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HouseWorth
© GetAgent Limited 2024
  1. Blog
  2. How much does it cost to sell a house?
House selling tips
15 May 2023

How much does it cost to sell a house?

Sam Edwards
Senior Writer & Researcher

Table of contents

  1. 1. The average cost to sell a house in the UK
  2. 2. Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  3. 3. Estate agent fees
  4. 4. Viewing preparation costs
  5. 5. Incentives
  6. 6. Removal costs
  7. 7. Mortgage fees
  8. 8. Conveyancing fees
  9. 9. Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
  10. 10. Indemnity insurance
  11. 11. Final utility bills
  12. 12. Home report (Scotland Only)
  13. 13. How much will I make from selling my house?
  14. 14. Now you know the costs of selling a house...

Thinking about selling a property? Great! But hold your horses - there's more to it than meets the eye. Selling a property can be a rollercoaster ride of expenses, regardless of whether you're a newbie or a seasoned seller.

Don't fret though. In this article, we break down the ins and outs of selling a property in the UK, minus all the unnecessary jargon. So let's jump right in and find out what it really costs to sell a house.

The average cost to sell a house in the UK

Total Cost: As of February 2023, the average UK house price is £287,506. In selling a property at this price, you can expect to incur a total cost of £4,694.07.

ServiceAverage cost rangeActual costCumulative cost
Estate agent fees1.2% (£3,450.07)£3,450.07£3,450.07
Conveyancing fees£500 - £1,500£1,000£4,450.07
Disbursements£164£164£4,614.07
EPC£80£80£4,694.07

Our estimate is based on the overall cost of basic homeselling services. There are some extra fees that we haven't included in this calculation, but they aren’t essential.

What are the costs associated with selling a house?

There are 11 primary costs to consider when selling a house.

To provide some sense of linearity, we've numbered each of these expenses in the order you can expect to pay them. Sometimes, you can pay more to receive a better quality of service - but this isn't always worth the bother. In the spirit of this, we've added an additional section: Should I splash out? to help you decide which services are worth splurging for.

1. Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Average cost: £80

Energy Performance Certificates, also known as an EPC, are compulsory across all property sales. They show landlords and prospective buyers and tenants how energy-efficient your home is. As such, you'll need one for your home sale!

Where can I get an EPC?

There's a chance you already own an EPC, so it's worth checking using our free EPC Checker. However, we always recommend applying for a new one if you haven't received a copy in the past couple of years. Improved EPC ratings can be a big plus to potential buyers.

EPCs are only available from accredited assessors, who visit your home to carry out their assessment. Their assessment involves a non-intrusive inspection of your property's energy features, including:

  • Windows
  • Insulation
  • Boilers

Should I splash out? There isn't a big distinction between the fee and the end result. Your energy readings don't lie and there's only one type of certificate available. Don't bother upscaling - stick with the lowest price you find.

2. Estate agent fees

Average cost for estate agent fees: £3450.07 (based on 1.2%)

Though estate agents are usually paid at the end of the homeselling process by your solicitor, we've placed them at the top of this guide because they're among the first services you need to consider when selling your home.

In the UK, there are two types of estate agents who can put your property on the market: a local high street estate agent or an online estate agent. Statistically, most homeowners choose to sell with local estate agents - so our average commission fees reflect this.

If you want to learn more about the differences between local and online estate agents, check out our guide to Online vs high street estate agents. We discuss why paying a fixed fee with an online estate agent isn't always a good idea, as well as the selling points of brands like Purplebricks and Strike.

How do estate agent fees work?

Local estate agents charge a percentage-based commission (inclusive of VAT) from the sold price of your home. Most offer a 'no sale no fee' clause in their contracts - this means if your house doesn't sell, the estate agent forgoes payment!

Should I splash out? It's important to find the right estate agent to sell your home because so much of your sale is dependent on their success.

