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Preparing to be in a property chain

  01 Nov 2019

If you are looking to buy or sell a property, there is one aspect of the process that people often dread – the property chain. Described quite simply as a line of buyers and sellers linked together because they are buying a property from each other, a chain can be as short as two people or run in to double digits.

While a chain may feel out of your control, you can actually help speed up the process and secure the transaction. Jezzards draws on its years of chain-management experience to tell you how.

Do many chains collapse?

Even if everything is going well with your own sale or purchase, a wobble elsewhere might literally set off a ‘chain reaction’, where several sales are jeopardised. Research released last year found that around 39% of house sales in motion during the first three months of 2018 fell through before completion. Nearly half of these were due to the buyer changing their mind or because of their frustration with the sale not progressing quickly enough. These figures were, however, national averages and a diligent, proactive agent will always seek to work below this figure.

Why do chains break down?

There are a number of reasons why a chain may collapse and some of these are outside the control of an estate agent, as well as its client. Common reasons include:-

  • A change of circumstance, for instance illness, a bereavement, a relationship breakdown or redundancy
  • The inability of a buyer to secure a mortgage to match an offer they have made
  • Detrimental survey results that force a buyer to withdraw
  • Gazundering – receiving a reduced offer the seller is unwilling to accept, commonly immediately before exchanging of contracts
  • Lengthy delays, which may force a buyer to pull out and pursue another property

Can I improve my own chain?

Although your estate agent should be doing everything possible to hold your chain together, there are a number of things you can do as a home mover:-

  1. Ensure you have evidence of a deposit and a mortgage agreement in principal before you make an offer on any property. Previous studies have shown that 1 in 10 property chains collapsed due to the buyer not being able to secure the funding required at the final stages of acquisition.
  2. Ask for personal recommendations before choose a solicitor who specialises in property transactions. If you’d like our recommendations for conveyancing solicitors who we know work with accuracy and speed, just ask.
  3. Look for chain-free or reduced chain purchasing options. This can be achieved by selling to a first-time buyer; separating the buying and selling transactions (moving into rented accommodation first so you buy with nothing to sell); purchasing a new build property with no onwards chain or buying a vacant, chain-free property. If you can combine any of the above, you will reduce your chain even further.

How can my agent help?

A good agent can be the linchpin of your chain, so choose carefully. At Jezzards, we start with a rigorous pre-qualification process to ensure we only work with buyers who have the financial ability and attitude to proceed. We also step up our sales progression after an offer has been accepted, chain checking and chasing others involved to minimise delays in order to reach completion as quickly as possible. There may be bumps and hiccups along the way but Jezzards will be quick to act and resolve issues as the chain progresses.

If you are looking to buy or sell a property, please contact us today and benefit from our experience of guiding clients through the buying and selling process.


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What our clients say about us

  • " Excellent. Staff very helpful, professional and go out of their way to assit in every way. I have used Jezzards for selling and letting and cannot fault them. "

    Anonymous November 2019
  • " Jezzards provide a really good, personal service with Dorothy getting my gold stars for timely updates and an excellent response to any enquiries. The best letting agency I have dealt with in the last ten years. "

    Anonymous November 2019
  • " We’ve just sold our one bedroom flat in Surbiton. The team at Jezzards we’re great. Responsive and helpful. Thanks to Gaj, Victoria and their colleagues who helped. We would use them again "

    Tomas November 2019
  • " We saw several agents before signing with Jezzards. From the outset they were personable, professional and their market knowledge was excellent. Since starting the process every employee I have encountered has been really proactive and kept us fully informed. A brilliant service and worth the fee. Thank you. "

    ES, Hanworth October 2019
  • " Rated high with very good reason. Great customer service, pricing thoroughly researched for both buyer and same, no hard sale, professionalism from all members of staff exceptionally high, as was the photographer who took photographs of my property. I felt I could trust them, Victoria listened to personal concerns and was able to assuage fears drawing on years of personal experience. Quick to respond to queries on different communication platforms. They are a team to be strongly recommended. Sales team are extremely respectful, and were keen to find out as much about my property as they could. "

    Anne, Hampton October 2019