Thu 27 Oct 2016
The Chain. Two small words, but very important ones. The majority of home sales involve chains, some longer than others of course.
It is vital, therefore, to know as much information about your prospective buyer’s situation before agreeing to accept an offer and agree the sale, subject to contract. That is where a good estate agent comes in.
When any offer is made where there is a related sale, it is part of our due diligence process to check out the details to present to our owner. We speak to any other estate agents involved, sometimes solicitors too, to make sure we have the full picture. We also need to check on the financial arrangements the prospective buyers have in place. Armed with all the facts, it is easier for our owners to make a decision on the offer received.
If we have received more than one offer, the information we obtain is vital to assist the owner deciding which one, if any, offer to accept. They may prefer a cash buyer with no related sale, and be prepared to accept less from such an applicant rather than one needing a mortgage and having to co-ordinate a related sale.
Once a sale is agreed, the next phase of our job is to monitor progress to ensure that everything is happening that should be, and in good time. If there is a chain involved, we will liaise with any other agents and solicitors in the chain and, if necessary, chase things up. We try not to be heavy handed about it, but sometimes it can be helpful for us to liaise and follow up to keep progress moving smoothly.
One factor that has proved quite trying in a couple of recent sales as been having a ‘new build’ at the top of the chain. When you find out that the very top buyer is purchasing a brand new property, that is usually good news, as it means no possibility of further links being added to the chain. That is fine if the new property is actually finished! In the case of our 2 sales, the new property was not finished and that made it very difficult to get contracts exchanged with a firm completion date until the builder in each case was prepared to commit to a date. Both of our sales went through finally, but it involved a lot of patience on behalf of all the other parties involved – but keeping lines of communication open did help in that regard. Suffice it to say we made many phone calls. Having experience of working for a major housebuilder helped as well!