Buying and Selling in a Chain

Buy and sell conveyancing for people in a chain - If you require any advice we are only a phone call or email away.

When you move house, there is a good chance that you have a property to sell as well as one to buy, and you will need a conveyancing solicitor for both. We can provide you with representation and professional legal advice for both aspects of your house move to ensure that everything is efficient and stays on track.

Understanding Property Chains

A property chain occurs when a number of people are buying and selling properties through linked transactions. There could be as few as two people in the chain, or many more, but each one is reliant on everyone else in order for all of the sales to progress.

If you are buying and selling at the same time, then you need to sell your existing house in order to release the funds to buy your new one. You are therefore dependent on the people buying your house, but they are also controlled by the people below them in the chain. A delay with one transaction can cause a ripple effect throughout the whole chain, so it is important that you work with a conveyancing solicitor that you can trust to keep things moving.


The Process of Buying and Selling Simultaneously

When you move house, you will typically want to have an offer accepted on your property before you make offers on a new one, although this does not necessarily need to be the case. As soon as you have an offer accepted or accept an offer on your existing property, you will need to instruct a conveyancing solicitor. They will then be able to juggle the intricacies of both transactions for you.

They will start by ordering searches for your new property and will look over the draft contract from your seller as well as your mortgage agreement and will raise any queries that might arise from this. In the meantime, they will provide you with a number of forms to complete regarding the sale of your property, which will outline things such as boundaries, disputes and propose developments, as well as a list of fixtures and fittings that will be included with the property. Your solicitor can then use this to draft a contract which will be sent to your seller.

Once all contracts have been agreed, they can be signed and exchanged, and a completion date can be agreed upon. However, it is important to remember that this needs to take everyone in the chain into consideration. A completion date that works for you may be too early for someone else in the chain, and so you will have to work together to ensure workable dates are agreed upon for everyone.

When you reach your completion date, money can be transferred, and keys handed over. Once again, this will be dependent on the rest of the chain. Your buyer cannot transfer the funds to you until they have received them from their own buyer, and so a lot of patience is required in order for everything to work its way up the chain.

The Role of a Solicitor in Buying and Selling in a Chain

A conveyancing solicitor is very important when you are buying and selling property in a chain, as there is a lot of work that needs to be done to keep all sides happy. Not only do they need to ensure that you are happy with the contract from your seller and raise any issues that might arise from that or the searches, but they also need to be dealing with those same enquiries from your buyer.

When dealing with a property chain, communication can be the key to keeping things moving, so your solicitor can help to make sure that all questions are dealt with quickly and accurately, preventing any delays. They are also in a position to chase other solicitors in the chain to find out more about timelines and what might be causing any hold ups, so that they can keep you fully informed.

In a chain, any kind of delay or complication from you could cause the whole thing to collapse, so having a conveyancing solicitor can ensure that everything is done correctly and in a timely manner, giving your move the best chance of going ahead.


The Benefits and Risks of Buying and Selling at the Same Time

Buying and selling property at the same time can make it feel as though you have your hands full, however, there are some benefits to doing it. It is well known that buying or selling a house can be one of the most stressful things you will ever do, and so doing both at the same time allows you to get it all out of the way in one go.

When you make an offer on your new house, it can give you a distinct advantage to already be in the process of selling your existing home. This shows your buyer that you are ready to move and that there should be minimal delays to the process. It also allows you to access the equity tied up in your property, so that you can build up a deposit and make the process of getting a mortgage much easier.

However, it is important to remember that when you enter into a property chain, there are a lot of factors beyond your control, and one house sale falling through could mean that you lose yours as well. When working within a chain, you have to be able to move quickly, which means there is a limited amount of time to find your new dream house once you have accepted an offer on your property. 

Whilst buying and selling at the same time can be complicated and stressful, your conveyancing solicitor should be able to deal with much of this to take some of the pressure of you and ensure that everything goes to plan.

How to Manage a Property Chain

Once you find yourself as part of a property chain, it is important to make sure that it is managed properly. Your conveyancing solicitor should try to find out as much as possible about the chain to see how long it is and whether anyone anticipates any problems or delays. This includes knowing whether all parties have found another property, whether mortgages have been approved or whether someone is likely to be away for a period of time. This will help you to work out some rough timeframes and make sure you are ready to take the next steps.

Your solicitor can then check in on each link of the chain to find out how things are progressing and let you know if any situations change.


What Happens When a Property Chain Breaks?

A property chain is just like any other chain – when one link breaks, the rest of it can fall apart. If a buyer or seller pulls out at any other point in the chain, it can then affect everyone else’s ability to move. This means that all of the sales will then fail, or there will be a lengthy delay whilst a new buyer or seller is found. However, it is important to remember that all is not lost in tis case, as sometimes smaller sections of the chain can work together to get their part moving.

Tips to Avoid a Property Chain

There are ways to avoid being in a property chain if you want to. The first is to find another way to fund your purchase that is not reliant on the sale of your house – this means that there is no chain below you, and it can make you a more attractive buyer. Alternatively, you could sell your house first and move into temporary accommodation. Likewise, you can look for sellers with no upward chain, such as property investors. You could also consider selling your house at auction to avoid a chain, but it is important to remember that you may not achieve the full value of your house this way.


How to Keep a Property Chain Moving

One of the biggest problems with a house chain is that it can stall, so it is important to do all you can to keep it moving. A proactive conveyancing solicitor can ensure other parties are chased up and provide you with all of the information that you need. It is important to have all of your documentation ready so that you can provide them quickly and be prepared to deliver them by hand in order to avoid waiting for the post. You should reply to any queries or decisions as soon as you can and ensure that any dates that you agree to are realistic and that you are able to stick to them.

You should also be prepared to put some contingencies in place in case anything goes wrong, so consider whether you would be able to take a bridging loan or move in with family for a brief period if you needed to.


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About Lovedays

Lovedays Solicitors, Potter and Co Solicitors and Andrew Macbeth Cash and Co Solicitors are the trading names of Derbyshire Legal Services Limited which is a company registered in England and Wales under company number 08838592. Registered office Sherwood House, 1 Snitterton Road, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3LZ.

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