How much does it cost to sell your property?
It is not unusual to want (or to need) to achieve more than one outcome from selling your property. Getting the best price is, unsurprisingly, usually one.
However, in concentrating on finding the buyer who offers most, sellers sometimes forget that the expenses of selling can make a difference to the amount you ultimately receive.
There is no exact figure for how much it costs to sell. The answer depends on how much of the sale process you are willing to handle yourself. We estimate that the average seller pays around £1,200 plus 2% of the value of the property.
This article takes a closer look at how much it costs to sell your home - what you will expect to pay for and how you can reduce fees and expenses.
Mortgage exit fees
If you are still within the term of your fixed interest rate, then you may have to pay fees for terminating your fixed term early.
The fees are likely to be lower the closer you are to the end of the fixed term. If you are on the standard variable rate (or if you have no mortgage), you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
If you can be flexible about when you sell, it is better to sell towards the end of the term of the fixed rate, or outside it. If you’re about to rearrange your mortgage in order to benefit from a fixed rate, but anticipate that you may want to sell before the term ends, then you could look for a mortgage that is “portable”. Such an agreement allows you to carry over your rate of interest to a new property for the remainder of the term without any additional costs should you sell.
You also need to consider that remortgaging before you sell may still incur fees for you now.
Removals (and possibly storage)
Removals companies cost varying amounts depending on the location of your property, how much furniture you have, and the level of service that they provide to you.
Obviously, the more work that you can do yourself, the less you need to pay a removals business to do.
To keep costs down:
Consider the minimum level of service
It may be convenient to have somebody else pack and take away the contents of your home, but a full service generally comes at a higher profit margin for the removals business.
Obtain several quotes
Don’t just ask your local removals business to carry out the work. Also obtain written fixed fee quotations from other businesses in the surrounding area. If you are moving area, you might also consider asking for quotes from removal firms in the new area to which you are moving.
In order to keep costs down, some removal businesses insist that your furniture and possessions are packed in a particular way and left somewhere convenient to take them out the property. They may charge you fees if you don’t comply. So check the terms and conditions of your contract.
Disassemble your furniture if possible
Not only will it take up less room in the removals van, but the removals firm is likely to quote less for moving it.
Estate agency fees
Estate agents traditionally take commission on the property’s sale price. This can be anywhere between 1% and 3%, but of course you pay nothing if your home is not sold.
When choosing an agent, you shouldn’t just choose the firm that provides the highest valuation of your property. You should also consider the fees that the agent will take. There is no benefit in holding out for a higher price with an agent who will take the additional amount as commission.
Remember that you can negotiate the sales commission, and that most agents will expect that some of their clients will do so. Especially if a competing firm can offer you a lower rate, don’t be afraid of asking your preferred agent to drop his or her fees by a percentage point.
Online estate agents
If you are willing to put up a board and show potential buyers around, you might also consider using an online estate agent.
Fees are typically fixed and much lower than a local firm. Of course, you won’t have exposure in a local agent’s window, but most people look online now before then making a viewing appointment with the agent.
Conveyancing fees can vary significantly and tend to be higher for larger properties.
Opting for the cheapest conveyancer doesn’t always save money. A good conveyancer can ensure that the transaction goes through smoothly and quickly, and that the buyer’s conveyancer does not feel that he or she can ask for reductions in the offer price.
Usually you can save money on conveyancing fees by asking the same conveyancer to act for you for both the sale of your existing property and the purchase of your new property. The two properties do not need to be in the same area.
You can also shop around for a conveyancer. Your estate agent is likely to recommend a local one, with whom he or she has a good relationship. Bear in mind that he or she might also receive commission for introducing you. However, your conveyancer does not need to be local to you or the property – conveyancing can be done at distance.
As a seller, you should expect to pay in the region of £500 to £750 for conveyancing. The buyer is likely to have to pay more because his or her conveyancer will have to carry out more work, such as conducting searches.
Conveyancing is a competitively priced service that has low profit margins. While you can (and should) ask for a reduction in the fee, most conveyancers are not likely to be flexible on prices.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
Having an EPC has been a legal requirement for selling a property for a number of years. They generally cost between £60 and £120.
A lower priced one will generally just give a rating. A higher priced one may also give advice on how to improve specific areas of the property to increase the rating in the future, and many buyers appreciate this additional information. So paying a little bit more for a comprehensive EPC may be worth it.
Other costs you may have to consider
Depending on your circumstances, there may be additional costs of selling. For example:
childcare (and/or pet-sitting) on removal day
furniture storage costs
hotel costs or holiday home rental costs if you don’t move into your property on the same day that you leave your old one
Please note that the information provided on this page:
- Does not provide a complete or authoritative statement of the law;
- Does not constitute legal advice by Net Lawman;
- Does not create a contractual relationship;
- Does not form part of any other advice, whether paid or free.
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