Can You Sell a House with Subsidence?

If left undiscovered or ignored subsidence can cost thousands of pounds to rectify. If you’re wanting to sell your home and the property has experienced subsidence in the past or is affected it by it currently, prospective buyers can understandably be incredibly put off. However, subsidence doesn’t mean you need to put your plans of selling your home on hold.

What is subsidence?

Subsidence is when the ground underneath your home suddenly sinks or gradually settles downwards. The rate of deterioration varies, and it doesn’t happen to every home. Subsidence can greatly affect the structural integrity of a property and make it unsafe to live in if left untreated.

How can I tell if my house is subsiding? 

Your home will tell you if its experiencing subsidence and there are a number of tell-tale signs that will appear. It is completely normal for the odd crack in the plaster to appear or the odd piece of peeling wallpaper as homes naturally expand and contract. However, you should contact your insurance provider if the following appears:

  • Rippling or disfigured wallpaper
  • Property appears slanted 
  • Property appears wonky
  • Diagonal cracks internally and externally
  • Cracks around doors and windows
  • Doors and windows not opening efficiently
  • Cracks appearing between the main building and any extensions

Subsidence is more common following elongated hot and dry spells. This is because the ground is void of water due to plants draining it dry, meaning the earth is more susceptible to breaking, cracking and sinking. 

Can subsidence be fixed? 

If you think your house is suffering with subsidence you should contact your insurer straight away. They will inform you of the best steps to carry out. Typically, this will involve a surveyor coming to your home and reviewing the issue. You may need to have the cause of the subsidence removed, such as a large tree, and some minor structural work carried out on your home. In the most extreme cases your home may need structural support via a process called underpinning to help give strength back to the foundations.

Can I sell my house with subsidence history?

It is understandable that many buyers would be perturbed when subsidence history was mentioned when viewing a property. Even if the issue has been fixed and hasn’t occurred again in a number of years, expect people to be weary. Sometimes, you may need to accept a lower value that you’d like to sell your home. However, it is not impossible to sell your home fast should you need to. 

Can I sell my house with subsidence? 

There are three outcomes possible should a surveyor be called to your house for potential subsidence:

  • The surveyor may state there is no subsidence present.
  • The surveyor may class the issues as historical subsidence. This means any further movement or issues is unlikely and no structural work needs to take place.
  • The surveyor may class the subsidence as ongoing and you will need work carried out to fix the issue.

If the subsidence is ongoing and you do not want to carry out the work, it will be difficult to sell your home as it won’t be mortgageable. However, there are scenarios where you can offer a lower property value to enable a buyer to have enough funds to carry out the subsidence work once you have moved out. Repair work can cost anything between £5,00 and £50,000 depending on the extent o the damage the subsidence has caused. You will be able to secure an estimate from your surveyor and can apply this appropriately to your property sale figure.