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Should you aspire to be chain free?

April 18, 2022

Data analysis by HBB Solutions found that a chain-free home carries an average property price premium of £23,131, with buyers willing to pay extra for a simpler and quicker sales transaction. 

A state-of-the-art kitchen?  A spacious garden with an outdoor room? A home office with the fastest broadband speeds possible? You may think you know what adds value to a property but a new report reveals that being chain free is one of today’s most valuable aspects.

Data analysis by HBB Solutions found that a chain-free home carries an average property price premium of £23,131, with buyers willing to pay extra for a simpler and quicker sales transaction. 

Being in a property chain is one of the downsides of moving home, as sellers are dependent on the speed and efficiency of others above and below them. Therefore, the fewer people involved in a chain, the better.

Increase the appeal of your property

There is monetary value attached to being a chain-free seller but are there any other advantages? Advertising a property as ‘chain-free’ certainly appeals to buyers, as they know this reduces the risk of delays to the transaction and a potential chain collapse above them. In fact, Rightmove recorded a 72% increase in the number of buyers including “no chain” in their search terms in 2021, so it’s fair to say a chain-free home will often be favoured over those with long, complex chains. 

Conveyancing can be much quicker

With fewer people to coordinate in a chain, the conveyancing process will, naturally, become more straightforward and speedier. This advantage has actually been measured; it was found the conveyancing attached to a chain-free property was reduced to 4 weeks – down from the average of 10.  

Perks of being a chain-free purchaser

Just as no chain above is very appealing to buyers, sellers also appreciate the simplicity of dealing with a purchaser who doesn’t have a chain below. In a seller’s market where multiple offers may have been made on one property, a chain-free buyer can edge out the competition thanks to having no one else behind them to complicate the transaction.

How to become chain-free

If you’re a first-time buyer, you will naturally be chain-free and a good prospect among sellers but what if you have a property to sell? One solution is to sell your property and move into short-term rented accommodation to break the chain. Not only will this make you the end of the chain when selling, you will also be chain-free when it comes to buying again.

Sellers can also commit to making their onwards purchase a chain-free property, which will cap the chain, or they can consider buying a brand new home where there will be no other transactions above.

If you can’t be chain-free…..

It’s estimated only 10% of homes listed for sale are offered on a chain-free basis, giving you an idea of how hard it can be to achieve this cult status. Thankfully, there are other ways sellers can give themselves an advantage in a competitive market:-

  • Choose an estate agent with a proactive sales progression programme, with staff who will chase other agents, solicitors and movers involved in the chain
  • Be ready to start your property search as soon as you’ve accepted an offer on your property
  • If you need extra finance to purchase your next home, ensure this is approved before the ‘for sale’ board goes up
  • Have a conveyancing solicitor instructed and ready to proceed at the same time as you appoint an estate agent

Thinking of selling your home? Contact us to discuss your plans and the possibility of becoming chain-free.

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