Agents vary in terms of ability, but unlike most services, their fee isn't necessarily reflective of quality. That's why you should always judge agents by their past performance.

Ready to compare agents?

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GetAgent's free Estate Agent Comparison Tool does this for you in a matter of seconds. Simply pop in your postcode and receive a shortlist of the top six estate agents operating in your local area. We even rank them by:

  • Fastest - The agent whose listings sell subject-to-contract the fastest on property portals.
  • Most experienced - The agent who has listed the most properties.
  • Best valuer - The agent who achieves the highest average percentage of asking price.

3. Viewing preparation costs

Average cost for preparing your home for sale: £3500

Boosting your home's appeal to potential buyers will increase your chances of selling it. This task can come in many shapes and sizes, but some basic things you might want to consider include:

ServiceAverage cost range
Cleaning£15-£30 per hour
(£150-£300 for a
3-bedroom house)
Basic repairs£50-£200
(minor repairs)
Several thousand
pounds
Repainting tired or damaged walls£250-£500
(per room)
Decluttering£150-£500
(depending on size
and level of
decluttering)
Tidying up the garden£50-£100
(basic maintenance)

Some of these services, like painting and cleaning, can be carried out independently to save some cash. Electrical and gas repairs however, should always be carried out by trained professionals - but how can you spot them?

For electricians, the main regulatory body to look out for is the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC). Electricians can also be registered with other organisations such as the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) or the British Standards Institution (BSI). For gas engineers, the regulatory body is the Gas Safe Register, an official list of gas engineers who are qualified to work safely and legally on gas appliances.

If you're selling a poorly maintained property, check out our article on selling a house that needs work. It has tons of useful tips on dealing with the costs of repairs, and realising your target market.

4. Incentives

Some homesellers offer incentives to encourage buyers to purchase their home. While unnecessary for most, these incentives can be extremely useful marketing tools for homeowners with problematic properties. Incentives can range from Stamp Duty guarantees to extra furnishings.

IncentiveAverage cost range
Removals£300 - £1,200
FurnishingsVaries widely
Stamp DutySee rates and thresholds below
Inspection Fees£400 - £1,500+
Homeowners Insurance£150 - £500 per year
Home Report (Scotland)£400 - £800

Please note that ‘Furnishings’ have a wide range of costs and can vary significantly based on individual preferences and budgets. You can see the latest Stamp Duty rates here.

5. Removal costs

Average removal costs: £1300

Before you complete the sale of your home, you'll need to remove your belongings from the property. We've collected some of the latest rates to help you work out how much you'll need to pay:

Type of moveAverage cost range
Local move (within 20 miles)£300 - £600
Long-distance move£600 - £1,200+
Small property (1-2 bedrooms)£300 - £800
Medium property (3-4 bedrooms)£600 - £1,200+
Large property (5+ bedrooms)£1,000 - £2,500+
Packing services£100 - £400+
Dismantling/assembly services£100 - £300+
Storage facilities£50 - £200 per month

Why do removal rates vary?

Removal costs depend on several factors, including:

  • The size of your house
  • The amount of furniture requiring transportation
  • How much help you need
  • Your property's accessibility
  • Value of your items

How far you'll be moving also plays a big role in the final invoice. Local movers, for example, are likely to be charged by the hour, but if you're moving cross-country, you can expect to pay a fixed rate.

Should I splash out? Removal costs are necessary but expensive. It's always best to enquire with the service you're considering to find out how they calculate the final cost.

6. Mortgage fees

Average mortgage exit fee: £300

Everyone's mortgage situation is different. You may have reached the end of your fixed term, ready to remortgage. Alternatively, you may want to port (transfer) your mortgage to a new property.

ServiceAverage fee
Exit fee£300
Early repayment charge1 - 5% of loan value
Porting a mortgageDepends on your package

If you haven't paid off your mortgage, you'll need to redeem the rest of it. This means to pay it off.

