House sale fell through. What would you do? Is it gazumping?

(44 Posts)
Orcagirl Sun 02-Aug-20 23:10:11

Hi- timeline of what’s happened:

4 weeks ago Husband and I went to view a house and wanted it. Put our house on market immediately.

Had 4 offers received on ours within first week, accepted one, and put an offer in on house we wanted which was accepted and both houses taken off market. Instructed solicitor.

10 days later our buyer pulled out. Our EA contacted other interested parties but they are both waiting for their houses to sell. The vendor said she would wait for us.

However we received a phone call 6 days later to say the vendor had accepted an offer from another interested party, this was on Thursday.

We are gutted and unsure what to do. No other houses we are interested in as yet- like I said we only wanted to move for this particular house and we were over the moon when a sale was agreed. Plenty of viewers over the weekend and I’m pretty sure we will receive another offer tomorrow and will once again be able to proceed. If we do receive an offer and are once again in a position to proceed, I want to go back with a higher offer. I don’t like the idea of gazumping but that house was perfect for us and our family.

Any advice welcome, Thankyou :-)

OP’s posts: |
pandafunfactory Sun 02-Aug-20 23:12:56

Well if you try and muscle in with a higher offer it is gazumping. Neither the other buyer or your vendor did anything wrong but gazumping is morally repugnant at least.

Orcagirl Sun 02-Aug-20 23:15:06

Even though we were the original buyer and it was taken off the market for us?

OP’s posts: |
Orcagirl Sun 02-Aug-20 23:18:44

This also all happened 3 days ago so the buyer won’t have spent anything just yet, while we have already instructed our solicitor sad

OP’s posts: |
kittenpeak Sun 02-Aug-20 23:19:03

I honestly don't see a problem with it. Your sale fell through and you've started again. Maybe there was no competition before, and now you want to secure it: Not that you have to justify yourself, but one thing you could say (whether it's true or not) is that youve got a higher offer on your property so are prepared to offer more. But you don't have to give a reason.

The only time gazumping (or whatever the equivalent is!) is wrong (IMHO) is when you are days away from exchange and the buyer decides to massively drop the price. The seller would feel pressure to accept , as they were far along in the process.

Anyway, if it's your dream home go for it. The other buyer wouldn't have incurred costs at this stage and it's all very quickz

Orchid22 Sun 02-Aug-20 23:20:06

It wasn't your fault that your first buyer pulled out. And I wouldn't blame the vendor for accepting another offer (albeit within a week after saying they'd wait!?). As unethical as gazumping may be, you had all good intentions to buy that property earlier and even now. I wouldn't think so much about morals; if it's the most perfect property for you, and if you can afford offering a higher price, go for it. If the vendor thinks it's unethical, they'd reject it (sorry!). As for the other buyers, I would feel sorry for them but sh*t happens in life! Good luck and let us know how you get on!

Pipandmum Sun 02-Aug-20 23:26:39

@kittenpeak that's gazundering.
The seller will not object to receiving a higher offer, and obviously they were not quite straightforward with you if they accepted another offer within a week of saying they'd wait (did they even start to remarket it)? The other buyers may be put out if the seller reverts to you though but that's not your problem or decision.
Of course you don't know the position of the other buyer. They may have nothing to sell or be further along. If you get a chance try it.


Orcagirl Sun 02-Aug-20 23:35:21

The EA told me the vendor would wait for us yes...

But when they phoned 6 days later, they said another interested party that wasn’t able to proceed was now sold and able to proceed so a sale was agreed with them.

I think even though they said they would wait, the EA contacted previous interested parties to say it had become available again! hmm

OP’s posts: |
Orcagirl Sun 02-Aug-20 23:36:23

Thankyou for your replies by the way. It’s good to hear people’s views on this.

OP’s posts: |
My0My Mon 03-Aug-20 00:18:47

If the offer for the house you like is a cash buyer or first time buyer they still might not sell to you as you are in a chain. Money means little if you don’t actually get it and have to wait for it. Stress of chains is hard to bear! Ask the Ea if the vendors would be open to a higher offer. No harm done and you did get first refusal. However do you have proceedable buyers? What’s the mortgage situation for them and are they selling? Have the sold? Are they first time buyers? You need a bigger carrot than just more money I think. 🥕

GrumpyHoonMain Mon 03-Aug-20 00:22:47

What is the cash difference between your proposed offer and this other buyer?

Orcagirl Mon 03-Aug-20 00:27:30

I don’t know what they offered. We offered 305k. It was listed at offers over 300k.

The other buyer has now sold their house, that’s why they could proceed, but not sure about their chain.

Our potential buyer who viewed today has sold their house to a cash buyer.

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyHoonMain Mon 03-Aug-20 00:29:58

Ah ok. So it’s possible there may only be a 5k difference? In that case, if I were the seller and needed to sell and buy asap to take advantage of the stamp duty discount, I wouldn’t bother.

Orcagirl Mon 03-Aug-20 00:38:00

I don’t know what the other buyer offered. It could be the same as us. But I’m thinking if we go higher we may still have a chance, given we have already instructed a solicitor etc and ready to go.

OP’s posts: |
My0My Mon 03-Aug-20 00:42:01

Try it. Why not? £310,000?

cabbageking Mon 03-Aug-20 00:44:59

It doesn't necessarily mean the other people have offered more. It might be their situation is simply more certain. It isn't always the highest offer that is accepted but no harm offering a higher bid.

