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Our Guide to Property Chains When Buying or Selling

Property chains can be a confusing and quite complex to understand at first glance. This post will give you a breakdown of the term and explore all you need to know about the dreaded property chain that you may encounter when buying and selling a house.

What is a Property Chain?

A property chain is when many homeowners, who wish to sell their house, are reliant on other homeowners to also sell their houses. This occurs most often when homeowners wish to buy a new home and sell their old one at the same time.

For example: to afford the house you wish to buy, you’re solely dependent on your current house being sold – and if does not, you are stuck in a chain with very little wiggle-room which can be extremely frustrating and can delay you from moving into a new home.

This might not always be the case – it could be the other way around – you may have a buyer ready to buy your current home, but the people you wish to buy a new house from may not have found a house yet or are waiting on their sellers to find new accommodation too – and so on.

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Average Property Chain Length

As you can see from the previous point, property chains can be quite long, and while the average property chain length is hard to calculate, there have been instances where a single property chain has had a length of up to 8 buyers/sellers! The long length of a property chain doesn’t always mean that they take longer to overcome, as some property chains can be resolved seamlessly, but this is a rare occurrence and if it happens to you – you should definitely consider yourself very lucky! Finding out what the average time is to sell a house might give you more of an idea about the average property chain length.

Property Chain Collapse

You might be wondering why property chains collapse. There can be many reasons for this to happen. Here are some of the most common reasons why property chains collapse:

  1. A buyer in the chain cannot secure a mortgage.
  2. A house buyer pulls out last minute.
  3. ‘Gazumping’ – when a seller accepts an offer but pulls out when offered a better deal by another buyer.
  4. If a buyer lowers their offer in the last minute and the seller does not agree with the change in price, the deal may fall through. This is also known as ‘gazundering’.
  5. If a seller takes their house off the market at the last minute.

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Ways a Property Chain Can be Fixed

  • If someone in the property chain rents a home or stays with family/friends after selling their house, instead of buying and selling simultaneously.
  • Buying a new-build house. This is an advantageous step to take as new build properties rarely have an ‘upward chain’. A ‘no upward’ chain means that that the seller is not reliant upon anyone above them, meaning that your buying journey would be more favourable than if you were at a lower position on the chain.  
  • If you lower your asking price – so buyers are more likely to consider purchasing your property which will, therefore, fix the property chain.
  • Sell to a first-time buyer if you have the option to, as they won’t be in a chain of their own, which lessens the chances of them dropping out from the deal.
  • Sell your home to SellHouseFast, where we buy any house, in any condition – without any property chains involved. We guarantee a great price and as long as you agree to it, we will give you cash for your home. We assure you that we won’t drop out from buying your house in the last minute or at all, so – put your trust in us!

Why is a Chain Free Property the Ideal Solution?

Chain-free means that no one, on either side of the deal, is reliant on anyone else to buy or sell a house. It is simply without a chain of people linked together and dependent on others who are buying or selling a house. So, if a house buyer pulls out last minute, it won’t affect you. An example of this type of chain-free process is between a first-time buyer and a property developer of a new build home. So doing this will mean selling your house quickly and for a good price.

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If you’re dealing with a property chain of your own and you are struggling to sell your house due to many factors, do not hesitate to contact us and we can help you sell your home fast without having to rely on other parties to follow-through with their deal on your home.

(Feature Image Copyright: Africa Studio/

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