Buying and selling a property can be super stressful and it is my mission is to ensure things go as smoothly as possible for my clients and the related sales.
It might be that you’re ready to move, but the people buying your house need their buyers to get up to speed. And those buyers also need their buyers to press the pedal down on the transaction!
More than one property means you are in a chain and we know that sometimes chains can break, taking with them your hopes of a move into a dream property.
This can be absolutely heartbreaking. Consumer body Which? surveyed 2,000 homemovers, and discovered that almost 30% of people have experienced a property purchase falling through.
There are several reasons why a property chain breaks, however, the good news is that you can do something about it and play your part in making sure things keep moving.
Here are my top tips.
- Choose a Chain-Free Buyer
You need to select the person most likely to complete. Whilst it’s hard to predict human behaviour, the facts speak for themselves. If a ‘chain free’ buyer makes an offer ie they don’t need to rely on a sale in order to move, they would be in a very strong position and better still if they have a large deposit or even cash, it’s a no brainer.
That said, an offer from a buyer in a short chain should not be entirely discounted. They themselves may have a chain free buyer beneath them or perhaps they have a chain that is almost at exchange. Your agent should carry out due diligence on all potential purchasers and submit this to you along with the offers.
- Set Your Timelines Out
When you are right at the beginning of the process with a potential buyer, make sure you stipulate, through your estate agent, your preferred timescales. Things may not always stick to plan, but if you are all aware of a date you are working towards, it will focus minds.
Top Tip: Be realistic. You may want your move to progress at lightning speed, but selling your home can be a complex process and take so much longer than you anticipate.
- Be Prepared
When you’re thinking about property chains, it’s easy to think about what all the other parties are doing and focus on how they can stop your chain from breaking. But don’t forget, you’re part of the chain too, so don’t be the one who holds things up! Make sure your paperwork is in order, finances organised and mortgage offers are on the table.
Top Tip: I advise my clients to instruct a solicitor and complete the relevant ID checks and paperwork at the point of marketing. That way, once an offer is accepted, the solicitor can send draft contracts out straight away saving up to two weeks at the very beginning.
- Be responsive
Keeping a chain moving takes good communication from all parties, and that includes you. Your conveyancer may need information quickly or an email response before close of business on a particular day. Be accessible, and make sure everyone has the correct contact details for you.
Top Tip: Respond to any queries promptly to avoid delays in clarification. If you need to seek out information that you don’t have to hand, don’t put it off! Eat that frog! (Mark Twain)
- Buy cheap, pay twice – Use Experienced Professionals
Remember that your property is probably your most valuable asset so you MUST ensure that you have the best team around you. Choose your estate agent, not necessarily on their fees, but on their experience and ability to keep things moving. You want them to be progressing and chasing where necessary, making the calls and sending the emails.
Top Tip: Draw up your shortlist of reputable, local estate agents and speak with each of them. You need a good relationship with your agent so making sure you are on the same wave-length and you get a good vibe is important. Remember, how they act with you is also how they will act with potential buyers!
- Think Outside the Chain
If there’s a problem with the house chain further up, consider selling your property and renting somewhere to live until the right property comes up for you rather than risk losing your own buyer. This could be a great option if you are selling in a heated market as what goes up may come down and you could be quids in, even taking rent into account. PLUS you become that chain free buyer if you make an offer whilst in a rental.
Top Tip: Renting doesn’t have to be forever and there are other options out there these days such as Air BnBs or holiday lets. You can usually enter into a short-term tenancy agreement which will give you time to look around and find somewhere at your leisure.
- Be Agile
Should a property chain break, and you lose the property you were going to buy, make sure you can move quickly when it comes to other alternative properties. Is it possible for the chain to discuss the issues and come to an agreement, perhaps to negotiate on prices?
Top Tip: If you’re ready for all eventualities, then a broken chain may not mean a broken heart.
To discuss this and anything property related, contact me today.