Welcome to your September edition of the Fish Need Water newsletter!

Here’s what we’ve got coming up:

  • Stuck in a chain? Break it with these nifty tactics!
  • All the latest need-to-know news.
  • Top tool: clipboard managers.

Break that chain!

A property chain is up there with gazumping and bad surveys when it comes to buying a property. But unlike the other two, you’re expected to remain patient and on your best behaviour at all times – or you risk frightening someone else out of their purchase or sale.

It’s a tricky situation that comes at an already-tense stage in the buying process – but it doesn’t have to be so bad. In fact, there are a few tactics that experienced buyers use over and over again – and which you can make use of too.

Before we reveal them, let’s quickly define what we mean by “property chain”.

So… a property chain is a line of buyers and sellers who are all simultaneously involved in linked property transactions. If just one transaction falls through or is delayed, the chain breaks and everyone is affected. It’s frustrating and time-consuming – not to mention heart-wrenching when you realise you’re unable to buy and move into your dream home after all.

While you can’t 100% prevent the collapse in a chain (especially when the chain is super long – which means tons of people are involved), here are the things you can do to make it far less likely:

1: Be mortgage ready

Many deals fail because someone has applied for a mortgage too late, and the finance hasn’t come through in time. Avoid being the weakest link in the chain by having your mortgage offer in place before you start making offers on properties.

2: Get bridging

Consider applying for a bridging loan, which can help you buy a new property before you’ve sold your existing one. A bridging loan is a short-term loan with a relatively high interest rate – so it should only be used when you know there’s just a short gap between the sale and completion dates in the chain. The major benefit is that it can usually be arranged very quickly.

3: Go rogue(ish)

Break the chain on purpose! If you decide to sell your property and move into rented accommodation, there are two major benefits. Firstly, your property will be more attractive to buyers because they know you’re at the end of the chain. Secondly, you’ll have serious preferential status over other buyers when you’re ready to buy your next place, as you’ll be seen as a safer bet.

Whatever path you choose, keep talking: a breakdown in communication between buyers and sellers often leads to easily preventable problems.

If you want some advice for your specific situation, phone us for a chat – you don’t even need to be a customer. We’re on 020 3199 3462.

Property news

It’s been a busy ol’ month…

Owner-occupiers overtake investors for purchases in top London developments. For this particular agent, at least. But is it a sign that investors are slowly getting fed up with extra fees and regulations?

UK sees boom in number of properties smaller than 37sqm: Would you buy a “micro-home”? To give you an idea, that’s about the size of a Tube carriage.

Is it a bad idea to buy a property in London if it’s not home for life? What would your advice be?

This commuter town has the fastest property price growth in the UK. Property hunters looking to invest and buy a home in the next big commuter town in the UK should purchase in one particular area, according to experts.

Property of the week: 360-degree London for £12.5m. The views alone will make you drool.

Our useful tool(s) of the month: clip holders!

Do you have a habit of copying a link or some text to your clipboard, only to copy over it before you’ve had a chance to paste? If you’re constantly opening up Zoopla or Rightmove links, there’s a good chance you’re aware of this problem!

It can now be a problem of the past! Use Jumpcut for Mac, Clipboard History 2 for Chrome, or a variety of other options mentioned here, and make your clipboard work harder for you.

The end! (Until next month.)

Speak to you soon!