property advice Archives

There is nothing more frustrating than a house sale falling through at the last minute, especially if an unexpected issue arises in your property chain that causes it to break and collapse. You may be new to a property chain or stuck in a sluggish one, but as specialist fast property buyers, Vivo has helped many people sell their house quickly in this situation. Here, we explain property chain terminology and share how we offer a chain free house sale alternative to help you if you’re involved in a broken property chain.

Young couple holding keys having sold their house

What is a property chain?

The term ‘property chain’ is used to describe the link between a series of property buyers and sellers, all of which are connected by one another’s property.

The chain starts with someone who is only buying (for example a first-time buyer) and ends with someone who is only selling (and not looking to buy). When selling your home, the preferred scenario is to be chain-free, meaning:

  • A house is being sold by an owner who is not needing to buy a new property to move into – often referred to as a no onward chain
  • A buyer who is not needing to sell in order to buy the house – this means the property chain has a defined endpoint

A chain free house sale carries a lot less risk or uncertainty and has a much higher chance of going ahead within a reasonable timescale. Unfortunately, only 10% of all property transactions in the UK are chain free, so selling on the open market can often be a frustrating experience.

Why may a chain break?

As all transactions are linked together, everything needs to go smoothly for the property chain not to break. One of the reasons that selling a house is one of the most stressful life events is that  issues in the notably volatile chain often slows things down or causes a house sale to fall through.  It can be as simple as a party having a change of heart about their purchase or sale, or other factors such as family issues, illness, or redundancy. Other reasons that may cause the property chain to break are:

  • A survey unveils issues with the property such as structural problems or asbestos leading to the buyer or lender not wanting to proceed
  • A party failing to obtain a mortgage
  • A down-valuation by a lender resulting in a buyer not being able to be lent the full amount needed
  • A house seller is unable to find a property to buy and is therefore unable to continue the sale of their current house
  • A party being Gazumped: meaning a seller accepting a higher offer from a new buyer. In the UK, it is only after you have exchanged that an offer is legally binding, not at the negotiation stage. This detail makes Gazumping a regular occurrence
  • A party being Gazundered: meaning a buyer reduces their offer at the last minute, which may result in the seller being unable to accept and the chain breaking

What problems do broken property chains cause?

On average, it takes 3 to 4 months from a seller finding a buyer for their property to exchanging and finally completing the sale. Often a property chain breaks halfway down the line or very close to the planned exchange date. Consequently, the property must now be put back on the market, a new buyer needs to be found and the legal process needs to start from scratch with the hope that this time around all will proceed smoothly. As you can imagine, it can easily take a year or more to sell a property. However, for people either relocating for work, wanting to move to be within a catchment area of a school, or for a couple moving in together or divorcing, they need a greater degree of certainty and a clearer idea of when their sale will go through so they can plan their next move.

Furthermore, selling and buying a house can be costly over time. There are agent fees, solicitors’ costs and survey fees involved, together with the usual monthly running cost of the property (council tax, utility bills). Thus, a broken-down chain can, unfortunately, be pretty expensive and the longer your property is on the market the more it can harm your chances of finding a suitable buyer. This is because online property portals such as Rightmove share a ‘property’s history’ with their users. As a result, a property which has been advertised online for a lengthy period of time tends to be less desirable to buyers as they take the assumption that something must be wrong with the property.

Naturally a good amount of property sales, even with chains involved, do reach the finish successfully. But for those where issue arise, it can be a very stressful time.

How can selling to Vivo help you?

If your sale has fallen through due to a broken property chain, or your sale is not showing any signs of progress due to other parties within the chain, get in touch with Vivo for a friendly chat and see if selling to chain free house buyers could work for you.

Selling to Vivo means you are selling chain-free. We break the chain by buying your property unconditionally with our own cash. Once you accept our offer, no third party such as lenders or investors can stand in the way of the transaction going through!

