Japanese knotweed doesn’t need to be a dealbreaker
As knotweed continues to spread across the country, now affecting almost a million households, people are becoming better informed about how to identify knotweed, deal with it effectively and preserve property values when they come to sell.
As the property market switches from a seller’s to a buyer’s market, the potential for price reductions is greater, but if homeowners tackle knotweed correctly and are upfront from the start, any reduction in value can be minimised.
Find out how it’s done
Suzanna Harrison and her husband sold their home near Finsbury Park in North London last year, aware that a past knotweed infestation in the back garden could cause issues. Before marketing their home, they instructed Environet to carry out a professional survey and remove the plant, providing an insurance-backed guarantee for ten years.
Suzannah said, “We were upfront and honest from the start. We made sure we had a professional management plan in place, including an insurance-backed guarantee to reassure buyers, which meant that we had very little problem selling for the price we wanted.
“Knotweed is so widespread now that if it’s properly treated with the appropriate guarantee, you shouldn’t have to knock the price down significantly. We found a buyer pretty quickly and they didn’t beat us down on price as we’d already paid for the treatment. They were reassured by the paperwork and as long as the 10-year guarantee could be transferred to them, which it could, they were happy to proceed. I’d advise anyone in our situation to just be honest and get everything sorted before you go to market. It doesn’t need to be a deal-breaker.”
Top tips for sellers
With professional help, knotweed can be dealt with and in most cases, the property value can be preserved to close to its original value if the seller follows these important steps:
- Commission a Japanese knotweed survey immediately to determine the extent of the problem.
- Put a professional treatment plan in place before marketing the property. Don’t be tempted to try and treat the knotweed yourself first, as this is unlikely to be successful and will make professional treatment afterwards more difficult.
- Insist on an IBG (insurance-backed guarantee) for the work, which protects the homeowner and lender even if the knotweed company ceases trading. Find out why ours are the best on the market.
- Be upfront and honest with potential buyers from the start, providing copies of the paperwork.
- Always declare the presence of knotweed on the TA6 Property Information Form, completed by all sellers, to protect yourself from the risk of a future legal case.
- If you’re unsure whether a property is affected by knotweed, commission a JustCheck™ survey. This will provide reassurance, and if no knotweed is found or suspected during the survey, we'll include a 5-year warranty to cover up to £20,000 of remedial work.
Check out our definitive guide to buying and selling a property with knotweed.