Property Chain Problems

09 Feb 2018

This week I thought we would look at an example of the sale of my house a couple of years ago and the problems when a chain is involved.

My family and I were looking to move to a larger house and to be close to the local school, we viewed a house in February and thought it was the right property.  I did not want to offer at that time as I knew we could not buy without selling our own house.  We started marketing soon after and luckily we found a buyer for our house within a week. We were advised that our buyer was selling a flat locally and that they were under offer so we offered on the house we liked thinking we were in a ‘proceed-able position!’

Property Chain

Unfortunately it turned out that our buyer had not even started marketing their property and we had already agreed a completion for April.  Our buyers put their flat on the market quickly with a local agent who were also the agent dealing with the house we were purchasing so I was hopeful things would progress smoothly. It took a couple of weeks for them to find a buyer but a buyer was found so I was pleased the chain was complete and that everything could start moving forward.  Everyone involved wanted to move quickly so the end of April was agreed (by this time it was Mid March) but enough time for everyone to get their mortgage and conveyancing agreed.

The chain involved 6 different parties outlined below:

  • Link 1 – First Time Buyer purchasing a flat with a mortgage agreed in principle
  • Link 2 – Buying a flat (our buyers flat) with finance in place.
  • Link 3 – Our buyers mortgage agreed.
  • Link 4 – Us purchasing with mortgage agreed
  • Link 5 – Sellers of the house we wanted to buy. No mortgage required
  • Link 6 – Empty house so end of chain.

With so many different links it was crucial that all solicitors, estate agents, mortgage advisors were keeping everything moving but the chain broke down as Link 2 were struggling to get a mortgage. It turns out they were self employed and required various documents from HMRC and for some reason their mortgage advisor did not apply for the right document.

This went on for months chasing Link 2 as everyone else in the chain had their mortgage offer and were ready to conclude missives and complete.  Myself and our buyers spoke directly to the mortgage advisor of Link 2 chasing on a daily basis and eventually after 3 months they finally received their mortgage offer.  During these months there were various other issues with lots of upset buyers and sellers but the key thing is try and keep calm and speak on a regular basis to the different parties involved.

We were now in July and with 6 different parties it was hard to agree a completion date due to various holiday commitments.  As everyone in the chain had to sell before buying and with no one wanting to get a bridging loan a completion for end of September was now the only option.  I was so fed up and desperate to move before the start of the school term as my daughter was going into primary 1 we eventually agreed to sell to our buyers and the chain below before we could move into our new house.  It meant we had to move out for 2 weeks and live at my parents before we could get access to our new house, we also had to pay for storage for our belongings during this time.

All in all it took from marketing our house in February to moving to our new house in August!  A chain should be straight forward but if one link is struggling to get their finance, or is missing crucial paperwork e.g building warrant it really can cause delays and problems.

Let me know if you have experienced a problem sale due to a Chain!



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