Thursday, 23 September 2021

How not to lose your ‘chain’ of thought...

Ever found yourself stuck in a property chain? STEPHEN CHRISTIE-MILLER of Savills discusses the best way to

Ever found yourself stuck in a property chain? STEPHEN CHRISTIE-MILLER of Savills discusses the best way to handle them

“PROPERTY chains” — the phrase alone is enough to leave many cold.

The idea of being at the mercy of others when it comes to securing the dream home you are so determined, often desperate, to acquire is not something many want to embrace.

However, the reality is that, for the vast majority of those wishing to move — either up or down the ladder — chains are a necessary evil.

What’s more, they need not be the unthinkable nightmare they are often portrayed to be.

Yes, we have all heard stories of buyers withdrawing for no reason, sellers deciding not to sell and generally bad or immoral behaviour from various parties involved in the transactions.

But we hear far more about the less frequent woes of being in a chain than we do about the often fairly straightforward reality.

Most chains, if properly put together, reach a successful and happy — if not totally stress-free — conclusion.

The key to this moving bliss? Three things:

1. Honesty is always the best policy. If all parties are open and honest about all aspects of their situation from the outset then there is far less likelihood of any surprises further down the process.

2. “Deadlines do deals,” as the saying goes. Where two, three or four parties are involved, it is essential to agree an anticipated completion date from the outset.

It is difficult to be exact about this, but as long as everyone has an idea of what they are aiming for they are far more likely to come together at the same time.

One of the biggest issues with chains is poorly managed timescales leading to avoidable frustration halfway through the process.

3. Don’t lose sight of why you are doing this: sticking rigidly to what you want and blaming everyone else if things go wrong will not help.

The nature of a chain means everyone is dependent on everyone else. If a problem arises, work with each other not against each other. It may be difficult but it will ensure the ultimate goal is achieved!

One final thought: the very nature of a property chain highlights the importance of using an experienced agent who deals with often complex chains on a daily basis.

Their expertise means they are more likely to foresee any issues and to hold the entire sale together.

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