Property chains are volatile and can often be a long and frustrating process when you are trying to sell or buy a house. If a chain breaks down, it can be devastating for all involved and can be a costly, time consuming and stressful experience.

Recent property analysis from Spring’s data partner PropAlt, reveals that in 2021 there was nearly 1.4 million property transactions with over 21% of sales falling through, and in 2022 there was just over 1.9 million transactions and close to 25% of those sales also fell through. And with fall through rates now back to pre-pandemic rates of 2019, it’s not only the increase in the number of property transactions falling through, but also the cost associated with these fall throughs.

So, what causes a broken chain, what can you do if yours breaks and how can a Chain Repair Service help? Here we explain the process, so you have all the information you need if you suffer the unfortunate event of your chain breaking and sale falling through.

What causes a broken chain?

A chain forms when there is more than one person involved in a property transaction. All buyers and sellers have a common objective: to move home, but as each link of the chain is reliant on the next, if just one link breaks, ie: a buyer pulls out, it causes a ripple effect, and the entire chain can break down.

There are many causes of chain breaks, including:

  • Inability to secure a mortgage.
  • Another buyer making a higher offer – Gazumping.
  • Another buyer suddenly reduces their offer – Gazundering.
  • Structural issues come up on survey.
  • Asbestos presence that may prove too costly to remove.
  • Sudden change in employment status, financial or personal circumstances.
  • Illness or death.

What happens if your chain breaks?

A property chain, just like the internal workings of a clock, relies on many active ‘cogs’ that need to work together in unison. It’s not just about the buyers and sellers in a chain, it’s also held together by conveyancers, mortgage lenders, agents, and surveyors, who all play a vital role to keep things running smoothly

With 1 in 3 chains breaking down in the UK, and a recent Telegraph article expressing concern over the sharp increase in house sales falling through during the first half of ‘23, chain breaks are sadly a common occurrence. That’s why selling a house often appears in the top 10 most stressful life experience lists.

It’s not just stress that’s a bi-product of a chain break, it’s also the expense. If a chain breaks towards the end of the sale process, those involved may lose money already paid for solicitor’s fees, surveying costs and any non-refundable fees associated in the arrangement of a mortgage. And, with the cost-of-living crisis and high mortgage rates hitting households hard right now, starting the sale process all over again may just not feasible both financially or emotionally, leaving many homeowners having to walk away from buying their dream home.

What is a ‘Chain Repair’ service?

If your chain breaks, you are back to square one and need to find another buyer. If you have the patience and are not in a hurry to sell, or don’t have an onward purchase lined up, then going back on the market and trying your luck again is worth a go.

However, if the chain break has been too stressful, or time isn’t on your side and you don’t want to lose your onward property, many homeowners choose to use a Chain Repair service.

The service is available directly from Spring, or via our estate agency, new home developers and retirement partners, providing a quick and guaranteed solution to get customers sales back on track. Therefore, removing any uncertainty that the chain will break down again and enabling buyers to move forward without further delay or stress.

How does the service work?

If you choose to repair your broken chain with Spring, the sale is pretty much like any other house sale. But, instead Spring is the buyer.

No matter if you’ve relisted, or taken your home off the market, Spring will be able to make you a Chain Repair offer.

As Spring can step in immediately to buy your home after your sale has fallen through, it means you are still in a proceedable position and can continue with your onward purchase. Even if it’s not your sale that’s fallen through and it’s another link in the chain, or even multiple links in the chain, Spring can purchase any property enabling the chain to complete as planned.

This is how the chain repair process works:

  • As soon as your chain breaks, depending on who you are buying from, your estate agent, developer, retirement provider, or you directly, can contact Spring for a Chain Repair offer.
  • Our experienced Underwriting team, along with valuations from 2 independent local estate agents, will be used to value your home, along a free survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors if required. A no-obligation Chain Repair offer is then made to you – there are no contracts to sign and, if the offer doesn’t work, you simply walk away.
  • If you accept the offer, your Spring sale begins. And, with a choice of completion date to suit, you can relax and focus on the move ahead knowing your sale is guaranteed and won’t fall through again. We also give you an extra 14 days post-completion to access your old property, meaning you can move your own pace, or use the time to decorate or get carpets fitted in your new property – it’s a popular feature, especially for customers who are retiring, downsizing or simply want to take their time.

Is Chain-Repair suitable for everyone?

Depending on your property and circumstances, a Chain Repair offer from Spring can work well as it will get homeowners out of a very stressful situation. As with any service provider, there are pros and cons, so it’s important to know the finer details so you have all you need to make the best-informed decision for your home sale:


  • Certainty – Chain Repair is guaranteed, meaning no more hassle or costly fall throughs.
  • Speed – Chain Repair means you can sell your home as is and complete in little as 7 days.
  • Convenience – Chain Repair means you choose a completion date to suit your onward move.


  • Valuation – A Chain Repair offer will usually be below market value.
  • Eligibility – Chain Repair isn’t suitable for all property; depends on type, location & condition.
  • Ownership – Chain Repair may not be suitable for everyone and their financial situation.

As we’ve discussed, a Chain Repair offer may not work for everyone and the offer you receive will depend on the property you are wanting to sell. If you need or want full market value, then the service may not be the right solution for you.

Once you have weighed up the pros and cons, and if the trade-off between price v’s convenience, speed and a guaranteed sale is your preference, then Chain Repair could be ideal.

This is especially the case if you are buying from a new build developer or retirement provider as they can often offer you an incentive, such as carpets and curtains, garden landscaping or even a monetary ‘top-up’ to make the sale work for you. Your estate agent could also help by asking others in the chain to ‘share’ the difference between the market value and the Chain Repair offer, this helps then negate some of the price gap so it’s not all on you.

It is worth remembering that there are no hidden fees with Spring, and you get up to £750 towards your legal fees. There are no last-minute charges or changes, so you know exactly what you will get and when for your home sale. Plus, we offer our Spring Price Promise for additional peace of mind.

As an offer from Spring is with no-obligation and doesn’t tie you into any contract, if your sale has fallen through and want to find out what your options are, contact to the team here at Spring on 020 8629 7877 or email: [email protected]