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Sometimes we have clients who are selling or buying a property who then find themselves in a property chain – often it becomes a real drama.

So we thought we would write a quick blog to explain what a property chain is and how you can overcome it, allowing your sale or purchase to move on as quickly as possible.

Maybe we can just give you a few pointers to help?

Our property experts are experienced in dealing with property chains. We know how to avoid them and how to keep them moving. Since Campbells was founded in 1989 we’ve seen and experienced many a nightmare. We have also helped hundreds of sellers and buyers.

What Is A Property Chain?

A ‘property chain’ occurs when you have a chain of buyers and sellers who are purchasing and selling property from each other all at the same time.

With more than two transactions it becomes a chain.

Sellers and buyers will normally have estate agents, legal firms and surveyors involved along with mortgage lenders. Having all these professionals involved can be an advantage but can also be the biggest hindrance. With just one lazy professional you could be in trouble.

The chain ends with the seller who is not buying on.

If you end up involved in a property chain, don’t panic, because this is not always a bad thing. A property chain only becomes a problem when certain parties involved are having problems selling or buying a property.

These problems can be something as small as missing a phone call or an email, forgetting to sign one piece of a document or having issues with surveys, mortgages and other factors involved in selling and buying property.

It is important to remember that a chain can only move forward at the pace of the slowest link.

At Campbells, we try to keep track of which stage each link of the chain is at so that if there is a problem, it can be found quickly and dealt with efficiently. This involves liaising with other estate agents, mortgage lenders, surveyors and solicitors – allowing our clients who are both selling and buying to not have to worry about a thing.

In our experience budget agents (agents that charge cheap fees), online ‘money up front’ estate agents and online conveyancers really don’t have the time or the energy and definitely not the profit margin or financial incentive, to make any effort to help, so be careful – buying a property where any of these budget or online models are in place just isn’t advisable.

How Can You Avoid Getting Into A Property Chain?

Now this is where you don’t have to worry too much, because our job as your agent is to do our very best to avoid you getting involved in a property chain in the first place. We do this by steering you through the various steps of buying and selling a property.

If you are a seller with multiple offers on the table, which is often the case at the moment, then negotiate with the buyer without a chain.

If you are buying and you can afford to not be so specific with your property choice then it is advised that you only look for properties that have a short upper chain or none at all. For example, new builds or vacant homes don’t tend to have an upper chain.

If you are stuck in a chain then you can come and talk to our team who can advise you on what to do next.

We also offer a ‘Need To Sell Quickly’ service of which you can find out more here: CLICK HERE

This service allows you to get out of a chain quickly if you are stuck and need to speed up the process – we simply use one of our cash buying investors to purchase your property.

Feel free to speak to one of our accelerated seller experts – they can often make sure that what ‘you lose in one hand they will get back in the other’.

The Main Reasons Why Property Chains Fail

Something may happen with another buyer or seller involved in the chain. This may not directly affect you but it will cause problems up and down the chain – like a domino effect. Either way it is a disruption.

For example, a seller or buyer may decide they no longer want to proceed which can disrupt the other buyers and sellers in the chain. A buyer or seller may become ill and therefore can’t proceed temporarily. It may be that a buyer can’t get a mortgage for a purchase or that a survey has found faults in a property somewhere along the chain.

It could also be something as simple as disruption with paperwork on another sale that is delaying the chain – it only takes one lazy non caring person in the chain and it becomes stressful.

If you are a client of Campbells then we will make it as easy as possible for you.

Other Top Tips To Keep A Chain Moving

  • Use an experienced agent! One that knows how to handle difficult situations.
  • Regularly keep in contact with your representatives to keep updated on the situation and ask if there is anything you can do to move things on quicker. If you are using good conveyancers or lawyers and agents then they should be keeping you updated anyway.
  • Deliver documents by hand or use a courier service to speed the delivery service up for important documents that can get the chain moving quicker. A lot of good conveyancers, lawyers and agents, like Campbells, now use online based software for this to speed things up.
  • Make sure you sign your documents correctly and promptly to avoid disruption – make sure you sign in the right place.
  • Ask your agent for any documents you will need as soon as you attempt to sell or purchase a property so that you are ready for when they ask for them – if you are selling, organise your sellers pack immediately.

Most of all try and keep calm and be nice.

Ringing estate agents, solicitors and conveyancers first thing on a Monday or on a Friday is not the best time when they are dealing with queries from the weekend and the majority of completions take place on a Friday – just a top tip.

If you have any more questions or if you are currently stuck in a chain and need some help and advice then you can contact our team here.