Exit Fees

If you want to leave or end your mortgage, mortgage providers charge an exit fee. A mortgage exit fee can be up to £300. Not all lenders will charge this fee however, so make sure to check with your provider first.

Early repayment charges (ERC)

If you're still within your mortgage's 'fixed term', you'll have to pay an early repayment charge on top of any left-over loan. These charges vary between 1 to 5% of your loan's outstanding value. You may be expected to pay an ERC even if you're on your lender's Standard Variable Rate (SVR). Make sure to check with your provider directly before you make any decisions.

Porting your mortgage

If you're selling your home to buy another, you may be able to take your mortgage with you. This is a process called porting. If you choose to port your mortgage, you'll need to pay a mortgage arrangement fee, but you won't need to pay the early repayment charge or the exit fee.

If you're on a good fixed rate, porting your mortgage can be a cost-effective option. That said, porting your mortgage means you'll have to re-apply for your mortgage. As a result, you could end up borrowing at a higher rate of interest, or unable to qualify due to changes in your credit score or financial circumstances.

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7. Conveyancing fees

Average cost of solicitor fees: £1000

Average cost of disbursements: £164

Second to estate agent and mortgage fees, legal fees are some of the largest costs while selling a house. That's because conveyancing solicitors play an important role in finalising the sale of your property.

What do conveyancing solicitors do?

Conveyancers are solicitors who deal with the legalities of transferring the ownership of your house to the buyer. They do this by:

  • Negotiating your sales contract.
  • Conducting security checks.
  • Handling all money during transfers between buyer, mortgage providers, and estate agents.

How do solicitor fees work?

Conveyancing fees are tricky to reduce to an average cost because they're contingent on property type, property value and location. A licensed conveyancing solicitor will base their fees on:

  • The type of home you own: Leaseholds have a more complex conveyancing process than freeholds, so if you’re selling a leasehold, you could end up paying more in solicitor fees.
  • Your home's location: Where your home is located is intrinsically linked to its value, but it's worth mentioning all the same. In London, for example, solicitors cost more.
  • The total value of your home: The more expensive your asset, the more costly the legal process. When large amounts of money are at stake, people pay a premium for legal help.
  • Whether you're buying, selling, or both: Because of the extra work involved, fees for buying and selling at the same time are higher than simply selling. It's worth noting that it's nearly always cheaper, and more efficient, to use the same solicitor for both your sale and your purchase.

How we worked out the cost...

In June 2020, we asked over 300 homesellers from across the UK about their average conveyancer fees. Only 22.9% of sellers paid more than £1501 in conveyancer fees, while most sellers paid £501 - £750 (16.2%), £751 - £1000 (28.3%) and £1001 - £1500 (25.4%) respectively.

While an average would indicate an average cost of £600 - £1800, properties in London have a higher value, so we lowered this average to £500 - £1500.

Should I splash out? Solicitors play a really big role in selling your property, so it's important to get the best bang for your buck. We'd recommend going for a professional who knows their stuff. You can read more about choosing solicitors in our guide, 'How to choose the right conveyancer'.

Disbursement fees

Along with their legal fees, solicitors run up costs for various administrative tasks, which are fed through with your final invoice. These costs are often referred to as ‘disbursements’. Some of the most common are listed below:

DisbursementAverage cost range
Bankruptcy search£2 to £4
ID check£6 to £12
Telegraphic transfer fee£25 to £45
Lawyer checker£10 to £20
Land Registry charge title/plan£3 to £20
Chancel repair search Fee£12
Bank transfer admin fee£20 to £40
Official copies of the Registry£3 to £10 per document

8. Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

Average cost of CGT: 18% to 28% on profit

You need to pay Capital Gains Tax on any profits you make from selling assets that have increased in value since you came into ownership of them. The good news is that you don't have to pay Capital Gains Tax if you're selling a house you currently live in.

At its most basic rate, the tax is 18%. At its higher rate it's 28%. Most people must earn £50,000 before they have to pay the higher rate of CGT.

