Ask us for advice

How does conveyancing work?

FREE no obligation Quote
6th January 2021

How Long Does It Take to Buy a House With No Chain?

It is extremely difficult to give an exact timeline on when the  purchase process will be completed. There are several checkpoints which have to occur within the conveyancing stage. Despite this, buying a house with no chain can be a more efficient process. Read on to find out why.

What is a Chain?

Chains occur is the transaction of property when multiple people are both buying and selling property at the same time. A chain begins when one individual buys a property without selling one, usually a first-time buyer. The chain then ends when an individual is selling a property, but not purchasing another. Everyone else in the chain is then a buyer and seller.

Chains occur as property owners decide to move house. They list their house on the market before or after finding another property that they want to purchase. Whilst this may seem like a good approach, being part of a large chain is one of the main causes of a long conveyancing process and lots of delays.

Problems can occur at multiple points in the chain, a deal falling through for one party can cause a chain reaction, which creates large delays. To prevent this scenario, you can instead sell your home or purchase a new property individually, therefore without a chain.

Selling without a chain

To prevent the delays associated with property chains, you might consider selling your house before looking to buy a new one. This can free up finances to put down a larger deposit, or give access better deals on your next mortgage application. Or, you could simply cash buy a property for the same price as the property you are trying to sell.

There is also something you should consider when selling a house before purchasing another. There will be a clause within your contract that will expect vacant possession upon completion. Simply put, this means you and all your belongings must vacate the property once it is sold. This is one of the basic principles of selling your home but might be something you overlook.

Once your house is sold you will need to find alternative accommodation as well as storage facilities for all the belongings you want to keep. This can become particularly expensive, especially if you don’t find a property to purchase straight away. You might have had your eye on a house before selling your property but there is no guarantee this house will still be on the market by the time you are ready to purchase.

One of the simplest solutions to selling your house is entering a tenancy agreement within a rented property. Another set of issues arise in this situation however. You may struggle to find appropriate accommodation with a contract that allows you to leave the property whenever you like. Tenancy agreements often operate on a 6- or 12-month contract, rolling month contracts are much rarer.

This scenario therefore has both its benefits and limitations. Whilst you should easily be able to sell your home and make funds available, your short-term solution may become expensive or not as flexible as you’d like.

Buying a house without a chain

The alternative solution is to complete a no-chain property purchase. This would mean keeping ownership of your previous property, whilst owning a second property. There are a whole new set of issues that arise with this scenario however.

When purchasing a second property, you seriously need to consider your financial situation and the status of your previous property. You may have a lot of trouble with mortgage lenders when trying to secure funds for the property. This is because you must ensure that you reach affordability criteria and will be able to pay back both loans at the same time until your first property sells. To make this even more difficult, mortgage rates tend to be higher on a second property. Whilst this may be able to reduce once your first property is sold, you might still be paying a large amount of money each month until that point.

The best scenario to be in is to have your mortgage paid off on the first property before investing in a second property. You will then be free to sell that property, or even rent it out on a timescale that suits you. What you don’t want to do is be forced to purchase a property that you don’t want but can afford because you have the existing mortgage to take care of as well.

There are clearly benefits and limitations to both scenario, which often leads people to completing a chain exchange. This can also have its downfalls though. You should seriously consider your current situation and what the best scenario might be for you before making any concrete decisions. It would be a good idea to speak with a mortgage advisor to help with the decision-making process


Average Timescale for a Chain-free Conveyance

On average, the process of completing a property conveyance without a chain can take up to about 4 weeks. This is good news for a person planning to move into their new house in the shortest time possible. With timely completion of paperwork and release of search results, there is no good reason why purchasing a new chain-free property should take more than 4 weeks. In the UK, only 1 out of 10 property transactions are chain-free. Such properties exist in such scenarios as homeowners moving abroad, houses disposed on behalf of a person that has passed away, or homes owned by property investors.

Also, newly built houses are considered to be chain-free. Therefore, when purchasing a new property from house builders, no other transactions are linked to that process.


Factors that can slow down the conveyancing process.

If you are able to buy a house with no chain, this won’t guarantee you a faster process than if you were in a chain. The likelihood is that exchanging contracts will have less disruptions but there are delays that can occur within the conveyancing process.

