Coronavirus has forced change; from the extinction of the daily commute, freedom of travel, and mass gatherings to our increasing reliance on technology and focus on health.
It’s no surprise then that covid-19 has also changed the property game through re-aligning people’s priorities: flats and apartments in packed, polluted and pandemic ridden cities just don’t have the curb appeal that they used; it’s homes with gardens and spare rooms that are at the top of the list according to a recent RightMove study.
With flats dropping so spectacularly out of favour, if you’re already thinking of selling, then it may be better to get it sorted sooner rather than later.
But — what do you do if you need to sell your flat fast?
In this blog, we answer the most common questions.
What are the different ways to sell a flat fast?
- Estate agents — estate agents will sell your flat on the open market. They act as the middleman between buyer and seller and charge a fee for their services. On the plus side, they’ll market your flat and handle the process for you. On the downside, they don’t move quickly (with average timescales around 6 months from listing your property on the market to sale completion) and with 1 in 4 sales falling through via this method, they can’t guarantee a sale at all, so you could be in a permanent state of limbo.
- Auction — auctions work well for flats and properties that need a lot of work as they tend to attract investors who are looking for a bargain and happy to take them on. It’s not necessarily a quick solution though, as there can be weeks of preparation before the auction actually takes place leaving you waiting.
- Part exchange — if you just want to move then this is a relatively simple solution. A developer will take the flat off your hands if you buy one of their new builds. But you won’t get a good price; in exchange for taking away the hassle of selling, they’ll only offer you around 60-70% of market value for your flat.
- Quick cash sale companies — the only way to guarantee a fast sale of your flat with a price that you’re happy with is via a genuine cash house buying company. The industry has a bad reputation as a result of some rogue operators so just do your research; ask for proof of recent sales, speak to previous customers for a review, and choose local over national companies.
Can you sell a flat quickly with a short lease?
It’s not impossible but it’s very difficult. Most buyers will want at least a 99 year lease on the flat, and if yours doesn’t have it then they’ll probably ask you to extend it.
If you don’t want to be bothered with the lease extension process then you’ll need to be flexible with your price and reduce to reflect the lease length.
Top Tips on how to sell your flat fast
It all depends on the selling route that you chose in terms of how much this matters: if you opt to go with a quick cash sale company then you don’t need to bother investing the time and effort getting it ‘ready to sell’ as they’ll buy as seen; if you’re selling on the open market however then first impressions count so you need to help buyers picture your flat as their perfect home:
- Declutter — it’s easy to let clutter build up especially in flats, whether it’s clothes that you’ve convinced yourself will one day come back into fashion or nostalgic childhood items that now spend their lifetime in a cupboard. These things add up and before you know it, your flat is a haven for things you don’t use. With space limited anyway in flats, throw out what you don’t need and create a space to inspire buyers.
- Clean — there’s nothing more off putting to buyers than a dirty flat so get on your marigolds and exercise some elbow grease to rid your bathroom tiles of mould, your drains of limescale and your carpet of stains.
- Limit the personal touch — you might love your picture wall and tea lights scattered around your living room, but not everyone will. Without making your flat feel clinical and unloved, remove the personal touches that mean something to you but won’t to any one else. If you’ve got time, paint the walls a neutral colour so that you appeal to all tastes and help buyers see the potential that your place holds.
- Fix the little things — the bathroom tile that’s cracked, the kitchen unit door that is hanging off, the scuff marks on the wall and the stains on the carpet …. they all need sorting before you let buyers in if you want the best price.
- Make it smell nice — take your pet to a neighbour, empty your bins, and make sure your flat smells fresh and clean. Bad odours are a sure-fast way of putting off buyers.
- Make it feel bigger — use mirrors to make the flat feel bigger and make sure that pathways are clear so that buyers can easily explore your flat without having to side-shuffle between pieces of furniture or around your kids’ toys.