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Real Estate Jargon Watch: Gazumping

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.

Gazumping [1]:

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 [2] and Australia but not that popular in the US. There is “Ghost Gazumping [3]” in the UK and “anti-gazumping [4]” 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.”)