Peter Rollings commenting on gazundering
Tue 11 Nov 2008
"In a down market, gazundering is sometimes going to be a problem for sellers just as gazumping is in an up market. However, it is still the exception. At Marsh & Parsons, we dont impose rigid pre-contracts on buyers and sellers its hard enough to get the sales contract done and dusted in a short time frame without adding yet more hurdles. But we do encourage both the buyer and seller to commit to the transaction, sometimes by making a non-refundable deposit at the start of the process to try to avoid gazundering. If both parties commit a substantial sum (around 20,000 each) to honouring the terms of their agreement before the contract completes, there is a financial incentive for buyers and sellers to see it through to the end without renegotiating.
However, it is unrealistic to expect buyers to commit to buying a property irrespective of the condition its in if the surveyor found severe structural faults, there would commonly be a renegotiation of the price. One silver lining in the gloom of a static housing market is that surveyors are turning their property inspections around much more quickly than in the past. This in itself should speed up the buying process - if transactions are quickly tied up, the likelihood of the buyer gazundering is far lower."