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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Simple Tips for Selling Your Pad

Once the decision has been made to sell or rent an apartment, the owner's first concern is to fetch the highest price possible for it.

Some launch into repairing the apartment when often this is not required. Real estate agents say it is much more important to wash out the lift and put a strong lightbulb in the corridor .

"Cosmetic repairs are needed only if the apartment is completely derelict; the main thing is that the walls aren't black with smoke and the ceiling yellow," said Andrei Kupriyanov, marketing director with real estate agents Poligrafzhilstroi.

The type of building and its location interests buyers more than the interior.

If the apartment is in good repair, this can increase its attractiveness to buyers or tenants. It can greatly reduce the time it takes to clinch a sale or rental contract.

The plumbing should be repaired, the water tank must operate normally and the taps shouldn't leak. All the lights must work, the switches shouldn't flash and those that do should be replaced with inexpensive domestic equivalents.

"Families that are moving in or breaking up need apartments that can be occupied quickly. With the minimum of repairs, a seller can broaden his or her market for potential customers," said Andrei Chekmezov, an expert at the Skip agency.

Repairs can improve the rental or sale price by a maximum of 10 percent, said Kupriyanov. The cost of substantial modifications, however, will never be recovered since it is too difficult to find a client with the same taste as the seller.

"Euroremont [or Euro-restoration] pushes the buyer toward making the deal, but only if he or she is prepared from the outset to live in a five-story panel-block apartment on the ground floor in the Kapotnya district. Euroremont won't make itself felt in the price of an apartment like that," said Mikhail Gorokhovsky, general director of the Nasha Moskva agency.

He said the secret of making a successful sale lies in showing the buyer what he or she can do with the apartment. Its light and space should be emphasized: Ideally the furniture should be removed altogether or at least kept to a minimum.

"My friends tried to exchange their apartment for one in a neighboring entrance and the process dragged on. I did a double-take when I stopped in to see them f the place was cluttered up and crammed with furniture," said Gorokhovsky. "On my suggestion they brought several clients to have a look at my apartment afterwards and the deal was made in no time f they couldn't believe that the layout was the same."

Real estate agents complain that most owners ignore the important detail of spending a little time to prepare the entrance to their buildings when trying to sell.

Nothing over the top is required. Washing out the lift with chlorine to get rid of unwanted odors is sufficient. A strong lightbulb should be put in over the entrance to the apartment so that the agent doesn't need a torch to get the client to the front door. It is also a good idea to paint the lift frame on the floor of the flat on offer since the cost in terms of money and time is insignificant, but it makes a good impression.