  • Mortgage application

Before considering purchasing a property the first step to getting a mortgage is to arrange an agreement in principle. This is the amount that a mortgage lender would lend you before you apply for a mortgage. It gives you an idea of the amount of funding you have available when assessing the price of property.

  • Surveys

Surveys can be a vital stage of purchasing a property but can also slow the process down. You might be requested by your mortgage lender to have a valuation survey completed. Or, you might think it necessary to have a homebuyer’s report or building survey completed. This can inform you of the safety and integrity of your investment.

  • Searches and Checks

There are certain mandatory checks that must be completed on you and the property before the conveyancing process can be completed. This includes checks against the land registry to ensure the property is being sold legally, there are no hazards in the environment. Checks for your affordability and identification verification are also essential. There are a number of things that can hold up this process and cause any amount of delay. The best approach would be to have anything that your solicitor requests prepared in a good amount of time so you can be ready whenever required.


How to Minimise Delays  for Buying a House with No Chain

As illustrated above, chains are not the only factors that contribute to delays. So, how do you minimise conveyancing delays when there is no chain involved? Here are some helpful tips.

  • Appoint a dedicated solicitor

In addition to providing legal guidance to their clients, solicitors are mandated to act on behalf of sellers or buyers in the conveyance of properties. With an experienced and competitive solicitor, you can rest assured that the paperwork, contract signing, payments, and other legal procedures in the conveyance framework are well taken care of. You can push your solicitor to have everything finished in time and in the right way. This way, all the unnecessary delays are eliminated.

  • Be available always

Your availability throughout the process is critical as far as conveyancing timescales are concerned. This includes being available for surveys and responding to all queries raised by your solicitor. Delays on your part (for example, delaying to respond to your solicitor’s emails) could slow down the conveyance of the property in question.

  • Work on a Completion Date

The sooner you establish a completion date for the process and initiate negotiations at an early stage, the faster you will acquire the property at hand.

  • Do your homework thoroughly

In this case, you want to ascertain that the conveyancer you choose to act on your behalf is highly qualified, experienced, and competent for the process. Also, please do your research on a property before you commit to it. This will save you time and money too.

  • Have the appropriate funds available

There are several disbursements fees associated with the conveyancing process. Your chosen solicitor will likely provide a quote that includes them all. You should ensure you have the necessary funds to cover this. If you cannot pay your solicitor you may find that essential fees such as stamp duty land tax are not paid. This will cause large delays until the funds are provided to your solicitor.

  • Online Conveyancing

There are plenty of reasons why an online conveyance is considered faster and more reliable. For example, you can share information with your seller at any service and hour, including timelines outside the working or office hours. This means that surveys and searches can be facilitated at faster times and queries addressed in the shortest time possible. There is no better way to buy a house faster than online conveyancing.


Tips for Buying a House with No Chain

To acquire a property in good time, consider the following tips;

  1. Never allow the agent to do all the communication

Estate agents play a critical role in liaising with solicitors, sellers, buyers, and other property professionals in the conveyance of a property. However, since you are the one purchasing the house, ensure that all the communication is not left for the agent.

  1. Maintain contact with your solicitor to ensure that all your responses and uploads have been received successfully.

At My Conveyancing Specialist we operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We always have legal experts on hand to answer your queries at all times. Your dedicated solicitor will be available at certain times for updates and changes. Should you require assistance outside of these hours, our legal experts can answer your questions. Or, pass on any messages to your solicitor.

  1. Maintain constant feedback. This is the only you will eliminate confusion, delays, and the pressure arising from lack of information on your part as the buyer.

If any changes or updates are necessary to your case it is pertinent that this are made immediately. Again, this is a benefit of  the online service that My Conveyancing Specialist offer. You can login to your account whenever the change occurs. Which means you’ll never have to worry about forgetting whilst waiting for office hours to commence.

  1. Select your conveyancer wisely. Not every cheap quote means good to your property conveyance.

Some conveyancing services provide marked-down quotes that appear cheap at first. But they can include hidden bolt on fees. This can end up costing you more than some of the higher priced services. At My Conveyancing Specialist, not only do we provide competitively priced quotes but your price is also protected by our Fixed Fee guarantee. You pay what you see.


For an affordable and fast conveyancing service to complete your no-chain property exchange, get a free online conveyancing quote from My Conveyancing Specialist