With Easter behind us, now is the time when sellers come out of their winter hibernation and put their homes up for sale........hoping to capitalise on what is traditionally a busy period for the housing market.
Despite Rightmove’s data showing their highest ever level of website visits in January, we may be in for a quieter spring property market than normal, due to factors such as Brexit and the wider economic outlook. For those people serious about selling, it’s more important than ever to be well prepared.
So how can you make your house stand out from the crowd and ensure that, once you find a buyer, the sale goes through without a hitch? We all know about decluttering, painting front doors and trimming hedges, but these aren’t the things that can seriously derail your property sale further down the line, once you’ve set your heart on a new home and started paying money to mortgage companies and solicitors.
Sellers now have a legal duty to disclose if their property is, or ever has been, affected by Japanese knotweed. Those who are affected and are dishonest are leaving themselves wide open to legal action from the purchaser, once they realise the property is blighted by the weed. Many homeowners may be oblivious to knotweed growing on their land, in which case, unless it has been deliberately concealed, it should be identified by a surveyor during a valuation or homebuyer survey.
However it is revealed, Japanese knotweed can cause lengthy delays to transactions and, particularly in a buyer’s market such as this, can easily cause a sale to fall through. Anyone thinking of selling should check their property for signs of the purple asparagus-like shoots which will now be starting to emerge from the ground. If unsure, check out our video on how to identify knotweed here.
If knotweed is present, the best course of action is to instruct a professional firm to treat it immediately, before the property is marketed, and secure a ten-year insurance-backed guarantee. Our Resi Dig Out™ method removes knotweed within a matter of days. Although the knotweed will still have to be declared, this will keep most buyers and mortgage lenders happy and give you the best chance of a smooth sale.