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Selling a Duplex Flat

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Duplex flats can be difficult to sell because they are considered ‘inferior property’ when compared with a standard flat.  They come as affordable homes with slightly smaller footprints.

One of the biggest problems with duplex flats is that they share a common wall or floor which leads to noise and privacy issues.  So how do you sell your duplex flat?

Table of Contents

What type of property is a duplex flat?

Whether you own part of the freehold or leasehold of a duplex apartment, you need to establish who will be your ideal buyer.  In our experience, these are renters who wish to get on the housing ladder.

A duplex flat is a type of flat that spans two connected floors, typically with one kitchen and one dining room. The floor plan of a duplex flat can vary between properties.

The most common type of duplex flat is one that is located in a building shared by another two-storey flat. These units share a staircase or lift but are otherwise separate properties. However, there are many variations of what can be considered a duplex flat. The simplest way to determine if you own one is if your property is a self-contained two-story flat.

Duplex flats are typically leasehold properties, which means that you are the legal owner of the flat for a specified number of years as stated in the lease agreement. The freeholder, who is the outright legal owner of the building and land, will also charge you an annual ground rent as outlined in the lease agreement.

The following section of this article will provide more details on the important aspects of a duplex flat and how they differ from similar properties such as maisonettes and penthouse flats.

What are the differences between duplex flats and other flats?

Although a duplex flat can refer to a building that has a pair of two-storey flats sharing a staircase, other scenarios can qualify for this definition. It’s important to understand the differences between duplex flats and other types of flats when selling a property.

Conventional flats are single-floor properties, regardless of whether they have a separate kitchen or not. On the other hand, a duplex flat spans across two floors of a building, offering more space and potentially attracting buyers who value spaciousness.

Penthouse flats, on the other hand, are typically located on the top floor of a block of flats. The main designation of a penthouse flat is its location, not the number of floors it covers. Some penthouse flats only occupy a single floor of a building, although they often span the entire floor.

Maisonettes may appear similar to duplex flats, but there are crucial differences that can affect a buyer’s interest. Maisonettes usually cover one storey of a building, not two, and they often have their private entrance instead of sharing it with other flat owners.

Selling a Duplex Flat
Duplex flats can be difficult to sell because they are considered ‘inferior property’ when compared with a standard flat.

What factors can help you sell your duplex flat?

If you’re considering selling your duplex flat and moving to a new home, there are several property features that can make it more appealing to potential buyers.

Understanding these factors can help you focus on promoting the beneficial aspects of your property. In fact, some of the advantages of owning a duplex flat may outweigh any concerns that buyers may have.

  1. One of the main advantages of owning a duplex flat is the flexibility it offers in terms of designing the layout. Unlike a single-floor flat, a duplex provides more options for creating separate spaces. For example, if someone works from home, they can have an office space on one floor while keeping the bedroom and other living areas separate on the other floor. This flexibility can be a major selling point for buyers.
  2. Another advantage of a duplex flat is the additional space it provides. If buyers prioritise having ample space, a duplex is more attractive than a single-floor flat. Promoting the extra space in your home can generate interest among potential buyers.
  3. Resale value is also an important consideration for some buyers. They may assess whether they can sell the property at a profit in the future. Fortunately, duplex flats are often seen as desirable properties due to their additional space and other benefits mentioned earlier. This can give buyers confidence that owning your flat would be a good investment for selling at a higher price later on.

Reasons why buyers may not want a duplex flat

  • Whilst several elements of your duplex flat might help attract buyers, it’s important to be aware of the potential drawbacks. Knowing these cons will better prepare you to answer any questions or concerns from potential buyers. For example, you can reassure them that noise from neighbours will not impact their quality of life as the next owner.
  • One potential drawback is utility costs. Some buyers have strict budgets and are looking for a flat that will help them keep costs low in the future. They may see a duplex as less attractive compared to a smaller, single-floor flat. This is because a duplex is larger and could result in higher electricity bills and other increased utility charges.
  • Another consideration is shared spaces. If your duplex is part of a building with multiple flats, there may be shared common areas like a yard. While having access to green space is generally seen as a positive aspect, some buyers may view this as a dealbreaker. They want to enjoy the outside space without having to share it with others.
  • Lastly, the potential noise from neighbours is a concern. Duplex flats share common walls with neighbouring flats, and this can result in noise that can be heard in your own home. Buyers may consider this a major drawback when considering a duplex flat.

