Moving into a house can depend on a long chain of buyers and sellers. You might not be able to complete your purchase until your own house is sold and, in turn, the buyer of your house can’t complete until their house is sold, and so on. If someone a few links down the chain pulls out, your own purchase may be affected.
It’s possible to avoid a chain altogether if you buy a new build house or if the occupants of the property you’re buying are moving into rental accommodation. If you’re a first-time buyer you may be particularly attractive to sellers as you don’t come with a chain of your own.
To reduce the chances of your own part of the chain breaking, make sure your mortgage is in place before you start making offers.