News and Events

How To Avoid A Long Property Chain

View profile for Emma Gilroy
  • Posted
  • Author

Emma Gilroy, Director and Head of Residential Property at JCP Solicitors, shares some insights into possible ways to achieve success in the property market, either as a buyer or a seller. As David and Samantha Cameron can tell you, moving house can be a stressful time with an unenviable to-do list.

One of the most frustrating and costly events that can befall a potential buyer is seeing their dream home slip through their fingers and according to latest research from Which? Mortgage advisors, 28 percent of buyers have seen their house purchase fall through after their offer was accepted,whether due to gazumping or someone in the property chain having a change of heart. And they have lost around £3,000 in conveyancing, valuation and other fees as a result.

Some bumps in the road are inevitable when it comes to buying a home but you are more likely to enjoy a relatively smooth transaction if you can avoid long property chains – the Holy Grail for home-buyers!

Here are some possible options to consider in order to help avoid a lengthy chain;

1) You may be in a position to render yourself a chain-free cash buyer by selling your property and moving into short-term rented accommodation or with family or friends. This may seem like an unconventional step to take but it would make you a more appealing prospect to a vendor.

2) At the earliest stage, when you are writing your wish-list for your next home, make a short or a non-existent chain a priority. There are many buying opportunities with vendors who own a second home, or those who are selling a property they have inherited, so there is no chain in place.

3) Similarly, new-build homes have no upward chains and you may find, if you have a property to sell, the developer could be willing to offer you a part-exchange deal on your house. This should simplify the process.

4) Remember, depending upon where you live in the UK, you are very likely to be operating in a buyer’s market. It is becoming more common for buyers to agree with the vendor upon a fixed date for them to move out. Some vendors will agree to move into rented accommodation to make sure their house sale doesn’t fall through.

Settling into a new home can be a time of great excitement and optimism, but getting to that point can by a lengthy, and sometimes a complex, process. The above are just options that can help – but remember, you cannot control everyone involved in a property transaction and it will only proceed as fast as the slowest party in the chain.

As with all major decisions in life I would recommend seeking professional legal advice before you embark on buying or selling.

You can contact Emma on: 01792 529629 or email:

For further advice, please contact our specialist property solicitors in:

  • Swansea: 01792 773773
  • Cardiff: 02920 225472
  • Carmarthen: 01267 234022
  • Caerphilly: 02920 860628
  • Cowbridge: 01446 771742
  • Haverfordwest: 01437 764723
  • Fishguard: 01348 873671

You may only buy a new home once or twice in your lifetime. We do it everyday. Let our expert property lawyers guide you quickly and smoothly through the process, and you can rest assured that you are using accredited professionals who are a safe pair of hands.

Get a quote here: