Q. What is a sale chain?

A. Most property sales will involve a sales chain. This is because most people have to sell their home in order to buy another house. This creates a chain of related sales/purchases

First time buyers normally form the base of a chain, Sale chains can involve anywhere between 3 to 10+ transactions.

How does a chain break?

If any link fails the whole chain collapses.
So a problem with just one sale could jeopardise 10+ other transactions.

Why do sales abort?

A sale can fall through for a variety of reasons:

  • Unable to secure mortgage/finance
  • Adverse survey or down valuation
  • Change of circumstances e.g. redundancy
  • Find another property
  • Change their mind about buying

How common are chain break situations and how easy is it to repair them?

Unfortunately chain breaks are very common; especially in a market such as todays as more than one of the reasons quoted above seem to be generally prevalent at the moment in these uncertain times. To repair a broken chain the property that has lost its buyer needs to be resold and as quickly as possible. When this happens the estate agent will work around the clock to try and find a replacement buyer for fear of the whole chain collapsing. In general in the majority of cases most other parties of the chain are prepared to wait at least a few weeks for a replacement buyer to be found rather than start the whole process again.