If you are looking to sell your flat, it can be difficult to know where to start. With more and more prospective homebuyers prioritising more room and outdoor space, it can be difficult to get your flat noticed among the sea of properties available on the market.
Although demand for flats might have declined slightly since the pandemic, there is still a large pool of prospective buyers and clear action that you can take to sell your flat. For instance, young families or first-time buyers looking to get on the property ladder, or young working professionals. Many still look to buy flats, as they’re easy to maintain and often more affordable.
How Long Does It Take to Sell a Flat?
If you want to sell your flat fast, you can speed up the process; however, data from Zoopla suggests that, on average, flats take around 50 days to sell from the listing stage to the moving in stage, if done through an estate agent.
This timescale could be even longer depending on different factors. For example, if you have a property with a short lease, you might find it more difficult to sell the property fast.
10 Top Tips to Sell a Flat
When trying to sell a flat, there are certain things that a seller can do to help the process go more smoothly.
Before showing your flat to prospective tenants, you will need to rid it of any unnecessary clutter or junk. A flat that is messy or disorderly will immediately deter buyers as it makes it look less attractive. Not only that, but one of the main things working against you when trying to sell a flat versus selling a house is the relative lack of space; if your space is cluttered, you will make it look even smaller and more cramped. Decluttering your flat at this stage will also help you later when you come to move.
2. Deep Clean
No one wants to look at a flat when it is dirty. Make sure your flat is in tip-top condition before inviting prospective buyers in to view it. This involves not just a surface-level clean but a deep clean including waxing any floors, removing any mould or limescale, dusting hard to reach areas and scrubbing your oven. If your upholstery and carpets are dirty or dingy, consider getting a professional in to clean these as they will make your flat feel cleaner overall. Make sure that any towels, tea towels and linens are also clean before letting people in for viewings.
3. Fresh Lick of Paint
Adding a fresh lick of paint to your flat is always a good idea as it will give it a cleaner look and cover up any scuffs or wear and tear. It is also an opportunity to make your flat seem lighter and bigger with the colours that you choose. Now is your chance to choose a neutral colour palette – this will help viewers envisage how the flat might look if they choose to live there.
You will have likely styled your flat to suit your tastes including colour schemes, furniture and decoration. No doubt you will also have personal items around the house such as family photos, religious paraphernalia or children’s toys. When showing your home, you want to depersonalise your flat as much as possible to make it easier for prospective buyers to imagine themselves living in the flat.
5. Make Small Repairs
Now is the time to make any minor repairs be it fixing cracked tiles, repairing threadbare patches of carpets, filling in holes in the wall or securing fixtures. For prospective buyers, their ideal scenario is to move into a home that they do not need to fix or repair. Any small defects could put off buyers as it implies to them that this is something they will need to invest time and money into fixing.
6. Eliminate Any Bad Smells
Bad smells are one of the biggest deterrents for prospective buyers. It is not enough just to cover up the smells but you will need to find the source of the smell and eliminate it completely. Make sure that you have opened windows to provide proper ventilation, especially in the kitchen. Consider your linens and upholstery, such as bedding or sofa covers. Make sure to target drains and bins and ensure that they are clean.
If you are a smoker, you may need to get rid of any furniture or fabrics that are embedded with cigarette smoke. Additionally, you can place bowls of vinegar around the flat in the days leading up to the viewings as they can remove the smell of stale cigarettes.
Similarly, if you are a pet owner, make sure you are getting rid of pet-related stains and odours.
You can go the extra mile in creating a sense of homeliness by lighting scented candles or brewing fresh coffee so that prospective buyers are greeted with a pleasant smell.
7. Enhance Light
Using light can help you create the illusion of more space in your flat which can be a huge plus for future buyers. For example, well-place mirrors, such as in hallways or opposite windows, can reflect the light and give the perception of more space. Wall mirrors, especially in smaller rooms, can make rooms appear much lighter and more spacious.
Another way to make your flat appear lighter and more spacious is to make sure your windows are cleaned thoroughly inside and out.
You can also strategically place lamps so that you are lightening any dark corners.
8. Create a Pathway
Spacing out your furniture can open up your space significantly, even if you are just moving your furniture apart by a few inches. The worst thing you can do in a flat is make your space seem smaller by cramping your furniture together.
If possible, try to create a walkway from the door of the room by grouping furniture to one side of the room. It will create more space and also make it easier to walk around. Removing rugs can also make it easier to get around as well as enabling light to flow on the floor and open up the space.
9. Set the Right Price
Regardless of how you choose to sell your flat (i.e. via an estate agent or online), setting the right price is absolutely key. Offering a fair market valuation will gain the trust of prospective buyers as they won’t feel like you are ripping them off. Even if you offer a price that is slightly lower, it could encourage multiple offers and bid the price up to the home’s actual value. Overpricing your flat is the top mistake you could make.
10. Think About Your Listing Photos
One of the key things that you want to promote when selling your flat is the amount of space that it has. Think carefully about the photos that you are including in the listing, especially if you are taking the photos yourself. Make sure that you are using angles which maximise the space of each room. Also think carefully about light and staging of your furniture. Having poor quality or unappealing photos of your flat will deter people from coming to view your flat and could kill the sale before you have even started.