As temperatures plummet pushing more household pests towards the warmth of our homes, our latest research has looked at the impact these unwanted house guests can have on the potential sale of a property.

We surveyed 1,000+ people and asked what impact the presence of household pests would have on their decision when viewing a property.

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 bothered about the additional roommates.

We then asked if a persistent pest would force homeowners to sell their property, with 58% of those asked stating they would put their home on the market to get rid.

We then asked them to rank which household pests people would be most worried about having in their home.

Rats were by far the most feared with 74% ranking them top of the list. Cockroaches came second at 46%, with a perhaps surprising 39% ranking Japanese Knotweed as the third most worrying household pests.

Bed bugs/fleas and mice ranked similarly at 35% and 33% respectively, with nosey neighbours (18%) ranking higher than wasps/bees (9%), spiders (7%), squirrels (5%) ants (5%) and finally moths at just 2%.

Finally, we asked if when selling a property, would homeowners make buyers aware of a potential pest problem. While 41% said they would, a worrying 23% would not, with a further 36% basing that decision on if they liked the buyer or not.

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.

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.

Russell Quirk

Founder and CEO , Emoov.co.uk

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