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  1. Guides
  2. How much does it cost to sell a house?
House Selling Process
House Selling Process
Last Updated 01 October 2021

How much does it cost to sell a house?

Sam Edwards
Writer
  1. How to sell your house step by step
  2. 3
  3. 4
    What documents do I need to sell my house?
  4. 5
  5. 6
  6. 7
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Table of contents
  1. 1. Total cost of selling a house
  2. 2. Basic house selling costs
  3. 3. Extra house selling costs
  4. 4. Costs when selling a house
  5. 5. So how much will I make from selling my house?

Selling property can be a lucrative business, but it can also be expensive. Whether you're a first-time seller, or an experienced realtor, it pays to know the price.

To make things plain and simple, we've created an article to help guide you through the costs of selling. Without further ado, let's start with the overall costs:

Total cost of selling a house

Total cost: The cost of selling a house is around £5801.40 to £7752.40 to sell a home priced at £268,000 in 2021.

Our estimate is based on the average price for basic services and costs involved which you need to pay when selling your house.

Basic house selling costs

ServiceCostAverage
EPC£35 - £85£60
Estate agent fees0.75 - 3%1.9%
Removal costs£900 - £1700£1300
Mortgage fees (Exit Fee)£300£300
Conveyancer fees£400 - £1500£1000

There's some extra costs we haven't included in this final bill. While these services aren't essential for everyone, we think it's important to know the breadth of the pool you'll be swimming in.

Extra house selling costs

ServiceCostAverage
Prepare your home for sale£0 - £7000£3500
Incentives£0 - £2000£1000
Capital gains18% - 28%On profit
Indemnity insurance£20 - £500£260
Final utility bill£0 - £500£250
Home report (Scotland)£585 - £820£702.50

Costs when selling a house

Each of these costs are numbered in the chronological order you can expect to pay them. Basic costs have been affixed with an additional subheading: should you go deluxe? Not all of these costs are worth going deluxe but sometimes it's worth it.

You can also see, as above, which of these costs are basic amenities or extra costs.

1. EPC

Average cost for EPC: £60

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is the first thing you should pay if you're selling your home. They're a basic requirement for all home sales and fairly easy to sort.

An energy performance certificate is compulsory across all property sales because they show landlords and prospective buyers/tenants how energy efficient your property is.

Where do you get an EPC from?

You can only get an EPC from an accredited assessor, who will visit your home in order to carry out their assessment. They'll carry out a non-intrusive inspection of your property's energy features and typical energy costs, including:

  • Windows
  • Insulation
  • Boiler

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

Does my house already have an EPC?

EPCs are valid for 10 years, and you can use the one purchased by the previous owner.
So, you may have an EPC and not know it!

Should I go deluxe? There isn't a massive distinction between the fee and the end result. Your energy readings won't lie and there's only one certificate. For an EPC, we advise not to upscale and stick with the lowest price you can find.

2. Estate agent fees

Average cost for local estate agent fees: £5092 based on 1.9% on a £268,000 property

Please note: Local estate agents are usually paid right at the end of this process. We've included them as a number 2 priority for several reasons: online agents are an option, and a fixed fee, though uncommon, is still possible.

There are two types of estate agents who can put your property on the market: local high street estate agents and online estate agents. As 95% of homes are sold through local agents, we've used their standard fee to create our overall cost.

How do local agent's fees work?

Local estate agents will charge a percentage-based commission (inclusive of VAT) from the final selling price of your property. Most traditional estate agents offer a 'no sale no fee' clause in their contracts - meaning if your house doesn't sell, they'll forgo payment.

How we worked out the cost: Here at GetAgent, we keep a comprehensive record of commission fees charged by estate agents across Britain. Our latest data shows that the average agent fee is 1.9%, inclusive of VAT as of September 2021.

What do local agents offer?

Local agents offer a range of services in their package:

  • ‘No sale no fee’ pay later: Most local agents will only charge you if they actually sell your property.
  • Valuation of your property: Local agents conduct an inspection of your property to evaluate its worth. You can read more on how they do this here.
  • Photos and floor plan: These are important assets for online advertisements .
  • Advertisements: Agents will advertise your property in their shop windows, as well as online on various websites like Rightmove.
  • Offline marketing: Local agents will also advertise your property offline, especially to buyers who have said they're interested in a property similar to yours.
  • Viewings: Local agents will organise and lead viewings of your property with potential buyers.
  • Sales negotiations: They'll also help negotiate the sale of your property based on your financial goals, like whether you want a quick sale or more money.

