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What costs are involved when selling a house?
When you sell a house, you will have various costs to factor in. From estate agent and conveyancing fees to energy performance certificates, we take a look at all of the costs you can expect to pay when selling a house, so that you can plan ahead financially. Keep on reading to find the average costs of selling a house, or for more information on the process, read our guide to selling a home.
Estate agent fees
Estate agent fees are usually the biggest cost to factor in when selling a house. You do have options, such as whether you choose a high street or online estate agent, and there are pros and cons for both, find out more below:
High street estate agents
High street estate agents typically charge anything from 1%-3% in commission, which is paid upon completion. For example if you’re selling your house for £290,000 through an estate agent charging 2% commission, you’ll pay them £5,800 when you complete.
The commission can be a substantial amount, and usually increases the more your house is worth, however most high street estate agents work on a no sell no fee basis, so you won’t be out of pocket if your sale falls through. Just make sure you’re fully aware of what you’ll have to pay right from the start to avoid any nasty surprises.
Online estate agents
Most of the time, online agents will set a flat fee, usually between £600 – £1,500, that’s either payable upfront or deferable for a set time frame. This could work out to be considerably cheaper than the commission model that many high street agents follow, however you may have to do more tasks yourself, such as arranging viewings and taking property pictures. Additionally, you will likely have to pay this fee regardless if you manage to sell your house or not, therefore you’re at risk of losing money if your house sale falls through.
You’ll also have to factor in conveyancing fees when selling a house, as you’ll need a legal professional to help complete all the legal work that’s involved in selling your property. Your conveyancer will do everything from liaising with the buyer’s solicitor to filling out legal documents, paying off your existing mortgage and transferring funds on your completion date. The cost of legal fees for selling a house is usually deducted from the funds received from the buyer when you complete, and typically ranges from £500-£1,500. For further information about conveyancing costs, view our conveyancing fees guide, or to get a personalised conveyancing quote for your sale, use our online calculator.
If you still have a mortgage on the property, you may have to pay a mortgage exit fee or an early repayment charge when you come to sell it.
A mortgage exit fee is an administration charge for closing the file on your mortgage when your balance is cleared. This fee is usually around £50 – £300, however, not all lenders have this charge. It will be stated in your original mortgage contract if you have the fee and the amount you will have to pay, so be sure to check.
You should also check you contract to see if you’ll have to pay an early repayment charge, which is usually between 1 – 5% of your loan amount. This charge is for when you pay back your mortgage earlier than your contract stipulates and can be larger than expected, so be sure to factor these costs in
If you’re selling your house through an auction you may have to pay both commission and an administration fee. You could be looking to pay about 2.55 commission and between £300 – £400 administration fee. For more information on these costs, read our guide to selling a house at auction.
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 need to be available within seven days of putting your house on the market. They usually cost around £40, however they are valid for 10 years so 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.
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.
Hidden costs of selling a house and how to save money
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 removal quotes 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.