Unfortunately, there’s more to selling your house than just swapping a cheque from a buyer for your set of keys. As there are several different parties involved, there are fees that are attached to the process. Here we take a look at the costs you can expect to pay when selling a house, so that you can plan ahead financially.
Estate agent fees
Usually the biggest cost you’ll encounter when it comes to selling your home is the fee you’ll have to pay your estate agent. They typically charge anything from 1%-3% in commission, which is paid upon completion. So if you’re selling your house for £200,000 through an estate agent charging 2% commission, you’ll pay them £4,000 when you complete. As this obviously goes up the more your house is worth, the fee can end up being considerable, so make sure you’re fully aware of what you’ll have to pay right from the start to avoid any nasty surprises.
It’s worth considering that online and high street estate agents are different. Most of the time, online agents will set a flat fee that’s either payable upfront or deferable for a set time frame. This could work out cheaper than the commission model that many high street agents follow.
As you’re going to need help completing all the legal work that’s involved in selling your property, you’ll need to instruct a conveyancer to act on your behalf. They’ll do everything from liaising with the buyer’s conveyancer to filling out legal documents, paying off your existing mortgage and transferring funds on your completion date. The fee is usually deducted from the funds received from the buyer when you complete, and typically ranges from £500-£1,500.
Energy Performance Certificate
When you sell a house, you’re legally required to provide any potential buyer with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This gives information on the current energy efficiency of the property, plus the potential it has if any issues with performance are addressed. EPCs are conducted by accredited domestic energy assessors, and should be available within seven days of putting your house on the market. They usually cost around £40, and are valid for 10 years. If you purchased the house in the last decade, it’s worth checking if you still have the old one as it’s still valid.
If you need the help of a removal team to help you move, then you’ll obviously have to pay for the pleasure. How much you’ll need to pay depends on the amount of things you need to move, and how far away your new house is. Although you might be able to pay something in the region of £300-£600, you may find that the cost of a removal team comfortably passes the £1,000 mark.
To make sure you keep receiving your mail once you move out of the house you’re selling, you can use the Royal Mail redirection service. The price of this starts at just over £30 for 3 months, but make sure you don’t organise it before you exchange and have a completion date.
As well as the main costs above, it’s important to make sure you’re aware of any additional costs that may be involved in your sale. Check the terms and conditions of your agreements with parties such as your conveyancer, as certain fees may apply to you.
Top tips to keep the cost down
• Consider using a fixed-fee estate agent
If you do go with an estate agent, look for one that charges a fixed-fee to avoid paying high amounts of commission. You could do this by finding an online agent which may help you to save thousands when you sell your house. You can expect to pay between £400-£1,000 when using an online fixed-fee estate agent.
If you choose this option, it’s important to consider that you’ll probably have to conduct viewings yourself, even where the agent has arranged them for you.
• Get conveyancing quotes
To make sure you’re getting a good deal on your conveyancing services, get a range of quotes you can compare. Choose a reputable, experienced conveyancer to eliminate the risk of anything going wrong. If you live in London, consider using one that’s not based in the capital as this may help you to keep the cost down.
• Get your conveyancer to help you buy as well as sell
If you’re buying a house as well as selling one, you might be able to negotiate a better rate by going with the same conveyancer for both transactions. As well as saving some cash, it can help to keep things simpler with the chain that you’re in too.
• Check your EPC
If you bought your house less than a decade ago, you may be able to use the existing EPC. As the certificate lasts for 10 years, you could save some money if your EPC’s still valid.
• Don’t get ahead of yourself
Although it’s always worthwhile being as organised as you can when selling property, it’s also important that you don’t get ahead of yourself. Avoid doing things like booking a removal team or changing the details on things like your driving licence until you exchange contracts and have a set completion date. Until you do complete, hiccups can still happen, so you don’t want to lose out if you have to cancel or change things.
• Do removal day yourself
If you’ve got friends and family to give you a lift, you could save a good chunk of cash by hiring a van and moving your things yourself. This is a great option if your new home’s relatively close to the one you’re selling, as you should be able to get away with just renting a van for one day if you’re well prepared.
• Compare removal quotes
If you do decide to go with a removal firm, get a few quotes to compare the prices. Get them to visit your house for the most accurate quotes, as things like tight staircases or issues with access can affect how difficult your move is, and therefore the price. With your quotes in hand, you can try to negotiate on the price of your removal service.
Disclaimer: The article above is only a rough guide to give you some idea of costs involved when selling your house. It Is important note that costs may differ for individual cases.