A property chain is an interconnected series of transactions between buyers and sellers. As a buyer, you can only move into your new home when the seller completes their own purchase.
You only need one link of the chain to break, and the whole thing falls apart. And it does. In fact 1 out of 4 property sales fall through.
Chains can be stressful, confusing and time-consuming. Making sure that everyone involved in the chain is on the same page at all times is arduous – and although this is technically the job of your estate agent, many buyers find themselves reluctantly getting dragged into these discussions.
Furthermore, the greater the number of transactions, the greater the risk of a chain collapsing.
There are many significant benefits to being chain-free. Sellers prefer buyers who are not in a property chain, and this can give chain-free buyers an upper hand in some scenarios.
Read on to find out about the key benefits of being chain-free.
Increased likelihood of a transaction being completed
You are more likely to complete a transaction when operating outside of a property chain. This is because you are not reliant on other people, and on everyone communicating effectively, for the sale to go through.
Miscommunication can be a major problem when in a property chain. For example, if one person in the chain is working to a particular timescale, then everyone else in the chain needs to be informed of this. It can be challenging to always keep everyone up to date – and this communication can cause transactions to breakdown.
When you are not in a property chain, the likelihood of a successful transaction is far greater.
Avoid conflicts in commitment and capability
Different buyers/sellers typically have varying levels of commitment and time requirements when it comes to buying. Invariably, there will be some level of friction, and it’s likely that all participants in the chain will be required to compromise to some extent.
In addition, some buyers have varying capability to transact, compared to others. For example, some buyers will have the required funds available immediately – while others may need some more time. To add to this, being in a chain also makes you more vulnerable to gazundering, as there is more pressure to ensure the sale completes.
Operating outside of a chain enables you to avoid these common pitfalls.
A quicker route to completion
In a hot market, when your property is priced correctly, it can take less than 90 days to be officially sold. In a cold market, when your property is priced correctly, it will typically take 6 months and more.
However, these timescales can vary massively if you are in a chain, because timescales depend on everyone else’s plans – their mortgages, their finance, and the speed or otherwise of their conveyancer, as well as yours.
A chain-free purchase removes lots of the ‘hanging around’ and waiting for other people to get their act together. You can complete the transaction of a property more quickly because you are not depending on anyone else.
Furthermore, if you are a house buyer who is not in a property chain, house sellers are more likely to push ahead (quickly) with selling their property to you. This is because chain-free buyers are desirable; they know that your purchase does not rely on additional transactions, and that the sale is much more likely to go through. Being chain free tends to expedite the entire process.
Avoid unwanted additional costs
Should your chain break, and your sale fall through, it is not just time and effort that is wasted. You’ll also find yourself out of pocket financially. Any fees paid for conveyancing, searches and surveys will be rendered wasted. For renters looking to step onto the ladder, a chain break can mean prolonged time in rented accommodation as they look for a new first property.
In addition the financial consequences of a chain break are the emotional costs. Losing a dream home and being faced with starting the entire process again can cause considerable emotional turmoil.
Being chain-free means it is far less likely your transaction will fall through, providing more protection both financially and emotionally.
A strengthened negotiation position
A recent poll by Clearscore indicated that 74% of all sellers would accept, or consider accepting, an offer 5% below the asking price if the buyer was in a chain-free position to proceed.
If you are a chain-free buyer, it can influence the price you have to pay for a property. This is because buyers who are not in a chain are more attractive to sellers – and many sellers will be willing to accept a slightly lower offer from you, compared with a buyer who is in a chain. Therefore, being chain-free can save you money and improve your negotiation position.
The limitations of an estate agent
There is only so much an estate agent can do to ‘make sure’ everything goes smoothly, when you are in a property chain. All they can do is try to keep their finger on the pulse and communicate any problems to you (their client) along with suggested solutions.
Many agents will tell you that delays in a chain are typically caused by the legal side not being proactive, and waiting until someone chases them up before doing anything.
Being chain-free gives you freedom from these common challenges. It allows you to complete transactions more quickly, more simply, and often save money along the way.
Seamless property transactions
At Proferred, we offer a chain-free selling service for those who have experienced a chain break. Using our own funds, we contractually guarantee to purchase a property at a set price, by a date of your choosing, fully managed from beginning to end.
Whether the sale is for a property inherited through probate, or expediting a home sale to save a chain, we work quickly, efficiently and with the utmost consideration of your circumstances.