Every so often I hear this particular word used in real estate and I cringe. It is both awful and heartbreaking because it instills fear in the hearts of buyers in a market devoid of adequate listing inventory but yet is equally annoying.


when a seller (especially of property) accepts an oral offer of the asking price from one potential buyer, but then accepts a higher offer from someone else. It can also refer to the seller raising the asking price at the last minute, after previously orally agreeing to a lower one. In either case, the original buyer is left in the lurch, and either has to offer a higher price or lose the purchase.

It’s widely used in the UK and Australia but not that popular in the US. There is “Ghost Gazumping” in the UK and “anti-gazumping” laws in Australia.

However given NYC’s global connections, I hear it used more than I’d care to and find it absolutely annoying. We need a replacement word or phrase as soon as possible (aside from “the seller screwed us despite accepting our offer and went with a higher one.”)

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One Response to “Real Estate Jargon Watch: Gazumping”

  1. NYC Broker says:

    Jonathan, here are replacement words for gazumping:

    In your first example, the buyer is “outbid”. In New York, it does not matter if the seller overrides an accepted offer.

    In your second example, the buyer is “priced out”. In New York, it does not matter if the seller overrides an accepted offer.

    The problem is that buyers insist on believing that an accepted offer is a deal; they must be reminded repeatedly that only a contract signed both sides and delivered is a deal.