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Gazanging and the self-fulfilling prophecy

For anyone yet to register the word ‘Gazanging’ in their vocabulary, Gazanging is the new (we are informed) phenomenon coined by a prominent online conveyancing firm.

For those of you planning to ‘hang in’ there with this piece, another Gazanging blog, I am not intending to just pontificate about the ethical questionability of home sellers choosing to pull out at the last minute for reasons that were either foreseeable or, worse still, because they never intended to go through with the sale in the first place.

Neither do I intend to reignite the debate about whether the ‘abracadabra’ overnight abolition of HIPs by Grant Shapps’ magic wand (at the behest of the Coalition government) has increased post-offer seller withdrawals. Although it, of course, has.

Is Gazanging a new thing?

Having worked in the property sector for decades I, along with many others, was actually quite surprised to hear of this sudden new spectre looming over house buyers in the UK.  I certainly hadn’t noticed it, so if seller capriciousness has increased in the first 6 months of 2011 then it has not registered on my completion-o-meter.

Whether or not there has been an increase in the practice of Gazanging, the author of the report must be applauded, if not for alerting us to any new danger (not one buyers can do much to protect themselves against anyway) but for a cracking piece of PR that launched a company’s brand into the spotlight.

So let us give the originator the benefit of the doubt and suppose that there has been a significant increase in the practice of Gazanging.  Has the increase been to such an extent that a new word was required?  Non-evolved or non-derivative words that spring into existence are usually as a result of something dramatic, something Earth shattering, or something genuinely shocking.  And the propagation of the gazanging story, and the word, around the web has been nothing short of amazing.

Gazanging – the birth of a word

10 days ago anyone Googling ‘Gazanging’ or ‘What is Gazanging‘ would have been met with a lot of white space.  But at the date of writing this post, 24, 700 fascinating regurgitations await a interested, or worried, homebuyer.

Offline and online replication of this new word has been spectacular.  10, 000’s of articles spun off the original, each a slight mutation of the former.  To be fair these were interspersed with a handful of genuine pieces of analysis and commentary.  

Gazanging – the birth of 12 million words

Suppose that each article averages 500 words – then that means there are now over 12, 000, 000 words on the subject of Gazanging when a week or so ago there were none.

Many of these articles have increased in size exponentially with the number of comments appended to them, not to mention twittering, forum posting and so on.

Yet has any editor actually checked the research data underpinning the story? It’s doubtful; that’s why journalists  given the standard issue phrase ‘according to…’, after all.

And so, all of one week later, it may very well be that the ‘Gazanging‘ now ranks equally with ‘Gazumping’ and ‘Gazaundering’ in the home buyers vocabulary.  

The outcome? We are all a degree more anxious about the house buying process.

The real question is, “Does the framing of the Gazanging problem not just add to the anxiety in the home buying and selling process? And thus increases the likelihood of the seller jitteriness it sets out to highlight?”

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