How to Sell a Flat Quickly

FREE cash offer within minutes
How to Sell a Flat Quickly
  • Free cash offer within minutes. Receive funds within 7 days.

Selling any kind of property is easier if the transaction is completed quickly.

However, flats are more challenging to sell in the UK. This is due to the high number of them available.

So, how exactly can you sell a flat quickly? Keep reading to find out.

What is the average time to sell a flat?

According to online figures, selling a flat in the UK takes roughly 220 days (just over 7 months).

This is significantly longer than any other type of property in the country.

Depending on your location in the UK, you will notice considerable variation in the time it takes to sell a flat. For example:

  • Bristol: 139 days
  • Southend: 171 days
  • London: 242 days

In some areas with an enormous supply of flats, it may take longer to find a buyer because you have less power as a seller.

On the other hand, if flats are in short supply, the seller has more power, and the sale will typically be completed quickly.

Where do flats sell the quickest?

Although flats typically take longer to sell, certain hotspots across the UK see sales proceed relatively quickly.

According to Zoopla, one-bedroom flats in the north-west of England are the fastest-selling property type in that location.

Meanwhile, flats tend to be bought quickly in any major university town (close to campus).

Their most common buyers are property owners who convert buildings into houses of multiple occupation to let out to students.

Other fast locations to sell a house include:

  • Falkirk (Scotland)
  • Broxburn (Scotland)
  • Hall Green (Birmingham)
  • St George (Bristol)

Why do flats take longer to sell than other properties?

High supply

Flats take longer to sell because there is a much greater supply of them throughout the UK.

Types of flat

Property developers usually favour building a block of flats (compared to a single detached house). This enables them to get far more value from the plot of land that they own.

In some cases, the type of flat being sold makes a further difference to the selling time.

For example, retirement flats take longer to sell than regular flats because of their relatively small market. And freehold flats take longer to sell because lenders are reluctant to lend for them.

Legal hurdles can appear with a flat, which you may not encounter with other property types. This can make a flat look less attractive to potential buyers.

For example, if the flat has a short lease, banks will not offer a mortgage on it—and this is also the case with a freehold flat.

Buyers will avoid these future headaches wherever they appear, if possible.

Reasons to want to sell a flat quickly

You may want to sell a flat quickly for dozens of reasons. Below we have outlined the most common ones.

Inherited via probate

Firstly, if you have inherited a flat via probate, it suddenly brings a lot of work (or hassle) into your life.

This is even more likely to be the case if you find yourself with sitting tenants who are being problematic.

Outside market factors

Changes in market conditions can sometimes prompt property owners to make rash decisions.

For example, if a market downturn is expected in the near future, then flat owners may want to offload their property before this price dip occurs.


If you are going through a divorce and own the flat jointly with your ex-partner, it is common to want to sell it quickly.


There may be other reasons why a fast sale is necessary, too, such as if you are facing repossession or have been forced to relocate for a job.

Do I need to update my flat to sell it quickly?

If you are selling your flat using an estate agent on the open market, then you are far more likely to find a fast buyer if it is in excellent condition.

However, if you use a cash buying company, your flat’s appearance will not usually matter.

If you want to sell your flat at market value and quickly, then some updates may be required. We have provided some tips for these below.

Top tips for selling a flat quickly

Asking price

Your asking price will significantly impact your flat’s visibility on online property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla.

Speak to several independent valuers and get a sense of what similar flats in the area have sold for recently. Overpricing your flat will slow down the sale.


Your flat’s appearance is also extremely important.

Depersonalising the flat by avoiding strong colours, removing niche furniture or artwork, and decluttering.

This will give flat viewers a blank canvas on which they can imagine themselves personalising.


Keeping the flat tidy and clean will make a positive first impression on people who view the property.

This can also impact the flat’s scent, which adds to the overall impression for viewers.

Lease length

You should also ensure that the lease length is long (at least 80 years) to guarantee that a potential buyer will be able to get a mortgage on it.

Include floorplan

When a flat is listed with a clear floorplan, it will make work in your favour.

Even if the living space is small, potential buyers will discover this when they view the property anyway. So, listing it upfront will save you time.

Choose the right estate agent

In addition to all the above, you should also choose your estate agent and conveyancer carefully.

The effectiveness of these two professionals will enormously impact how quickly your sale is completed.

How to pick your estate agent and conveyancer 

You should check the online reviews of any estate agent or conveyancer you work with.

Search for companies with many independent reviews over many years and ideally a strong track record in your location.

Ideally, you should look out for reviews that emphasise the efficiency and speed of the professional.

Ask your friends and family for recommendations based on professionals that they have worked with, too.

It is common for people selling a house to select the least expensive estate agents and conveyancers possible.

However, a lower fee can sometimes come with a lower service. So it may be worth paying extra money if the alternative is for the deal to slow down or fall apart. 

Common reasons a flat does not sell quickly

Regardless of the property type, market conditions greatly impact market activity.

Buyers tend to become more active when interest rates are lower, but when mortgages become more expensive, activity tends to go down.

If your asking price is too high, or the flat still needs lots of work, then this can slow things down too.

Negotiations over price are one of the main causes of property sales slowing down.

Buyers may be put off buying your flat if it has a short lease, and they may therefore struggle to get a mortgage on it.

You should try to extend your lease (or make sure it’s at a reasonable length) before listing the flat on the market.

As mentioned above, the effectiveness of solicitors and estate agents is important, too.

Sell your retirement property with We Buy Any Home

We Buy Any Home are chain-free cash property buyers who can purchase your property up-front and quickly, without hassle or stress.

We offer the perfect opportunity for to sell your flat quickly.

Fill in our enquiry form below if you want a cash offer for your home.

Free cash offer within minutes, any condition, any location.

Posts Related To Sell Flat Fast

View Sell Flat Fast articles

Get a free cash offer today
Enter your details below

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.