Selling A House With Structural Problems & The Signs

When it comes to selling a property, it can feel like a stressful and uphill battle. The whole scenario is time consuming, especially when the property that is being sold has issues or is in complete disrepair. The process can be frustrating for both a buyer and a seller, particularly when you are wanting to sell your property quickly. This blog intends to look at property issues facing homeowners and what can be done to help a selling process.

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What is classed as a ‘problem property’?

The term problem property can be used to describe either a building or land. This terminology, as assumed, is associated with a negative connotation as the problem is usually linked to a major issue; for example, flooding or subsidence. Due to a property having these problems, it can make it harder for a homeowner to sell their property. If these problems haven’t already been brought up, they will be found by a surveyor. Some issues are common such as internal condensation or externally, an overgrown garden.

What are the Most Common Issues?

There are all sorts of different issues that can arise from a property survey. The most common issues found from a survey range in seriousness. Although we found the top ten are:

  1. Electrical Issues
  2. Japanese Knotweed
  3. Damp
  4. Asbestos
  5. Structural Movement
  6. Flat Roofing
  7. Insulation
  8. Roof Issues
  9. Faulty Drain Pipes
  10. Risk of Woodworm

Selling Your Property with Structural Problems

Most structural issues are common in older properties and it is crucial to deal with them early on to avoid further damage. As previously mentioned, structural problems can range from something small such as a cracked wall, all the way through to serious damage such as settlement over time. Of you are unsure whether your property has structural problems, there are indicators to help:

  • Cracked Window Sills – this may seem like a small issue, although cracked window sills can be a sign of a deeper issue. For example, it could suggest your property has foundation failure, damp or even structural movement. To understand the extent of the damage, measure the cracks. If a crack it larger than 15mm wide then, as soon as possible, you need to instruct a surveyor to find out the cause.
  • Sticking windows and or doors – especially in older properties, doors and windows that stick when shutting and opening can be due to distortion. This distortion could be a sign of settling foundations, meaning, the ground of which your property sits could be either expanding or contracting over time.
  • Bulging Walls – if a wall is leaning, bowing or bulging, this is normally a sign of decreasing stability. This can be a result of vibrations from heavy traffic. Or this could be from insufficiently thick walls or lack of floor joists or even lack of restraint in between external walls.

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Selling With Damp

Another, more common issue found in homes is usually damp. Types of damp are generally found in older buildings, poorly insulated properties, or even properties that struggle to vent their air. Any type of damp can lead to damage within a property and, the longer a problem has been left, the harder and more expensive it is to treat it.

  1. Condensation – this is generally caused by moist in the air settling on walls, especially in rooms that struggle to vent and have lots of moisture such as Bathrooms and Kitchens. Condensation can be spotted if there are water droplets on windows/walls, unpleasant smells in rooms or dark mould appearing on glass/walls.
  2. Penetrating Damp – this type of damp is caused by water leaking through and onto walls. These leaks can be a sign of structural issues with your property if it expands across a ceiling or wall. You will know if your property has this type of damp if there are patches on ceilings and walls that darken due to weather conditions.
  3. Rising Damp – rising damp can be caused by groundwater moving through a floor or wall. If you have this type, you should notice that plaster, skirting boards, wet patches, or peeling paint along any walls. If you suspect that your property may have damp, you should try identify the cause and have it treated professionally. Try complete this before you decide to put your home on the market.

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