Here are other benefits of selling your property to Vivo:

  • Accept our offer and your sale is guaranteed
  • We’re flexible: you choose the timescales by which you wish to receive your money and move. It’s in your hands, you’re welcome to stay in your property rent-free for a few weeks after receiving the funds to help you find your feet
  • We’re fast: we can buy your home in as little as 5 days
  • We buy with our own cash: this means there are no delays due to lenders or investors being involved.
  • We’re available 24/7, and as we’re a small company you will always be able to speak to the same person, directly.
  • We pay all fees connected to the sale, such as legal fees and surveys
  • The price we offer is the full amount you will receive, no nasty, last-minute surprises
  • We offer 85% of the estimated current market value of the property in return for a very quick, easy and guaranteed sale.

We may be the right buyer for you but if we are not, we would tell you and advise you on your next steps and we are more than happy to give you impartial advice on your situation. By buying your property, we can help you move on to the next chapter of your life. We’re here to offer an alternative to an open market sale by offering a quick and guaranteed cash sale.

Feel free to fill in the short form below to receive a no-obligation offer within a day. Or contact us toll-free on 0800 773 4922 for a chat.

People moving out of their house

What are your next steps?

While most of our customers choose to sell their house fast to us for convenience and peace of mind, we have also recognised that we’re a great solution for those going through a difficult time, particularly when a property has been inherited.

We understand that selling an inherited house isn’t an easy thing to do and we’re very sensitive to this topic. At Vivo, we’re proud to offer a personal service where you get to talk directly to us (your home buyers). There are no frustrating and impersonal call centres and there isn’t a high pressure corporate “close a sale at all costs” culture with Vivo.

We’ve found previous clients enjoyed these benefits for selling their inherited property to Vivo rather than the open market.

  • Losing someone is hard enough as it is. Selling a property in any situation is a stressful thing in itself. A combination of those two is understandably very unwelcome. Many of our clients prefer it to be dealt with in good time without any hiccups.
  • Often inherited properties are not in the same area as our client’s hometown, making it difficult to find a good local agent and maintain the property whilst waiting for a buyer.
  • Most people don’t have the extra time available to deal with more admin work and maintenance work which a property brings along.
  • In many situations, a property has been inherited by several siblings or other family members. Issues such as who looks after the property, who deals with the financial side of things, who is in charge, can create a lot of friction which is a real shame.  A quick sale is often desired to avoid all this.

We would encourage you to also seek out quality and impartial advice elsewhere online. Inheritance tax rules have changed over the years, so we would always suggest starting at the Citizens Advice which will direct you to the relevant and importantly, up to date Government pages and advice. The Money Advice Service also have a great guide on understanding inheritance tax and how to reduce your tax bill.

It’s unfortunate that rows over inheritance are becoming more common and we hope that’s something you’re not experiencing. It normally comes as a surprise, but nearly two-thirds of the UK population do not have a will. Every family and inheritance situation is different, but if you are currently selling an inherited property and feel like we can help, then feel free to call us on 0800 773 4922 for a no obligation friendly chat or complete a quick form below. If you’re still not sure, we even built a handy quiz which can help you decide if Vivo Property Buyers is right for you.

Whatever you decide, we wish you the best of luck.


For our latest piece of property advice, we look at the potential of downsizing, and why Vivo may work for you if you are looking to relocate to a cosier abode. But firstly:

What is downsizing?
In the property industry, ‘downsizing’ is the act of moving from a large property to a smaller home. Here we have outlined how downsizing your house doesn’t have to be difficult.

Why would I want to downsize?
Downsizing is a common, natural and logical move to make for most people in the UK, particularly when homeowners are nearing the age of retirement. Another motivation for downsizing is when homeowners’ children have ‘flown the nest’ leaving them with a large property or ‘empty nest’, one that no longer suits the needs of its occupants. Living in a property that is noticeably large can also be lonely and distinctly unhomely too. People often find themselves only living in certain areas of the house, leaving substantial sections of the home unused, such as additional bedrooms and large gardens. However, homeowners still have to pay for the areas of the house that they no longer use (such as general utility bills) and spend time maintaining the property which can be tiresome. Ultimately, you want your property to cater to what is important for you, and more often than not a smaller, cosier home reflects this, than a larger, family home.

cosy and small lounge of a downsized home

7 benefits of downsizing your home include:

If you feel that selling your home to Vivo is the right choice for you, get in touch with us by filling in the short form below and we can make you an offer in under an hour. If you want some inspiration for really smaller properties, read our Tiny Houses Guide!

