A good broker might be the best solution against gazumping

Q and A

Q I’m BUYING a flat and am worried that someone is going to gazump me. What can I do to stop this happening?

A Trouble here is that the law says that any offer put up, and this could come from someone who’s seen the flat before, has to be reported to the owner.

If that offer is higher, greed kicks in and best intentions often go out of the window. In reality, preparation counts – make sure you have a good, recommended solicitor who knows the patch and, most importantly, a ready mortgage.

My preference is to make sure a broker is involved, or at least someone at your mortgagees who is a communicator. Sadly, most lawyers don’t get paid on performance so aren’t always as motivated as you are, and most mortgage outfits are snowed under, so a broker, who is performance orientated and knows where, and who, to push, will help.

You can opt to give the seller a deposit as a sign of good faith and some agents ask for a non refundable deposit. My experience is that legal complications render them useless but a goodwill deposit accepted by the seller might go some way in bolstering your case if you decide you want to fight for the flat.