How Much Does it Cost to Sell a House?
Everything you need to know about the costs of selling or moving house, including the hidden and unexpected ones.
It may not be that intuitive but, even when you are selling your home the costs can add up! As well as the obvious costs, such as estate agent fees, there are other hidden costs that can surprise you and stretch your budget.
Knowing what these costs are in advance will help you to reduce them but also being prepared ahead of time will allow you to spread them out as you get ready to sell up and even, in some cases eliminate them altogether.
All Estate Agents Charge Fees for their Services.
This cost is very reasonable and it’s largely through fees that estate agents make their money. These fees include a wide range of services and on reflection are certainly worth it, however, some people choose to take on these roles themselves and avoid the fees entirely. This is not very advisable though unless you really know what you’re doing.
Most recognised estate agents charge a commission fee for selling your house. This fee will vary across the High Street but on average it will fall somewhere between 1 and 3% (+VAT) of the final sale price.
Auction House Charges and Fees – a different route to sell your house in the UK.
An alternative to selling your home through an estate is to sell it at auction. This is usually a far quicker process but the final selling price that you get will be much less predictable. It’s a good option though if you want a quick sale, but there are still fees associated with this approach.
Usually an auction house will charge you an Auction Entry Fee, which is a fixed, non returnable fee, and, if the sale is successful, they will also charge a commission fee. The Entry Fee is usually quite low and varies significantly from place to place. It could be anything from zero to several thousand pounds. The commission fee, which is only payable if you sell the property, also varies between 1.5% and 3% of the sale price. Given the wide variation in these costs it’s worth shopping around if you choose to sell through an auction house.
Solicitor Fees and Costs.
The solicitor will oversee the sale and ensure that the paperwork is all legal and above board. The solicitor will act on your behalf throughout the sale of your house. On average these fees can be anywhere from £400 up to a maximum of about £2000. The cost of taking on a solicitor will depend on several factors including location and the nature of the sale.
A solicitor will cost more in London than in many other parts of the country. It may be worth your while, if you are selling a property in London for example, to see whether you can take on the services of a solicitor based outside the city, in a nearby town, where you may get a more favourable rate.
If the sale is extremely complex, with difficult legal issues surrounding the sale, then the solicitor will charge more as well. There is no way that you can really avoid this, and as such, this is a cost that you will have to take on during the sale of your house.
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is Mandatory in order to sell a house in the UK.
The EPC provides the buyer with a clear idea of how energy efficient the property is. This is helpful for them because it will allow them to gauge the cost of future utility bills. This is mandatory, and the cost of an inspection will range from around £30 to £180 (+VAT). You must use an officially accredited assessor and the certificate remains valid for up to 10 years in the UK.
The Cost of Hiring a Removal Company.
When you move house, prior to selling it, you will have to have your furniture and possessions removed.The main factors to consider when you are estimating the cost of removal will include :
– The distance that you are moving. If you are moving across the country it will cost more than if you are moving around the corner!
– How much furniture, belongings and other things you need to be moved. The amount of things to be moved will determine the size of the removal van and the number of personnel that will be needed and hence the cost of hiring the service.
However, you can avoid these costs entirely by moving your things yourself. The feasibility of this will depend on how much work you are willing to do yourself as well as whether or not you can hire a van for the purpose. This is something that you can spread out over time though, provided you have somewhere to store your things. Taking multiple trips over several weekends to move your things out may be the most cost effective method of doing this, however, it will require a bit of hard work on your part!
Cleaning and Repair Costs.
After you have moved out your house will need to be in a very clean and tidy condition to maximise the eventual sale price of the home. Potential buyers want to walk into a beautifully clean empty house and imagine moving in straight away without having to deep clean the oven, scrub the floors and fix doors, windows and skirting boards!
You can employ a professional cleaning company to deep clean your entire house after you have moved your things out and this would usually take no more than a day or so. The cost of this service will vary by location, and the size of the house, but you shouldn’t be looking at more than a few hundred pounds and the return on that investment will be worth it when the house does sell.
It’s also important that the house is in good repair when you move out and get ready to sell it. If prospective buyers feel like they will have to spend a lot of time and money to get the property into a good condition they may well be put off buying it all! Consider employing a property management company to identify any areas for improvement.
Making your Property look its very best.
As well as cleaning and repairs it’s also important to make sure that your house looks at its very best before you sell it. Consider replacing light fittings, door handles and other fixtures with modern styles and designs that are currently in mode.
The cost of this will not be too high but it can make a huge difference to the overall look and feel of the property and can end up adding thousands of pounds to the sale price while costing you far less to get it done. Talk to your estate agent and see what they think about any plans you have in this direction, try to find out what’s selling well and what’s not, and work from there as a starting point.
The Costs involved with selling your house in the UK are generally very fair, and in some cases, easy to avoid if you put a bit of time and effort into the process.
The costs associated with selling your home should not put you off, and in many cases you can eliminate them altogether with a bit of elbow grease and good planning. It’s always worth shopping around for good deals when you are working with estate agents, solicitors and removal companies. As well as doing price comparisons though, you should also do some research into the company’s record, customer reviews and their track records.
When it comes to repair work and upgrading fixtures, repainting and so forth, be sure to do some check around to see what is popular at the moment and what is helping to sell properties. If done correctly, this can really add a significant amount to the final property sale price and in the end might even offset the other costs and fees associated with the sale!