Robert Williams Estate Agents, Exeter

A property chain occurs during the buying and selling process and can cause the biggest frustration! At the bottom of the chain is a buyer with nothing to sell – either a first-time buyer, an investor or someone else who just isn’t selling. At the top of the chain is someone who is only looking to sell – it could be an investment property, a probate sale, an empty property or someone buying a new build, for example.

In between are all the other links – people who are both buying and selling, forming a sequence of property transactions that must all come together for completion at the same time.

A chain can only move as fast as its slowest link and can collapse at any point before exchange of contracts due to something completely out of anyone’s control – for example, someone in the chain may have lost their job, had a separation or bereavement, or been refused a mortgage due to survey issues.

Basically, the shorter the chain the better as the smaller the chance of unforeseen delays or breakages. Buyers of a property with no onward chain have no risk of a knock-on effect from anyone else’s sale or purchase. And sellers with more than one interested buyer to choose from would ideally opt to sell to a first-time buyer, investor or someone not looking to sell, for a smaller chain.

In some instances, it is beneficial for sellers in the middle of a long chain to break it by going ahead with their sale and temporarily moving in with family or renting short-term, making them more attractive as buyers by having no downward chain.

If you’d like any more advice, we have a lovely team of highly experienced property specialists who can help. Call us on 01392 204800.

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