Top Tips On How To Sell Your Flat Fast
Lockdown has affected every single aspect of our lives, and one of the things it’s made clear is our need for space, and access to the great outdoors.
Research from Rightmove has found that 49% of renters and 39% of buyers believe lockdown has impacted what they look for in a new home. Specifically, an increase in 84% of renters and 42% of buyers are now searching for homes with gardens; with Google searches for “house with garden” up 260% YoY in April, according to Google’s own data. A workspace and a rural location are also both high up on the priority list too.
Number of Google searches for “house with garden”:
Whereas the kitchen was once the most important factor of a property when attracting buyers, lockdown has shaken things up, with indoor and outdoor space now the two most important things.
Unfortunately for flats, many of them can’t offer these amenities; and the recent decline in demand reflects this. In January 2020, the most popular property search was “studio flat”, but now all types of flats have dropped out of the top five searches, with a two-bedroom house the most popular choice.
With such a dramatic decline in the demand for apartments, if you currently own a flat that you’re considering selling, it may be better to get it sorted sooner rather than later.
In this guide
- How long does it take to sell a flat?
- Tips on how to sell your flat fast
- How to make your flat look bigger
- How to sell a flat quickly: the options
How long does it take to sell a flat?
According to Zoopla, it takes 50 days on average for a flat or house to sell, with the entire process from listing your property on the market, to moving into your new home taking up to six months, if done through an estate agent.
This of course, depends on many factors, including demand – and if demand for flats continues to reduce, then timeframes can become a lot longer.
Selling a flat with a short lease
Leasehold properties typically take longer to sell than freehold ones, and it can be more problematic if you have a short lease, which is classed as 80 years or less.
You may be wondering how easy it is to sell a flat with a short lease, and the answer is: it’s possible, but it will be more difficult. If you choose to sell it through an estate agent or an auction house (which we’ll discuss in more detail further on in this article), then you’ll need to lower your asking price to reflect the lease length.
A quick house sale company may be a better option, as they tend to offer approximately 80% of the flat’s value, regardless of the length of the lease.
If you’re concerned about your lease affecting how quickly you can sell your flat, then it’s worth looking into a lease extension.
Tips on how to sell your flat fast
How you present your property can have a significant impact on the attractiveness for buyers. If you want to learn how to sell a flat quickly, follow these tips to help viewers picture your apartment as their perfect home.
Deep clean – and clean again!
Before you open your flat for viewings, give it a deep clean. This means getting rid of any limescale and mould, waxing your wooden floors, and scrubbing your oven until it shines.
If your carpets and curtains are looking a little worse for wear, then it’s worth bringing in a professional to clean them. The slight cost you will incur will more than outweigh the probability of your flat selling faster.
Make sure you clean your flat regularly in between views, and consider hanging fresh towels in your bathroom, and buying fresh flowers to brighten the place up and make it look more appealing.
Fix the little things
The longer you live in a place, the more wear-and-tear that will occur. While you may not notice these things, prospective buyers most definitely will. So, whether you have a cracked bathroom tile or scuff marks on the wall, make sure you get them fixed.
Have a clear out
If you’re considering selling your flat, then take the time to have a clear out. Removing clutter will not only make your flat look bigger, it’ll also save you hassle in the long-run, as you won’t have to haul excess belongings to your new place.
Avoid too much personalisation
The last thing you want is your flat to look sterile and unlived in, but if your flat is too personalised (think walls full of family photos or children’s’ toys lying around), then it can make it more difficult for prospective buyers to imagine themselves moving in.
If you have the time, then consider repainting your walls in neutral colours, to help prospective buyers get creative with the opportunities your flat holds.
Banish any pet-related odours or stains
With 44% of UK households pet owners, it’s fair to say we’re a nation of animal lovers. However, pet-related stains and odours can be very off-putting for viewers, especially if you’re living in a smaller space, like a flat.
In fact, bad odours are one of the biggest turn-offs for would-be buyers; so make sure your plumbing is working, and take the bins out before a viewing. You might also want to light some candles, or open the windows to let some fresh air in.
How to make your flat look bigger
With inside space a key requirement for buyers and renters; making your flat appear more spacious can make it more attractive to potential buyers. These handy tricks will help you to make your flat look bigger.
Add in mirrors
Mirrors create not only the illusion of extra light, but also space – especially if you place them in small areas such as hallways. This is because they reflect the light and the view, giving the perception of extra space.
Create a pathway
Make sure there is space between your furniture, even if it’s just a few inches – nothing says cramped more than sofas pushed up against the wall, and a coffee table crammed in.
Where possible, try to group furniture to one side of the room, to create a walkway from the door. Not only does this create the illusion of space, but it also means prospective buyers won’t bump into things, leading to feelings of your flat being on the small side.
Keep your floor clear
Not only should you remove the clutter, but if you want to sell your flat fast, then remove any rugs you have. This will enable light to flow on the floor, giving the illusion of the room being more open. Glass coffee tables can also help with this.
How to sell a flat quickly: the options
When it comes to selling your flat, you essentially have three options to choose from:
This method is the longest of the three, taking anywhere between 3-6 months, and perhaps even longer, with demand decreasing for flats.
If you choose an estate agent, you’ll need to consider the very real possibility of your flat not being sold for your asking price, in addition to the estate agent fees that will occur.
If you choose to sell your property at auction, it can take anywhere between 6-10 weeks. It’s likely your flat will sell for less than market value, and you’ll need to pay approximately 2.5% of your earnings to the auctioneer.
If you have a short lease flat, this can be a good option; but if your property is otherwise in good condition, you’re unlikely to get the best deal at an auction.
Cash house buyers
If your main priority is to sell your flat fast, then cash house buyers like ourselves are probably your best option. If you do decide to go down this route, then we recommend picking a reputable company that’s a member of the NAPB, like ourselves.
We can provide you with a free online quote within 24 hours, and you could have your flat sold in as little as seven days. To find out more about selling your home quickly, get in touch with our friendly professionals today.