Buying & selling in a property chain-what you should know

property sales board

Unfortunately, selling a property and moving to a new home is usually associated with high levels of stress and anxiety. After all, who hasn’t heard of a disaster on the property ladder?

Even if it hasn’t affected you directly, most people have witnessed a property sale disaster caused by a chain break.

So, what is a property chain, what problems can be caused by a property chain breaking and is there a way of avoiding it?

What is a property chain?

A property chain is a group of people linked together by both buying and selling their homes.

A property chain begins with somebody only buying a property and ends with somebody simply selling their property. Ultimately, the longer the chain, the more opportunity there is for a chain break to occur.

What are the main reasons behind a property chain collapse?

One of the main factors that causes a property chain to collapse is when a buyer or seller within the chain changes their mind and pulls out of their sale.

However, this is not the only reason a chain break might occur. There are many people involved in a property chain, including: estate agents, surveyors, lawyers, conveyancers and mortgage brokers.

Any missed or complicated element involved in the property sale can slow down the process. For example, if a complication arises with one vendor’s conveyancing, the property chain is halted for everybody involved. Similarly, if one person misses a phone call or deadline, the whole chain is delayed.

The bottom line is that a long property chain can cause an increased level of stress, anxiety and complication for everyone involved.

Can you avoid property chains?

In short yes! If your onward house purchase is chain free, rather than selling through the traditional method of the open market, you can opt to sell your home directly to a cash home buyer like Quick Move Now, the UK’s leading national home buyers.

Selling directly to a professional cash home buying company is the only way to guarantee your house sale won’t fall through. That said, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of your property chain falling through when selling on the open market:

  • If you’re lucky enough to have multiple offers on the table. Make sure you analyse each one and accept the offer from the most ‘proceedable’ buyer. You may want to consider a lower offer from a buyer that is not part of a chain?
  • If you are in a position to do so, when looking at houses to buy, choose a home with a short property chain.

Top tips if you are stuck in a property chain:

If you do find yourself stuck in a property chain on the property ladder, a few of the following tips can help make your move as smooth and stress-free as possible:

  • Employ a reputable estate agent and speak to them, and everybody involved in the property selling process, as frequently as possible.
  • Make sure your finances are already in place before you think about moving. Having a ‘mortgage in principle’ would be a good place to start.
  • Respond immediately to any correspondence, signing and returning any paperwork as soon as possible (you may want to opt for special delivery and first-class post).
  • It may be possible to add clauses to your contract with moving deadline dates etc.
  • Keep copies of important documents to hand so you can access them quickly.