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Costs when selling your home

When selling your home it is important that you budget accordingly, and bear in mind the various costs that you will have to pay out as part of the process so that you don’t end up with any nasty surprises. The amounts vary, but you should not underestimate them as they can quickly add up. This article aims to highlight the key costs that you can expect to pay when selling your home.

Estate Agents’ fees
A well established estate agent with a good reputation should have a vast amount of property selling expertise, local knowledge, marketing power, legal protection and time, all of which are needed in order to get the very best price and to attract the optimal buyer for your property.

Most estate agents calculate their fees as a percentage of the final selling price of your property plus VAT. This is usually between 1 and 2%, and is known as the rate of commission. You may also have to pay separately for advertising costs, the costs of preparing details of the house you are selling (including taking photographs), and the cost of the “For Sale” board.

The estate agent must confirm the charges and rate of commission that will be made when they agree to act for you, so you cannot enter into an agreement with them without knowing what you will be paying for. Estate agent’s fees are payable when the estate agent sells the property and the contracts are signed and exchanged.

Conveyancing charges
A solicitor is needed to assist in the legal aspects of selling your home to another person, which is known as conveyancing, as it is very time consuming and complex.

Before you make your choice about who will carry out the conveyancing work on your behalf, you should get quotes from more than one solicitor or licensed conveyer to find out the likely costs as they might vary greatly. When you do your comparisons, you need to check whether it is a fixed fee or if it will vary if extra work is required, such as a dispute or a query on the paperwork. You should also check if the figure includes VAT and expenses, get a breakdown of the costs, and find out what charges, if any, will be made if the sale falls through before contracts are exchanged.

Some solicitors will offer you a discount if you are buying and selling for taking on the conveyancing for both, so make sure you ask about this. Whilst costs vary enoromously, you can expect to have to pay between £500 and £600 at the very minimum, which will obviously be much higher if you are both buying and selling property.

Current Lender’s fees
If you are repaying your mortgage when selling your home, for example if you are downsizing, then you need to check with your mortgage provider to see if you will have to pay early repayment charges or an administration fee.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Sellers have a legal obligation to provide an EPC for the property they are selling, which gives information about a property’s energy use and costs. The price of an EPC varies, but usually costs between £60 and £90 depending on the provider.

Removal costs
The cost of moving will obviously vary depending on the amount of items that you need to move and how far you need to transport those items, but you can typically expect to pay at least £600.

Other charges may include rental charges if you intend to rent somewhere in the interim whilst looking for or waiting to move in to your new home, and storage charges if you need to store your belongings whilst staying with friends and relatives or in a rented property.

For more information about selling your home, please read our article: Selling your house: a guide to the process.

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