Open House viewings, sealed best bids and gazumping are back in 2014

High pressure tactics like Open House viewings, sealed best bids and gazumping are back, especially in London and south east England according to property law firm Boodle Hatfield.

Saskia Arthur, a firm partner, does not mince her words. She describes the tactics as “nasty practices not seen for a number of years” and says in one instance 30 or more would-be buyers were shown around a two-bedroom London house in just 20 minutes, in a bid to instil panic and competition.

Now she is advising buyers to prepare for the worst by:

– including with an offer a letting saying why the property is right for you;

– stressing your willingness to be flexible if the vendor wants a quick exchange or to delay completion to coincide with school terms or work commitments;

– have mortgage or other funding in place (and tell the vendor about them);

– line-up surveyors, solicitors and any other advisers to act as soon as possible if the offer succeeds.

“Buyers need to understand the market and the more unpleasant tactics that have once again returned, to give themselves the best possible chance of securing the home they want” she says.