A few weeks ago, I wrote about secret Realtor codewords.

Flash forward to today, and I’m in Oxford, England, visiting with friends and exploring the countryside.

I’m also learning about some real estate terms that are used here.

My favourite by far is gazumping.

Just savour that word for a moment.


Imagine being able to drop that word casually in a conversation.

  • “I was gazumped yesterday on that house in Scarborough.”
  • “We have to have that house.  Let’s gazump ‘em.”
  • “When buying in that area, gazumping in the way to go.”

I almost don’t want to define it for you so that we can use it as an interchangeable word in all scenarios.

I’ll save you the task of googling it though.

Gazumping is the act of making a higher offer on a house than was already accepted by the seller and thereby succeed in acquiring the property.

As a Realtor in Canada, I am extremely happy that gazumping isn’t something that happens here.

The reason it can take place in England (as well as Ireland, Scotland and Australia) is because the first step in buying a home is verbal.

Much like in Canada, real estate agreements in England must be in writing in order to be legally binding.

Unlike Canada, written contracts in England only take place after all of the due diligence (surveys, title, inspections) are completed, which can take 10 to 12 weeks.  In Canada, we have conditional purchases where the seller is not able to entertain other offers (generally, though escape clauses do allow that to take place) while the due diligence is completed.

Up until the point that all of the due diligence is completed in England, another party could swoop in and gazump the prospective buyer.

I suppose in theory, the gazumper could then be gazumped by someone else, who could in turn also be gazumped.  Which is quite possibly the silliest sentence I’ve ever written.

If you or someone you like are considering buying or selling or investing in Canada, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  I promise we won’t get gazumped.





There are few people who do not enjoy the magic of a great city.  But urban sprawl takes it away from everyone except the few who are lucky enough, or rich enough, to live close to the largest centres.

Whenever I’m in Europe I’m struck by the population density and how it makes it possible to have the sort of vibrant neighbourhoods people love to live in.  Again and again I see buyers looking for homes in proximity to cafes, restaurants and shops.  Density makes for highly livable neighbourhoods when done right!