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How to successfully sell a property this spring

How to successfully sell a property this spring


With Easter behind us, and summer on the horizon, 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.

2023 however, saw a marked drop-off in housing transactions, with the trend continuing into 2024, with March transactions down 6% on 2023 numbers according to HMRC data. Demand from buyers has fallen over the past 12 months, likely a result of persisting high mortgage rates. For people serious about selling, it’s more important than ever to be well prepared, with fewer buyers in the pool, the cards are stacked in their favour.

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? While decluttering, repainting, and trimming hedges are well-known strategies to make a property more attractive, these quick fixes may not address underlying issues that could negatively impact your property sale, particularly once you’ve set your heart on a new home and started paying money to mortgage companies and solicitors.

You have a legal duty to disclose if your property is, or ever has been, affected by Japanese knotweed. This declaration even extends beyond your boundary to cover “adjacent or abutting” land within 3m.

Unfortunately, identifying the presence of Japanese knotweed on a property is far from easy, with many homeowners oblivious to the fact that knotweed is growing in their gardens! In fact, research by Environet in 2024 shows only 12% of people can accurately identify the plant in its most obvious form. Once revealed, knotweed can cause delays to transactions, and in the worst cases, cause a sale to fall through. 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.

So, what’s the best course of action?

If a seller is unable to confidently respond to the Japanese knotweed query, the safest course of action would be to opt for the ‘not known’ response. Nevertheless, to pre-empt any potential future issues, it would be advisable to engage the services of professionals and arrange a survey to forestall any unwelcome surprises during the buyers’ surveying procedure.

This is why Environet designed JustCheck™, a survey that offers protection to both buyers and sellers by assessing whether a property is affected by knotweed.  Once a survey is commissioned, we dispatch one of our specialists to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the property and, where possible, the surrounding land for any signs of knotweed. If no presence or suspicion is identified, we offer a 5-year warranty, covering treatment expenses of up to £20,000 in the improbable event that the plant subsequently emerges. This report can be used to support a response on the TA6 form, to demonstrate due enquiry.

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.

For more information on how we can help you remove Japanese knotweed on your property, email us at [email protected] or call us at 01932 868 700.

Robert Spaceman

“We had a large stand of bamboo removed, thinned, contained and replaced. The customer service has been first class. Joe and Jason were fabulous and kept me well informed at all times”.