Tips on managing a property chain

Anyone who has bought a house will be familiar with the term ‘property chain’. Essentially it’s the line of buyers and sellers who are linked together through the purchase or sale of their respective properties.

This isn’t the kind of chain that’s industrially welded; it’s a much more delicate affair and if just one person in the chain pulls out of a transaction, the ripple effect can mean several deals falling through at the same time.

Alarming as this sounds, with the right approach and the support of a trusted estate agent, there is plenty that can be done to protect against negative ‘chain reactions’ and increase the chance of a hitch-free house move.

Property chain progression – the Roger Coupe approach

It’s always an exciting moment when an offer is made on your house, however it’s important not to get carried away. Our role as your agent is to investigate whether this offer stands a good chance of becoming a strong link in the chain.

We carry out a series of due diligence checks which include asking questions about your prospective buyer’s financial status, whether they have a property to sell and, if so, what kind of chain is involved. In turn, we’ll make enquiries further up or lower down the chain to get a complete picture.

Unlike many online agents, our aim is always to meet face-to-face with your prospective buyer. With so many years working in the Surrey property market, we have extensive contacts throughout London and the south east, and will liaise with relevant estate agents, solicitors, mortgage brokers and surveyors throughout the chain.

Is it possible to avoid a property chain altogether?

Yes, it can be done. Clearly if you’re a first-time buyer you have a head start, as there’s no downward chain to worry about. But even if you’re a seasoned property owner, here are some tips on avoiding long or complicated chains:

1.       Firstly – communication! Let us know that you’re keen to buy chain-free, and we will be careful to send you only the properties that fit your criteria. If you’re selling, we’ll ensure that only chain-free buyers view your home.

2.       Consider selling your property and moving into short-term rented accommodation, or stay for a while with family or friends. You’ll effectively be a cash buyer, which means you’ll be in a great position to snap up a home that has no upward chain. These might include ex-rentals, holiday lets or inherited property.

3.       Buy new. With some fabulous new-builds coming to the market in Cranleigh and the surrounding villages, this option is worth serious consideration. Our blog on buying a new home versus older property has more information. Many property developers offer part-exchange agreements, so you can sell your house to the developer, buy new and avoid a chain completely.

4.       If you have no downward chain, but you’re worried about a complex upward chain on the property you’ve set your heart on, it’s possible that the vendors will themselves move into rented accommodation. It’s not a common arrangement but it does happen, and we are always happy to put forward the proposal on your behalf.

Looking for a chain-free property in the Cranleigh area?

Here at Roger Coupe, our knowledgeable staff are here to help every step of the way. With new properties coming onto the market every week, it’s well worth registering your details with us so that we can send tailored information to help your search. Please don’t hesitate to give us a ring on 01483 268555, drop us an email , or call into our office on Cranleigh High Street to chat through your requirements.