Posted on

No Onward Chain: What Does It Mean?

No Onward Chain: What Does It Mean?

Looking at what no onward chain means, how it can affect you as a buyer and a seller, and who we can help you sell in as little as 28 days.

Alexandra Ventress

Alexandra Ventress ★ Digital Content Writer

Table of Contents

In the wonderful world of property, the general rule of thumb is the fewer people who are involved, the smoother the process runs. You should be looking to sell your house in the shortest property chain possible. 


If you are selling a property, then chances are, you have heard the phrase ‘no onward chain’ thrown about. 


But what exactly does it mean? 


In this blog post, we are going to be looking at what it means if a property has no onward chain, whether it is a good thing or not, and how it can affect your house sale

What does no onward chain mean?

If a property is classed as no onward chain, it means that it is ready to be sold immediately. Also referred to as no forward chain or no upward chain, it means that the vendor does not require the funds to move into their new house, they are not looking to purchase a new property straight away, or they are happy to move into rented accommodation. 


When it comes to your typical house sale, sellers are often relying on each other for their sale to go through. This is referred to as ‘the property chain’. If a seller has no onward chain, they are reliant on no one when it comes to moving on after the sale of their house. 


 An example of a no onward chain property would be a new build. As there are no occupants to move out of the property and the builder is selling the property, there is nothing to get in the way of the sale. 


If you are a seller it works in your favour to be selling your home to a buyer that is no onward chain as they can buy your property ASAP as they will not need to sell their current property to buy yours. 

Is no onward chain good?

Whether or not no onward chain is a good thing is down to personal choice. But as a rule of thumb, it is usually viewed as a good thing. A no onward chain makes the buying/moving process a lot simpler, which in turn helps it run smoother. 


If you should find a buyer who is no onward chain, it should help you achieve a fast and smooth sale. It also helps to reduce the fact that your sale will fall through.

Is it easier to sell a house with no chain?

Every house sale is different, however, selling a house with no chain is often an easier task, as you are not reliant on the sale of your current property. This means that you can afford to take your time to find the most suitable buyer, without the time pressure of a property chain. 

Examples of no onward chain property

A property with no onward chain is more common than you may think on the open market. Below are some examples of the different types of property with ‘no onward chain’. 

Some sellers decide they want more time to find a new property and so will move into rented accommodation instead of immediately looking for a new property. This will mean that the funds from the sale will not go towards a new house straight away, getting rid of any property chain there may have been. 

A property that has been inherited, regardless of whether it is going through probate or not, is usually a property that people are looking to sell. This will mean that an inherited property has no onward chain, as the money will not usually be used to purchase a new property. 

If a property is a new build, it will not have any occupants. They are often bought off the developer and so the money won’t be used to purchase a new property afterwards. 

Selling a property with tenants is not the easiest of tasks, and so they will often not be looking to purchase a new property after. 

Should a mortgage lender take back possession of a property, then they will be required to sell the property. The money from the sale will go towards paying off the debt, rather than buying a property. 

As a rule of thumb, property investors will usually have a large portfolio, and so when they are looking to sell it on, they will not be looking to jump straight back into purchasing a new home, meaning there is no onward chain. 

What are the advantages of a no onward chain sale?

When it comes to selling through a no onward chain buyer there are plenty of advantages. The main advantage is that a no onward chain buyer will offer you the best chance at a fast and smooth sale. They are often quicker and with less risk as the buyer does not come with troubles that buyers in a chain can often bring. 

Can a no onward chain sale fall through?

Even though sales with a no onward chain buyer are usually more secure than those without, the risk is still there. Unfortunately, no sale is 100% complete until the completion day is over. Below are some of the common reasons why a house sale may fall through: 


  • The buyer is unable to secure a mortgage 
  • One of the preceding sales in the chain falls through 
  • The buyer or the seller changes their mind 
  • The sales process gets delayed by the conveyancer, buyer, or seller 
  • The survey highlights structural issues with the property

What's the difference between no onward chain and chain-free?

When a buyer is classed as chain free, it means that they are not purchasing a new property with the funds they get from the sale of their home, so first-time buyers are classed as first-time buyers, as they are not reliant on a sale to purchase. Whereas when a property has no onward chain, the property chain will end with the sale of that home. 


No onward chain is the end of a property chain, whereas a chain-free buyer can often be the beginning of a sale.

Want to get sold with no onward chain?

Don’t want to the hassle of finding a no onward buyer on the open market? Then look no further! 


Here at The Property Selling company, we believe that selling a house should be three things: fast, effortless, and free.


We offer you a full online estate agent service, without the fees – because it’s our mission to change the way you sell houses. 


We will be working alongside you every step of the house-selling process, covering everything, so you won’t have to. The days of expensive solicitor fees and legal work are over, and our team of property experts will continue to be there, even after the process is complete.


We will market your property on popular property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, organise viewings, cover legal fees, and negotiate better deals all for free! 


If you are ready to sell your home in as little as 28 days, then get in touch today and fill out one of our fast, free, no-obligation forms for your house valuation today!