Our house sale looked like it was all going ahead nicely. Though we were in a chain of 5 people, we also had a short chain above us. We have found the ideal house for our plans. Unfortunately the chain broke. i.e. the people buying somewhere below us in the chain couldn't buy after all. It may have been mortgages, life events or changing their minds, but either way it meant our buyers couldn't buy. Which has the obvious knock on up the chain. In England the housing market only really has any legal lock in once contracts are exchanged, with completion, the actual transaction and swapping of deeds and cash happening sometime after that. Before exchange people have to secure mortgage offers, have lots of legal questions answered about boundaries, electrical work, planning permission, boiler servicing etc. So up until exchange any chain is completely open to breaking for everyone. It is also the case that people sometimes treat the pressure situations of the agreements made as a time to re-negotiate prices at the last minute before exchange. I am hoping that when we get to any point of exchange we don't see any of that happening and that honour will prevail. So here were are with an ideal house to buy, the loft contents pretty much sorted and packed into the garage, mortgage in place ready to go but we are back into having viewings. Close to Christmas is an odd time for people choosing to look for houses. Having said that though that may mean the house we want to buy is less likely to get sold to someone else. It's all swings and roundabouts. So if you know anyone who wants to move to Warsash, near a great school. Point them to this our humble abode. Note we are now with a much better estate agent that I can thoroughly recommend Robinson Reade. Great professionalism and efficiency and ethics, and well worth talking to if you are selling.