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How can I sell a house with knotweed?

(9 Posts)
Katelocks Tue 04-Oct-16 16:35:46

My house had a very small outbreak of Japanese Knotweed in 2014. I immediately had it treated by a specialist company and the treatment program is paid for (there have been no further outbreaks of knotweed), as is recommended, up until 2020. At that point the guarantee kicks in which ensures that the property will be free of knotweed until 2030. Most mortgage lenders have no issue with this but buyers have been scared off. Property is priced very reasonably for the area and I'm prepared to be even more flexible. What else can I do? What would persuade you to buy a house that previously had knotweed but is guaranteed not for another 14 years?

MrsHulk Tue 04-Oct-16 16:44:38

I'm surprised it's that big an issue TBH. It's very common and, like you say, the normal way to deal with it is the treatment and guarantee. It wouldn't be a problem for us.

Is the paperwork all definitely in order? The guarantee from a reputable company?

If so, I wonder whether it's being used as an excuse/easy reason by buyers who just aren't that keen. What does your agent think?

pullingmyhairout1 Tue 04-Oct-16 16:47:32

I'm a mortgage adviser - sounds like you have done everything possible. Most lenders wouldn't have an issue.

Is knotweed common for your area, I only know of 2 properties where I am that I have come across it.

IamWendy Tue 04-Oct-16 16:49:53

You need to make it clear if they chances of selling will be affected.... Can you give them a date after which they won't need to declare?

IamWendy Tue 04-Oct-16 16:50:19

Their chances.

Katelocks Tue 04-Oct-16 17:02:55

Thanks everyone. Yes, the paperwork is all in order and the guarantee is from a reputable company and re-insured ie if the company didn't exist in 10 years time then the insurance would cover the guarantee.

Knotweed is not common in the area. I've been unlucky but caught it early (and it's cost me £1000's). I've also paid for the neighbor's property, where there was slightly more growth, to be treated until 2020, so it doesn't cause further issues for me.

After 2020 you wouldn't need to declare it. It's a good point though. I should let any potential buyers know this.

MrsHulk Tue 04-Oct-16 17:22:29

If it's not common in the area, buyers may just be getting scared of the Unknown I suppose.

Is the estate agent doing the viewings? If so, do the agents definitely understand the position? Just thinking they're best placed to be reassuring.

You could even give out a kind of information sheet (you may be able to find some online) so that buyers can read up without needing to do their own research.

lalalonglegs Tue 04-Oct-16 19:05:40

Perhaps the hysterical reactions that knotweed elicits on MN are reflected in real life - I wouldn't purposefully go out looking for a house with knotweed but a small outbreak, even current, wouldn't necessarily put me off. Some posters obviously feel very, very differently and are extremely risk averse. At which point is it coming up in the sales process? Have you had offers and the buyer has then pulled out or is it something that is mentioned pre-offer? Does your neighbour's house have a huge, untreated knotweed plantation?

Ilikedogs Tue 04-Oct-16 19:14:46

its sounds like you have done everything you can. We almost bought a house with knotweed but ended up pulling out as we knew we would be selling in the next 2-4 years. Had it been our 'forever' home it wouldn't have been a problem. However after hearing the opinions of friends and family (wno basically thought the knotweed would bust through the foundations any day) we realised that it would be a massive factor in resale.
I think I'm saying it should sell but you may have to wait for someone who hasn't got 'the fear.'

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