What does ‘No Onward Chain’ mean and why is it important?

Posted on Tuesday, June 9, 2020

In an ideal world all our plans would come to fruition perfectly and like clockwork. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world and events have a habit of intervening to upset even the very best laid plans, as we well know! House buying is particularly vulnerable to the effect of ‘events’. What is worse, the events that cause you a problem might be nothing at all to do with you or your own property transaction. 

Unless you are purchasing a new-build home or you are entering the property market from rented accommodation and the property you are buying is part of a deceased estate, it’s highly likely that your purchase is dependent upon several factors outside your control. Namely, your seller’s purchase of their new home and probably their seller’s purchase of their new home - and so on.

If you are further up the ‘property ladder’ you may have people above and below you that are all dependent upon you buying and selling - just as you are dependent on them. These linked transactions are known as 'a chain'. 

As a seller, when considering offers from potential buyers it’s important to consider which buyers are most ready to ‘perform’ and buy your property. That means they should have the money (and/or a firm mortgage offer in principle), not be reliant on the sale of their own property to fund the purchase and not be reliant on other factors before they can move.

As a buyer, you are prudent to consider what might go wrong up the chain and how that might affect you. Is your purchase conditional upon your seller finding a new home? Have they agreed a purchase? Does everyone have a mortgage offer and are they all working to the same target timeframe? If not, problems and delays may potentially occur.

As human beings, we are all guilty of wanting our own way whenever possible and when buying or selling property this isn’t always possible. That’s why buying or selling a property from/to a third party with ‘no onward chain’ is so appealing. It reduces the chances of a sale falling through (which could be expensive and time consuming) and it makes for a much simpler transaction. 

Likewise, if you have already sold your home and/or have a mortgage offer agreed in principle, you are likely to be an attractive option when a seller is considering offers. Within reason, price is only one of several factors that an experienced house seller will consider.

At Duncan Yeardley we have decades of experience in the Bracknell property market and we’re here to advise and guide our clients through the process. We also have a dedicated sales progressor to ensure your sale or purchase runs as smoothly as possible.

Please do contact our friendly sales team to have a chat about your moving plans.