Navigating the Sale of a Property with Known Issues

The process of selling a home can be a rather daunting experience, especially when the property you’re intending to sell has known issues. As a seller, you may be uncertain of your obligations regarding the disclosure of these problems. This article aims to provide a guide for UK homeowners intending to sell properties with issues, detailing the kind of problems you need to disclose and what happens if you decide to sell your home.

Legal Requirements for Disclosure

Before we dive into the details, let’s start with the legalities. In the UK, vendors are legally required to disclose certain information about the property to potential buyers. This is known as “material information” and includes any issues with the property that could affect a buyer’s decision.

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 stipulates that sellers must provide accurate information about the property and not withhold any pertinent details. The types of issues you are legally required to disclose encompass structural issues like subsidence, flooding history, ongoing disputes with neighbours, or problems with services or installations.

The Consequences of Non-Disclosure

Failure to disclose these known issues could result in serious legal consequences. If you’re found guilty of withholding material information, you could face legal action from the buyer. They may have the right to claim compensation, undo the transaction, or both. To avoid such predicaments, transparency is key when dealing with property-related issues.

Choosing to Sell As-Is

Some sellers may decide to put their property on the market “as-is”, acknowledging the known issues but making it clear that the buyer will take on the property with all its existing problems. This approach allows for a degree of transparency between the buyer and the seller. However, the caveat is that homes sold as-is typically fetch a lower selling price compared to similar properties in better condition.

Get a Pre-Sale Survey

If you are unsure about the extent of the issues that your property may have, you could consider investing in a pre-sale survey. A pre-sale survey can uncover any hidden issues, providing an opportunity to fix them before listing. It can also give you a stronger negotiating position, as you will be fully informed about the state of your property.

Addressing the Known Issues

Addressing the known issues before selling your home may increase its value and make it more attractive to potential buyers. Although this may involve an upfront cost, it could pay dividends when the offers start rolling in.

The Power of Transparency

Selling a property with known issues does not have to be an arduous process. Honesty, transparency and careful planning are crucial to successfully navigate this journey. Providing full disclosure not only keeps you legally safe, but also fosters trust with potential buyers, who will appreciate your truthful approach and are more likely to proceed with the purchase.

Are you considering selling a property with known issues? Our experienced team at Belvoir are here to guide you every step of the way. From understanding your legal obligations to planning your sale to maximise returns, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today to learn how we can help you navigate the complexities of selling a property with known issues.