A chain reaction

A chain reaction

Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2022

In my twenty-plus years in estate agency I have never dealt with as many chains as I have over the past  year.  A rising market essentially puts the brakes on for anyone even considering ‘breaking’ a chain which in turn creates inertia in the market and it feels like some transactions come to a grinding halt before they’ve begun.  So what can you do to make sure your sale or purchase goes through swiftly if you do find yourself (as Diana Ross so eloquently puts it) in the middle of a chain reaction?

Carefully consider the offers you receive

When you receive an offer for your property your estate agent should know everything there is to know about the chain of the buyer.  Quiz them on how many properties are already lined up and what stage each transaction is at.  A higher offer with a three-property chain may not be as attractive as a slightly lower offer from a first-time-buyer or investor. If your agent doesn’t know about every link then send them back to get the information before even considering the offer.

Knowledge is power

If you agree a sale (or purchase) you are going to want to know exactly what is happening at every part of the chain so create a simple spreadsheet detailing the various links and agents so you can ask pertinent questions about progress along the way.  (A free spreadsheet template is available from Hat and Home on request). 

Regular updates

You should communicate regularly with your selling and buying agent and take their  advice about what the next steps are at each stage.  Expect  updates twice a week on your transaction and updates weekly or every ten days on the whole chain.


Not all transactions in a chain will be ready at the same time so a degree of patience will be required.  It’s inevitable that issues will come up which need dealing with but the earlier they are  identified, the more time there is to solve them.

Completion day

A chain of six properties will all need to agree the same completion date so that will require flexibility and pragmatism. Your agents will liaise with the other agents to agree something between all parties.  You may not get what you want, but you will get to move home!

If you need any advice at all from an independent voice please drop me a line on 07523106629 and I will be happy to help. Ben Gee.