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Selling a ‘problem’ property

24.05.2019 Site Manager

A property can become a problem for owners for many reasons, whether it’s rented out to difficult tenants who have left the home in poor condition, develops damp issues or costly structural problems. 

What constitutes a problem property? We’ve outlined some of the most common issues that can make selling your property on the commercial market more challenging and how you can get around them for a quick sale.

Selling a house that needs major repairs

Any homeowner dreads the idea of cracked walls, as it can be enough to put any prospective buyer off. But there are cases where cracks in walls can look worse than the reality, so it’s always a good idea to seek advice from an expert.

Subsidence is a more serious issue that suggests the foundations of the property have moved with the ground underneath. If the crack is thicker or wider than 3mm and spotted close to door or window frames, this could be a sign of subsidence.

Previously, sellers facing issues of subsidence would typically look for cash buyers, as lenders have been reluctant to grant mortgages for problem properties. However, today it is less of a problem – particularly as modern methods of underpinning make fixing subsidence less challenging – and there are more lenders willing to pay out.

Limited leaseholds

Some owners will find it difficult to sell their home if there is less than 80 years on the lease, as mortgage companies will be reluctant to lend to buyers of a short lease property. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t lenders out there willing to do so, and some even specialise in short lease mortgages.

It is also sometimes possible for the buyer and seller to negotiate a lease extension during the point of sale, so the seller can start the process on behalf of the buyer.

Outdated utilities or old windows

If your property has outdated gas or heating systems, old fuse boards, sockets or switches, selling on the regular property market can be difficult without paying to have the work carried out to rectify them. However, it’s not uncommon to come across properties that aren’t fitted with central heating and have outdated boilers and there are buyers willing to do the work – but you should expect these considerations to have an effect on your property’s value and closing sale price. The same considerations will apply to the windows of your home, particularly if they are single glazed or showing signs of condensation between the panes.

Property auctions

The auction marketplace commonly sees properties that are otherwise unsaleable come to market, providing the opportunity for a sale for the current owner and an interesting purchase for a buyer or builder looking for a renovation project.

If you have been struggling to achieve a sale on your home or have had your home on the market for some time without much interest, why not consider putting your home up for auction?

If you are unsure around your options for selling a problem property, or would like to know more about the costs involved for selling at auction, get in touch with our experienced auction team and we will be delighted to advise you.