Selling a property is rarely straightforward. There are lots of variables involved with the process, and not everyone experiences a ‘smooth sale’ like they would hope. Whether you are selling a detached or semi-detached house, a bungalow, a flat, or something else altogether – you should be prepared for all the challenges that comes with it.
If you own a flat in the UK, you may be wondering: will it be difficult to sell? While there are a few obstacles that come with selling a flat, which you don’t experience when selling a house, there are advantages too. For example, figures from Unlatch ranks flats as the most common property type to purchase in the UK in recent times.
Read our blog below to understand the difficulties you may face.
Is it Difficult To Sell a Flat?
It is generally accepted in the UK that flats don’t sell as quickly as houses.
The type of property a potential buyer wants to purchase can vary based on a number of factors. In times of economic uncertainty, such as during a recession, lots of people ‘downsize’ to a flat (if they owned a house previously) to save money. In this instance, there may still be a sizeable number of people looking to buy your property.
Meanwhile, when the economy is in a strong position, first time buyers often first enter the market by buying a flat, since a semi-detached or detached house is out of their budget. Therefore, it should still be possible to find buyers during this period of time, too.
Common challenges of selling a flat
There are certain challenges involved with selling a flat which you often do not experience with detached or semi-detached houses. Firstly, when you own a flat, it is typically under a leasehold agreement – meaning that you own the flat, but not the land it is on. This means that you will need to keep an eye on the lease and make sure it does not drop below 90 years, as when this happens, it can make it difficult for potential buyers to secure a mortgage on your property.
When someone buys a flat, the service charge for maintenance of communal areas in the grounds and building will be another factor for potential buyers to consider. For example, while a low service charge may be attractive to some buyers, others might fear that this translates into minimal maintenance of the building. This is a challenging discussion point you will need to navigate when selling your flat.
If you need more tips for selling your property smoothly, then We Buy Any Home’s collection of blogs on our website may be able to help.
How popular are flats in the UK?
Figures from Unlatch found that flats accounted for 34% of recent sales, followed by detached homes on 28%, and semi-detached homes at 17%. 12% of recent sales have been terraced homes, while just 9% were bungalows. This demonstrates that flats remain a very popular property type in the UK, presumably because they are more affordable than some others.
How much does a flat sell for?
Just like any property in the UK, the selling price of your flat will vary according to its size – for example, whether there are one or two bedrooms – and location. You should contact an independent property valuer who can visit your flat and give you an accurate figure. Alternatively, an estate agency could do this for you, but be aware that they sometimes overestimate the selling price, so you are encouraged to pick them to sell your house.
Why Are Retirement Flats Not Selling?
It has been reported that retirement flats are not selling in such high quantities in the UK, compared to regular flats. Some recent studies suggest this to be true. There are a few reasons why this may be.
Firstly, retirement flats do not sell as easily because the target market is smaller than any other property on the open market. For example, if a landlord is only able to sell to someone aged 55 or over, then this cancels out way over half of potential buyers for the property. Secondly, it is estimated that less than 5% of people over-65 in the UK live in a designated ‘retirement property’.
Finally, retirement flats do not always sell for the same price that they were initially bought for. There are countless examples of a retirement flat selling for less than their initial purchase price, and this is because the process of selling one can take a long time. There is also a small group of potential buyers, which means that sellers drop their asking price so the sale can be completed quickly.
We Buy Any Home are experts at helping you to sell your flat fast. Contact us today.