Average Property Chain Length - How Long Is A Chain?

When it comes to the selling cycle, it can feel like you are stepping into the unknown. The unknown can be perceived as being worse when you and your property are part of a chain. A property chain, to some, naturally comes with a negative connotation. However, this blog will look at what it really means to be part of a property chain.

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What is a property chain?

The phrase ‘property chain’ is simply when other buyers and sellers are linked together due to housing sales. Each buyer and or seller is reliant on the other homeowners in the chain for a successful transaction. Chains usually occur when sellers want to move from their current home to a new property.

For example, if you are wanting to move into your dream home, you are dependent on your current home being sold. If this does sell, and you have a buyer for your old property, you are instantly part of a chain which is reliant on others. Meaning that the process can be frustratingly longer than expected.

What is the length of an average property chain?

According to the Government website, a house sale can take between two to three months. However, it also states that if you are part of a property chain, then this process can be longer. Although, this question can be considered as a ‘how long is a piece of string?’ question.

From the previous point, it is understandable that being part of a property chain can take a while. Every property case is different, some instances there has only been one other in a chain. Whereas other chains can have as much as eight sellers and buyers’ part of the chain.

Although, don’t let this put you off. Even if a property chain has a wide length, it doesn’t always mean that the buying and selling process will take longer. Some chains may break, nevertheless they can be resolved easily and a break is a rare occurrence.

What is the issue with property chains?

As detailed in previous sections, property chains can be tedious and tying. The main issue with being involved with a chain is the time length. There is no knowing of how long a completion of a sale will be. If you are prepared to wait and you aren’t in a rush to sell, then being part of a chain will be the appropriate step for your sale.

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Another fundamental issue with property chains is they can be broken. If a party somewhere down the chain pulls out (even if they are not directly linked to your sale), then this can have a knock-on effect to your house sale. This is generally the main reason why homeowners find property chains annoying.

Can chain breaks be fixed?

Being part of a property chain can be frustrating, especially if it breaks. However, there are certain ways that can fix a chain. Firstly, one way could be instead of selling and then buying simultaneously, after selling you could rent somewhere temporarily or stay with friends/family.

Buying new-build properties come with various advantages. One being that they rarely come with an ‘upward chain’. Not having an upward chain basically means that a seller is not reliant on anyone else. This allows your buying journey to be easier than anyone below you in the chain.

A definite way to lower the risk of having a chain break is by setting a lower asking price. If you price your property lower than others that are similar to yours in the local area, prospective buyers are more likely to consider purchasing, hence fixing the chain from the start.

Choosing to sell to a first-time buyer is also another option to consider. If you do sell to a first-time buyer, then they won’t be part of a chain, therefore making the chances of them dropping out of the sale smaller.

How we can help

Another way to sell your home quickly and without a chain is selling to us, The Property Buying Company. We buy any property in England and Wales and in any condition. We may not be able to offer you the full market value for your property, however we can offer you a fair price that is the best within the industry. We promise to cover all your legal fees and complete within a timescale to suit you. With over fifty years combined experience in buying property underneath our belts, rest assured, you and your property are in safe hands.

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Properties bought by us for cash in
the last 2 years


Of our own money spent buying
property for cash

2-3 weeks

Average time taken from initial offer
to completion