Selling your home is often a stressful and emotional time, but it’s important that you stay pragmatic about the process and remember to do everything right.
Selling a flat is a little different from selling a house, in that while you can put up a ‘For Sale’ sign directly outside the house in question, it’s very difficult to get a feel for a flat when all you see are generic blocks from the outside, so you may need to rely more heavily on internet inquiries.
Oddly enough, this may cause some people to see the inside of your home from online pictures before the outside.
You can, and should, play this game to help attract the right buyers. Check out some local property websites to find real estate agents who use attractive pictures of homes and who describe the property in attractive terms. A number of plantation agent rely on their company name to sell the house, but find someone who will take the time to make your flat sound appealing to buyers and find the right angles of photos to show off its full potential to ensnare online browsers.
There’s obviously little opportunity to show off your flat from the outside, and little you can do about the general appearance of your building and the surrounding area. However, the environment will be of paramount importance to buyers, and even the most open-minded house hunters may struggle to see the appeal of a poorly maintained apartment block or an apartment with piles of trash and discarded furniture. Contact the landlord or maintenance team if you have a problem, or the council if the problem is in a public area.
However, there are some things you can do yourself to increase the value of your property. For one thing, it’s very important that you make sure your remaining lease term is at least 70 years, although ideally over 80 years is the minimum. The longer you leave it, the more you’ll have to pay for your lease renewal, so it’s worth getting ahead of the game and paying for the renewal before it gets expensive. This will then encourage buyers to take an interest in your property, safe in the knowledge that they will not pay up extend the lease themselves, so they would be happy to pay the increased asking price.
It is important for your flat to impress as soon as potential buyers walk in, so make sure the entrance to your flat is well maintained and attractive. Many flats lack lighting in internal hallways, so keep it light and feel airy with bright walls and floors and bright lighting. General maintenance rules apply, so update bathroom and kitchen equipment at least, but ideally keep all furniture in good condition, even if you take it with you, to give the illusion of a more inviting space.
Chris Daniels is a property portfolio manager who advises his clients on maximizing the potential of property investments.