7 Common Things That Go Wrong When in a Property Chain


The property chain in the UK is a delicate ecosystem where the actions of one participant can reverberate through the entire line.

Being part of a property chain means your transaction is linked to others; your ability to buy a home depends on someone else’s ability to sell theirs, and so on. This interconnectedness, while common, introduces several potential pitfalls.

1. Breakdowns in Communication

Effective communication is the linchpin of smooth property transactions. Miscommunications or delays in relaying crucial information can cause anxiety and confusion. For example, if estate agents fail to promptly update all parties about a critical development, it can lead to misunderstandings and mistrust, potentially derailing the process.

The reliable estate agents at Sold understand the importance of timely and transparent communication, ensuring that all involved parties are kept informed throughout the entire property transaction, ultimately fostering a more seamless and successful process.

2. Financial Hiccups

Financial issues are a common cause of property chain problems. Buyers may struggle to secure a mortgage, or there could be unexpected changes in someone’s financial situation, leading to a withdrawal from the chain. Delays in obtaining mortgage approval can also cause significant setbacks.

3. Survey Issues

Surveys can uncover problems with a property that buyers were previously unaware of. These issues may lead to renegotiations on price or, in some cases, the buyer pulling out of the purchase entirely, which can disrupt the entire chain.

4. Gazumping and Gazundering

Gazumping occurs when a seller accepts a higher offer from a new buyer after already accepting an initial offer. Conversely, gazundering happens when a buyer lowers their offer at the last minute.


Both practices, while not illegal, are frowned upon and can cause significant delays and complications.

5. Legal Delays

The conveyancing process can be complex and time-consuming. Legal issues, such as problems with the property’s title, planning permissions, or disputes over boundaries, can arise unexpectedly and cause delays. These legal intricacies require careful navigation to prevent chain collapse.

6. Chain Length

The longer the property chain, the higher the risk of something going wrong. Each additional link in the chain increases the complexity and the potential for delays or breakdowns. Coordinating multiple parties and transactions can become a logistical nightmare.

7. Personal Circumstances

Changes in personal circumstances, such as a job loss, a family emergency, or a change of heart, can lead to parties withdrawing from the chain. Such events are unpredictable and can cause significant disruption to the chain, often through no fault of the other participants.

Navigating the Chain: Strategies and Solutions

Despite these challenges, there are strategies to navigate a property chain successfully. For instance, maintaining open lines of communication with all parties involved, being financially prepared, and having a flexible mindset can greatly assist in mitigating the risks associated with property chains.

Closing the Door on Chain Woes: A Summary

In summary, the complexities of being in a property chain can be daunting, with issues ranging from financial hiccups to legal delays. Understanding these common pitfalls is the first step towards navigating them successfully.


By staying informed, prepared, and flexible, you can significantly increase your chances of a smooth property transaction, even within the intricacies of a property chain.

My Interior Palace