Explained: What is the ‘property chain’?

Wolsey Park sandpiper

Find a house you love, make an offer and move in. Buying a home should be a simple process, right? Unfortunately, the reality of home buying isn’t always quite that easy.

Why? For many reasons, even the most experienced buyers can find the whole process quite overwhelming, particularly when it comes to navigated the ‘property chain’.

But fear not, with Countryside’s Assisted Move scheme we do all the hard work for you, giving you a stress-free move without the worry of a property chain…

Long and complex chains that come with second-hand homes are notoriously stressful, often taking inexperienced buyers/sellers by surprise. But, what exactly is a property chain? And what are the key things you should be aware of when buying or selling a property?

To help guide you through the process, we’ve pulled together the most frequently asked questions that our teams receive regarding the property chain. 

What is a property chain?

A property chain is a series of linked home purchases, starting with someone who is only buying and ending with someone who is only selling. The ‘links’ are the people in between who need to both sell and buy a property, which is where the chain can get complicated. Those ‘links’ are reliant on both sides of their sale going smoothly in order for the chain to remain unbroken. 

What are the issues involved in a property chain?

Being stuck in a chain is inevitable when buying a second hand home. This is why many buyers are opting for new build homes instead. A chain can be extremely unpredictable, as it only moves as quickly as its slowest link.

For example, if someone were to forget to sign a document the whole chain will be delayed. Basically, the longer the chain the more slowly things are likely to progress. Each step on the buying process has the potential to delay, or even break the chain altogether. 

What does it mean when a chain collapses?

When a property chain collapses, it means that the sale of the houses involved can no longer go ahead. This can happen at any point in the chain and can also be very expensive for everyone involved.

Depending on what stage you’re at, you could potentially lose the money already paid towards the solicitors fees, surveys and the mortgage arrangement fee, which could total thousands of pounds.

So, can I avoid being in a property chain? 

The short answer is yes… If you’re a first time buyer who is buying a new build home. However, if you’re looking to buy an older home, or have a home to sell, then no you cannot avoid a chain. You can, however, take the stress out of it.

How? Assisted Move offers a start-to-finish service, meaning homeowners can sell their current home quickly and hassle-free through the scheme. We arrange the valuations, liaise with the agents and find you a buyer at a price you’re happy with. Plus, it’s available with Help to Buy!

Not only that, but we’ll even pay your estate agent fees and throw in a whole host of extras as part of our enhanced specification! This includes, integrated appliances, Porcelanosa tiles, chrome finishes and fitted vanity units (to name a few).

New build homes also save buyers money on the typical repairs that come with older homes, such as replacing old boilers and installing new kitchen and bathroom suites. In brief, the Assisted Move scheme allows you to sit back, relax and wait for moving day. 

Have a question we haven’t answered about Assisted Move? Tweet us @Countryside_NW if you’re in the North or @Countryside_Mid for the Midlands.