For many homesellers, the most important aspect of their sale is how much money they will make from it. Whether they need a deposit for their next home, or are hoping to release some equity, knowing how much they'll end up with can impact a whole range of big life decisions.
In this article we explore how much of the final sale price you can expect to 'take home' from your sale, along with advice on how to make the most profit.
Most of the time, no, you won’t end up getting to keep all the money you make from selling your house.
Selling a property is expensive. You have to pay estate agents, lawyers, and potentially cover some mortgage costs too. Many of these fees are paid automatically out of the proceeds of your sale - before any money reaches your account.
The amount of money you get from your home sale will ultimately depend upon how much your home sells for, and how much you spend on the sale process.
To figure out your profit, you will need to subtract how much it cost to sell from the final amount your home sells for.
For example, if your home sells for £250,000, and you spend £5,000 on the sale process, and you have £25,000 remaining on your mortgage, you will end up with £220,000.
The usual costs of selling a home include:
Estate agent fees
Conveyancing solicitor fees
Final utilities bills
Insurance for moving
Mortgage fees - such as Early Repayment Charges, or Exit Fees
Read more about the costs of selling, here.
Of course, you will not know how much you will sell your property for until your sale completes. However, you can get an idea of how much you might make from your estate agent’s valuation.
You can use this estimated amount to budget your sale expenses too. Estate agent and conveyancing solicitor fees are usually worked out on a commission basis. To get a sense of how much they might ultimately cost, work out the relevant percentage based on your estate agent valuation.
For example, if your home is valued at £250,000, and your estate agent charges a 1.5% commission, you can estimate that the final bill will be approximately £3750.
Once you have worked out all the potential costs of the sale, subtract these from your estate agent’s valuation. This will give you a sense of how much money you can expect to walk away with once your property is sold.
You’ll receive a more specific breakdown of the money you’ll make during the conveyancing part of your sale.
Conveyancers will usually provide you with what’s called a ‘completion statement’, which breaks down all of the costs they will pay with the proceeds of your sale, before the remainder is sent to your account. Expect this to show costs from your mortgage provider, your estate agent, the Land Registry, and from the law firm itself.
If you jointly own the property with someone else, the money will be split according to your ownership agreement (your conveyancer will be able to tell you the full details).
Read more about joint ownership.
Home sellers receive the money from their house sale only after the process ‘completes’. This is the day that the keys are exchanged, and the buyer is now the official owner of your property.
Once the buyer’s conveyancer has sent over the money to your conveyancer, they will pay all the necessary fees due, and then send over the remaining amount to your bank account.
Note: Be vigilant. A conveyancer is highly unlikely to contact you by email to request your bank details - or send you theirs. If you’re unsure, or suspect fraud, contact your solicitor in person or over the phone first.
Although you’ll never be able to guarantee how much money you’ll get from your home sale until it’s completed, there are a few things you can do to give you the best chance of making the most money possible.
Once you decide that you’re ready to sell, double check the terms of your mortgage agreement. This will show you what fees you’ll be due to pay. For example, if you’re still within the fixed term of your mortgage, it’s likely that you’ll be required to pay a very large fee to exit your mortgage.
If you don’t need to move immediately, consider waiting until your fixed term has come to an end before you put your home on the market.
If you do need to sell quickly for financial reasons, it can be tempting to work with a cash buying company, or consider an auction. Both options seem to offer a quick way to access the money locked in your property. However, it’s unlikely that either option will give you the best outcome.
Cash buying companies usually only offer up to 70% of the true market value of a property. Auctions on the other hand, involve a range of different fees which can make a significant dent into your ultimate profit. Think carefully before proceeding with these ‘quick sale’ options.
Read more about cash buying companies.
The best estate agents are the best marketers and negotiators. They know how to get in touch with buyers interested in properties like yours, and how to sell the features and local area. Working with an experienced agent will give you the best chance of negotiating the best final sale price for your home.
Unsure how to figure out which estate agent is the best? This tool looks at the performance of all estate agents across the UK to figure out which are the top performers. Just pop in your postcode to receive a list of the top six agents in your area. Try it for free, now.
The better your home looks to a buyer, the more they’ll think it’s worth. Invest time into making your house look its best for marketing photographs and viewings. This could include undertaking repairs, or working with a professional cleaner.
Although it’s good value to go with the best estate agents - rather than the cheapest - there are some parts of your home sale that you should shop around for. Energy Performance Certificates (or EPCs) are one of these.
If you get your EPC through an estate agent you may end up paying up to £85. However, you may be able to arrange one for as little as £35 - get a quote here.
Removals is another area that’s worth shopping around for the best deal. You might decide you need to hire a packers and a large van - or you might be able to save money with a rental car, and help from friends.
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