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Chain-free Properties

  • 10 months ago
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What’s So Special About Chain-free Properties?

You’ve probably seen “Chain-free” mentioned on a property listing or two during your search for a new home. You may also have had your estate agent on the phone excitedly telling you about a new listing that’s chain free. Why the excitement? What is a chain and why is it better if a property isn’t in one?

A property chain is a series of properties which are all in the business of being bought and sold at the same time and they’re all dependent on each other. The chain moves at the speed of the slowest link and, as you can imagine, if there’s a weak link (another buyer pulling out, for example), the chain breaks down.

Chain free means that a seller isn’t buying another property at the time and for buyers it means they’re either first timers or they’re cash buyers. Neither is dependent on another purchase or sale to move forwards.

 

The chain can tie you up…

The property chain has so many moving (or not moving…) parts that it can create a lot of anxiety in everyone involved. It only takes one party to hit a snag or pull out and then everyone’s back to the drawing board. 

A property that’s chain free can, because there’s much less anxiety involved, command a higher asking price because buyers are willing to pay a bit of a premium for more certainty.

Similarly, if you’re a buyer who’s chain free, you can get away with a slightly lower offer because sellers might appreciate the fact you’re not vulnerable to a sudden chain collapse.

There are other reasons why a chain-free property is very attractive.

 

There are fewer ifs, buts and complications

A chain-free property isn’t just less vulnerable to a chain collapse, it’s also freer in terms of timescales. The vendor isn’t relying on a sale happening at a particular time in order to make their next purchase, so life is easier for everyone.

 

Hugely reduced chance of a sale falling through

When you’re in a chain, you only need one buyer or seller to get cold feet, change their minds or fail to secure finance and you may have to start all over again.

The lack of upward chain means that no-one’s going to get a bad survey that spooks their mortgage provider or change their mind about that new job in another city.

 

Chain free usually means quicker completion

Buying property in the UK can be very time consuming and if you’re waiting for all the other links in the chain to get in sync then it can make everything take even longer. If there’s only one other moving part (and they’ve already moved), you could be done and dusted in as little as four or five weeks, as opposed to the usual 10-12 weeks.

 

You can negotiate your ideal timings

No-one’s under pressure to sell in order to buy, so you can agree your completion date with the other party so that you’re both happy with the schedule.

 

How much more is a chain-free property worth?

Several studies have shown that chain-free listings often receive enhanced offers. One 2022 survey by GetAgent.co.uk found that 

buyers are willing to spend an average of 10.8% more on a chain-free property than they would on one that’s in a chain.

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