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Just mentioning the word subsidence can cast a black cloud over a property sale for both buyer and seller. If it’s revealed in a property survey, it often spells the end of the transaction and the sale will fall through.

Subsidence can be a deal breaker but it’s not impossible to find a buyer and Open Property Group’s guide explains more.

What is subsidence?

Subsidence is when the ground underneath a property sinks and the foundations start misaligning as a result. Homes with subsidence fall into the category of ‘problem properties’, with the condition usually a result of:

  • inadequate foundations
  • tree roots
  • the type of soil – properties built on clay soil are more likely to be affected
  • climate and weather
  • problems with drains

The most noticeable signs of subsidence are cracks wider than 3mm, appearing on both sides of a wall, or a zigzag crack in external brickwork. You might also notice doors and windows sticking and getting worse over time, while a real red flag is if you can see them visibly becoming out of shape.

Finding out about subsidence

You might already know that your property has subsidence if you bought it with the structural condition in the first place but many homeowners only discover they have subsidence when the results of the buyer’s survey are shared.

If you know about subsidence at the property, you will need to disclose this information on the TA6 form that your solicitor will request you complete as part of your sale. If you fail to share this information, it can lead to the buyer taking legal action against you in the future.

Dealing with subsidence

Whether you already know your home has subsidence or if it’s uncovered in the survey, there are some measures you can take to resolve the issue and progress your sale:

  • Check whether your building insurance covers subsidence. If it does, contact your insurer and they should arrange a surveyor to inspect the property. They will decide if it is subsidence and what works are necessary
  • If subsidence is confirmed, the seller can fix the issue before the sale proceeds. If the issue is paid for and resolved by the homeowner, the property’s sales price shouldn’t have to be discounted.
  • An alternative for sellers is to obtain a quote for the remedial work and knock this sum off the asking price, leaving the buyer to tackle the subsidence.
  • If a sale falls through as a result of subsidence, the seller will have to find another buyer willing to take on a property. In this scenario, the seller will almost always have to lower the asking price and wait for a new buyer, which could take a long time
  • Some buyers are happy to purchase a property with subsidence and Open Property Group is one of them. We will buy any property with subsidence for cash and we won’t ask the homeowner to make any repairs.

Take the stress out of selling

Open Property Group is an expert at buying problem properties directly from sellers - making cash offers on the homes no other buyers will touch. Start the sale of a property with subsidence today with a free, no obligation offer.

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