What does chain free mean?

Buying or selling property can already feel like a bit of a tug of war. With a property chain involved, there’s an added hassle factor to consider. But What does chain free mean? How does it help speed up the process of purchasing or selling a home? Read on and find out why going chain free can help you.

What is the property chain?

A ‘property chain’ is when either a buyer or seller is dependent on the purchase/sale of other properties to make this one happen.

For example, someone selling their home might not want to finalise the sale before they have bought their new home. Equally, a buyer might need to sell their current home to finance the purchase or mortgage deposit of the new one.

This is the property chain. A series of linked property transactions where one outcome depends on one or several others.

Is being in a property chain bad?

Being in a property chain is not necessarily bad, but it definitely makes things more complicated. Currently, it can take up to six months to buy a home in the UK. Disrupting this already long process with other property transactions can add heavy delays into the mix.

What is the meaning of ‘chain free’ in property terms?

Being ‘chain free’ literally means that you are not reliant on any other property transaction when trying to buy or sell.

If you’re a chain free buyer, you don’t need to sell your current home or other property to raise capital. If you’re a chain free seller, you aren’t waiting to buy another property before selling this current one.

Do sellers always prefer chain free buyers?

Sellers always prefer buyers to be chain free, but that won’t be their only consideration. The buyer’s intentions for the property, their financial stability and, of course, the size of the purchase offer all play a part.

Generally though, being chain free is always an advantage when buying or selling.

Do buyers always prefer chain free sellers?

Buyers always prefer sellers to be chain free. This means that there is no artificial block on the purchase timeline. If all the paperwork and financials check out, the sale can continue.

How do you avoid property chains when buying?

To avoid property chains when buying a property, make sure that you have wrapped up any property sale of your own first.

Then, you can specifically search for properties on sale with ‘chain free’ listings. Estate agents know that being chain free is beneficial to all parties, so they are always keen to highlight this status. When you’re searching on Zoopla or any other property website, it should be immediately obvious when sellers are chain free. Check to see if the site has a chain free search tag or drop-down option too.

How do you avoid property chains when selling?

If you want to avoid property chains when selling your property, you can simply wait for offers from buyers who are chain free. Like sellers, buyers are always keen to highlight their chain free status, so this won’t be a secret when the offer is made.

This should impact your decision making process. If you want to get the sale done quickly, then prioritising chain free buyer offers is a good way to do that.

Is it easier to sell a house with no chain?

It is definitely less complicated to sell a house when there’s no chain involved. There is no specific time window to hit; everyone just wants to get it done as quickly as possible.

However, being chain free does not make the paperwork processing part any easier. Buying and selling property in the UK is still a long, drawn out and often needlessly complicated affair. Being chain free just makes it a little bit less so.

Need any more advice on how to buy or sell a house in the UK? Our growing range of advice articles and FAQs can help. Check them out by clicking below.

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