A Guide To The Property Chain

Once your offer is accepted on a property and the sale proceeds you are part of the property chain.a guide to a property chain

What Exactly Is The Property Chain?

The property chain is a group of buyers and sellers who are linked to a simultaneous property transaction.  The chain relies on all parties within the chain being able to proceed to completion (legally selling/purchasing the property).  If one party within the chain drops out (for instance, if their mortgage offer does not materialise) then the whole chain breaks.

How Does The Chain Get Broken?


The chain can get broken in a number of ways.  If a mortgage offer is not granted to one of the parties, chances are the chain will not be able to complete.  At the same time sellers can change their minds and withdraw the property from the market or buyers can withdraw their offers if their circumstances change. Another  reason chains are broken is due to gazumping.  Gazumping is where a buyer puts in a lower offer on the property at the last minute (usually on or just before the day of exchange) which results in everyone in the chain having to drop their prices to keep it together or the chain will break.  Gazumping is not an illegal practice but it is widely regarded as unethical.

How Do I Avoid Getting In A Chain?

The only way to avaoid getting in a property chain is to make sure that if you do have a property to sell, you are able to go ahead and buy another property independent of sale or to buy a property stays where there the sellers are moving into rented accomodation or coming off the property ladder.

Is There A Way To Make Sure The Chain Stays Together?

The only way to make sure the chain has the best chances of staying intact are to make sure that everyone in the chain is communicating with each other.  Some estate agents employ a member of staff whose job is simply to moniter the chain and keep all parties informed of any changes or developments.  The longer the chain is and the longer the sale gones on the more chance there is of the chain breaking.