The Government has announced that it is looking at ways of improving the house buying process and it is fair to say that, everyone agrees the house buying process in the UK is far from perfect. The tactic known as Gazumping will be very familiar to any buyers who have been unfortunate enough to have been involved in it.
Gazumping describes the process where a seller accepts an offer from a buyer but then accepts a higher offer from another buyer at the last minute, meaning that the first buyer loses out on the property. Any money and time invested in the purchase by the first buyer will be lost. At the moment this is permitted and not illegal. The government is looking at a range of options to tackle a number of undesirable practices which will speed up the home buying process and make it less stressful for both buyers and sellers.
New rules to stop buyers from withdrawing their offer at an advanced stage in the sale and 'time wasting' by buyers with no real chance of ever completing the purchase of the property will also be examined. Ministers are considering various options, such as moving the point at which a sale becomes legally binding and also new 'lock in agreements' to tie in sellers and buyers at an earlier stage in the sale process. Sales falling through is a very real problem with the current system and it is estimated that over a quarter of all sales fall through after an offer has been accepted.