Top tips for buyers to avoid Gazanging

In case you haven't heard the word before, Gazanging describes the situation when a seller pulls the plug on a house sale before the buyer has had a chance to exchange contracts.

(for a detailed analysis see 'What is Gazanging?')

Of course sellers have always put properties back on the market when buyers take too long, but according to recent research what is apparently now happening more frequently is that sellers are deciding not to go ahead even when buyers are ready to exchange.

Sellers now say they are Gazanging because they can't find another property to buy, or because they have become jittery about the whole housing market.

6 Tips to avoid the Gazanging menace

Strategies to reduce the likelihood of being Gazanged are limited, but the following tips will help:

  1. Ask your sellers about their plans. Agents have always interrogated prospective buyers to make sure that they are genuine, so why shouldn't sellers now expect to tell buyers what they are intending to do - especially now Gazanging is on the up.
  2. Be suspicious of sellers who say that they are looking for somewhere to buy, and but haven't started looking yet. Many sellers are now Gazanging because once they do start looking they can't find what they want. There are fewer homes on the market now so the choice is often restricted.
  3. Beware sellers who say they will move into rented accommodation or are going to live with friends – they often have second thoughts at the last minute leaving you Gazanged.
  4. Look for a property where the seller will not need to buy – some agents now advertise properties with no onward chain separately. Typical cases are:
    • repossessions – but they usually want a quick exchange
    • executor's sales, where the owner has died
    • owner emigrating or moving into a nursing home
    • buy a new house – fewer new homes are being built, but it is often possible to buy properties that are already completed, rather than having to wait months for builders to finish them.
  5. buy at auction – the sale date is fixed
  6. last but not least, make sure that your own Conveyancing Solicitor does not delay things and gives the seller an excuse for Gazanging.