What does 'Upward Chain' mean when buying a property?

Find out what Upward Chain means when you are buying a property. 'What does Upward Chain mean?' plus over 150 other property related terms and jargon in plain English

Upward Chain

A property has an upward chain if the person selling it will only move out when they have found a property to buy and are in a position to exchange contracts on their purchase. Is this a problem?

Chains are never the ideal situation because one third of all property purchases never make it through so the more transactions in the chain the higher the chance of that chain collapsing.

The most extreme case I have ever been involved with was a chain of 11 transactions - so 12 properties altogether. That's 12 properties that all need their documentation in order before contracts can exchange, that's before the sale becomes official.

Now getting from sale agreed to contracts exchanged usually takes a few weeks but if the person you are buying from needs to go off and find a place to move to and then the person they are buying from needs to do the same this adds substantial time from day one.

In my mega chain of 12 properties it took just under a year for the sales to all go through and that was just sheer luck. Say, for example, the property at the top was being sold by a property investor.

Well after 6 months he's going to start thinking he might be able to get a better price and pull out causing the entire chain to collapse until the person at the top can find a new place to buy.

That did actually happen and that's why it took months and months for this chain to come together. In that time anything else could have happened. Someone in the middle of the chain might have lost their job and decided not to move after all. Someone could have had a complete change of heart, deciding to stay put because they were, say, getting a divorce. Its a miracle that didn't happen more in this mega chain, I've seen far smaller chains collapse for less.

Obviously then a property with no upward chain is a bonus. You can move in or start renting it just as soon as you can get your paperwork and finances together and the vendor can provide his or her documents.

Hence why "Chain Free" or "No Upward Chain" is often trumpeted by Estate Agents on their property details.

To learn more about handling chains in a property purchase pick up a copy of my ebook How to Really Buy a Property.

Search Results for 'chain' in
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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