New research has revealed that nearly a quarter of home buyers in 2023 tried to bribe sellers - with many even baking for the vendors.

The research, from estate agent Yopa, surveyed 1,080 people who have bought a home in the past year, asking them about the additional measures they took to secure their dream home.

According to the survey, 24 per cent of buyers provided some form of incentive or bribe to the sellers in order to put themselves ahead of other buyers.

Of these, 28 per cent said that they “boasted” about their ability to make a quick, chain-free purchase, while 24 per cent clarified that they were a cash buyer and provided proof of funds.

When it came to physical bribes, 20 per cent offered baked goods to the seller, while 10 per cent offered other professional services for free.

As well as this, 10 per cent said that they offered a “cash backhander”, a money incentive offered directly to the seller rather than through the agent.

Four per cent said that they offered to buy the seller a free dinner, and another four per cent said that they tried to “charm” their seller.

Of the respondents who said that they had tried to incentivise their seller, 89 per cent said that they were successful and were able to purchase their property.

Aside from bribes, three per cent of the buyers surveyed said that they had “gazumped”, meaning that they offered a higher price for the house after another offer had already been accepted.

However, some of those surveyed simply attempted to make a good impression on the sellers, with 34 per cent actively complimenting the property while viewing it, 22 per cent arriving early to a viewing, and 14 per cent opting to dress smartly.

Another 11 per cent said that they faked an interest in the local area, 10 per cent complimented the seller as a person, and nine per cent feigned an interest in the seller’s life.

Verona Frankish, CEO of Yopa, said: “Incentivising sellers with bribes is nothing new and it’s certainly a grey area that flirts with the lines of legality, not to mention the fact it’s somewhat morally questionable.

"The irony is that, in hotter market conditions, the practice of gazumping is one that is not only rife, but completely above board and it happens year in and year out.

"As a seller, there’s certainly nothing wrong with building a rapport with potential buyers but it’s best to always maintain a degree of distance with them when it comes to the formalities of selling your home.

"After all, it’s your agent's job to field potential offers and relay them to you and not only does this provide you with some breathing space from overly pushy buyers, but your agent is far more likely to secure you the best offer while doing so. It’s their profession after all.”