How to Keep a House Chain Progressing Smoothly

Buying and selling a property can be a stressful time, and our responsibility is of course to ensure that your move goes as smoothly as possible.


Perhaps you’re ready to move, but the people buying your house need their buyers to get up to speed. And those buyers also need their buyers to press the pedal down on the transaction! It may be that you've found a new property, or not, but it's much easier to set expectations, and slow a transaction down if needed, than it is to speed it up after some time of the pace being somewhat more leisurely.


On occasion, you can get into a long property chain, and we know that sometimes those chains can break, taking with them your hopes of a move into a dream property.


And we know that this can be absolutely heartbreaking. The consumer body "Which?" surveyed 2,000 homemovers, and discovered “around three in 10 (28%) people have experienced a property purchase falling through”.


Sometimes this is for reasons beyond anyone's control, however the chances of fall throughs can be minimised with simple, good, after-sales service between the point of the offer being agreed, up to the sale's completion. That's why we put a heavier emphasis on this than many agents.

However there are still several reasons why a property chain breaks. But, the good news is, you can do something about it and play your part in making sure the chain keeps moving.


So, here are our top seven tips on how to keep your house chain moving.


1. Choose your chain.

Not as simple as it sounds, obviously, but if you do get a few offers on your house, it's our job to assess which buyer is likely to be the easiest to progress.

If one buyer is not part of a chain - first time buyer, for instance - this means they don’t need to rely on something else happening in order to move. So, if you are lucky enough to get two or three people offering on your property (and the price is right), choose the one who you think will cause the least trouble! If there is a chain, then there are various factors, such as chain length, to take into account.

Top Tip: This is where you can rely on us, your trusted estate agent in Skelmersdale to do our job and find out more about your potential buyers.

2. Set Goals

When you are right at the beginning of the process with a potential buyer, make sure you stipulate, through your estate agent, your preferred timescales. Things may not always stick to plan, but if you are all aware of a date you are working towards, it will focus minds.

Top Tip: Be realistic. You may want your move to progress at lightning speed, but selling your home can be a complex process and take so much longer than you anticipate. We can also set your buyers' expectations if you've not yet found somewhere to move to, for example.

3. Be Prepared

When you’re thinking about property chains, it’s easy to think about what all the other parties are doing, and focus on how they can stop your chain from breaking. But don’t forget, you’re part of the chain too, so don’t be the one who holds things up! Make sure your paperwork is in order, finances organised and mortgage offers are on the table.

Top Tip: Make sure your paperwork is to hand to refer to, whether you’re at home or in the office. If a query arises there won’t be a delay in you responding.

4. Respond Well

Keeping the chain moving takes good communication from all parties, and that includes you. Your conveyancer may need information quickly or an email response before close of business on a particular day. Be accessible, and make sure everyone has the correct contact details for you.

Top Tip: Respond to any queries promptly to avoid delays in clarification. If you need to seek out information that you don’t have to hand, don’t put it off!

5. Use Experienced Professionals

You’re selling your house – probably your biggest asset – so you should ensure that you have professionals doing the job for you. Choose your estate agent, solicitor and mortgage broker, not necessarily on their fees, but on their experience and ability to keep things moving. You want them to be progressing and chasing where necessary, and making the calls and sending the emails.

Top Tip: Draw up your shortlist of reputable, local estate agents and speak with each of them. You need a good relationship with your agent so making sure you are on the same wave-length and you get a good vibe is important. Remember, how they act with you is also how they will act with potential buyers, and also see how well connected they are with the other parties, such as solicitors and mortgage brokers.

6. Think Outside the Chain

If there’s a problem with the house chain further up, consider selling your property and renting somewhere to live until the right property comes up for you rather than risk losing your own buyer. This might not work, of course, if you’ve got your heart set on somewhere in particular, but it could be an option.


Top Tip: Renting doesn’t have to be forever. You can usually enter into a short-term tenancy agreement which will give you time to look around and find somewhere new to call your own home.


7. Be Agile

Should a property chain break, and you lose the property you were going to buy, make sure you can move quickly when it comes to other alternative properties. Is it possible for the chain to discuss the issues and come to an agreement, perhaps to negotiate on prices?


Top Tip: If you’re ready for all eventualities, then a broken chain may not lead to your heart breaking too. It really doesn’t have to be a dead-end.


If you want expert help on buying and selling or any advice regarding being in a property chain, then simply get in touch with us, Neil Robinson Estate Agent. Call us on 01695 355110 or email neil@neilrobinson.co.uk to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.



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