The benefits of buying a chain-free property

First-time Buyer | March 21, 2024

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When buying, selling or remortgaging a UK property, there is lots of jargon to contend with. The term ‘chain-free’ certainly falls into this category. But with benefits for both buyers and sellers alike, understanding its appeal could leave all parties reaping some pretty fantastic rewards.

Here we shine the spotlight on the property chain, and how being or buying chain-free can mean a smoother, less stressful transaction.

The meaning of ‘chain-free’

Most property transactions in the UK have ‘chains’. Put simply, a chain refers to the sequence of buyers and sellers linked together by their interlaced property sales and purchases. A long chain is just one of the factors that can slow down a property purchase.

Failure to manage the property chain can cost time, money and effort as Ideal Home explains:

“With numerous buyers and sellers in a chain, things only progress at the speed of the slowest link… Another issue with property chains is that they often collapse. This happens when a buyer or seller pulls out of their transaction, breaking the chain. A property chain collapsing can be both stressful and expensive. You’ll need to pay surveyors and solicitors for any work they have done, even if you don’t end up moving house.”

Three out of 10 purchases fall through at an average cost of £3,000 per buyer according to this research. A chain-free property is therefore highly desirable, with the sale of the property able to go ahead without being contingent on another.

Choosing a chain-free property

With the complexities associated with waiting for multiple transactions to align, chain-free purchases are simpler by nature. There’s no risk of a domino effect caused by the failure of one link in the chain, adding greater ease and assurance to the entire process.

As a result, those selling or purchasing chain-free properties enjoy faster transaction times and increased certainty.

Selling to a chain-free buyer

Sellers love chain-free transactions too. By choosing a chain-free buyer, you’re more likely to enjoy a more stable and reliable selling experience, with a significantly reduced risk of the transaction falling through. With greater certainty comes more confidence to plan your own move up the property ladder.

If you are a chain-free buyer, there are more plus-points. Chain-free buyers are in a particularly strong position, giving them greater negotiation power, especially with sellers facing their own time constraints. Use that bargaining power to your advantage to secure a home that’s in high demand or a property for an even better price.

Making chain-free property work for you

Chain-free properties attract lots of attention, which is great for those selling, yet not so great for those looking to secure the property as their first or next home. Buyers looking to beat the competition should be prepared to act swiftly to give them the edge. Secure adequate finance before making an offer to strengthen your position as a serious and reliable buyer.

For those selling a chain-free property, highlighting its chain-free status is often all you need to do to attract the most motivated buyers in your search area. Be as transparent as you can with prospective buyers to build trust and keep the process moving forward at a pace everyone is happy with.

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YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. A typical fee is £295. Ask for a personalised illustration. The Mortgage Bureau is a trading name of A.M. Mortgages (UK) Ltd. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate some aspects of Buy to Let mortgages.

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