By addressing these potential cons and providing reassurance, you can better position your duplex flat to potential buyers.

Four methods to sell your duplex flat:


Selling at a property auction

Quick buyers are those who have the funds readily available to purchase your duplex flat without any need to wait for weeks or months to obtain mortgage approval for the transaction. This means that they can complete the home-buying process in a few weeks, including the final stages of exchanging contracts and making full payment to you.

Selling to a quick property buyer

When selling at an auction, you will need to set a reserve price. This is the minimum price at which you agree to sell your property. It is important to choose a price that will generate a profit after paying the auctioneer’s fees. If you receive only one bid at the reserve price, it is considered a legally binding agreement to sell your home to the bidder. 

Selling without any assistance

Selling your duplex flat on your own involves a lot of work. You’ll have to do everything from creating an ad and listing to arranging viewings and negotiating offers. It’s a stressful process that can take up a significant amount of your time.

Selling with an estate agent

Using the services of an estate agent can help reduce your stress when selling a duplex flat. They take care of most of the steps involved in finding a buyer. This includes creating a listing for your home and advertising it in their office, in local newspapers, and online.  

They also arrange viewings for interested parties to tour the interior and exterior of your flat. Finally, they handle the negotiation process and exchange of contracts with serious buyers.

Top queries and answers about selling a duplex flat
Homeowners who are considering selling their flat quickly may have a variety of questions.

Top queries and answers about selling a duplex flat

Homeowners who are considering selling their flat quickly may have a variety of questions.

These questions can span from the size of flats we can purchase, to the process of selling flats that span multiple floors. If you are thinking of selling a duplex flat, here are some common questions and answers.

Your top questions when selling a duplex flat

1. How do I know if my property is considered to be a duplex flat?

There is no strict rule that specifies the exact definition of a duplex flat. However, there is a generally agreed upon view that these properties are flats divided across two connected floors. 

The most common scenario where this occurs is in a building that has two duplex flats that share a staircase. However, some variations can still qualify as a duplex flat.

2. How do duplex flats differ from other categories of flats?

There are some important factors that set duplex flats apart from other types of flats. It’s crucial to understand these differences before trying to sell your home. Unlike conventional flats that only occupy one floor, duplex flats span two floors. 

Additionally, duplex flats are not the same as penthouse flats, which are located on the top floor of buildings. 

3. Why could some buyers be wary about owning a duplex flat?

Unfortunately, you may encounter buyers who have reservations about making an offer to purchase a duplex flat. These concerns may be difficult to overcome depending on the selling method being used. 

Some buyers may worry about noise from neighbouring properties, while others may have concerns about sharing outdoor space with other flats.

4. What options do I have for trying to sell a duplex flat?

The four standard options available for selling a duplex flat, or any other type of leasehold or freehold property, are: getting in touch with a quick home-buying company such as Property Saviour, trying your luck with a property auction, enlisting the services of an estate agent, or trying to sell without any help.

There are pros and cons to each of these choices.

5. Will I have to pay fees when selling my duplex flat?

Not necessarily, because you can avoid paying any commission when you choose to sell to a no-fee quick home buyer like Property Saviour or if you sell without any third-party help. 

However, if you decide to sell through an estate agent or property auction, they will charge you fees when your property sells. These costs will be deducted right away from the final sale proceeds.

6. How quickly will I be able to find a buyer for my duplex flat?

The time it takes to sell your property depends on the approach you choose. If you opt for quick buyers, you can expect the process to be completed within a few weeks. They will exchange contracts and provide you with the payment promptly. 

On the other hand, if you decide to sell via an auction, be prepared for the process to take at least several months. Selling on your own or with the assistance of an estate agent could take over a year before the completion of the sale.

Sell with certainty & speed

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