Four ways to deal with a long property chain

If you’re buying a new home, there’s a good chance the existing owner will also be buying a property, and the seller of that property could also be purchasing a new home.

If you’re selling your existing home too, there could also be a number of buyers and sellers below you.

This line of buyers and sellers is known as a property chain.

Unfortunately, if you’re in a long chain, things can move very slowly. You might, for example, have to wait for a seller further up the chain to find a suitable property to move to and have their offer accepted.

These kinds of hold ups have a direct effect on other buyers and sellers.

In fact, one in three property chains falls apart for numerous reasons, such as a mortgage being turned down or a survey revealing some nasty surprises.

So to help you deal with being in a chain, we’ve sought the advice of a number of experts to make sure you end up with your dream home with as little fuss as possible.

1. Break the chain

If you’re selling your home, as well as buying, consider selling up and moving into rented accommodation or with family or friends while you search for properties.

This will help to break up the chain and means that when you do find your new home, you can move into it as soon as your seller moves out.

Although there may still be a chain above you, because there is no one moving into your existing home, it can still speed up the moving process and make things a little less stressful.

2. Get organised

There are a lot of variables to consider when buying a new home, but give yourself the upper hand by being organised before you even start looking for properties.

Enlist a solicitor as soon as you have made the decision to buy, as they will be able to discuss your options from a legal perspective which may influence the type of property you look for.

Also have your mortgage agreed in principle before you start looking as this will help you to keep within your budget and ensure you’re ready to go as soon as your offer is accepted.

3. Be as transparent as possible

Teamwork is key to being in a chain and delays are often caused when people aren’t upfront about their situation, such as not having their paperwork ready or keeping quiet about an issue with the property they are selling which later comes up in a survey.

Always be as honest as possible and give realistic timeframes for how long various processes are likely to take.

And ask the same from other parties to give you the best chance of moving the process along swiftly.

4. Stay in control

Make sure you keep a fluid line of communication with your solicitor and estate agent to ensure they are keeping track of how things are progressing.

Your solicitor should stay on top of documents and formalities, while your estate agent chases those in the chain to keep on track with transactions and key dates.

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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