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A helpful guide to managing your property chain

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You’ve found your perfect home. But what if there’s a break in your property chain and everything stalls? Here’s how to keep your purchase on track.

Understanding Property Chains: A property chain involves a series of linked transactions where each sale depends on the previous one. It typically starts with a first-time buyer and ends with someone selling their home. The chain must progress synchronously, meaning any delay or issue at one point can halt the entire process.

Challenges in a Property Chain:

  • Slowest Link: The chain can only move as quickly as the slowest transaction.
  • Domino Effect: A problem in one sale can cause the entire chain to collapse, impacting all parties involved.

Impact of Chains on First-Time Buyers: Even first-time buyers, who have no properties to sell, can be affected by delays or issues in the onward chain – the sequence of buyers and sellers that follows their transaction.

Avoiding a Property Chain:

  • Sell Before You Buy: Consider selling your current home and renting temporarily to avoid being part of a chain.
  • Find a Chain-Free Seller: Look for sellers who are not dependent on buying another property, such as those selling second homes or new-build homes directly from developers.

Common Causes of Chain Breaks:

  • Mortgage Issues: A buyer fails to secure a mortgage after an adverse survey.
  • Change of Mind: A seller withdraws their property from the market.
  • Financial Instability: A party faces redundancy or financial difficulties.
  • Survey Problems: A survey reveals costly repairs, causing a buyer to pull out.

Steps to Keep a Property Chain Moving:

Keep Communicating!

  • Stay in regular contact with your solicitor, estate agent, and mortgage broker.
  • Make sure the agent provides you with weekly updates, at the very least.
  • Make sure you respond promptly to information requests.
  • Building a good relationship with all parties increases the chance of holding the chain together.

Be Organised!

  • Have your finances in place and work with experienced professionals like a conveyancer and mortgage broker.
  • Keep a record of all correspondence and documents to ensure smooth communication and quick resolution of issues.

Think About the Bigger Picture

If someone in the chain is having to pull out due to a financial issue, it doesn’t mean the chain will collapse. Agents should work together to see if re-negotiations up and down the chain can be made to get things back on track. Just because it isn’t your fault, doesn’t mean it isn’t your problem!

Can Your Seller Break the Chain?

If your seller is stuck because they lost the home they wanted to buy, can they rent temporarily or stay with family? This allows your purchase to proceed and puts them in a stronger position for their next purchase.

Managing a property chain requires proactive communication, organisation, and often creative problem-solving. By staying on top of the process and being prepared for potential issues, you can minimise the risk of a chain collapse and successfully complete your home purchase.

For some friendly advice or find out the current value of your property, please do get in touch with our team today.

Ascot: 01344 874300

Bracknell: 01344 860121

Source: Zoopla
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