Gazundering is back as purchasers reduce offers by thousands

Home buyers are regularly ‘price chipping’ at the last minute and forcing sellers to take thousands of pounds less, lawyers have revealed.

Solicitors from London law firm Osbornes Law have seen a significant increase in buyers price chipping and estimate it is currently happening in around 50% of house sales.

Homebuyers ‘price chip’ by demanding money off the agreed sale price just before the sale is about to exchange, citing an issue from a survey such as damp, a problem with the roof or the electrics.

Simon Nosworthy, head of residential conveyancing at Osbornes Law, said the wave of gazundering has only began in the last few months but has rapidly gathered pace as the UK economy weakens and the housing market reacts to this.

He said: “Price chipping has been unheard of in recent years as the market has been so strong. If a buyer had asked for several thousand pounds off the agreed price at the last minute because of a fault in the property sellers would have just pulled out and gone to another person who had put in an offer. But recent months we have seen a massive rise in price chipping and I’d estimate we are seeing it in around 50% of transactions at the moment.

“Price chipping is a sign that the market is weaker and that the pendulum of power is swinging from the seller to the buyer. It has been a sellers’ market for the past few years, but with rising interest rates and the cost of living crisis that is changing. Sellers are left in a difficult position of losing their buyer when the market is turning or having to accept thousands of pounds less.

“It should be said that this practice has been exacerbated by stiff completion for property in places such as London, meaning that buyers are having to offer ever increasing amounts to secure an offer on a property in the first place.”

“It’s a horrible position to be in for sellers but it is all too common now,” Nosworthy added. “While it may not be moral, price chipping isn’t illegal and is being used as a price reducing tactic by buyers. What a lot of people don’t realise though is that if a buyer does price chip, then they need to go away and get a new mortgage offer showing the newly agreed price for the property from their bank before they are able to exchange contracts. This can lead to delays when getting to exchange.”



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  1. Ric

    Poor headline based on the story.

    If a buyer is asking for a reduction based on a set of survey results which have been seen and verified by the sellers Estate Agent, for something like electrics or damp, then I don’t think this is news nor deserves to be called gazundering!

    You might question why it was “on exchange” they decided to ask for the reduction, hence add fuel to the fire it felt more like a last minute chip, or consider they simply decided asking towards the end was a key point to get the best possibly answer yes, however…

    I just think the Estate Agent throughout the madness of the past 18 months, today and moving forward (always and forever actually) should have conditioned the seller for the potential of a reduction after survey should a verified defect be found.

    Without sight of the survey, then this is a different story perhaps, but surely no Estate Agents recommend a reduction to the seller based on a Survey they have not seen and verified (even saying our seller would need to see the relevant section also, to HELP them understand why you want a reduction) If they don’t want to show you the survey, then you have to suggest this might be a fib, but most buyers who ask for a reduction post survey gladly share it when we explain we can help with it and do little to advise our client without it.

    Gazundering for me is “I want a reduction, no reason, I am just sticking the gun to your head”

    What an earth am I typing the above for haha… like nobody know this. (well apart from Osbornes Law perhaps)

  2. Gordon H

    On the other hand, this trend could be a symptom of vastly over inflated property valuations by agents in order to win business.
    Very often vendors are aware of defects to property but cover them up in the knowledge that to reveal them would adversely affect any valuation. When a properly qualified and experienced surveyor finds the defect and / or gives a realistic property valuation following an overly hopeful agent price setting, of course this needs to be reflected in the final price.

    Buyers have rights too.

    Perhaps we should look at the whole process. It may be that if the survey were the responsibility of the seller and then produced to a properly verified and serious buyer before any offer to buy, then the chain collapses and over inflated prices would be eliminated.

    Just a thought.



    1. Ric

      Gordon, Gordon Gordon…

      It hasn’t been the Estate Agents putting in ridiculous over the asking price bids on property for the fear of missing out, and nor can you blame the seller for saying “why not take that crazy offer”… Many EAs have called for calm and HATED this market in terms of how sales are being agreed and the fight for little stock. (Market forces have driven prices not Estate Agents)

      I am sure you will be a Gordon who would sell to the lowest bidder who offered a sensible and reasonable price for your property one day… thinking, the extra £10k from that other person can stay in their pocket!

      I agree with the survey comment, anything which cannot be seen on a viewing or perhaps understood on a viewing… a proper defect should come with the potential to negotiate the cost to put right or the opportunity for the seller to rectify the defect and price stay as offered. (BUT the buyer must show the survey at this point, and many say “no” to showing the EA the survey, which simply looks suspicious)

      But Buyers have rights to… come on… lets not make it a movement hey…. ffs… Sellers Have Rights too, Surveyors Have Rights too, Buyers Have Rights too, Solicitors Have Rights too, Ric Has Rights too (not in my house, or office, none whatsoever LOL) we could go on.

      To be fair the English market is the fairest of all in some ways… you pull out if you’re not happy! Often at no cost with so many free surveys from B.Socs/Banks and the solicitor doing little until a MO is in place.

      PS: HIP and Home Inspections… they worked out well… Just a thought.


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