Gazumping: Meaning and History

by | Jun 9, 2023 | Lawyers

Property conveyancing in West London is usually a pretty easy business. Subject to all the woes and constant hang-ups that plague the process, like everywhere that utilizes property conveyancing, but little more than that. However, there’s one other problem that plagues property conveyancing, gazumping. A ridiculous name for an unfortunately common occurrence in the buying and selling of property. For those that wonder what this ludicrous term means, read on for the answer.

Gazumping: History

It’s generally believed that the term “gazump” comes from the Yiddish term “gezumph” which means cheating or overcharging. This is most evident in the word’s first usage, in London, back in the 1920’s, when it referred to general cheating and swindling.

Gazumping: Modern Meaning

Nowadays, the term Gazump has been mostly relegated specifically to matters of property. Gazumping can refer to when a seller of property accepts a verbal offer by a potential buyer, and then proceeds to accept an increased offer from another person before the ink even hits the paper. Another potential definition is the seller increasing the property price or requesting additional money outright with no indication that they were going to do so, usually at the very last minute, and after verbally agreeing to a lower deal previously. In both cases this leaves the previous buyer out to dry, as now they must either offer an even higher price or give up the purchase and start the house-hunting all over again. While the practice is common, the term gazumping is typically used in the UK, Scotland, and Australia.

Ways to Fight

The reason the practice is so common is because there really isn’t a way to make it illegal or for the buyer to fight it in any way. As was stated earlier, the only way a buyer can fight a gazumping seller is by walking away or offering a bigger deal. Gazumping is typically only effective if the seller didn’t write anything down yet, and only made a verbal agreement with the buyer. If they wrote down anything, then a solicitor can help you fight it. Try to find a way to get a written word out of a seller whenever you go house hunting, to make sure this doesn’t happen to you. That way, when they try to gazump you, your solicitor need only take the seller’s written word to the court and get everything straightened out. Browse site for more details.

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