We’ve Been Gazumped – What Now?
Right now I should really be putting the finishing touches to one of several reviews I need to get published soon. But first I have to get this off my chest, because I literally can’t focus on anything else. I’m really struggling to get my head in the game, and it’s all because of this: we’ve been gazumped.
As anyone who follows me will be aware, we’ve been house hunting. First it took quite a few viewings to sell – which, incidentally, I still find odd given the lovely feedback we received every single time – and now we are struggling to find a house to live in. The smallish area we want to live in, which in reality is even smaller when my preferred location is factored in, is posing a bit of a dilemma: there are scarce properties for sale where our daily wants to live.
We refrained from viewing properties until we’d sold, believing that to be the most sensible order in which to proceed. And ultimately if we’d found something we loved and had an offer accepted, it would always have been on the basis of us selling – nobody with an ounce of sense would remove their house from the market whilst waiting! In the event, the house we had our eye on sold one week before we did. Typical.
House number one slipped through our fingers.
Excitement of House Hunting
But at that stage I was still confident something else would become available.
Shortly afterwards, I saw another house I really liked the look of – and it was literally across the road from my friend. This had to be it. We viewed, I loved it, we made an offer, and… It was rejected. Before we had time to catch our breath and consider an increase – it sold for full asking price the very next day.
House number two had been so close, but was now out of reach.
Something Better Around the Corner…
We continued looking, and I very quickly found something else which on paper was not quite perfect, but with one reasonable compromise, it really could be. This one was not detached – it was a semi. But otherwise it was exactly what I’d hoped for, expect for some superficial decoration. Our first offer was rejected, but our second was accepted – and we were on!
The house felt like it was meant to be: the vendor had been due to exchange one week later, but sadly a house fire further down the chain had caused the chain to break, and hence the property had come back on the market. I saw it the first day it appeared back on Rightmove and we viewed it the same day. I even wrote about it, and how the playhouse in the garden had sold me – I’d fallen in love with it. My husband hadn’t, but I was confident it he’d warm to it: the area was idyllic, the move was positive, and the house could be made into a home we’d love.
We booked surveys and all was well until I received a call several weeks later: unbeknownst to us, the vendor had been in direct contact with the original buyers and exchanged with them the previous day. There was no option to increase our offer – the deal was done, the house was gone.
We had been gazumped and gone to bed without even knowing it. House number three was snatched away.
We are incredibly lucky that our surveys had not been carried out, and therefore the cost is transferable – otherwise as well as losing the house we’d started to picture as our new family home, we’d have also lost several hundreds of pounds.
A Ray of Hope
We are back in a position where we have no house to go to, and while our buyers are being patient, we don’t know how long they will remain so before we may lose them too. We’re looking every day and so when a fourth property became a possibility, it really did seem as though this was one fate and all the stress leading up to this point was going to be worthwhile, because it would result in us obtaining the house of our dreams: our forever home.
My husband had had his eye on this house from the beginning. He’d spoken to the agent but been advised that the vendor would not take an offer, they were holding out for full asking price despite the house having been on the market for a year. That put it beyond our reach: it was out of budget and therefore we’d put it out of our minds.
Last weekend we were making appointments to view some properties (none of which were right, but we were getting desperate), when my husband dialled a number ready to hand me the phone to speak to an agent about a viewing. But he called the wrong agent in error, and it happened to be the agent for the house he’d liked but knew was over budget. They asked him whether wed considered it and my husband told him we couldn’t afford it since they wouldn’t take an offer. However, it transpired that the health of the elderly couple who lived there had deteriorated and they may at this point consider an offer after all.
Fate. This was The One. We viewed; we knew; we offered. We were rejected.
We went away feeling completely deflated, but ultimately decided that for the house we’d stay in forever, it was worth maxing ourselves out. We upped the offer…
This morning, I have just found out that our second offer was also rejected, and the final nail in the coffin was that the vendor has taken their property off the market for renovation. We will never own that house.
House number four – aka our beacon of hope – is gone.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to look around the preschool and primary we hope Pixie will transfer to in September, and they were perfect – which now feels like a cruel joke, because we have nowhere to go from here except to sit tight, or look at too-small houses in the wrong location.
I try, as a rule, to make my posts valuable to the reader, with an inspiring take away message. I’m not sure I can dig deep enough on this occasion. This is the best I can do:
For anyone thinking about gazumping, don’t be an arsehole.