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Can Gazeal Protect You from Gazumping?

So you’ve found the house you want to buy, you’ve made an offer and the seller has accepted the offer! You’d think that’s it, once the seller accepts your offer the house is yours… but you’d be wrong!

You could still be gazumped! Gazumping is when the seller, accepts a higher offer from someone else AFTER having accepted your offer first. Gazumping is completely legal, the seller has no legal obligation to sell until both parties exchange contracts. Even if the seller doesn’t receive a higher offer, they can claim that they have receive a higher offer at the last minute, just to get more money out of their sale (Ghost Gazumping).

Buying property can be a nightmare! But there’s a new product on the market that can protect buyers from the threat of Gazumping and speed up the process for sellers, The Gazeal Product.

To get a better idea of what The Gazeal Product is and how it can benefit you, we briefly interviewed Managing Director of Gazeal, Duncan Samuel:

What is Gazeal?

The Gazeal Product ( breaks down into two parts;

1. Express Protocol – prepares the contract pack (Land Registry Title documentation, Con29, Drainage and Water and Environmental, Law Society Protocol Forms and Contract) on listing, and makes it available to the buyer to view before he makes an offer, and delivers it to the solicitors on the day that the offer is accepted – at no cost to either seller or buyer until completion. The parties must use a Gazeal approved solicitor – We have partnered with the Homebuyer Conveyancing Panel, who will also filter conveyancers by panel lender, based on the buyers mortgage application to ensure that conveyancing is done at a reasonable price, there are no delays or duplication of costs.

2. Gazeal – makes an offer to buy binding on acceptance, subject to Title being verified as Good and Marketable, and, if the buyer is buying with a mortgage, the Lender being satisfied with the valuation.

What makes Gazeal different to other exclusivity agreements?

The Gazeal Agreement establishes an objective standard of Good and Marketable Title. Buyer and Seller agree that they will Exchange when Gazeal confirms that the title is Good and Marketable and that the risk that it is not will be underwritten on Completion. By establishing an objective standard of Title, Gazeal takes the decision about whether or not to proceed out of the hands of the inexpert Buyer, and puts it into the hands of experts in Law and Property, measured against this standard, and underwritten by Dual Asset Underwriting, Lloyds of London’s largest international coverholders. A normal exclusivity agreement does little more than give the buyer a period of exclusivity to vet the title, and is practically impossible for the seller to enforce. With the Gazeal Agreement, once Gazeal have confirmed that the title is good and the lender has confirmed the valuation, it is fully enforceable, in the same way as if contracts had been formally exchanged.

What are the advantages to sellers?

Certainty and speed – sellers can take weeks or even months off the transaction time, and, if appropriate, bind the buyer in on offer, so eliminating the risk that the buyer has put in other offers that the seller does not know about and either exchanges on another property or uses another offer to gazunder the seller.

How much does it cost?

It costs the seller £250, inclusive of VAT, which is paid by the sellers solicitor out of the completion monies. On completion the property is put on risk by the buyers conveyancer, and the premium is £50 plus IPT.

So The Gazeal Product is more than just a ‘Lock-Out’ agreement, it’s a unique legal solution that can protect Buyers from the nightmare of Gazumping and help sellers secure their sale. ‘Consumers spend £270 million each year on failed housing transactions’, this product could help you avoid that fate.

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Conveyancing Dr Harold
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