George wanted to downsize but didn’t feel comfortable having lots of people view his house. We made an offer George was happy with and once we were all agreed and our solicitors were instructed, George started looking for another, smaller property to buy.  We agreed with George that he was welcome to stay in the house until his new purchase completed. This way, George had the guarantee of having enough money to buy the new place, and still had a place to live in the meantime. Once his new purchase was ready to complete, full funds were released and George moved into the new apartment.

Here’s what George had to say about selling his home to Vivo Property Buyers:

I am extremely pleased with the whole thing because the people I dealt with where honest & kind and made me feel comfortable in all aspects of the sale. Many thanks to them.

Handing over keys after a relocation house sale

It may have come out of the blue or is something you have always dreamed of, but relocating is a major life event, one full of adventure and new opportunities. Whether you’re upping sticks and moving abroad, retiring to a quieter area of the UK, or perhaps you’re moving to a new job which requires you a quick relocation house sale, Vivo Property Buyers are here to help you.

While any new move is bound to be exciting, it can often be quite a stressful period of your life. Often one of the biggest challenges you face when relocating is what to do with your property? There are a few options that you may want to consider:

Selling your home on the open market

Rather than the hassle associated with being a landlord, most homeowners relocating permanently prefer to sell their homes outright. Hiring an estate agent to conduct the sale can take some work off your hands, however, for any relocation house sale, it is likely that you need a quick turnaround and the traditional open market route can often be slow.

Thus if you have a set date which you need to move by, for example, you may be starting a new job at the beginning of the next month, selling your home can be very tough and extremely stressful when time is not on your side. The slowness of selling on the open market can also be quite expensive as you wait for a buyer and continue to pay utility bills (don’t forget council tax) for a property you no longer require to live in.

If you have already moved to a new place, this means your bills can double, plus you may have to travel back-and-forth from your new area to your former property to negotiate deals and house viewings. Overall, it can be quite exhaustive and expensive.


You could rent out your property…

If you need to move quickly and don’t want the uncertainty of an open-market sale, you could rent out your home as a temporary measure. Interestingly, there has been a rise in the number of accidental landlords in recent years, with homeowners being forced to let their properties due to the sluggish housing market. If you decide that this is the option for you, ensure you meet the legal requirements with your mortgage and insurance. Once that is settled, there are several property apps to help you speedily find tenants, however, handling the property and any tenants’ concerns may be difficult when you are relocating to a different county let alone the country!

An alternative is to use a property management company to manage the day-to-day operations. While this will certainly take care of your new additional responsibilities, it can be costly and you may lose the sense of ownership as well as a reduction in your profits from any rental property.

A clean break is often more preferred

Despite this, the most preferred option may be to sell your home outright – releasing valuable funds to start your new life.  However, this can be an extremely tricky situation when relocating. This is because the open-market is notoriously unreliable, and deals can often fall through and break down at many stages in the property chain.  This is not what you need when you face the uncertain (albeit exciting) prospect of relocation.

Overall, by selling your house quickly to Vivo, you can get a swift release of funds which is vital when you are preparing to relocate and start your new life. We can erase the uncertainty of a house sale, helping you to settle faster into your new home. Have a read of this article, highlighting the rise of house buying companies, and how we can help you. Furthermore, having a guaranteed house sale can be invaluable when you are looking to buy your new home in a different environment. By quickly wrapping up your former properties’ sale, it means that you are ready to buy and won’t miss out on your dream home due to circumstances elsewhere! Now you’re ready to look for your new home, you’ll want to make sure you have a house viewing checklist.

Relocating can be one of the most exciting but stressful moments of your life and career but a quick house sale to Vivo Property Buyers can help reduce the stressfulness of the situation, allowing you more time to enjoy your new life. Get in touch with us and we can make you a free, no-obligation offer for your house in 24 hours, so take your first step in selling your home fast!

If you are considering selling your house due to relocation, find out whether your new area has been voted as one of the top 5 places to live in the UK.

