As temperatures drop, more household pests are pushed towards the warmth of our homes. But how does this affect homebuyers when viewing a property?
Hybrid estate agent eMoov.co.uk has looked at the impact of unwanted houseguests on the potential sale of a property.
The agent surveyed over 1,000 people to find out what impact the presence of household pests would have on their decision to buy a home.
Despite the shortage of housing stock available on the market, a notable 60% of people would be deterred from buying a property due to the presence of household pests.
An additional 31% would submit a lower offer than the listed asking price, with just 10% not being bothered about the extra roommates.
eMoov then asked if a persistent pest would force homeowners to sell their properties, with 58% of those asked stating that they would put their home on the market to get rid of the issue.
The agent went on to ask respondents to rank which household pests people would be most worried about having in their homes: rats were by far the most feared, with 74% of people ranking them top of the list; cockroaches were second, at 46%; with a perhaps surprising 39% stating Japanese Knotweed.
Bed bugs/fleas and mice ranked similarly, at 35% and 33% respectively, while nosey neighbours (18%) ranked higher than wasps/bees (9%), spiders (7%), squirrels (5%), ants (5%), and finally moths, at just 2%.
Finally, eMoov asked if, when selling a property, homeowners would make potential buyers aware of a pest problem. While 41% said that they would, a worrying 23% would not, with a further 36% basing the decision on whether they liked the buyer or not.
Russell Quirk, the Founder and CEO of eMoov, says: “At this time of year, it isn’t just the in-laws that invade our homes and cause additional levels of worry and stress. The presence of an unwanted household pest can be a nightmare for those looking to sell and, if left unresolved, these various pests can not only cause a serious amount of damage, but can also jeopardise a sale.
“A proactive approach is the way to go, making sure they can’t gain access to your home, that you keep the garden in check and so on. But if they do find a way in, it’s much better to pay a professional to sort the problem immediately than lose out considerably via a collapsed sale.”
He adds: “This research also highlights the importance of a thorough approach when viewing a property, as you never know what might be lurking in the garden or attic and, once the keys are exchanged, it becomes your problem to solve.”
Landlords, don’t ignore the problem of pests when looking to purchase a property!