Moving house in London as part of a chain

Sometimes there’s no avoiding being part of a house chain. You’re one link in a series of buyers and sellers, reliant on one another to be able to complete. It’s an unsettling situation, with the ever-present worry that someone will drop out and destroy the chain. Everyone is selling and buying a property from someone else, except for the people at the start and end of the chain who are in a slightly less intense position. And everyone comes with their own set of people – estate agents, surveyors, lenders, legal personnel and so on.

You can keep a chain in good motion by identifying the slowest link and urging it to get a move on. Documents need signing and phone calls need answering and when someone doesn’t pull their weight, everyone in the chain gets affected. And many, many variables come into play – a buyer or seller has a change of heart, gets a long-term illness, loses a job or breaks up with a spouse or partner. A survey can expose an unsuspected problem with a property, bringing everything to a halt.

So…it’s in everybody’s interests to ensure that the chain stays in motion. It’s worth having a conversation with your estate agents and finding out whether they have a department dedicated to making sure all the right things are happening. This is sometimes called a sales progression department.

If you’re taking matters into your own hands, talk to your representatives and find out if anyone in particular needs to be urged on and whether or not you are able to call them directly. If you aren’t allowed to, then find out who is and ask them to keep you informed.

If you make it through to moving day, you’re then in a one-day moving chain. Every buyer/seller, except for those at the beginning or end of the chain, must move on the same day – the rule is generally to be out by lunchtime and into your new place at some point in the afternoon, depending on how smoothly the movement of money goes. Those at the start of the chain can move earlier if they want and those at the end don’t have to move in on the day of completion, but everyone else is compelled to move out and in on the same day (with the possible exception of anyone who has to travel a considerably long distance). Good luck! And remember that you can always talk to us at Aussie for more advice.