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Buyers urged to get protected amid rise in gazumping

Buyers are being urged to be on alert about being gazumped amid a rise in the practice.

The HomeOwners Alliance has highlighted research from the MFS Group that suggests 37% of buyers have been gazumped, up 6% over the past two years.

The action group advises getting home buyers protection insurance, which helps purchasers recover some costs if they are gazumped.


For those who had to make a claim, the average amount they received was £975 in 2023/24 and the cost of the insurance starts at just £69, the group said.

Further research shows 78% of homebuyers would like to see gazumping see outlawed.

Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, said: “The system fails consumers by enabling gazumping. If you take a look at property websites you will see many properties listed as sold subject to contract, almost inviting other potential buyers to try their luck with an offer. And estate agents are legally obliged to pass those offers on to the seller. 

Unfortunately, at the moment gazumping is still legal and sadly there’s not much you can do about it. That’s why we’re trying to raise awareness to consumers so they can at least protect their pockets from this unethical practice. We urge them to be prepared, move quickly, get home buyers protection insurance and where possible “lock in” the seller.”

Beyond getting insured, Higgins suggests buyers should get in the best position to move quickly and ask for a property to be taken off the market.

Join the conversation

  • Shaun Adams

    This is part of a problem of buyer or selling messing about between agreeing the offer and contracts exchanging. Insurance isn’t the answer. Like most of the world, both sides need a legal agreement when an offer is accepted. The seller needs to take it off the market and the buyer needs to not view other properties. Mandatory Reservation Agreements will stop people messing around. At Cooper Adams we offer this, Gazeal deal with this for us.

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    People don’t like reservation agreements and this only affects the buyer that has been gazumped.
    The seller, the agent and the new buyer (the gazumper) all benefit.
    I get that it’s not nice to be gazumped but there were figures recently to stare at although buyers didn’t want to be gazumped, they were happy to gazump someone else!

    Bryan Mansell

    Christian, i assume you are unaware of the Gazeal Agreement ( Reservation ) that is 100% balanced between buyer and seller. If you are keen to know about it I am happy to run through it with you, however a blanket statement that 'people don't like them' is factually incorrect as 5 years of providing ours to the public via estate agents will prove that.

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