a hand stopping blocks from falling next to a house - housing chain repair concept

An Estate Agent’s 2021 Guide to Chain Repair

Chain Repair

After a surprisingly buoyant 2020, the housing market has begun to slow. Property experts are forecasting a dip in demand and prices as the year progresses.

The end of the stamp duty holiday, the continued impact of COVID-19 on the economy, rising unemployment and the recession are all likely to contribute to a drop in new business for estate agents and an increase in the number of sales affected by property chain problems. 

Effective chain repair will become the successful agent’s secret weapon in 2021. If you can preempt problems and be proactive in offering solutions, your client books will remain full, and you’ll enjoy a healthy rate of commission. 

Are Property Chain Problems on the Rise?

There are many reasons why house sales fall through, but property chain problems are one of the most common. If someone in a chain fails to secure the finance they need to buy, gets gazumped or changes their mind about a purchase, every sale in the chain could be delayed or aborted. If you’re unlucky enough to be the agent representing several parties in the chain, this could mean multiple lost sales.

In 2019, two out of every three people trying to buy or sell a property had experienced a failed sale in the past 12 months, and the number of collapsed sales is soaring. According to Rightmove, the number of house sales that fell through rose sharply from 17 per cent in July to 28 per cent in December 2020.

Why Are So Many House Sales Collapsing?

The end of the first lockdown in May 2020 and the introduction of the stamp duty land tax (SDLT) holiday led to a surge in demand from house buyers. Rising demand combined with the backlog of transactions that accumulated during the housing market freeze from March to May put huge pressure on the property buying system. Although house sales are permitted during the current lockdown, the restrictions on peoples’ movements and the need to comply with government social distancing guidelines has slowed everything down, and in a property chain, delays can often result in failed sales. 

Furthermore, the impact of the pandemic on the global economy and the threat of a double-dip recession is making lenders increasingly risk-averse, resulting in a growing number of buyers struggling to secure the mortgage they need to proceed with a purchase. This situation will only get worse if the predicted rise in unemployment levels is proven accurate.

There are also new issues impacting house sales that are unrelated to the pandemic. The Grenfell Tower disaster led to a change in fire-safety guidelines relating to cladding on residential properties. This has left many people unable to secure the mortgage they need or stuck with “unsaleable” homes. 

Estate agents need to bring their A-game to overcome these obstacles and succeed in 2021. But what can you do to help clients keep moving forward with their purchases or sales despite such difficulties?

How Effective Chain Repair Can Boost Agency Sales

As the pool of potential clients diminishes and the risk of current clients experiencing property chain problems increases, estate agents must offer added value and become proactive problem solvers to stand out from the competition and avoid failed sales. 

Offering a first-class chain-repair service will enable you to attract new business and avoid property chain problems by removing non-essential third parties and speeding up the sales process.

By partnering with a specialist chain-repair provider, your customers can enjoy all the benefits of selling to a chain-free buyer, and their house sale will no longer be dependent on someone else selling their home. This will save you and your customers time, money and stress — an experience they’ll be keen to tell others about!

How Chain Repair Works

HBB Solutions has been providing specialist chain-repair and part-exchange (PX) services to estate agents throughout the UK for 10 years. Our chain-repair service can help you to reduce the number of links in your customers’ chains, save time, avoid delays and deliver an exceptional customer experience. 

Outsourcing chain repair from us means that you can focus on what you do best — winning new clients and selling properties. We can manage the entire process, all we need to get started is a little information about your client and their property. We will then value the property — at no cost to you — and make an offer. Our PX experts can work directly with your client or remain behind the scenes, whichever you prefer. If your customer accepts our offer, we will agree on a sale date and purchase the property, allowing them to proceed with buying their new home. 

If you want to keep property sales and profits high in 2021 while delivering first-class customer service, contact us to find out more about our chain-repair service. We have the funds to buy your customer’s property and break the housing chain, leaving them free to proceed with purchasing their dream home.