them to choose that agent next time, when they want to sell, over a lazy agent who just wanted the transaction done for a peaceful life. Don’t become an agent if you’re too lazy for “blood and guts” negotiation on behalf of your clients.


    The quizzical seller who might think you undervalued it in the first place, might be right. Luckily the laws protected that seller from the harm the lazy agent might have otherwise done to them.


    The extra commission generated by a higher offer is minimal – but it certainly is worth the hassle, because it’s about reputation and personal pride in fighting to get the best outcome for your clients (the Vendor).


    Be the agent everyone wants to sell through but hates to buy from. Don’t be the agent that everyone wants to buy from, because that agent is underselling their customers’ properties.


    Just my opinion here, but I can’t be the only person who realises that gazumping and gazundering are important free-market elements that benefit the public. I understand some readers here might be lazy agents who just want to take their fee and are happy to undersell their client’s homes, but hopefully, some of the readers here are good agents who wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if they let their customers down to the tune of £20k (£20k is a lot of money up north).





    1. Charlie Lamdin

      That’s a comprehensive and unarguable takedown of Mr Mead’s article. I have huge time and respect for Ed, but I think you’re right on this occasion and he may need a rethink! Would be curious to know Ed’s thoughts on your comment.



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