How Long is the Average Property Chain? - Norwich Home Buyers

How Long is the Average Property Chain?


When buying or selling a home involved in a property chain it can make the whole process much more unpredictable. It can even put the transaction at risk as the sale or purchase is at the mercy of other people’s actions.

But it isn’t always doom and gloom. We’re here to help explain how best to deal with being part of a property chain. 

What is a Property Chain?

A property chain is created when more than one buyer is involved in a transaction. This occurs when a homeowner wishes to buy a new home and sell their old one at the same time. 

The person at the start of the property chain is only buying; the person at the end is only selling. The people in the middle are trying to sell their existing property and purchase a new one at the same time.

Each party will have their own estate agents, mortgage lenders, surveyors etc, and this means that you’re reliant on multiple people working together in order to see the chain through to a successful completion. If just one person in the chain decides to change their mind for any reason then it can break the chain and delay the process significantly.

How Long is the Average Property Chain?

The average length of the property chain can vary anywhere from 3 properties right up to 10+ properties, but the timeframes involved in a chain can vary dramatically.

Property chains affect the speed of your transaction, simply because there’s more work involved. You will have to factor the time needed for extra conveyancing work, surveys, homebuyer reports etc.

How can a Chain Collapse?

Property chains can collapse through no fault of your own. There could be many reasons as to why this happens. Here are the most common ones we’ve seen:

  1. A house buyer pulling out at the last minute.
  2. A buyer within the chain not being able to secure a mortgage.
  3. A seller accepts the offer, but then pulls out when they’re offered a better deal This is called gazumping.
  4. If a seller takes their house off the market at the last minute.
  5. If a buyer lowers their offer and the seller does not want to accept a lower price. This causes deals to fall through and is known as gazundering.

How can a Chain be Fixed?

If your property chain collapses then it’s not necessarily the end of the world. Here are some ways that you can fix your property chain:

  1. You could lower your asking price. This means that buyers are more likely to consider buying your property.
  2. If a person within the chain decides to rent after selling their house rather than buying another property.
  3. Try to sell to a first-time buyer. They are less likely to drop out of a deal than people who have purchased a house before.

What To Do Next?

If you’re involved in a complex property chain and are struggling to sell your house, then call Norwich Home Buyers today on 01603 851837 to see how we can help. Fill out our fast offer tool for a cash offer within 24 hours!