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The economic events of recent months have prompted plenty of to-ing and fro-ing in the housing market.

While some buyers and sellers have paused to consider their situations, others have put their foot on the gas to get deals swiftly across the line.

While this flurry of activity may be making headlines in national newspapers, it’s important to remember that property chain uncertainty is nothing new. Over the past few years, the average number of sales falling through before completion has hovered around the 30% mark.

Chains can come under pressure for various reasons, such as issues raised in the survey, one party having second thoughts or a change in circumstances (for example, divorce or bereavement).

The best strategy to keep your chain moving is to use an experienced agent (now is not the time to be taking the do-it-yourself route or relying on a chancer who is new to the game).

A good agent will have coaxed hundreds of chains over the line in good times and challenging ones. A good agent:

  • Communicates with the right people to keep the sale moving forward. Given the current mood in the market, you must know where everyone stands. Radio silence is never a good thing.
  • Thinks laterally and makes constructive suggestions to help overcome issues slowing down the transaction.
  • Is a savvy negotiator. 
  • Doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations and is able to speak candidly.
  • Has a back-up plan if things change.

Don’t panic

One of the most frustrating things about being part of a chain is that you’re relying on other people – over whom you have little influence – to get their act together.

The best way through is to focus on what is within your control. As well as choosing a good agent, it’s important to:

  • Be organised. If you’re asked to provide information or paperwork, reply promptly.
  • Have realistic expectations.
  • Stay level-headed.

Here at Edward Ashdale, we’re doing everything we can to keep deals going through. If you need advice or feel worried about your situation, get in touch. We’d be happy to speak with you.