Losing a house purchase to a higher bid just before the signing of a legally binding contract is known as gazumping. The author explains that gazumping does not occur in France, but a similar practice is just as devastating. France allows a buyer to back out of a contract within 10 days after signing the compromis. French law allows a listing of the same property by multiple real estate agents. So, when the seller accepts an offer through one agent, the other agents do not receive a slice of the commission. The seller is however committed from the day he/she signs the preliminary sale agreement. The buyer, however, has 10 days to retract. It happens all the time.
“No surprise that the English adopted the satisfyingly resonant Yiddish expression ‘Gazumph’ to name the devastating experience of having your dream French property snatched away by another buyer offering a higher price before exchange of contracts – after already having invested money and time on the pre-purchase steps.”
Rory Ramsden is a French property finder and buyer's agent working for high net worth private clients wishing to buy a chateau, manor or vineyard in the south west of France. He has lived in France for 8 years after spending time travelling the world on business.
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