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A quarter of buyers ‘bribed’ seller to secure a purchase  - claim

A quarter of homebuyers have attempted to bribe sellers with everything from cash to kindness when trying to secure a property, research suggests.

A survey of more than 1,000 homebuyers by online agent Yopa has found that while such an approach may be “morally reprehensible,”  89% of those who attempted to sweeten the deal said their efforts were successful and they were able to secure a purchase.

When asked about the type of bribe, 28% said they boasted about their potential to make a quick purchase due to being free of any chain, while 24% made it clear that they were a cash buyer, and even provided proof of funds. 


A fifth took a more homely approach by offering baked goods to the seller, while 10% went further and offered the seller a professional service for free.

A further 10% said they offered the seller a cash backhander behind the agent’s back, while 4% proposed the offer of a free dinner and another 4% attempted to charm their seller. 

Verona Frankish, chief executive of Yopa, said: “Incentivising sellers with bribes is nothing new and it’s certainly a grey area that flirts with the lines of legality, not to mention the fact it’s somewhat morally questionable. 

“The irony is that, in hotter market conditions, the practice of gazumping is one that is not only rife, but completely above board and it happens year in year out.  

“As a seller, there’s certainly nothing wrong with building a rapport with potential buyers but it’s best to always maintain a degree of distance with them when it comes to the formalities of selling your home. 

“After all, it’s your agent's job to field potential offers and relay them to you and not only does this provide you with some breathing space from overly pushy buyers, but your agent is far more likely to secure you the best offer while doing so. It’s their profession after all.” 


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