A property chain is a sequence of linked house purchases, in which transactions are dependent on one another.
For example, Adam wants to buy a property from Beth, but Beth needs to buy from Claire, and so on.
If an issue arises within the sequence, it can cause troubles for everyone involved. So you might want to avoid a property chain to make your house buying experience as smooth as possible.
Luckily, there are options for you. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Move in with friends or family
A relatively simple way of avoiding a property chain is to sell your place first and then look to buy.
This has the bonus of making your property more attractive to other buyers hoping to avoid a chain.
While it is a neat way around the issue, there are some drawbacks.
You will need to find somewhere to stay between selling your old home and buying your new one.
That means renting (which could be costly) or staying with friends or family.
Buy a new build without a property chain
If you’re committed to a chain-free buy then new-build properties could be your answer.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term: new-builds are recently constructed homes that have never been lived in.
Typically there will be no property chain attached to them.
Some house builders also offer part-exchange schemes. These let you pay off some of the new place by using your current property as payment.
While this could end any chances of a chain, you should be aware that developers may make an offer below market value.
Or… buy a repossessed home to avoid a property chain
Buying a repossessed home is a great way to go chain-free.
As the properties are owned by a bank or developer, there is no chain.
Many are sold at auction but they are also sold through estate agents and on the internet. You need to do a bit of hunting.
The good news is that it is possible to buy property at a bargain price.
But, be careful, you need to know what to look for when buying a house.
Do your detective work
If you find some properties you like, you should learn everything you can about the sellers.
Some may be in a long property chain already, while others might not be planning to buy a new home. They may already have a second home or be moving in with friends and family.
Your goal is to find the seller with the shortest chain.
Estate agents you speak to will probably highlight a chain-free property, but if it isn’t mentioned, ask.
You can base your decision on how comfortable you feel with the seller’s situation.
Ask your estate agent for chain-free homes
You can avoid a property chain quite simply by asking your estate agent to prioritise chain-free homes.
There are lots of different reasons why a property could have no chain – but hunting through the thousands of homes for sale is not an easy way to find them.
Instead, instruct any estate agent you communicate with to show you places without a property chain. If you make a point of asking for this, they will have you in mind when a new chain-free property comes to the market.
If you’d like to know more about buying a chain-free home, get in touch with our friendly team of experts today – we’re always happy to help.