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Property chains in London - how does it all work?!

(6 Posts)
BipBippadotta Tue 17-May-16 08:35:25

We bought our first house in London 7 years ago and are looking to move further out to somewhere leafier where you get a bit more for your money. I have no idea how buying and selling work when there are chains involved... do you sell your house before offering on another, or do you offer on the one you want and then sell yours?

I ask because we live in an area where Victorian properties like ours sell in a day or two, normally to first time buyers - and we're moving to a place where properties linger on the market for weeks, with buyers involved in lengthy chains. So I anticipate (insofar as I can) that selling our place will be a quicker process than buying the next.

I don't really want to have some desperate young family hassling us to move out, months before we're able to move in anywhere, so I'd been hoping we could offer on a house and then put ours on the market & sell it quickly to first-time buyers. But I'm not sure this is the way it works.

Also, why do estate agents keep trying to get us to buy somewhere cheaper so we can be 'cash buyers' with the equity from our current house? I have no objection to spending less money on a house, of course, but they keep pushing us to view places that are not what we want, just so we can buy them outright, and I don't get what their motivation is. What's the advantage to the EA of our being 'cash buyers'? Does that make things go faster?

Can anyone help me understand?! Thanks!

Ifailed Tue 17-May-16 08:40:31

in a slightly similar position, so made the decision to sell first, rent for a short while and look for somewhere new without feeling pressurised into buying something just because I have to. Slightly worried about what to do with the proceeds of the sale, am going to have to open up a load of bank accounts to stash it.

PurpleWithRed Tue 17-May-16 08:44:18

It's complicated and stressful and variable.

Many sellers won't accept an offer from you unless you've got an offer yourself - they don't want to be stuck waiting for someone to sell their place, and they will want to know about the length of your chain. Because obviously the longer and more complicated the chain the greater the chance of something going wrong along the way.

When you sell you will tell your buyers what situation you're in - if they want to stick with your property despite you still being on the hunt that's their choice, and if your area is as popular as you think it is then they may be happy to do that.

Have you spoken to any local estate agents yet? take their advice.

"Cash buyer" sounds great to anyone selling a property and makes you much more popular as there is no faffing around with mortgage providers. But TBH it sounds much more beneficial than it actually is.

Just say no to the estate agents if you don't like the look of the property they are offering - although my home is one I was very dubious about when the details came through.

BipBippadotta Tue 17-May-16 09:10:42

Estate agents in the place we're buying have said they'll consider offers from us but won't take properties off the market until we've got a buyer. Which is fair enough I suppose. I guess you have to be prepared to love and lose a lot of houses before you get to buy one.

Ifailed We'd thought about selling up & renting for a bit, but we might have trouble being accepted as tenants as we have 3 cats. The idea of having so much ££ sitting around in bank accounts would make me nervous, too - I'd be worried it would get lost, or that I'd accidentally spend it all. confused

TwinkleCrinkle Tue 17-May-16 10:51:57

Sell yours then offer on another. Make sure you tell prospective buyers you haven't found anywhere to go.
If your area is that popular (without sounding too cutthroat) it doesn't matter if you lose your buyers too much.
The shorter the chain the better. To me this is more valuable than a cash buyer.
We were first time cash buyers last year, being cash made no difference until we came up against other ftb with the same offer and even then only because the vendors wanted a very quick sale otherwise they would have just seen who would pay most.

wowfudge Tue 17-May-16 10:55:01

You just have to go with the stress of being in a chain. If a FTB likes your house, they'll wait. It's totally unrealistic to expect you to move out. If a buyer wants chain free, they need to only look at chain free. The key to keeping a chain going is communication. We were in a chain of three houses. It was stressful, but took just shy of 14 weeks from acceptance of our offer and us accepting the offer on our house same day to completion. That was in a slower market.

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