How do I pay Capital Gains Tax?

  1. Calculate the gain: First, you need to work out how much profit you made from the sale of the property. Subtract the original purchase price from the sale price, and then deduct any expenses like legal fees, estate agent fees, and improvements to the property.
  2. Report your home sale to HMRC: Report the sale of the property to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within 30 days of completion using the online service for UK residents.
  3. Pay any CGT owed: If you owe CGT, you need to pay it within 30 days of the completion date. You can make the payment online or by bank transfer, and you'll need to include a reference number provided by HMRC.
  4. Include the gain on your tax return: You'll also need to include details of the gain on your Self Assessment tax return for the relevant tax year. This is due by 31st January following the end of the tax year in which the sale took place.

9. Indemnity insurance

Average cost of indemnity insurance: £260

If you're missing any important documents - such as double glazing installation certificates (like FENSA), or title deeds - you might need to pay for indemnity insurance.

How does indemnity insurance work?

It's usually a one-off payment of a few hundred pounds to cover the cost implications of any third party who makes a claim against any defects with the property you're selling.

CoverageIndemnity insurance cost
Chancel repairs costs insurance£20 - £50
Planning permission insurance£200 - £500

10. Final utility bills

Average total cost of final utility bills: £250

When the time comes to inform your utilities companies that you're moving, you'll need to cover the costs of any final bills. If you've been paying an estimated rate up until now, this might be significantly expensive (or you might get a nice surprise in the form of a rebate).

Make sure you've got a contingency budget to cover any unexpectedly large costs like this.

UtilityAverage monthly cost range
Gas and electricity£100 - £150
Water£30 - £50
Council tax£150 - £210

11. Home report (Scotland Only)

Average home report price: £702.50

If you live in Scotland and you want to sell your house, you'll need to provide a home report to any interested buyers. A home report is essentially a package of important information about your home.

It includes an EPC, a Single Survey (which reports on property's value and conditions), and a Property Questionnaire (answers questions about council tax bands and length of ownership).

How much does a home report cost?

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) states that the price of a home report may vary from £585 to £820 depending on the value of your property and its location. You can expect to pay for the surveyor's travelling costs too.

While a home report does negate the need for an EPC (it includes one already), it can be a big sum to pay at once, so it's worth saving for this fee if you're selling a house in Scotland.

How much will I make from selling my house?

In our example, a homeowner selling a property worth £287,506, would stand to make £282,811.93, provided that they have paid off their mortgage and aren’t buying a new property.

You can work out the final profit from selling your own house with some simple maths:

  1. Add the total cost of selling to your mortgage balance.
  2. Subtract the result from your final sale price.

Can’t be bothered? GetAgent's My Property Tracker does it all for you.

My Property Tracker: The free online dashboard for the curious homeowner

Developed specifically for homeowners who want to know more about their property, the tracker helps you get to grips with your number one asset.

  • Find out how much you'll make from selling your home (minus mortgage costs).
  • Discover all the costs involved in selling your home.
  • Uncover all recently submitted planning applications near your home.
  • Browse a live feed of recently sold and for sale properties in your area.

Now you know the costs of selling a house...

Now you've got an idea of the costs involved with selling, you can approach the selling process with greater ease and confidence. Being aware of the full extent of your expenses, and the order in which they will accrue, can help streamline the process and reduce stress levels. By being well-informed and prepared, you're better equipped to navigate the selling process smoothly and successfully.

Thinking about
selling your home?

Picking the right estate agent is vital for a successful sale. GetAgent makes choosing simple. Discover the best performing agents in your area.

  • Free
  • Data-driven
  • No obligation

Thinking about
selling your home?

Picking the right estate agent is vital for a successful sale. GetAgent makes choosing simple. Discover the best performing agents in your area.

  • Free
  • Data-driven
  • No obligation

Ready to compare agents?

It takes 2 minutes. 100% free. No obligation.

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