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Is gazumping legal in the UK? What can do you stop being gazumped?

Honest Answer presenter Sarah Walker asks the Knight Frank panel whether there is a way to avoid this unfortunate and almost unavoidable part of the property buying process, and why some estate agents allow it to happen.

Nick Loweth, Head of Berkshire Sales, explains that agents are legally obliged to report all offers even though most will discourage a viewing if an offer is already in place.

Although Walker points out that agents work for the vendor, she goes on to ask the panel whether estate agents should do more to stop gazumping.

James Pace, Head of Chelsea and South Kensington sales, stands up for estate agents and puts the onus on current legislation.

"Unfortunately it’s the way our legal system and sales process works. It’s not agents who control that, it’s politicians."

He goes on to say that most vendors with Knight Frank will have a legal pack in place prior to launching their property on the market and that if a buyer is ready to act quickly this negates the chances of gazumping taking place.

The panel moves on to discuss the issue of gazundering - whereby a buyer agrees a price and then attempts to lower it. As Pace explains, until contracts have been formally exchanged, verbal contracts are not legally binding. Another property expert adds that in most cases of gazundering, the sale usually falls through.

To found out more about gazumping or gazundering watch the video or contact us and ask a question.