Property Chains – Don’t Panic …

Any set of property details that mentions *** END OF CHAIN *** will automatically get the most views on a website, it is that beautiful ‘frosting’ on top of the cake – unfortunately when clicking through to the property the ‘cake’ is nothing like you wanted, but the ‘frosting’ still makes you drool.CHAINS – CAN THEY BE AVOIDED?

I don’t think there is any misunderstanding regarding ‘Property Chains’, they can be time consuming, life sucking black holes, which can drive you into despair and ultimately collapse the purchase or sale of your home.

The only way to avoid being in a chain is to never move house!

It’s true, if you are a First Time Buyer, then you are the first link – if you are proceeding to buy even an empty home, then that is the second link – you are now in a chain.chain1That looks nice and uncomplicated, but the entire process doesn’t just contain the vendor and the purchaser. For instance both parties will have a solicitor, the first time buyer may require a mortgage and normally there is also an estate agent in there too.




It looks a bit more complicated now, but if I were to draw the communication process between all parties, it would look like I just dumped a bowl of spaghetti over it!

Solicitors can only speak to their respective clients, Financial Advisors can only speak to their clients and their Solicitors, Estate Agents can speak to anyone involved in the process.


Ahhh … Utopia, plain sailing on an ocean of tranquillity, so, just to be that floating iceberg in the way of your perfect property transaction I am going to add one more link.chain 4Still looks easy? OK lets get down to the nitty-gritty – Keep up this is going to be quick!


First Time Buyers Solicitor speaks to the middle Solicitor, who answers questions related to the sale.

Middle Solicitor, whilst dealing with the sale to the bottom Solicitor, speaks to top Solicitor regarding the purchase.

Top Solicitor speaks with middle Solicitor whilst answering  questions related to the sale.

Each Solicitor can only speak to their client.


The First Time Buyers Financial Advisor, speaks with the Mortgage Company to ensure they are satisfied with their client, when satisfied they will instruct the Surveyor to value the First Vendors home. Once the mortgage is offered they speak with the First Time Buyer and the bottom Solicitor.

The First Vendors Financial Advisor works in exactly the same way, but reports to the First Vendor and the middle Solicitor.


The First Estate Agent can speak to the First Time Buyer, their Financial Advisor and the bottom Solicitor, whilst also dealing with the First Vendor, their Financial Advisor and the middle Solicitor – In addition they can speak with the Second Estate Agent and if needed the top Solicitor.

The Second Estate Agent can speak with the Second Vendor and the First Vendor (who is their buyer) and their Financial Advisors, also the top and middle Solicitor and if needed the First Time Buyers Solicitor too, whilst also speaking with the First Estate Agent.

(Sorry to assault your eyes with that colour explosion)

The issues arise due to either miscommunication or lack of it and to be blunt an unwillingness for one or more of the parties involved to pull their fingers out and do some work.

The slower the process is, the more likely it is to fall apart.


The old cliché of “You Get What You Pay For” applies 95% of the time when buying or selling a property.

Solicitors: ‘Bucket Shop Conveyancing’ in my experience dealing with one of these, either as an Estate Agent or listening to other Solicitors, was akin to wading through shark infested treacle that was flowing in the opposite direction. Spending countless hours either on hold or talking to people who had no idea what was going on with a particular case – If you always wanted to be just a number, then this is the place for you – your saving might just cost your the sale or purchase of your home.

Financial Advisors: When looking for your mortgage you will choose the one which is the cheapest for you, and that is how it should be – the one issue to bear in mind is that the cheapest mortgage companies are the busiest and therefore don’t expect an immediate service, it will take a while. If your Financial Advisor tells you this, pass it on to your Solicitor and the Estate Agent. Clarity in a transaction can often save it.

Estate Agents: An Estate Agent will chase and chase until the job is completed, after all they are the only ones who don’t get paid unless the job is finished. They understand how the process works and can very quickly spot someone who is dragging their heels or some one who is telling fibs (it happens everyday). However the new ‘Online Agent’ or ‘Hybrid Agent’ is paid for putting your property on the market and gathers extra commission (sorry, fees – they don’t charge commission – Potayto – Potahto ) from sending you to their firms ‘Bucket Shop Conveyancing’ and Financial Advisors, no need to panic though, because you understand exactly how the transaction works, can chase solicitors for those really small things that make a difference and have all day to ensure the transaction goes through… Right?

Most Financial Advisors, Solicitors and Estate Agents can have 60 or 70 transactions going through at a time and still manage to make you feel like you are their only client.

In other cases a chain can have up to 12 or more links to it, each little cog whirring and spinning in a well oiled fashion and can go through just as easily as one with just the 2 links to it. If you believe in the professionals you have working for you, I promise you will find it a whole lot less stressful.






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Selling property for over 25 years, helping vendors achieve higher values, purchasers to get the home they want and helping Estate Agents achieve their goals.

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