Learn All About Property Chain

Learn All About Property Chain

If you have heard about the term “property chain,” chances are you would like to understand it better. This is because while it is a common term, the understanding of it is not so common. However, property chains can have serious consequences, making a good property deal crumble and resulting in financial losses.

This article will look at what a property chain is and how you can manage or avoid it.

What is a property chain?

A simple explanation is a property chain involves a group or chain of people with properties. The people want to buy or sell the properties from one another. However, everybody has to wait for everybody to complete selling or buying.

The chain starts with somebody who wants to only buy and ends with somebody who only wants to sell.

In more practical terms, assume you have a property, but you have found another property you want to buy. However, you need to sell your current property to have enough funds. That means you need a buyer for your house. It also means the property owner has to wait for you to find a buyer for your own home. Imagine finding a buyer for your property, but the buyer also needs to sell his property to have enough funds, just like you.

This means your seller has to wait for you to sell your property while you have to wait for your buyer to sell his property too.

When you find a non-chain property, it means none of the conditions above do not apply, and you can conclude payment and move in. Properties like this are often new-builds or inherited houses with the seller already established in their own home.

Property chains could turn out to be a nightmare. So, why should you avoid property chains?

Risks of property chains

The main problem with property chains is that a lot of things could go wrong. This uncertainty is because the chain could contain estate agents, legal firms, surveyors, or mortgage lenders. As each player is independent and not contractually obligated, the action or inaction of one person could crash the whole chain.

Property chains can slow down house purchases, by, for example, one entity not filing records on time. When all the delays accumulate, they could frustrate those closer to the start of the chain.

The chain can collapse when a buyer or seller changes his mind, can’t find a mortgage, loses his income source, or has a legal problem with one of the properties.

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How to avoid or break a property chain

The best way to avoid the risks of property chains is to prevent them. This means when you have property options, choose the one with no chain. This includes new-builds or inherited properties.

If you must be in a property chain, i.e., sell a property to buy another one, make sure you are closest to the top, by selecting a property not in any chain.

When you find yourself in a property chain, you can break the chain by moving out of your property into a temporary rental one, pending when your target property becomes free. You could also move in with a friend or family in the short term. 

You might try getting your seller to commit to a date to move out of the property regardless of whether they can buy or not.

If you cannot break a property chain, you might be able to keep the chain moving.

How to keep a property chain moving

Pick a good time to move in. August is usually a busy month, so it is best to avoid it if you can. 

Organize and process your side of the paperwork with no delay. Your example might motivate the others in the chain to do the same.

Include the necessary clauses in your contracts and try your best to stick to them. Keep in touch with your agent or lawyer to know when and what you have to do.
Most importantly, have your finances arranged. Buying with cash makes the process faster.


With London being one of the largest housing markets in the world, it is of no secret that while buying a property in London, there are good chances that you will be caught up in the vicious circle of property chains. However, over time many new build properties have been introduced in London where there will be no hassle related to property chains. 

If you are interested in viewing the newest and most up to date properties for sale in London, feel free to browse through our website. We have access to new homes for sale almost instantly, and we can improve the chances of you being able to get your hands on your dream home.

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