Oliver Miles from Oliver Miles Estate Agents advises caution to buyers at a time when the market is showing an upturn following lockdown.
 
Some buyers have been anticipating a fall in property prices, but early indications are that there may not be a reduction in asking prices or acceptance of low offers. Early signs are that there is demand in the market across all price sectors and property types.
 
Historically there have been cases of gazundering: this is the practice of a buyer reducing an already agreed offer to buy a property - often when only weeks or even days away from exchange of contracts.
 
Gazundering might follow a serious and understandable concern about a property’s condition following a survey, or genuine worry – backed up by market evidence - about a significant fall in local house prices. However sometimes gazundering is used as a form of coercion - it is not blackmail, nor is it not illegal but it is a disagreeable tactic.

 
In our experience we know that gazundering can also heavily backfire on the buyer – a seller may pull out of a deal in anger and in addition, a reduction to agreed sale price might induce a mortgage lender to reassess the buyer’s financial position. If new circumstances come to light, for example, a salary affected by lockdown, a mortgage offer could be adjusted, or even withdrawn!
 
So when buying a property just as at any other time, be reasonable and avoid a last minute upset.