Costs and fees - Downsizing

What is the cost of selling a house?

7 min read

When you sell a house, you will have various costs to factor in. Here we take a look at the costs you can expect to pay, to help you plan ahead.

  • Arti Dhamu, Move Specialist at My Home Move Conveyancing
    Arti Dhamu

    Move Specialist

    Published September 8th 2023

beautiful lady on the phone to her partner happy with the costs for selling her house so she can move with her pets into his

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.

Conveyancing fees

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.

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Mortgage fees

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

Auction fees

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.

Removal costs

If you need the help of a house removals 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.

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.

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Get a personalised quote

Get a quote from My Home Move Conveyancing. We provide access to expert conveyancers to help you through the selling journey.

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 changing the details on your driving licence or book a removals service (unless your deposit is secured) 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.

Find further information in our article about the process of selling a house, as well as in our handy guide on how long it takes to sell a house.

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