Selling a house, normally involves entering into a property chain and unfortunately, this process 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 been witness to disasters caused by selling property.
Such disasters include buyers or sellers pulling out at the last minute, often after all the property surveys have been completed. This is an expensive and unsettling situation for anyone on the property ladder. Other disasters associated with buying property include gazumping, gazundering and issues with mortgage agreements.
What’s more, many disasters when selling property, come as a result of being in a property chain. That’s why many sellers prefer to avoid a property chain where they can help it.
So what is a property chain? What problems can a chain cause and is there a way of avoiding one?
What is a property chain?
Essentially, a property chain is a group of property sellers linked together by people both buying and selling their property. A property chain begins with somebody only buying a property and ends with somebody simply selling their property. According to the property portal Designs on Property, the average property chain in the UK involves seven properties, despite The Office of National Statistics holding no reportable data on the average length of property chains in the UK.
Ultimately, the longer the chain, the more opportunity there leaves for somebody pulling out. That is not to say the likelihood of buyer pulling out of a purchase as part of a longer property chain, is higher, simply that more people are affected in longer property chains and, therefore, the chances of a disaster are greater.
Do all house sales come with a property chain?
Fortunately, not all house sales come with a property chain. If you have a cash buyer, perhaps an individual who has already sold their property or a cash house buyer, you can avoid a property chain by accepting the cash buyer on your house and then purchasing a property with no ongoing chain.
Properties with no ongoing chain include new-build homes, somebody selling a property for a deceased relative, somebody selling a former buy-to-let, or a vendor selling a second home.
Problems associated with chains
As well as the main problem of vendors and buyers pulling out of a property sale and breaking the chain, there are other problems associated with property chains.
Because there are many people involved in a property chain, including the families involved, estate agents, lawyers, conveyancers and mortgage brokers, any missed or complicated element involved in the property sale and purchase 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 most instances, it is impossible to completely avoid property chains, after all, in many cases most people need to sell their property before buying a property to put down a deposit.
That said, there are a few ways that you can avoid a property chain. Whether you want to avoid a property chain altogether or would like to make sure you are not stuck in a property chain, you can follow these steps to help:
- When you are selling your home, if you have offers from multiple buyers, then accept the offer from a buyer with no on-going chain. You may want to consider a slightly lower offer from a buyer not part of a chain over a higher offer from a buyer involved in a long property chain.
- Purchasing a new-build home will mean that the property comes with no ongoing chain.
- Accepting an offer from a cash house buyer, like Quick Move Now, can help you avoid a property chain.
- Selling your house and then moving in with family and friends, or rented accommodation, will mean that you are the end of the property chain. Although, this can also be a more unsettling solution as you essentially need to move your belongings twice.
- If you are in a position to do so when choosing a new property, perhaps choose a new home with a short ongoing property chain.
- There may be a possibility of agreeing a date of a vendor moving out even if they have not sold their property.
Top tips if you are 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 ready. Your Mortgage in Principle should be in place and other finances prepared.
- Respond immediately to any requirements on you, such as signing and sending off letters (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.
How can Quick Move Now help?
If you find yourself in a position where you may lose your new home due to a buyer pulling out of your property purchase, we can help at Quick Move Now by providing you with a cash offer for your property.