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Can I Sell a House with Subsidence?

In Q4 of 2018 the UK saw incredible levels of claims for subsidence. Over the 12-week period subsidence claims peaked at £64 million – the highest level ever. Subsidence can not only be expensive to resolve but it can skyrocket insurance premiums and affect the saleability of a property.

If you house has been affected by subsidence our guide will help you distinguish whether you can sell or not. But first, let’s understand what subsidence is.

What is subsidence?

Subsidence happens when the ground under your house sinks or caves in. It is most problematic when the ground underneath a house is sinking at different rates as it causes the foundations of a proper to become misaligned, threatening the structural integrity of the building.

What are the signs of subsidence?

Cracks appearing on walls, especially in older properties is not always a sign of subsidence. Keep an eye on cracks that:

  • Appear close to a door or window
  • Are wider than 3mm
  • Are visible inside and outside
  • Spread diagonally across a wall

Other signs to be aware of include:

  • Rippled wallpaper
  • Doors and windows sticking when opening and closing
  • Cracks appearing between a property and extension
  • The home appears slanted or wonky

Your home could be struggling with subsidence and you’d never know as it can lay dormant for years until signs appear. Your home could me more at risk if it is built on clay, is surrounded by trees or has experienced a prolonged hot and dry summer.

Selling a house with subsidence history

It is not impossible to sell a home that is currently, or has, experienced subsidence. You will need a surveyor to visit your home and asses the structure and foundations. The surveyor will be able to distinguish if the subsidence is historical or ongoing.

  • Historical subsidence means that any continued movement is unlikely, and no improvements need to be made.
  • If subsidence is ongoing then work needs to be carried out to resolve the subsidence before selling.

If you are selling a property with historical subsidence you will need to disclose previous issues with the estate agent. They will them make any prospective buyers aware; be prepared that it may take longer to sell your home as subsidence can be off putting, even if historical. You may even have to lower your asking price if the subsidence was recent.

Selling an underpinned house

Underpinning is an action that is used to strengthen the foundation of a property and is subsidence solution. You can sell a property that has been underpinned as long as it has been completed to a good standard and there are no ongoing structural or subsidence issues.

Selling house with subsidence

You can sell a house with ongoing subsidence, but you should be prepared to take a serious drop in asking price. This allows the buyer to undertake the work that needs to be conducted to rectify the subsidence issue. Furthermore, properties will likely need to be purchased by cash buyers as mortgage lenders are unlikely to touch properties with ongoing subsidence as they are uninsurable in their present state.

How much does subsidence reduce value?

Issues with subsidence can affect the selling price of a property by around 20%. On a £300,000 property this would be a decrease of £60,000. This percentage is on a sliding scale depending on the severity of the subsidence.

If you’re struggling to sell your home with ongoing or historical subsidence get in touch with SOLD.CO.UK. Our complete selling service offers different routes to sale and allows you to sell your home fast. You can request a valuation online to get the ball rolling or give the SOLD.CO.UK team a call on 0800 566 8490 today.


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