Here is how to minimise your risk of being gazundered by your buyer

Searches for "gazundering" are up by 85 per cent year on year, which is why estate agent comparison service GetAgent did some digging and found that one in six UK homebuyers have admitted to practising the frowned upon tactic which sees them changing their original offer to a lower one just before contracts are signed.

With so many buyers admitting to altering their final offer in the hopes of saving money by spurious means,here is some research from Get Agent, along with some tips from them on how sellers can try and avoid the situation.

The survey shows that those aged between 25-34 years old are the most likely to gazunder a seller with almost a third admitting they had made the move to offer less than their original offer just before signing on the dotted line.

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In contrast, only four per cent of those age 55 plus said they had done this.

How to minimise the risk of being gazunderedHow to minimise the risk of being gazundered
How to minimise the risk of being gazundered

However, 25 to34 year olds were also the age group who are most likely to be gazundered themselves whilst in the process of selling their home, with over four in ten saying it had happened to them.

At the other end of the scale, the age group least likely to be gazundered were the over 55s, with just nine per cent having their property offers lowered just before exchanging contracts.

Despite gazundering being, in most cases, unfair and the seller and their plans for their next move being impacted, changing the offer before signing contracts is legal.

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Colby Short, CEO and CoFounder of GetAgent, says: “Being gazundered at the last minute can be devastating as a seller and coming to terms with possibly losing thousands of pounds can be hard to accept.

“Not only does it feel like a cheeky move, it can have an impact on your next steps, as many buyers will be involved in a chain and will be reliant on getting the full asking price for their home to be able to secure your next property.

“So it’s no wonder that in the current market many buyers are keeping everything crossed until the contracts are exchanged.”

If you are worried about finding yourself in this position, here are a few tactics to try and prevent it.

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Move quickly. The sooner you can sign those contracts the better as you are more protected once this has been completed and the price for your property is secured.

After this point the buyer cannot change how much they’re offering for the home, so you can rest easy knowing that the price you agreed on is secured.

Speak to your estate agent. Gather advice from the estate agent on how the process is going and how the market is faring.

Speak to your mortgage broker. If you do find yourself in the position of being gazundered, speak to your broker on your options. It might mean that you need to think about how much you offer on the property you are buying or look at mortgage offers available should you need to increase your loan. Another option is to look for a new buyer.

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Choose a chain free buyer. If you’re in the advantageous position of having a few offers on your home, then it’s worth considering each of the buyers' situations.

Buyers who are chain free are often the more favourable option, as they are able to move faster which is great for securing your sale.

Set a realistic price for your home and do not over value it. Also ask your estate agent about demand.