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gazumping

The withdrawal by a vendor from a proposed sale of land in the expectation of receiving a higher price elsewhere after agreeing the price with a purchaser but before a legally binding contract has been made (see *exchange of contracts). The first prospective purchaser has no legal right either to compel the vendor to sell to him or to recover his wasted expenditure (such as surveyor’s and solicitor’s charges). To deter gazumping, the Conveyancing Standing Committee (see *Farrand Committee) has proposed that both vendor and purchaser should pay a deposit at the outset of a transaction, which should be forfeit to the other party on withdrawal without good reason.

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