18th Dec 2015

Chain-ganged

There are few things more frustrating and stressful than losing out on the house of your dreams because "the chain" has fallen down. It's costly too. If the chain falls down at a late stage in the transaction, there's a good chance you will have spent a fair amount on surveys, mortgage applications, search fees, solicitors' charges et cetera. Not to mention the wasted time.

Why do chains fall down? Ironically in this age where there are more means of communication than ever before, it's often communication which is lacking.

Our colleagues in estate agencies have a less than charming saying, "buyers are liars". A little unfair, but we often see a buyer who, in their keenness to secure the house they want, will state that they have no related transaction or do not need a mortgage or otherwise are in a great position to proceed quickly. Conversely, sellers who are keen to agree a sale will state that they are happy to "break the chain" and move into temporary accommodation to facilitate the buyers' wish for a particular completion timescale.

And then, as so frequently happens in life, things change. And that's okay, we all understand that things change. But crucially, the party who is caught up in the change often forgets to let his seller know that he is now involved in a chain, or is no longer able to move into that unoccupied family property. And this is where the frustrations begin and tempers start to fray. Sadly, human nature being what it is, when put under pressure people often take the ostrich approach and stop communicating altogether. No surprise that they soon lose credibility with the parties they are transacting with and the deal is vulnerable to falling through.

What's the answer? As Bob Hoskins said, it's good to talk. Keep talking, keep communicating. If things change them tell people soon as they change, why they've changed and what you going to do about it. It'll give you a better chance of getting where you want to be.

Written by Carolynn Peace of Berwins Solicitors.

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