Online estate agent fees

Average cost for online estate agent fees: £500

Unlike high street estate agents, an online estate agency solely operates online or through a call centre. In recent years, hybrid agencies have emerged. These agencies operate online, but also employ 'local experts' to handle enquiries and facilitate bookings.

How do online estate agent's fees work?

Online agents usually charge a fixed fee that is paid upfront. The fee is non-refundable, which can be frustrating if you decide to switch agents, or your home doesn't end up selling. As a general rule, fixed fees tend to be lower than commission fee payments which are based on the sold house price. Online agents usually cost around £500-£2,000. This is because the service you get from an online estate agent is different to a traditional high street estate agent.

What do online estate agents offer?

Online estate agents offer the following:

  • Fixed fee: Online agents charge a fixed fee payment at the beginning of your contract.
  • Valuation of your property: They will evaluate your property using a 'local property expert'.
  • Advertisements: Online agents will advertise your property on their website.

While a high street estate agent will take the lead in managing the entire sales process, online estate agents will focus on online marketing by listing your property on the big property portals.

While hybrid agents do offer additional services (usually offered behind a paywall), most won't take photos or organise viewings, leaving these tasks to you, the seller.

Additional clauses and costs and hidden extras

If you decide to work with an online estate agent, watch out for additional clauses in your contract. Some online agents make it a legal requirement that you work with their preferred partners, especially if you choose certain packages.

For example, Purplebricks require you to use their preferred conveyancer if you choose the 'pay later' option. In many cases these partners pay a referral fee to the agent, which means you won't end up getting the best deal.

Should I go deluxe? It's important to find the right agent for your property because agents vary in efficiency and usefulness. In this case, we would always recommend going with a local estate agent, despite the fact they charge a commission fee. If you're going to be selling your home, it's worth the extra money. Local agents will do a lot to help secure your sale, which will take the weight off your shoulders - their commission depends on it.

Ideally, you'll want an estate agent that is familiar with your property type, has a good track record of asking prices achieved, and has recently sold properties in your area.

To help you choose your estate agent, our free Agent Comparison Tool uses the latest data to find agents that meet the above requirements.

Ready to compare agents?

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

3. Preparing your home for sale

Average cost for preparing your home for sale: £3500

Making your home appeal to potential buyers will increase your chances of selling your home. Indeed, if there are outstanding repairs that need doing, it's important to get these done, as a buyer's surveyor will uncover anything out of place.

ServiceCostAverage
Cleaning fees£12 - £35 ph£70
Repairs£0 - £5000£2500
Decoration£160 per day or £137 - £500 for room£1800

While some of these services can be carried out independently, such as painting and cleaning, it's useful to know the going rates in case your house requires a last minute 'deep clean'.

If you're selling a poorly maintained property, check out our article on selling a house that needs work. It has a few useful tips on how to deal with the costs of repairs, and who your target market is.

4. Incentives (Optional)

If you want to sell your property quicker, you could offer incentives for buyers to purchase your home. These can range from stamp duty guarantees to extra furnishings.

ServiceCost
Removals fees£1200
Furnishings£0 - £2000
Stamp DutyFixed
Inspection fees£400 - £1425
Homeowners insurance£161.40
Home report (Scotland)£585 - £820

5. Removal costs

Average cost for removals: £1300

After you've sold 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 need to pay:

WebsitesRates
Removalreviews.co.uk£900 but professional packing adds £300
Getmove.co.uk3 bedroom costs £1,700 including packing services

Why do removal rates vary?

Removal costs depend greatly on:

  • The size of your house
  • The amount of furniture you want moved
  • How far it needs to be transported

Local movers, for example, are likely to be charged by the hour, but if you're moving across the country, you can expect to pay a fixed rate.

Should I go deluxe? Removal costs are necessary but expensive. Their additional costs hinge on how well you'd like your furnishings kept during transfer. Removal companies will generally pack your furniture for you, but this could be an extra service, so make sure to enquire with your company. The choice is very much yours.

6. Mortgage fees

Average cost for mortgage fees: £300 exit fee

Mortgage fees vary. Everyone's mortgage situation is different. You might want to port your mortgage to a new property, or pay an exit fee and redeem your outstanding balance.

