Best advice on renovating your flat to sell it faster

Margo Ovsiienko

If you want to sell your flat faster and get a good price for it, the first thing you need to do is invest in it. Always look at your space from the perspective of a buyer. Scratched floors, old wallpapers, peeling paint, damaged tiles, ancient curtain rods, moldy corners, and leaking pipes are just some of the many things that can turn away potential buyers.

The renovation does not have to break your bank. You can find a lot of affordable renovation fixtures that will make your space look polished and brand new. That said, here are seven tips on renovating your flat to sell it faster.

Consult with the right people

Before you start renovating, get some advice on what buyers might want to see when they enter your space. Real estate agents deal with buyers' wants and needs all the time, and they will know the type of people that would be interested in your flat given its size and location. They will tell you whether to pursue a particular renovation and how much return on investment you would have from it. Similarly, interior designers can give you an idea of what type of furniture and colors will make the flat look more desirable.

Paint the walls

Walls play a huge role in first impressions, so make sure they are freshly painted before you put your place up on the market. Any holes or cracks should be filled in and covered. Although white walls typically make a space feel bigger, light neutrals (think gray and beige) can soften the space and make it feel more welcoming. Stay away from accent walls, busy wallpapers, and bold colors that make the rooms look small and busy. Buyers should be able to visualize themselves in your flat. More importantly, light tones are easier to paint over.

Polish up wooden floors 

Floors suffer a significant amount of damage over time. Hardwood floors, for example, get scratched and loose from moving furniture or, in some cases, they might have sustained water damage from a leak. Clean and sturdy floors are attractive to potential buyers because they see them as one less thing they would need to invest in when they move in. Sand, stain, and coat your hardwood floors, and fill in any gaps between the floorboards. When showcasing, do not cover your floors with big carpets - expose them.

Change your light fixtures 

Make sure that your place is well lit. Invest in light fixtures with a minimalist design to make your flat look brighter. Sometimes buyers might want to visit the property at a later time of day, and having a well-lit space will make the flat look more appealing. That said, capitalize on any daylight that you can. That means that you should stay away from heavy curtains and expose the windows and let in as much natural light as possible. 

Update the kitchen 

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms or corners, so if your flat has an outdated one, it is time for a renovation. Sometimes just changing your kitchen cabinet doors and installing new knobs, handles, or pulls can result in an instant upgrade. However, if it is within your budget, consider replacing the countertops, sink taps, and plumbing fixtures to increase your market price.

Invest in your bathrooms

Renovating your bathrooms can significantly increase your resale value. If you have the budget, go ahead and swap old tiles for modern ones, buy a new bathtub, or remodel the shower area. If a complete remodel is not within your budget, make smaller upgrades such as refinishing your bathtub, replacing faucets and sinks, changing showerheads, removing old caulk, etc. 

Think about energy efficiency

Lastly, think about investing in new doors and windows to make sure that your flat is not drafty. You can also upgrade the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Thermal insulation can help improve energy efficiency and act as a sound proofer, which is a strong selling point, especially if you can prove it with utility bills. 

Last thoughts

Always clean your flat before showcasing. Unless you are selling an empty flat, make sure that your personal belongings are well organized and do not take any extra space. Put away the things you do not need in the basement storage room of your building or elsewhere. Style your flat in a way that gives it character. It can excite unimaginative buyers and give them an idea of what they could do with the space in the future. 

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Margo Ovsiienko is an experienced marketing leader and product manager. She's a contributor to Flippa, CoSchedule, Keap, Single Grain, Jeff Bullas, and more respected websites.

New York, NY

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