When you are deciding whether or not to sell your home, getting your home valued so that you can decide whether or not selling is financially viable is probably the first thing that comes to mind. However, before you decide on an asking price or start considering estate agents, you need to ensure you have factored in all of the associated moving costs.
According to Barclays, the average cost of moving home in 2021 is around £8,885 when you factor in legal fees, estate agent costs, removals and surveyors. Not to mention stamp duty tax now rates have returned to pre-pandemic thresholds. Certainly not the kind of loose change you could find down the back of the sofa then!
To ensure that you have factored in all of the expenses associated with your move, take a look at our list below which highlights the main costs involved when it comes to selling your property.
Estate Agent Fees
Estate agent fees will generally take up the biggest chunk of your expenditure for moving house. Fees are usually around 1.5% of the sale price of your home on average, although they can be much more (up to around 3%) depending on the agreement you have with your estate agent. You should also be aware of the type of contract you have entered into before you sign on the dotted line, since unless your agreement is on a no sale, no fee basis you may still need to pay a fee to the agent even if they are unable to sell your home. Make sure that any quotes you receive also include VAT, otherwise you are looking at a hefty 20% increase on top!
Given the cost of traditional high street estate agents, more and more buyers are now using online and hybrid agents to sell their properties. A hybrid agent such as Purple Bricks or Yopa will offer the same services as a high street agent such as in person valuations, hosted viewings and support with buyer negotiation, However, their costs are a lot lower – generally for a fixed fee of around £999-£1999 – since they don’t have the same overheads.
Online only agents are even more affordable, with some offering a free service or a fixed fee basic service of less than £100, however, you will need to be prepared to do most of the work yourself when it comes to taking photographs, hosting viewings, liaising with buyers and closing the sale.
For the legal ownership of your property to be officially transferred from you to your buyer you will need the assistance of a legal professional – either a solicitor or a conveyancer.
They are responsible for:
- drawing up contracts
- providing legal advice
- undertaking local searches
- coordinating with the Land Registry
- transferring the funds for the property to the new owner
- making sure legal ownership of the property formally transfers from vendor to buyer
The legal fees you pay will depend very much on the type of property you are selling and the complexity of said property transaction. Like estate agents, some legal professionals charge a flat rate fee, and some will charge a percentage of the property value.
The fees you will pay will therefore generally be anywhere from £800 – 1,500, although if you are also buying a new property at the same time as selling your current home then your fees will obviously be a bit higher. Leasehold or shared ownership properties may also incur additional fees (around £100-300) given the nature of the sale, the associated administration and additional parties involved.
You also need to check whether fees for things like title deeds from the Land Registry, money laundering checks and bank transfer fees are included in the fee you have been quoted or whether these will incur an additional cost. The same goes for VAT.
Whilst your estate agent may be able to recommend a solicitor or conveyancer, you can also find qualified legal professionals at:
- Solicitors Regulation Authority
- Council for Licenced Conveyancers
- Law Society of Scotland
- Law Society of England and Wales
- Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme
Remortgaging or ‘porting’ an existing mortgage
For properties with an existing mortgage, it is possible to move the mortgage to the new property you are buying (known as ‘porting’) if it is the same value or less expensive than the current property.
If you are moving to a much more expensive property and need to borrow more money, this is likely to involve remortgaging. If you do need to remortgage, this could include arrangement, exit and early repayment charges that you should be aware of. You can usually expect to pay around 1-5% of the mortgage’s outstanding balance for these fees.
On the flip side, you may be able to negotiate a better mortgage rate if you are approaching the end of a fixed rate repayment schedule.
Energy performance certificate (EPC)
A small, but crucial, extra fee to add to the list is your energy performance certificate (EPC). You are legally required to provide a valid EPC (dated within the last 10 years) when you sell or rent out your home to let any potential buyers (or renters) know how energy efficient the property is. In Scotland, the EPC must be on prominent display within the home you are selling as well.
As of April 2020, all rental properties must have an energy efficiency rating of E or above so if you are selling to buy-to-let buyers this can be a big plus for them.
A new EPC assessment and documentation will cost around £75-120 depending on how big your property is. If you bought your property within the last 10 years, head to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government website to see if the EPC in place when you bought the property is still valid.
Home Report (only in Scotland)
Unlike England and Wales, where it is the responsibility of the buyer to arrange and pay for a survey, if you are selling a Scottish property it is your responsibility to provide a Home Report before you market your home. The cost of the survey can be between £100-1000+VAT depending on the property type.
Even if you are not responsible for the survey, it is still important to ensure you are candid about any structural or maintenance issues with the property you are selling otherwise you may face a reduced offer down the line or even see a potential sale fall through.
Unless you travel (and live) light, a house move is likely to involve the use of a removals company or a ‘man and a van’ if you aren’t too precious about your belongings. Not only will this incur an additional cost, but you will also need to leave yourself plenty of time to find said removals company as the good ones will often be fully booked weeks in advance, especially for popular moving days such as Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
When it comes to the cost of removals, this can vary anywhere from £250-£4,000 depending on the type and size of property you are moving from, the amount and value of the goods to be moved and the distance travelled. As you would with an estate agent and conveyancer, always ensure any removals quotes you receive include that 20% VAT too.
If there is going to be a delay between you vacating your existing property and moving into a new one, you may also need to consider putting some of your belongings into storage, which again will come with an additional cost.
First time buyer? Read my advice here.
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