The Hidden Costs of Selling your House

The hidden fees when selling a house are typically the estate agent fees, conveyancing fees, legal fees, obtaining an Energy Performance Certificate, and hiring a removals company are essential costs in the process.

How much does it cost to sell a house?

When selling your home, you inevitably encounter various costs that cannot be avoided. Estate agency fees, often the largest or most common expense, stand out. Legal fees, the cost of an energy performance certificate, removals, and stamp duty (applicable to properties above £500,000) all contribute to the overall expenses, making avoidance impossible.

To help you save money during these testing times, this piece will break down some of the major financial areas of buying a house.

Estate Agent Fees

Estate agent fees 0.5%-3%+VAT (of sale price)

The commission varies between different high street estate agents. If you are selling your home, you could pay anything from 0.75% and 3.0%+VAT on the price your house sells for. However, fees can vary depending on the type of contract you have with an agency too. On lower-value properties, they may charge a fixed fee, whereas there can be room for negotiation if you have a high-value home or are happy to agree to a sole agency contract.

Conveyancing Solicitors Fees

Cost range: £550 – £1000 inc.VAT

When it comes to the legalities of selling your home, you will need to hire a solicitor or conveyancer. This individual will handle the entire legal and financial process and typically charge a one-off fee or a percentage cut of the value of your home. You could find yourself charged more if you are selling a leasehold property. Other prices under this umbrella may include:

  • Copy of title deeds
  • Money-laundering checks
  • Bank transfer fee

Early Repayment Charge

Cost range: £50 – £300

If you have a mortgage on your property, you may also be subject to an early repayment charge.  This is a fee that is charged by your lender if you choose to pay off your mortgage before the end of the term. The amount of the early repayment charge will depend on the terms of your mortgage.

Commonly referred to as Mortgage Exit Administration Fees (MEAFs), this represents your lender's administrative cost associated with concluding your mortgage agreement.  This fee is applicable when your mortgage balance is fully settled. It's important to note that not all lenders impose this charge.  Verify that the fee being levied aligns with the amount stipulated in your original mortgage contract.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) Costs

Cost: £35-£150+VAT

A mandatory requirement for home sellers, the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) comes with a price range of £35 to £150 plus VAT. It is crucial to order one before listing your property on the market. The EPC certificate provides valuable insights into your property's energy efficiency, including information on typical energy costs and recommendations for cost-saving measures. Only accredited assessors are authorized to access properties and generate EPC certificates.

You have the option to purchase your EPC directly from providers online, or your estate agent can arrange it for you. We prefer obtaining ours through our selling agents due to their favorable relationships with local energy assessors.  Our usual expense is £75+VAT, although you can find online alternatives as low as £35+VAT. Remember that the Energy Performance Certificate remains valid for 10 years and the government digitally stores it, making it accessible through the EPC Register website.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

The current SDLT thresholds are:

£250,000 for residential properties
£425,000 for first-time buyers buying a residential property worth £625,000 or less
£150,000 for non-residential land and properties

Stamp Duty Land Tax is a tax that is paid by people buying property across England and Northern Ireland. The single lump tax applies to anyone purchasing a property or piece of land costing more than £250,000 at purchase. The amount of tax paid on the completion of the purchase is tiered – as the property price increases the rate of tax increases.  Click here for our Stamp Duty Calculator.

Removals Company

Cost £250-£4,000+VAT

Conveyancing fees £550-£1000 (inc.VAT)

One cost that you'll need to consider when selling your property is the cost of hiring a removals company. The cost will depend on the size of your property and the amount of furniture and possessions you need to move.  You can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred pounds to several thousand.

Preparing house for sale

The costs for preparing a home for the market dependent on the required work.  Consider whether you'll list your house 'as is' or invest a bit to enhance its presentation. While refurbishing kitchens and bathrooms may not be worthwhile unless they are unusable, it's undeniable that most buyers seek a clean, defect-free property ready for immediate occupancy.  Homes meeting this description are not only easier to sell but also sell faster and at higher prices. As a minimum, we recommend the following:

Thoroughly clean your house (Cost: £0 – £150)
Cleaning is a cost-effective and satisfying step that significantly improves the property's appeal.

Address necessary repairs (Cost: £0 – £5,000)
Take care of minor DIY tasks and, for more substantial issues like damp problems, either cover the expenses yourself or consider offering a discount on the sale price.

Redecorate (Cost: £50 – £2,000)
Consider fresh paint for walls, doors, and window frames, especially if the property hasn't been redecorated in the last 5 years.

Overall, these are just a few of the hidden costs of selling your house that you need to be aware of.  While the sale price of your property is important, there are other expenses that can add up quickly.  By understanding these costs and budgeting for them in advance, you can ensure that the process of selling your property is as stress-free as possible.

Contact Us

North East Property Investment Ltd
11 Riverside Studios
Amethyst Rd
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear

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