Update by user May 28, 2015
On further investigation, I have found that MANY other estate agents in the London area are 'encouraging GAZUMPING'! NOT just Barnard Marcus
Original review posted by user Apr 27, 2015
I first found out from an ad. that Barnard Marcus were allowing for this; however, I now find from having had general chat with my local, friendly, estate agent that this vile practice is now common again and that it is actually the seller who initiates, or is advised, to do this. Hence, once an offer is accepted, the 1st buyer may have started the process of paying solicitors' fees - or even have paid for a structural survey of a property!! The vendor (seller) decides to accept a higher offer from another buyer and/or even raises the price to this 1st buyer who is currently already going through the purchase process, having made the 1st offer which was accepted! This either 'forces' them out of a 'chain' / out of the purchase or forces them to 'go over budget' to pay the higher price asked. It can render the initial buyer to be able to save for the large deposit required of first time buyers. This practice can actually prevent first time buyers getting a chance to 'get their foot on the property ladder'; also far too many 'buy to let' landlords in the UK! Also a lot of 2nd home owners who in turn 'price out' 1st time buyers who have always lived in the countryside & can no longer afford to buy to live near their families. The private landlords are charging high rents; this in turn making it all the more difficult for 1st time buyers to even SAVE, due to these rents, or end up having to rent for most of their lives - even bringing up families in rented properties; often having to move, take children out of school - should the landlord decide to sell. These private tenants get no benefits (i.e. chance to buy for reduced price) at all - just pay out 'dead money'! Some 1st time buyers in 'key occupations', such as nurses and/or earning below a certain threshold can get an opportunity for 'part ownership'; this in turn has its own restrictions, with the buyer/s actually owning less of the equity in a property. The UK Government keeps on saying 'we need to build more houses' but not enough being done. I have also read that some developers may build a smaller development of new 'top range' houses - but below the no. at which they are required by law to additionally offer 'affordable homes'!