Five unseen threats to undermine your house price

Selling your home is a minefield of potential things that could damage your home’s appeal or lower its value. For every terrible photo and messy exterior, though, there are some problems with your home that may not be easy to spot to the naked eye. 

Maintenance issues or structural problems may only become apparent when a surveyor inspects your home during the selling process – an obstacle that could significantly impact the offer you receive from a buyer. 

Here are five unseen threats that could undermine your property’s price:

Japanese knotweed

By far the most well-known scourge to the world’s housing stock, but many people do not even know what Japanese knotweed looks like. The weed can burrow into concrete and gradually destabilise your building; a major nuisance for homeowners and a turn-off for someone looking to buy a new property. Digging out the weed yourself, though will not successful remove it; you will need to call an expert to have it treated professionally.

Beetles and termites

Termites love wood, but they can be hard to spot, even as they cause damage to your home. According to the National Pest Management Association, they are responsible for $5 billion worth of damage to US homes every year. More audible, but equally annoying, are Deathwatch beetles, which live in old oak timbers suffering from decay. 

Radon gas

You have radon gas in your home already, but you will not have noticed. Why? Because it is harmless in tiny amounts. For some parts of the UK, though, it can rise above the 100Bq/m3 safety threshold, warns With the cost of removal up to £2,500, it is worth checking just in case you can save a larger chunk of money coming out of your house price.


Subsidence is not something that a homeowner can take steps personally to rectify: it involves ground moving undeneath a home, for example, when they are located on clay soil or near mining activity. If you notice cracks in your plaster or bricks, have your property inspected by a surveyor, who will know what steps can be taken to rectify it. Insurers are often friendly towards it too.

Broken pipes

From pipes leaking into the soil or damp timber attracting bugs, maintenance is vital to ensure your home is in its most attractive state possible before you sell. As well as the usual checks, take care to inspect your pipes.

Photo: AFPMB

Compare listings