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How to Stop Property Chains Breaking

How to Stop Property Chains Breaking

How to Stop Property Chains Breaking

When a buyer needs to sell their house, before they can move, they start a chain. Chains require lots of different solicitors and estate agents to all communicate so all can exchange and complete roughly on the same date.

With so many people in a chain it can become unreliable; after all you are relying on all involved parties to want to move (when they should) and all to go smoothly.

Here we run through how you can deal with a chain, or possibly find chain free properties.

Why is it called a Property Chain?

A property chain is when a buyer is selling their house and requires another buyer so allow them to sell / buy. In simply terms, if someone wants to buy, they need to sell.

Typically the bottom of the chain, or the first person, is a first time buyer, investor or someone with cash. The first person in the chain will not need to sell to buy, typically quite flexible. In many cases ZebraBuyer are the first in the chain are we can move as quick, or slow, as a seller requires.

People in the middle, buying and selling at the same time, are the property chain.

Each person in the chain will have their own surveyor, mortgage company / broker and estate agent. So if one person has over extended themselves or gets cold feet, there can be a domino effect to all the property sales – causing delays or even preventing sales.

How many people are usually in a Property Chain?

Chains start from 3 people, and increase from there, as you obviously need one buyer, one buyer / seller and one seller to create a chain. At ZebraBuyer the longest we’ve seen is 6 buyers and sellers.

Property chains tend to be longer in a slow market, as each party requires other to sell and the timing delay has a knock on effect.

ZebraBuyer can usually help at this point, we can step in as an unconditional buyer and end the chain.

How could a sale fall apart? And the Chain Collapse?

Norwich Block of Flats, NR3A chain of property sales can fall apart for many different reasons, sometimes caused by buyers / sellers / property professionals representing them. Here’s a selection of reasons we have seen chains stop:

  • Property surveyors do not agree with the price a buyer has agreed to pay.
  • Mortgage companies withdraw their funding at the last minute.
  • Individual buyers having a change of heart, finding another house, and pulling at the last moment.
  • Sellers decide they want to keep their property, or have a change of circumstance.
  • Another buyer sweeps in at the last moment, offering a higher price, gazumping an offer causing the sale to fall through (we’ve a great article here to help prevent it).
  • Cheeky buyers try lowing their offer price at the last moment, just before the sale completes. The seller is not happy and does not accept the lower price, so pulls out of the sale causing the chain to fall apart.

How can a Property Chain be Fixed? And how can a sale be kept on track?

  • If the seller above you has lost out on their new home, how about you offer to cover a few months rent for them in another house? So they have somewhere to stay and can become cash buyers for the next house they buy.
  • Sell your property to a first time buyer or investor, they do not need to sell a property so are likely to move fairly quickly and sell without hassle.
  • Lower your asking price to attract a sale
  • When you agree to sell your property, agree a timeline for the transaction to complete in from the beginning – this way everyone is on the same page.
  • Speak with ZebraBuyer – we’ll move quickly and buy your property to fix your chain.

How can ZebraBuyer help?

Whether there’s 3 or 9 people in your chain ZebraBuyer can help.

Struggling to sell your house? Need a friendly professional Norwich home buyer to help?

Either complete our web form here, or give us a call on 01603 851 581.


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