ServiceCost
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 will 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 charge

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 can vary between 1 and 5% of your loan's value. In some cases, this may be expected even if you're on a standard variable rate. 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 actually have to reapply for your mortgage - this means you could end up borrowing at a higher rate of interest, or even being unable to qualify.

Should I go deluxe? There really isn't an option to go 'deluxe' with a mortgage fee. The cheaper the better, but that will entirely depend on your package. For the sake of selling a house, we've chosen an exit fee to create our overall cost.

7. Conveyancing fees

Average cost of conveyancing fees: £1000

Second to estate agent fees, conveyancers are one of the largest costs while selling a house. That's because conveyancers play an important role in finalising the sale of your property.

What do conveyancers 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, estate agents and more

How do conveyancing fees work?

Conveyancing fees are tricky to reduce to an average cost. That's because solicitor fees and legal fees are contingent with property type, property value and location. A licensed conveyancer will base their fees on:

  • Type of property: Leasehold properties have a more complex conveyancing process than freehold properties, so you'll end up paying slightly more in solicitor fees if you're selling a leasehold.
  • Location: This is linked to the value of your property, but it's worth mentioning all the same. In London, conveyancers will cost more due to the popularity of the capital.
  • Value of property: The value of your property can also have an impact on the cost of conveyancing. The higher the property's value, the more expensive the legal process.

How we worked out the cost

In June 2020, we asked over 300 home sellers 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 go deluxe? As aforementioned, conveyancing 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 high-tier solicitor who knows their stuff. You can read more about choosing conveyancers in our guide, 'How to choose the right conveyancer'.

8. Capital Gains tax

Average cost of Capital Gains tax: 18% to 28% on profit

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

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

You can read more about Capital Gains on our blog.

9. Indemnity insurance

Average cost of indemnity insurance: £260

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

Who pays for indemnity insurance?

There is no strict rule about whether you or your buyer should cover the costs of this insurance. However, it's often in your best interest for the seller to pay for indemnity insurance.to cover the cost.

How does indemnity insurance work?

Indemnity insurance provides compensation if a third party makes a claim against your property. It's usually a one off payment of a few hundred pounds, which will cover the cost implications of any third party who makes a claim against any defects with the property you're about to sell.

ServiceCost
Insurance against chancel repairs costs£20 - £50
Insurance against lack of planning permission£200 -£500

10. Final utility bills

Average cost of final utility bills: £250

When the time comes to inform your utilities companies that you're moving, you'll have to cover the costs of the final bill. If you've been paying an estimated rate until now, this may 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.

Average final bill costs:

  • Average monthly broadband bill: £30.30
  • Average monthly water bill: £33.05
  • Average monthly heating & electricity bill: £171.40 (4 bedroom house)

11. Home report (Scotland Only)

Average cost of home report: £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?

Home reports vary in cost due to a variety of reasons, primarily due to the value of your property and its location. You can expect to pay for the surveyor's inspection and travelling costs too. That means a home report can be an expensive cost.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors states that the price of a home report may vary from £585 to £820 . While a home report does negate the basic cost of an EPC ( it includes one already), the report can be a big sum to pay at once, so it's worth saving for this fee if you're selling property in Scotland.

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

Now you know the costs involved with selling your house, we hope you find the process of selling your home much smoother. If you know the extent of your costs, there'll be less work and less stress, especially now you know the order in which the costs come.

Remember: The money you make from your property will easily subsidise whatever you lose in the costs. If you're using the money you make to purchase another property, maybe less so. It all depends on your financial goals with your property.

So how much will I make from selling my house?

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

  • Add the total cost of selling to your mortgage balance
  • Subtract the result from your final sale price
  • This is your profit

For example, let’s take a look at a house sold for £268,000:

ServiceCostAverage
EPC£35 - £85£60
Estate Agent Fees1.48% - 3%1.9%
Removal Costs£900 - £1700£1300
Mortgage Fees (Exit Fee)£300£300
Conveyancer fees£400 - £1500£1000

If we add these costs together: £60 + £1300 + £300 +£1000 + £5092, we get £7752. If you have money left on your mortgage, you'll have to pay it off. Let's say you have £20,000 left to redeem:

£7752 + £20,000 = £27,752.

£268,000 - £27,752 = £241,248.

To get your net profit, you would just need to subtract your deposit from when you first purchased the property.

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