Property Chains Explained

If you’re looking to buy or sell your house in Norwich , you’ve probably heard conveyancers mention the dreaded property chain. A property chain occurs when the purchase or sale of your home relies on the purchase or sale of another’s. Homebuyers and sellers are therefore linked together due to being dependent on each other’s sale or purchase. Only one faulty link in the chain is needed to disrupt the entire conveyancing process, so learn what it means to be part of a chain today.

Learn more about property chains below and compare conveyancing quotes with My Big New Shell. We’ll help you find the perfect solicitor who’ll seamlessly guide you through the property buying or selling process, property chain and all! 

What Does “No Chain” in Property Mean?

A “No Chain” or “No Upward Chain” in property means that the person you’re buying from isn’t involved in a chain. People who would be “Chain-Free” are first-time buyers (as they don’t have a house to sell), people selling their second home or a person/first-time buyer who is looking to buy a new build property direct from the developer. Keep in mind that only 10% of property transactions in the UK are “Chain-Free,” according to Conveyancing Supermarket.

How Long Does it Take to Buy a House in a Chain?

If you’re lucky enough to be in a “No Upward Chain,” your sale should be completed within four weeks, If you’re in a chain and don’t encounter any holds up or setbacks along the way, your sale should be completed within 12 weeks or less. 

Unfortunately, property chains do make buying or selling a home longer since you need to wait for all transactions to process before the chain moves along. Your conveyancer will be pushing for a confirmed date of exchange/completion that works for all parties involved, which can be tricky as one delay can ruin the entire flow of the completion process. Chains work best when each party works toward a completion date and sends information within the same timeframe as the other parties in the chain. 

How to Prevent the Chain From Breaking

Although preventing a break in the chain is impossible, there are ways to mitigate your risk and protect your financial investment. You can::

  • Voice your concerns to your solicitor or conveyancer about being in a property chain and see if there is anything they can do to help or prevent it.
  • Ask your conveyancer or solicitor for regular updates about the status of your sale or purchase.
  • Review, sign and return paperwork to your conveyancer as soon as possible.
  • Ask your solicitor to include clauses in your contracts with dates of exchange, surveys and completions to make sure everyone in the chain is working within the same timeframe.
  • Ensure that your home loan and mortgage valuation is officially agreed upon.
  • Protect your financial investment by buying Home Buyers Protection Insurance in case your chain breaks and you can’t complete your sale or purchase.

For more helpful information about the conveyancing process and what to expect when comparing quotes, visit our advice center now. My Big New Shell can help you take the stress and hassle out of buying or selling your home!