House Chain Break
If you are in the midst of selling your property and the buyer suddenly pulls out, it can be very frustrating. This is unfortunate but we can step in to save the chain.
One of the most frustrating things about the traditional property route is when a buyer pulls out at the last minute. Or even when a buyer pulls out at any point during the sale process. By definition, a property chain is when the agreed buyer of your property is reliant upon the sale of another property in order to complete. There is never any guarantee with this.
Property chains can have several links and if any link collapses, the whole chain collapses, hence the name… “chain”.
Is It Legally Possible for A Buyer to Pull Out Of Buying My Property?
In short, yes, it is legal. A buyer can pull out at any time until the point at which contracts are exchanged. In England and Wales, property purchase or sale is not legally binding until contracts have been exchanged. In Scotland the law is different. Therefore, if you are buying or selling a property in England or Wales then any party can pull out at any time before contracts are exchanged.
Why Would A Buyer Pull Out?
There is quite an obvious answer to this question, and it really is just because they want to! Or perhaps because another link in the chain has collapsed. The reason really does not matter, but rather what matters is that the buyer has pulled out and you have lost your sale. That means that the whole lengthy process needs to start again, which is an enormous frustration.
One of the main reasons why our customers come to us is because they want a guarantee. They do not want the risk of a chain collapsing and they want reassurance that a sale will complete on time.
Are There Any Tips That Can Help Prepare Me?
What is always useful is if you monitor the situation with your solicitor. For example, if your buyer is continually delaying sending the required documents in order to progress the sale then this is not a good sign. It is very worthwhile urging your solicitor to set some timelines. Further to this, make sure that all of your own documentation is submitted promptly. Don’t let yourself cause a delay.
Ultimately, however, you cannot force someone to buy your home and they are free to pull out at any time before contracts are exchanged. If they change their mind for whatever reason, you just need to suck it up.
Does This Mean I Will Lose The Property I Want To Buy?
Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. If the person(s) selling the property to you are willing to be patient whilst you find another buyer, then it can still work. But often the seller will look elsewhere and re-market the property. It’s simply a frustration that cannot be avoided with open market sales.
Do I Incur Costs If The Sale Falls Through?
Unfortunately, you do incur fees and again, this is another reason why our customers come to us – not only do we guarantee the sale, but we also cover all the fees. If solicitors have done work, they need to be paid. If a survey has been undertaken, then it needs to have been paid for. And yes, the whole process could re-occur if your next buyer pulls out.
Open market sales and chains carry risk, but they do help you get a higher price. Selling to a cash buyer means you sell for less, but there is no risk of the sale falling through. It is always a personal choice.
Frequently Asked Questions About Selling a House When Sale Falls Through
What does a “chain break” actually mean?
It is like a normal chain with links – if one link (one sale) breaks then the chain falls apart.
Do I incur fees if the chain breaks in my sale?
Yes, solicitors and surveyors need to be paid.
If I use Serene, does this remove the risk of a chain break?
Yes, we guarantee the sale.
Why does a chain break?
There can be various reasons including a problem with the survey, the buyer or seller simply changes their mind, or the sale is taking too long.
Can I stop a chain breaking?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no – there is nothing you can do to stop a chain breaking.