As a nation of proud homeowners, the prospect of house repossession is rather distressing. Getting onto the property ladder is hard work and often requires lots of planning, saving, and a bit of luck. Sometimes, however, events out of our control happen, such as suddenly being made redundant, meaning that you are no longer able to meet the mortgage repayments set by your mortgage lender. Consequently, this initiates the scenario of having your home repossessed. This means your mortgage lender starts the process of taking back ownership of your property, meaning that you may lose your home. This is a horrible and stressful situation but can sadly happen to anyone. The Ministry of Justice recently announced that between January and March 2016, 4,738 mortgage possession claims were recorded in county courts in the UK.

Therefore, if you feel that you will not be able to complete a mortgage repayment on time and find yourself threatened with eviction it is vital that you act quickly and find out all available options you can take to stop the house repossession from happening. Always contact your lender as soon as possible and be clear with them about your situation. By being upfront and honest, defining how much you owe, you can always renegotiate payment plans and work together to find a solution. Furthermore, try to educate yourself as much as possible about home repossessions scenarios, seek advice from organisations such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and understand what you and your mortgage lenders’ rights are to ensure that everything in this process is legal and upstanding.

However, if you have exhausted all other options and it has come to the stage where house repossession is looking increasingly likely, the idea of selling your home will naturally arise. Quite often, rather than taking your home outright, mortgage lenders will seek to sell your home to a new buyer. Unfortunately, having your mortgage lender sell your home rather you selling it outright will not put you in a fantastic position as it will negatively affect your credit score. In testing times, you do not want a negative credit rating to add to your worries.

Can we help you?

If you’re new to the idea of selling your house to fast property buyers, here are our top tips and advice for when you make a decision.

If you are in need of help regarding house repossession, why not give us a quick call by free phoning 0800 773 4922 to see how Vivo can help you. If you want a bit more privacy, fill in the quick form below and we can give you an offer for your house in an hour.

An empty family lounge - Bereavement house sale

Losing a loved one is hard, whether it’s a partner, friend or relative – and that’s before the complex bureaucratic and financial issues.

Following a bereavement and amidst organising a funeral and sorting the will, a quick bereavement house sale might make this difficult time more bearable.

Tips for selling a house after a bereavement

Here at Vivo we understand that selling a house after a bereavement is tough and we would like to share a few tips that will help ease the process for you…

Secure the property

If the house is now unoccupied it is important that you secure the property accordingly to protect any of the previous owner’s possessions. It may be worth popping in every now and again just to check that all is intact. And, for an extra sense of security, you could set a timer on the lights to give the house a lived-in look to passers-by.


Care for the pets

Pets are often left to others in a will, however, they’ll still need looking after during the time in-between. Ensure that they are fed and seen to appropriately or if you’re unable to take them into your own home, ask another relative or temporarily place them in care.


Cancel subscriptions

In times of grief, sometimes the smallest of things such as recurring orders and subscriptions are overlooked. Make sure you cancel orders and services such as gardeners, cleaners and the milk to avoid any unexpected charges.


Sell the house quickly

The property market is continually changing so it can be near impossible to know how quickly your house will sell. Furthermore, the longer the sales process is drawn out, the longer it’ll take to begin fully moving on with your life. We understand that a bereavement house sale is a tough and emotional process, that’s why we offer private house sales that are quick and flexible. After the sale is completed and the funds are received, we’re happy to let you stay in your property for a couple of weeks rent-free until you’ve found your feet. There is no rush once the exchanged has happened which may be useful in your situation.

We understand that you might still be coping with bereavement and truly hope that the above advice answers some doubts you may have around what to do next with the house.

With this in mind, you should opt for a company who buys houses outright and fast – eliminating the stress of waiting for the house to sell or the sale to go through. At Vivo we have developed a simple 5 step process that helps people like you, sell their house fast without hassle.

  • fsb
  • logo-napb
  • TPO generic logo
  • ICO_logo

Vivo Property Buyers is the trading name for Potrell London Ltd, The Ashridge Business Centre 121 High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 2DJ.

©2020 Vivo