Q. I am a first time buyer hoping to complete on my first purchase in the next couple of weeks, but I am most annoyed that I cannot seem to get the completion date that I desire because of the chain, surely being a first time buyer at the top of the chain I should be given priority?
A. Buying your first property is a very exciting time and of course the single most expense purchase you are ever likely to make so there is a lot hinging on it. However when it comes to agreeing a completion date if you happen to be in a chain which clearly you are it’s all about making a compromise. Chains come in all sizes and obviously the larger the chain the greater the likelihood that you are going to not get your first choice of desired moving date. It can also be quite a long drawn out process as even just talking to everyone in the chain and then negotiating back and forth can take a lot of effort and time and often your estate agent will be asked to get involved here as they are privy to be able to talk to all 4 parties in your immediate part of the chain. The best solution is to firstly put your desired date on the table by informing both your estate agent and your solicitor. They will then go to your seller and his solicitor to see if this is agreeable or not. The dates will then be passed down the chain and either agreed or rejected and if rejected another date will normally be suggested. Ultimately some flexibility will have to be shown by all parties up and down the chain otherwise a decision will never be reached. Also it’s worth bearing in mind that to exchange contracts you will need to have a completion date so by not agreeing something sooner rather than later you will actually be holding up your own purchase as well as the rest of the chains. I usually find that buyers and sellers can become very stubborn at this stage of the transaction but at what cost? Is it really worth delaying your whole move just because you can’t get the exact moving date you require? Will this really matter in 5 years’ time – I think not!