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Buying a house, along with divorce and the death of a loved one, is one of the most stressful experiences life can throw at us. When a buyer wants to sell their property it can result in a number of properties being dependant on one another. If one sale falls through, it can scupper the whole chain.

In fact, a recent survey by Spring Move found that over 2.2 million sellers in England and Wales have seen their house sales fall through in the last five years.

Collapsing sales

Sales collapse for a variety of reasons the Spring Move survey found that around 150,000 house sales fail every year because of gazumping, which is when another buyer beats your offer at the last moment.

On many other occasions, sales fall through because the buyer simply changes their mind. Other common reasons are bad surveys, failure to secure a mortgage, as well as changing job or relationship circumstances, and planning problems.

Market conditions

Changing market conditions can affect the way buyers and sellers approach house sales. In a sellers market buyers will be reluctant to pull out of a deal as they know an alternative property will be difficult to find.

In a buyers market, the opposite is true when there are plenty of properties on offer the buyer can call the shots.


Many people see renting as wasted money, but if you have sold your home and can take a short-term lease on a house, or sell your home and rent it back this can save you a whole lot of hassle. In this situation, you can avoid relying on someone buying your property.

Importance of communication

In a property chain, regular and open communication between buyers, sellers, solicitors and estate agents is of great importance. Solicitors and estate agents can often fail to keep everyone in the picture.

In such a case, it is often wise to contact your buyer or seller directly to iron out any problems.

However, while most chains involve four or five transactions, some can involve up to 20. In such a case, effective communication can be very difficult to achieve.

It is important to get as much information as possible ask your estate agent to check every link in the chain for potential issues with deadlines, finances or surveys.

Should a chain affect your decision to buy?

  • Not necessarily – if you have found the right home, there is no reason to look elsewhere simply because there is a chain.
  • You may well spend many years in a property, so the three months which is the typical period for a housing chain to complete shouldn’t deter you.
  • If delays occur, then you have the option of breaking the chain, either by selling your house and renting on a temporary basis can break the chain by agreeing to sell up and either rent temporarily, or stay with friends or relatives before completing on your purchase.

Molae Properties can help you if you need to sell your house quickly to help fix a broken link in the chain if you cannot sell your house, but have found a house you wish to buy. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Latest testimonial

The sale of my property was well managed with regular communication and advice and support provided throughout the process.  The company also provided legal support through one of their panel solicitors which was professional friendly and reassuring during what was a complex sale.  They are trustworthy and reliable and I would recommend this company to anyone looking to sell their property.  Thank you for making this a much easier process.
R. Mangal, Leyton, London, E10