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What does 'Chain' mean?

Chain

Where more than two properties are involved in a transaction (Mr A wants to buy property X but needs to sell his own place first) there is a chain. The bottom of the chain is the person who needs to sell before any other transactions can happen. The top of the chain is the person who can move out without finding a property to buy.

As an example - Mr B owns property X. When he sells it he will move out and rent somewhere else. Mr A wants to buy property X but needs to sell Property Y first. Mr C offers to buy Property Y. Mr C and Property Y are known as 'the bottom of the chain'. Mr B and Property X are 'the top of the chain'.

A chain can have any number of properties in it. If any of the transactions fall through this is referred to as a 'Broken Chain'

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How to Really Buy a Property

"... you should have to hand; Why agents ask questions that could cause you offence; The terminology used by agents; The difference between chain Free and Vacant Possession; Why you can't get a mortgage on some properties; The characteristics of a leasehold property; What lease lengths..."
"... when they speak to you, in other words they generally assume you know them. The most frequently used are: First Time Buyer chain Free and Vacant Possession Tenanted Cash Purchasers Only Repossession Leasehold Share of Freehold Freehold - First Time Buyer - Originally this..."
"... cost of renting is often outweighed by the lower offers that are accepted by vendors from First Time Buyers. Such buyers are also sometimes referred to as chain free (see below) - chain Free and Vacant Possession - The two terms are often mixed up but they can mean very different..."
"... that are accepted by vendors from First Time Buyers. Such buyers are also sometimes referred to as chain free (see below) - chain Free and Vacant Possession - The two terms are often mixed up but they can mean very different things: chain Free Buyer: A buyer who does not need to sell..."
"... and Vacant Possession - The two terms are often mixed up but they can mean very different things: chain Free Buyer: A buyer who does not need to sell anything in order to buy (see above) chain Free Property: A vendor who will sell his property and move out as soon as the solicitors sort..."
"... Free Property: A vendor who will sell his property and move out as soon as the solicitors sort out the paperwork and the buyer has the funds in place. This is different from the chain situation where a vendor accepts an offer subject to him finding a place to buy. chain Free Properties are extremely attractive as any purchase should only involve five parties - you, the vendor, the lender and the two solicitors. The fewer people involved and the shorter the timescales, the more likely it is that everything will happen..."
"... it is that everything will happen successfully Vacant Possession: This is often confused with chain free properties. Just because a property is empty it does not necessarily follow that it is being offered chain free so always double check. - Tenanted - It is possible to buy a..."

"... aware that it is not always the highest bid that gets the property. One party may offer £302,000 but they themselves might be in a chain. If another party offered £298,000 and was chain free the vendor may go for what they see as the 'safer' option even though they will loose a potential..."

"... time. The chain moved forwards and the vendors of Edgeley Road booked a survey on their house in Balham. The surveyor's report suggested the house needed a great deal of work and, with so many extra costs to take into account, they decided to withdraw from their purchase of the house. On a..."

Chapter 19: Time Costs Deals
"... covered in this chapter Why you should push your purchase through quickly; Why buyers stop buying and sellers stop selling; Why chains often fail; The true story of how a buyer lost a property by waiting too long; There should be no real need for all the tricks and short cuts..."
"... Prices Falling House Prices Rising Loosing their buyer Loosing the Property they want to buy Any part of the chain below collapses Any part of the chain above collapses Another buyer makes an offer Fire or flood at the..."
"... Rising Loosing their buyer Loosing the Property they want to buy Any part of the chain below collapses Any part of the chain above collapses Another buyer makes an offer Fire or flood at the property Redundancy Splitting up..."
"... with all the potential those documents have to ruin the deal! If you are in a chain involving say four properties, the chances of some disaster befalling the transaction over six months is more than 100%! Don't let it happen. True Story - The Windows at Seymour Street Sonya and Mark had..."

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Author of How to Really Buy a Property

I'm Tim Hill, Author of How to Really Buy a Property. I'm a property buyer, seller, landlord, tenant and I've been an agent in hundreds of transactions. I own a property portfolio across Europe but that doesn't mean I think you should to!

This book is my collective knowledge and experience that I have gained working within the property market of England and Wales for over a decade. I've written it so that you can benefit from what I have learnt whether you are a first time buyer or a budding buy-to-let investor.

There are no gimmicks here and no get rich quick schemes - just practical no nonsense advice so you can buy the property you want at the best price with the least stress.

Download the Free Preview copy right now. I won't be asking for your email so I can bombard your inbox with 'special offers' and 'discounts' because I know most people who read the Free Preview buy the full copy. See for yourself!