5 mins read
Selling a home is a complex and expensive process, but knowing what fees to expect will make budgeting for it a bit easier. Below we outline the costs involved in selling a property in Scotland, and what you’re paying for. Our key piece of advice is to make sure you compare quotes at each stage - for your estate agent, solicitor, home report, and removals companies - and ensure everyone gives you a full breakdown of the total costs. This will allow you to make an informed decision, and not be surprised by unexpected fees later on.
Estate agent fees
When you sell a home in Scotland you can either choose to use a solicitor or an estate agent as your selling agent. And, they are pretty expensive. Selling agents generally charge thousands of pounds to look after the sale of one of your largest financial assets. But, trusted, local market experts will dedicate themselves to marketing your home in the best way, and truly earn their fee by making you more profit on your sale.
Generally estate agent fees in Scotland are commission based and paid once your sale has successfully completed. You should typically expect a quote of around 1% to 3.5% of your property’s final sales price. The fee you pay will be used to promote your home in the best way, so that you can sell your property for the highest possible price. Research has found that in most cases the cost of a good selling agent, is easily made up for by the extra amount they are able to sell your home for.
Unsure who’s worth their fee? Check out the performance of estate agents in your area here.
Arranging a home report is a compulsory part of putting your home up for sale in Scotland. A good estate agent or solicitor will be able to help you arrange this, or you can source a provider yourself. The price of arranging the report will vary depending on the size of your home and which surveyor you decide to use. You can expect it to cost around £250-£750.
A home report consists of three parts: a single survey, an energy report, and a property questionnaire. These three components provide all the basic information a potential buyer will need to make an informed decision about making an offer.
Failing to produce a home report will result in a local authority penalty charge of £500.
If your home has been on the market for a long time, a buyer might request a more up-to-date home report. In this case you will negotiate with the potential buyer about who will pay for the new report.
Prepping your home
Before your home goes on sale, it’s important to make sure that it’s looking its best. Online listings are a vital part of marketing your property, and the key to making these stand out is great photos.
However, prepping your home for photos and viewings doesn’t need to cost too much. It’s important to make sure that you’re not spending more than you’re likely to make in increase in value. For example, giving your home an upgrade by repainting walls can be a cheap and effective way to improve your home’s appeal. Doing a whole kitchen refit, on the other hand, is expensive, and you’re not likely to make back all the money you spend on it.
For more information on how to prepare your home for selling, take a look at our handy guide, or our DIY blog posts.
Once you’ve received an offer (or offers) on your property, the legal elements of the sales process begin. ‘Conveyancing’ is the legal term for the transfer of ownership from you to the buyer. Your solicitors will exchange missives in order to negotiate the terms of your sales contract, and perform checks on the terms of ownership.
If your solicitor was also your selling agent, you will have received a quote for the legal costs on top of the agreed commission fee. If you chose to use a separate estate agent and solicitor you will have two separate fees to pay. You should expect conveyancing fees to cost up to £1,500, plus any disbursements such as registration dues and searches.
When you’re deciding which conveyancer to pick, make sure your quotes contain a complete breakdown of costs, so that you are not hit with any surprise fees later on.
The final cost you’ll need to budget for is transport or storage for all your things, so that your house is completely empty (minus the agreed fixtures and fittings) for it’s new owner.
Removal and storage costs will vary widely depending on your needs. You may be able to rent a small van and transport everything yourself, or you might need to hire a removals company to help you pack and take your things. If you enlist the help of a removals company, expect to spend about £400 - £1,200.
Other things to consider: Land and Building Transaction Tax
When you purchase a house in Scotland you have to pay a ‘Land and Building Transaction Tax’, which is calculated as a percentage of the sales price. There is an extra 4% surcharge (also known as ‘Additional Dwelling Supplement’) if you are purchasing a second home.
If you buy your new house in Scotland before you sell, you’ll need to take this additional upfront cost of LBTT into account. If you sell your home within 18 months of purchasing your new main residence, you can claim a refund on the extra LBTT by amending your original LBTT return online.
Read more about selling property in Scotland here.
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