Experts reveal 5 most important things to get right when flipping a property

The co-hosts of new Channel 4 show George Clarke's Flipping Fast share their top house flipping tips

Scarlette and Stuart Douglas
(Image credit: Limelight Creative)

George Clarke returned to screens last week, with a brand new Channel 4 property show - George Clarke's Flipping Fast. The show is all about flipping houses - buying a house cheap, and doing them up to make a profit within a short period of time.

In the show the architect is joined by sibling duo Scarlette and Stuart Douglas, property developers and expert house flippers, who have a number of property shows under there belt, including a special episode of Love It Or List It, and Worst House On The Street. Ideal Home spoke to the pair to find out their top tips on how to flip a house and sell a house for the best profit, including why a tradesmen is one of the most important factors to get right.

George Clarke, Scarlette and Stuart Douglas

(Image credit: Channel 4)

The new show is a combination of The Apprentice meets Love it or List it. It sees six people given £100,000 in order to start their ‘house flipping’ journey. The six-part series, which started on Wednesday 25th May, will discover who can make the most profit from developing homes over the course of 12 months.

Scarlett and Stuart’s house flipping tips

1. Find the best tradesmen you can

This is essential, says Scarlette, and will make the whole process much easier. She tells us, 'They don’t always have to be the most expensive, but those that are consistent, reliable, and trustworthy are going to make what can sometimes be a stressful profession a lot easier!'

2. Work backwards for your purchase price

Just like when you’re buying a property for yourself, you first need to assess the potential profit margin when you plan to flip a house. Scarlette explains, 'Find out the ceiling price for properties on that road, what the costs of the refurb would be, and then knowing the sort of profit you can make will help determine how much you offer on the property at the beginning stage.'

Brick house exterior with lawn

(Image credit: Future Plc / Douglas Gibb)

Stuart agrees, suggesting that assessing the area overall can give a good indication of your potential returns. 'Research the area that you plan to buy in. Is it best suited to commuters or families? Will flats or houses provide the best financial return? These are standard questions that you should know the answers to before you commit to buy. From here, you can calculate a renovation budget that allows you to make a profit, if your figures are correct.'

3. Always have a contingency fund

Like any property project, having money set aside for unforeseen issues can prove vital in the house flipping business. 'Once you decide on a budget amount, always factor at least 10% as a contingency. No renovation goes exactly to plan!' Stuart says.

Cream living room with picture rail and plant

(Image credit: Future Plc)

4. Work with an experienced mentor, or a partner, if you can

Scarlette explains, 'It’s a tricky business, so better you learn from the mistakes of others than making your own. We all must start somewhere, and we will all make mistakes - even seasoned developers do. But if you can minimise those when starting out, that’s priceless.'

5. Start small

Stuart advised beginners, 'Start small and simple - this way you can reduce the renovation cost and minimise risk.

'Try something like a one-bedroom flat that doesn't need extensive structural alterations first. Knocking down a stud wall here or there is fine, but weight bearing walls that need structural surveyor calculations can be quite complex and costly, especially on a first renovation!'

George Clarke's Flipping Fast is on Channel 4, Wednesday at 9pm


 Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist and editor, now working in a freelance capacity specialising in homes and interiors, wellness, travel and careers. She was previously Lifestyle Editor at woman&home, overseeing the homes, books and features sections of the website. Having worked in the industry for over eight years, she has contributed to a range of publications including Ideal Home, Livingetc, T3,Goodto, Woman, Woman’s Own, and Red magazine