Homeowners sell their properties to make money — be that to purchase a new home or to fund another venture. If you’ve never sold a property before, the costs involved might come as a bit of a shock. From home improvements and essential certifications to estate agents fees, selling a house costs thousands of pounds. Or it can do……
In this guide, our property experts have broken down the costs involved in selling a house in the UK. We’ll also give you some tips on how to reduce these outgoings and enjoy a hassle-free move.
Essential Selling a House Costs
The cost of selling your house will vary depending on its value and the services you personally choose to purchase. However, most homeowners selling on the open market will incur the following costs:
- Estate Agent Fees
- Conveyancing Fees
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- Removal Company Costs
- Remortgaging or porting a mortgage (if you need financing to buy another property)
According to the UK House Price Index, the average price in England as of August 2020, is £256,000. Selling a house at this price could cost between £5,065.80 and £7,720.80:
|Estate Agent Fees
Based on the average rate of 1.43% for a high street agent.
Fees will vary and solicitors typically cost more than conveyancers.
|£850 – £1,500|
|Energy Performance Certificate
All sellers must apply for this before putting their home on the market.
|£60 – £120 (inc VAT)|
|Removal Company Costs
These can vary wildly depending on the size of your property and the level of service you require. Which? has published these figures as an estimate.
|£45 – £1,440|
|Remortgaging or Porting Your Mortgage
You can take out a new loan to buy another property or take your existing mortgage with you (porting). Remortgaging is typically more expensive.
|Porting – up to £450 for a valuation
Remortgaging – £1,000+
Additional Costs to the Seller
Further to these basic costs, a homeowner may choose to complete repairs and home improvements before selling. These can add considerably to the cost of selling, although some of the money invested may be recouped via a higher sale price.
You may also opt to have your own survey done. While there is no obligation for a seller to pay for a survey — a cost typically borne by the purchaser — it can boost the chances of selling. If a survey highlights problems with your home, you can address these before the property goes on the market. If a buyer’s survey throws up issues after their offer has been accepted, this can result in delays, renegotiations and a failed sale. A survey can also help you to set a realistic asking price. Recent research has shown that properties that are priced correctly from day one on the market sell much quicker than those that are originally priced too high and then reduced. A homebuyer report costs £500 on average.
If your property has increased in value since you bought it, you may be liable to pay capital gains tax (CGT). Usually, if you are selling your only home, CGT will not be payable, but it’s worth checking. The rate varies depending on the size of the gain and your income.
Estate Agent Fees
If you choose to sell your house through an estate agent you have plenty of options. The type of agency you use will impact the price you pay.
In general, high street estate agents are more expensive than online and hybrid agents. This is probably because the former have higher operational costs than the latter. However, a high street estate agents’ local knowledge could put them in a better position to market and sell your property more quickly and for a higher price, saving you money in the long run. Furthermore, recent research by The Advisory has revealed that online estate agents fail to sell 50 per cent of all the homes they take on, leaving the seller to pay twice — once to the online estate agent and once to a high street estate agent when the former fails to secure a sale. High street estate agents typically operate on a “no sale no fee” basis too.
You can avoid all estate agent fees by selling to House Buyer Bureau. Take a look at this cost comparison between an open market sale with an estate agent and a discreet sale to us or contact us to get your cash offer.
You’ll need to instruct a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer to deal with all the legalities involved in selling a property. Conveyancing costs include your solicitor or conveyancer’s fee and conveyancing disbursements. You’ll be charged a fixed fee or a percentage of the value of your property.
Conveyancing fees include:
- Legal Fee — your solicitor or conveyancer’s fee.
- Disbursement Fees — fees that your conveyancer pays on your behalf for third-party services.
- Land Registry Documents — obtaining the official documents required to prove that you are the legal owner of your property and therefore entitled to sell it.
- Bank Transfer Fee — this covers the cost to your conveyancer of transferring funds, for example, to pay off your mortgage or paying the balance of the sale into your account.
- Money Laundering Checks — your conveyancer will run checks to verify the identity of your buyer.
How to Reduce the Cost of Selling Your House
Here are our top tips for keeping house selling costs down:
- Use a Conveyancer Instead of a Solicitor — conveyancers are typically lower cost than solicitors yet both perform the same role in house sale transactions. However, do your research and be sure to find a licensed professional with good recommendations.
- Port Your Mortgage Rather Than Remortgaging — if porting your mortgage is an option and the terms are good, this will probably be cheaper than finding a new deal. Porting typically only incurs a cost of up to £450 for a valuation, whereas remortgaging is likely to include a hefty arrangement fee — £1,000 to £2,000 is common — and a booking fee — £100 to £250 — on top of the valuation fee.
- Keep Removal Costs Down — quotes can vary widely between companies. Shop around and get at least three quotes. Most house moves take place on a Friday or a Monday so booking a removal company on these days attracts a higher fee. If you can, aim for a mid-week move to attract lower quotes. Some removal companies offer discounts to certain groups of people, such as OAPs, students and those who work in the armed or emergency services. If you’re moving from a small property, it may even be possible to cut this cost dramatically by hiring a van and moving yourself.
- Sell without an Estate Agent — the estate agent’s commission is often one of the homeowner’s biggest expenses when selling a house. You can sell your house privately without using the services of an agency and cut this cost completely. Alternatively, by selling to House Buyer Bureau you can avoid both estate agent and solicitors fees. Find out more about how our service works.
There will always be some costs involved in selling a house, but how much you pay and what services you choose to pay for is up to you. If you’re looking for a hassle-free, guaranteed and fast sale, get in touch with the House Buyer Bureau team.