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Property chains explained

Published: 06/07/2020

A property chain is when the buyers and sellers are linked together in a chain.

Problems in the chain are a common cause of delays and failed sales resulting in extra expense, disappointment, and stress.

These can include:

  • Buyer or seller's circumstances changing
  • Finance falling through at the last minute
  • Paperwork deadlines being missed
  • Issues coming up during the building survey
  • A buyer simply changing their mind
  • A buyer reducing their offer (gazundering)
  • A buyer outside the chain comes in with a higher bid (gazumping)

So, how can you avoid these problems and keep a property sale progressing smoothly towards completion? Below are a few pointers:

The essential responsibility of any buyer or seller is to instruct the most professional conveyancing team to handle all aspects of the transaction, preferably with the Conveyancing Quality Scheme award. Top conveyancers aren't cheap, but employing the best to get the deal across the line pays dividends.

In an ideal world, selecting the right people should take most of the burden off your shoulders; however, you must still play a huge part. Communicate regularly with your team, and ask them if there's anything you can do to push things forward quickly; an unsigned document can hold up the proceedings, so make sure you are always on hand and are being kept in the loop to avoid delays.

Find out who's in the chain; have they got a property to sell, or are they a first-time buyer? Do they need a mortgage, or are they cash buyers? Be proactive and keep information flowing in the chain by starting up a WhatsApp group for everyone involved.

Be cautious if you know the seller uses an online agent as they don't have any incentive to push the transaction through. They charge an upfront fee and get paid no matter the outcome; make sure your agent or conveyancer applies pressure too.

If you must move into rented accommodation to keep the chain intact, do it.

Most importantly, always go the extra mile to keep your buyer happy.

Circa London knows how to sell your property efficiently, taking care of valuations and online listings, and marketing your property to the right audience to maximise the chances of selling quickly and at the best price.

If you are looking to buy an apartment or house in central London, call Circa London on 020 3137 7877.
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