Is gazumping a bad thing? Gazumping is not illegal but some describe it as unethical. Gazumping is where the price has been agreed and then another bid may come in higher acquiring the property and this can happen right up until exchange. We as estate agents are obliged to put these offers forward and the vendor decide's what is best. Sometimes they will stick with what they have agreed and other times they will take the higher offer.
I have a strong background in Auction's and an Auction is a very good way of achieving the best price for your property. It only takes two bidders in the room and the price can spiral up and up and sometimes out of control. It's a simple case of whoever wants it more will pay for it with the wining bid taking home the front door keys. So what is wrong with this in a more controlled situation such as advertising your property and inviting offers.
The people who describe gazumping as unethical are usually the people on the losing side. I am very sure that if these same people were selling their homes, they too would want the best price possible. I've heard it said and written recently in the press that estate agents have tactics where they play people against each other to make a higher offer to earn more commission. This is rather insane, because no estate agent is going to risk destabilising their sale in order to earn few extra pounds, it simply isn't worth it.
It is the system that allows Gazumping to take place, because either side can withdraw at any time bringing huge amounts of uncertainty to the process. And most sellers, if asked, do want to know if someone else liked their property enough to want to offer more, so at least they as the seller can decide. So yes, agents should continue putting the offers forward, no matter when they come in and hand it back to the seller to choose.