Tips to stop your property chain unravelling

If you are selling at the same time as buying, you will likely find yourself in the middle of a chain with people both above you and below you. A property chain is only as strong as its weakest link – the more links, the higher your risk. There are a few steps you can take to minimise your risk, check out our tips below…

They say that moving to a new house is one of life’s most stressful events but being stuck in an immoveable chain comes a close second. Hold-ups occur for any number of reasons: incomplete paperwork, difficulties securing a loan, or a buyer pulling out on the strength of a survey. So, what steps can be taken to avoid snarl-ups and stop a sale unravelling?

Keep communicating

The faster you can move towards exchanging contracts, the better. Keep in touch with your solicitor, estate agent and mortgage broker and make regular progress checks. If you’re organised, the process should be quicker and there is less chance of things going wrong.

Vet the contestants

Serious buyers will have someone lined up to purchase their place, a mortgage offer agreed in principle and a solicitor waiting in the wings – so sound them out with a few politely-detailed questions. If a buyer is coy about their personal or financial circumstances, get your agent to probe further.

Serve a notice to complete

If you’ve exchanged contracts but your buyer is dithering, a notice will set a deadline for the other side to have everything signed off within ten days. Failure to do so means they run the risk of losing their deposit.

Break the chain

The fewer parties there are in the chain, the less likely it is for the deal to flounder, so consider moving into temporary accommodation or even renting. A short-term let could actually save you cash – the increased buying power you get often more than offsets the cost of renting.

Drop the price

If the sticking point is money, speak to your agent and see if you can reach a compromise by accepting a little less for your property by negotiating down the chain. If everyone drops their price by 5%, it can hold the deal together.

Consider a bridging loan

If you feel you’re running out of options, you may want to think about a bridging loan. With one of these loans, you borrow money against your current property. The issue is, this can be a costly way to borrow, and you should generally only consider this as a last resort.

Want to minimise your risks once the sales process gets started? Get in touch for some bespoke advice.