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When it comes to buying or selling a property, there’s lots of jargon and language that is important to understand. Many of these important terms refer to the ‘property chain’, so, what does it mean to buy a ‘chain free’ property?

When buying a property, it’s important that you are aware of all of the factors that could have an impact on the purchase of your property. Some factors can cause delays and even cause sales to fall apart completely. One of these vital factors to consider is the property chain.


What Is the Property Chain?

A property chain is often one of the most frustrating parts of buying or selling a property. A property chain arises when buyers and sellers are linked together through property transactions. Each sale becomes dependent on the successful sale of another property.

Imagine that person A wants to buy person B’s house, but person B cannot sell until they have a new property to live in. This is a chain in its simplest form.

If one person in your chain runs into difficulty or pulls out the whole chain can fall apart. This is why property chains can cause such stress and disappointment for buyers and sellers. Not only could you miss out on your perfect property, but this may also hurt their chances of getting a good price for their property.


What Does ‘Chain Free’ Mean?

‘Chain free’ means that the property you want to buy is not reliant on any other properties being purchased or sold. As a chain free buyer, your purchase is not reliant on you selling another property you own. First-time buyers are chain free because there is no other property to sell.


What Are the Benefits of Buying ‘Chain Free’?

‘No onward chain’ are the three magic words that buyers long to hear and for good reason. The property chain can prove one of the most stressful and frustrating parts of the housing market. A chain can be delicate and just one link needs to falter before everything falls apart.

Buying chain free avoids all the anxiety of chain breakdown. In a chain free sale you are totally independent and not reliant on another party to complete their sale. A chain free buyer will also be more appealing to a seller because they are less hassle.

Purchasing a property is a massive step and you want to have as much control as you possibly can. A chain free purchase gives you security and peace of mind because you know that your sale won’t fall through to circumstances out of your control.


How to Avoid a Property Chain

If being chain free sounds like a good option for you, there are a few things you can do to help attract or become a chain free buyer.

Selling Chain Free:

  • If you receive more than one offer try to up for a chain free buyer. This might be a first time buyer or someone who was looking to buy in cash.
  • Focus on developers who can buy your property outright for cash. Be warned, this may mean you end up taking less than market value.
  • If you’re using an estate agent, tell them you will only accept offers from chain free buyers.


Buying Chain Free:

  • Search for chain free properties, if you can find an empty property that would be no onward chain.
  • Buy a new home, this way there will be no upward chain.
  • You can become a chain free buyer by selling your property and moving into rented accommodation while you search for a new place to purchase.