Orcagirl Mon 03-Aug-20 00:45:17

I think we will try! 🙏🏻

OP’s posts: |
caringcarer Mon 03-Aug-20 01:02:28

It that is perfect house for you, you have nothing to lose on making higher offer.

Climbingallthetrees Mon 03-Aug-20 08:45:30

I’d try it with a higher offer but TBH I’d be wary. They’ve already shown that they won’t be completely upfront with you, I’d be feeling wary of them up until exchange.

WombatChocolate Mon 03-Aug-20 09:41:28

You can try it. Quite likely this is what the other party did anyway - offered more than your original offer - do you know if you need to beat your original offer or a new, higher one?

The seller hasn't shown themselves to be entirely honourable .l.lbut neither will you by re-offering when someone else has been accepted. However, I do t think what you're doing or planning is wrong. Some people have very strong ideas about what is 'honourable' in house buying - they say they think things like offering on a property already under offer, adjusting an offer after survey, or close to exchange etc etc is disgusting. However, none of it is illegal and when you are talking about places you may live for decades and the thousands involved, it is important to act legally and in your own best also possible to be moral at the same time. Acting in your own best interests can be immoral, but often isn't.

Actually, given what's happened, IF you get another offer, your circumstances will have changed and reverted back to where they were a week ago, so I don't think it's unreasonable to go to the EA and stress that point, along with the fact you have made X progress forward already. It will be important to stress things moire having a mortgage in place in principle, already looking at surveyors etc, so you can show you are serious and further along. The seller might choose to come back to you because you were the original buyer or because you offer more. Either way, I would be asking it to be made clear that the property is to be taken off the market and not shown to anyone else and that you are not willing to get into a bidding war with these other people....unless of course, you are up for that.....although best avoided.

If you get an offer today, this could all work out for you. The longer it takes to get an offer though, the more unlikely they are to come back to you.

WombatChocolate Mon 03-Aug-20 09:54:54

All you can do is try, once you've got an offer.
However, if that other buyer is in a stronger position than you (doesn't sound like it if they were previously proceedable) then there's not a lot you can do. The cash buyer or first time buyer with no chain will always look more appealing, but it doesn't sound like the alternative buyer is either of them.

Did you ever meet the seller? Sometimes when you do, it builds up a little rapport and means it's harder for the seller to ditch the buyer (or vv) as it is no longer a faceless buyer, but real people, with children etc. In housing chains, where it's all looked like its collapsing and going wrong, I've sometimes found speaking directly to buyer or seller has allowed clearer communication and things to get sorted out and moving again.....but this has been much closer to exchange and always with people who I have met in person during viewings and who we had swapped phone numbers with. Lots of people don't like to meet buyers or sellers. Personally, I think it's handy to meet them on a second or third viewing or around the time of an offer...assuming you are a decent person who comes across well, that personal contact can be useful later in the process sometimes and it's easier to speak with someone if you've met them. Often it's not necessary anyway.

So actually, if I'm selling, I try to be there for 2nd or 3rd viewing, or if an offer comes in after 1 viewing, I've often told the EA to tell them that if they'd like to visit again, to feel free to ask.....buyers often would like to look again a few weeks into the process ...and then I've met them, which often helps keep things moving. Of course, if the property is iffy and I think another viewing will work against me, I don't offer this.

I do think that break-downs (like yours) are inevitable, with buyers and sellers pulling out further down the chain. However, I think careful consideration about communication with EAs, solicitors and actually with the buyer/seller can make a big difference to other problems which can scupper the process. I've often sent the EA or Solicitor the exact wording Imwould like to be passed onto the buyer/seller as too often messages get garbled and lost in translation between all of the intermediaries and there's huge scope for misunderstanding.

Africa2go Mon 03-Aug-20 10:21:19

OP - I'd just be wary of the EA. I think with my distrust of EAs that the EA wanted his commission and it may not have been the seller, it may be the EA pulling the strings. Try to get to the bottom of it before you start increasing your offer, something with the timings doesn't sound quite right.

MartinJD1976 Mon 03-Aug-20 10:34:05

I think whichever way you try to spin this, Gazumping is Gazumping, and it's not a very nice thing to do to someone, regardless of the circumstances.

"if it's your forever home then go for it! shit happens!" sounds like a selfish attitude, and it's one of the reasons why house buying is so stressful.

Also, I would question the vendor's integrity if they were to accept your Gazump attempt. What's stopping them from entertaining other offers? Shit though it is to lose out on a house you love, I would move on.

MidnightCitrus Mon 03-Aug-20 10:41:46


I’d try it with a higher offer but TBH I’d be wary. They’ve already shown that they won’t be completely upfront with you, I’d be feeling wary of them up until exchange.

From the Vendors point of view: OP said they had a buyer (hard to prove) and then lost it (might not have had a buyer in the first place)

Vendor waited 6 days to accept another offer

I dont think this is dodgy, or underhand personally/

Climbingallthetrees Mon 03-Aug-20 10:57:35

The underhand bit is that they told the OP they were waiting with her while obviously accepting new viewings. The vendor’s estate agent will have checked with OP’s estate agent that the previous buyer existed. When that fell through the vendor should have just said they were putting their house back on the market, that would have been fair enough. Now they’ve accepted another offer, if they go back and accept OP’s higher offer I would definitely be worried that they would be open to gazumpers later.

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