Help with Selling your Thatched Property | July 2016

Selling ThatchI

Help with selling your thatched property

In our experience, prospective purchasers of thatch love the idea of living under a thatched roof but may have a few reservations, often unfounded or easily explained.  If you, as the vendor, can address these queries, it greatly helps the sale process for all concerned.  So, if you are selling your property be prepared to answer those questions.  We have a new page on our website covering a lot of those specific questions, see Selling Your Thatched Property.  In summary purchasers have three main question areas to be addressed.

Roof Maintenance and Cost
Fire Risk

These three things although separate are intertwined so understanding the questions which may be asked by potential purchasers and having the right answers promptly will clearly make a big difference.

Everyone wants their thatched roof to be in good order so that they don’t have to worry about it.  They want to know how long before it will require maintenance and to have an idea of the cost.  It is not a good idea to put a new ridge on a property to make it look good if the main coatwork on the roof elevations won’t outlast it.  Purchasers routinely get the roof inspected and may then question this tidying up option and future cost implications.  Perhaps better to either look at reduction of price or think about a complete rethatch.

A total rethatch may sound like a bit extreme but in our experience we have known of many properties not selling when their thatched roofs are looking tired.  They probably don’t need any maintenance for 3 or 4 years but because they have started to look less than perfect they don’t get any interest.   As soon as the vendors got their properties rethatched, plenty of viewings and offers with the property sold within the month!  Food for thought!

It is possible that potential purchasers may be more understanding of the nature of thatch and let it do its thing and the roof reach the end of its days in the normal timescales.    Remember, thatching works do make a bit of a mess and as a craft is not necessarily the fastest roofing material to be applied, so the purchasers may not be keen on the potential for disruption.  On the other hand some homeowners thrive on seeing their roof being maintained, love to see a thatcher at work and enjoy the process.  It is a peculiar thing, like chalk and cheese.

It is the same scenario with the fire risk.  If the property has as many fire safety systems in place (per the property’s individual requirements and risks) e.g. alarms, chimney lined and of good height, fire retardant spray applied etc., the purchasers see a lot has been done so their risk of having to spend money is reduced.  This could also improve their insurance options.

Most thatch properties are individuals and, as such require individual insurance.  Often questions asked by purchasers are driven by insurance requirements. We have some excellent specialist thatch insurers on our Thatch Directory.

Estate agents selling thatch also may find that their knowledge and experience are limited.  There is plenty of excellent information on our website to help or email us if you have a specific query.  Having the information allows everyone to make informed decisions and choices on each individual thatched property.

Read our Thatch Advice Centre page on Selling Your Thatched Property for more details and information to help you with your sale or get in touch.

Buying and selling thatch

Selling thatched properties

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