Gazundering Affects One in Five Home Sellers Despite Market Stability

Recent research conducted by House Buyer Bureau, a property purchasing specialist, reveals that one in five home sellers are still experiencing gazundering, despite a decrease in such cases since the beginning of the year.

The survey, which involved over 1,000 UK home sellers who completed sales in the last six months, found that 20% of them were gazundered. Gazundering occurs when a buyer lowers their offer for a property before the sale is completed, despite having a higher offer previously accepted.

Encouragingly, this figure shows a decline from earlier in the year. In February 2023, a similar survey by House Buyer Bureau indicated that as many as 31% of home sellers had been gazundered.

Of the sellers affected in the past six months, 47% reported being gazundered within two weeks of their expected completion date. A significant 73% of these sellers felt compelled to accept the reduced offer, citing reasons such as not wanting to jeopardize their onward purchase (32%) and the difficulty of finding another buyer in the current market (24%).

The primary justification provided by buyers for gazundering was the discovery of property issues during the survey stage (36%), although 22% admitted to simply trying their luck with a lower offer.

For those sellers who refused the reduced offer, 34% experienced a sale collapse, an increase from 21% in February.

Chris Hodgkinson, Managing Director of House Buyer Bureau, commented on the findings: “It would appear that while the market is still underperforming, an air of growing stability has at least led to a reduced level of gazundering on the part of buyers. That said, one in five sellers are still being subject to a lower offer, many within two weeks of their intended completion date.”

Hodgkinson further explained, “With the ability to find a buyer in a proceedable position proving difficult at present, many sellers are left with little choice but to take the hit on asking price if they want to move and, for those who don’t, there’s a high chance their sale will collapse.”

These findings highlight a continuing challenge in the UK property market, where sellers often face the difficult decision of accepting a lower offer or risking the collapse of their sale.