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Helpful Advice

Should I avoid getting in a Chain?

Should I avoid getting in a Chain?

By Peter Barry

Finding yourself in a long chain is every buyer and seller’s worst nightmare but it’s often an unavoidable scenario. However, there are certain ways to minimise risk or to ensure that the chain you’re in keeps moving towards completion.

Check out your seller’s credentials

If you’re buying a property, chances are you have one to sell as well. If your seller is also moving to a property in a chain then things can really start to get complicated. Not only are you relying on people you have no way of contacting, you’re also relying on the competence of estate agents and solicitors who you haven’t personally chosen to work with. Your own agent may well have everything under control but, the bigger the chain, the more links there are that can break. So, always check out what position your seller is in before making an offer..

Keep your link in check

Whilst you might not be able to have control over the sales and purchases further along the chain, you can ensure that your sale and purchase are up to speed. Answer estate agent and solicitor queries as soon as you can, fill in all the forms by return post, and arrange any amendments to your mortgage from the outset.
It is always worth establishing everyone has the same timescales in mind from the outset but be flexible with exact dates wherever possible. Each vendor could dig their heels in for their ideal completion date & the chain will go nowhere. Whereas if all parties can be reasonable & offer a little flexibility an agreeable date can be found. The bigger picture is you all want to move into your new homes.

Consider renting before buying

It sounds drastic but buying a property as a tenant can be less stressful than buying as a homeowner. If you’re moving to a new area, or you’re looking for your forever home, you might want to consider moving into a rental property while you search. It means you’re not in a chain and you can be ready to pounce on a property as soon as it comes on the market. You’ll have your deposit ready to go and you’re free to sign on the dotted line and move as soon as contracts are drawn up. This makes you a very valuable proposition to sellers and you’re less likely to lose out on that dream house.

People often vow never to get involved in a property that’s part of a chain but if you find the perfect property, it can be worth taking the risk for the eventual payoff. If you do fall for a house with more links than a Tiffany bracelet, keep in regular contact with your estate agent and try to keep things moving.