Selling a property can be quite complicated and when you take into account all the hidden expenses involved, it’s not surprising that the process is often cited as one of life’s most stressful events. If you’re considering selling your property, read on to discover the biggest expenses you’ll need to include in your budget.
Estate agency fees
The cheapest way to market your property is to do the hard work yourself, but selling a house is not always a straightforward business, so only a tiny fraction of vendors opt to do this. The vast majority of sellers choose to use an estate agent. The fees charged by estate agents can vary quite wide but in general, high street estate agents charge between 1% and 2% of the selling price. The average purchase price of a property in the UK is currently around £220,000 so estate agency fees of over £3000 are not at all unusual.
Always get quotations from several estate agents and feel free to negotiate to get a better deal. If the quote seems cheap, check whether VAT has been included as this will add 20% to the fee. Also be sure to read the contract carefully to find out how your property will be marketed and to make sure you don’t find yourself paying for things you don’t actually require.
Online estate agents are usually much cheaper than traditional agencies, charging a flat rate fee usually of £800 – £1000. However, there is no incentive for the estate agent to secure the best price, you will have to conduct viewings yourself and the agency will lack any specialist local knowledge.
The costs of conveyancing may vary according to whether you are being charged on an hourly basis (best avoided) or as a fixed fee. Most solicitors calculate their fee according to the value of the property and may charge from between £500 to £1500. Check the quotation carefully to avoid having to pay for hidden costs such as postage, phone calls and photocopying, completing the stamp duty return and dealing with your mortgage provider as these should all be regarded as normal business overheads and included in the fee.
Conveyancing for leasehold properties is often more expensive so take this into account when working out your budget.
Early repayment charge
If you have a mortgage that you are not transferring to a new property, it may be subject to an early repayment fee. The amount due will depend on the outstanding balance. If paying this charge would be difficult for you to manage, it’s essential to check the terms of your mortgage agreement before putting your property on the market.
Energy Performance Certificates EPC
The law requires you to have an EPC or Energy Performance Certificate for your property before you put it on the market and this will cost from £60 – £125. The certificate grades properties according to their energy efficiency, with G being the lowest and A the highest grade and suggests changes you can make to improve the grading. Landlords should note that since April 2018, it has been illegal to rent out properties with low ratings of E and F.
Removal costs or house clearance
These costs will vary widely according to how far you are moving, how many possessions you have to move and whether you are packing yourself or have opted for the removal firm to do this for you. You can reduce expenses by decluttering as much as possible before moving; if you are moving a long distance, for example to another country, it might well be more economical to get rid of large items of furniture and buy replacement pieces for your new home.
To give you a rough estimate of what removal costs to expect, if you are moving no more than 10 miles, average removal fees are as follows:
• £350 for a 1- or 2-bedroom property
• £450 for a 3-bedroom property
• £700 for a 4-bedroom property
• £900 for a 5-bedroom property
You can often save money by booking your removal firm as early as possible and choosing a mid-week removal date, as many people prefer to move at the end of the week.