The benefits of buying a chain-free property


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When you’re buying or selling a home, you need to be aware of all the factors that may affect, delay, or even scupper the sale. One of them is the “house buying chain” or “property chain”. In this simple guide, we explain exactly what that term means, and take a look at the advantages of buying a chain-free property.   

What is a property chain?  

Simply put, when you’re in a chain, your property transaction is linked to those of other buyers and sellers. Each transaction in the chain is reliant on the successful sale of another property by a different vendor – all at the same time.W

Why can a property chain be a problem?

The arrangement is, obviously, a fragile one. If just one person in it pulls out or has difficulties with their sale, the whole property chain can collapse, leading to stress and disappointment for buyers.

As a result, they may well miss out on a property they’ve set their heart on or end up failing to sell their current property for the price they wanted.

In fact, according to a Which? survey, one in five failed property sales in the UK arises from buyers getting stuck in a property chain. And with no reimbursement on valuation, survey, conveyancing, and brokerage fees, their losses in such cases can be considerable.

Which? News: Three in 10 property sales fall through

How can I avoid property chains?

When you’re weighing up properties to buy, there are a couple of phrases that should be music to your ears.

“No onward chain” and “chain-free” both mean that the purchase or sale of that property won’t depend on the successful purchase or sale of other properties.

As a chain-free buyer, your purchase isn’t reliant on the sale of a property you currently own. If you’re a first-time buyer, for example, you’re a chain-free buyer by default.

What are the benefits of buying chain-free?

There’s no hiding the fact that the property chain can be one of the most stressful and maddening elements of the house-buying process. Just one broken link can send you right back to where you started. If you’re able to buy chain-free, here are three reasons why it’s a good idea:

  • You’ll have peace of mind

No chain means you won’t experience the anxiety of being reliant on another party for the successful completion of your sale.

  • You’ll be more appealing to sellers

Vendors will look at your offer more favourably because they’ll get to sidestep the hassle of the property chain too.

  • It may make for a better, smoother deal

You’ll avoid the potential property chain problems, while your attractiveness to sellers may help you secure a property at a price that suits your budget.

What’s the average length of a property chain?

That’s a bit of an unknown. While there are no official figures, some chains are reported to involve as many as ten properties. However, it seems that the average chain contains around three.

Be chain-free with David Wilson Homes

Looking to break free of the property chain? Then David Wilson Homes can help. Under our Part Exchange programme, we’ll buy your old home from you so you can quickly and easily move into one of ours.

Besides having a guaranteed buyer and no estate agent’s fees to pay, you’ll also have peace of mind knowing you’re not part of a chain. Plus, with selected homes already finished, you could be moving in a matter of weeks.

David Wilson Homes Part Exchange