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The cost of selling a house: a guide

Estate agent fees are just one of the costs involved in selling a house. Let’s take a look at some of the others.

Estate agent fees are just one of the costs involved in selling a house. Let’s take a look at some of the others.

Written by
Sajni Shah
Consumer expert on money and utilities
Last Updated
5 JUNE 2023
10 min read
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How much is it to sell a house?

​​​There are many costs to take into account when you sell your home. The table below gives an idea of what you might need to spend.

Average costs for selling a house
Estate agent fees £4,118*
Conveyancing fees £1,690
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) £60-£120
Removal costs £806

*Based on 1.42% of a property sold for £290,000 (average house price, January 2023).
All other costs based on Compare My Move data 2022. 
 
Let’s look at each of these fees more closely, as well as other costs to factor in when selling your home.

Estate agent selling fees

When selling a home, estate agent fees are often the biggest expense. So how much do estate agents charge to sell a house?

High-street agents

Typically, a high-street estate agent will charge you anything between 1% and 3% of your home’s sale price. The rate varies depending on the value of your property.

Online agents

Online estate agents can often be much cheaper and typically offer a fixed-fee service rather than a percentage commission. This could range from £0 to £1,200 (or more if you’re selling in London). However, you’ll usually be expected to pay the fee upfront.

If you opt for an online agent to keep the costs down, make sure the package includes what you need, as these can vary considerably. Some offer no sale, no fee packages, or add-on services, such as accompanied viewings, which could increase the cost.

The most basic packages, at the very least, should include:

  • Photography
  • Floor plans
  • Advertising on the biggest house-selling platforms, for example. Rightmove and Zoopla
  • A ‘For Sale’ board, which they’ll put up for you

Conveyancing fees

Conveyancing covers the legal services involved in the transfer of land and property from one person to another.

A solicitor or a licensed conveyancer is tasked with this process, which includes the exchange of contracts after a sale has been agreed.

According to Compare My Move, the average cost of conveyancing fees in 2023 are £2,239 for buying a house and £1,690 for selling a house. If you want a better idea of how much you should expect to pay in conveyancer or solicitor’s fees, use their conveyancing fees calculator.

You should compare your options with care when choosing your estate agent and conveyancer. Try to find out how long these companies and individuals have been doing the job for and look for credible reviews online.

Your estate agent may recommend someone to do your conveyancing, but you don’t have to go with the person they suggest.

In England and Wales, the process of conveyancing is managed differently than it is in Scotland. To find out more, read our guide to conveyancing.

Energy Performance Certificate

If you don’t already have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), you’ll need to get one before you can legally put your home on the market.

An EPC has information about how energy-efficient your property is and the typical energy costs you should pay. Your estate agent can arrange for an accredited assessor to come to your home or you could choose your own provider.

There’s no fixed fee for an EPC. The cost depends on factors like the type of property you own and the number of bedrooms it has. YYou should expect to be charged anywhere between £35 to £120 for this service. Your EPC will remain valid for 10 years. To see if you already have an EPC, visit the energy certificate page on the UK Government website.

Removal costs

​Removal costs can vary considerably, depending on:

  • The size of your house
  • The amount of belongings you want moved
  • How far you’re going
  • The type of service you want.

According to Compare My Move, the average removal costs in 2022 for a three-bedroom house moving 50 miles were £806.

Compare My Move also break down average removal costs based on where you live:

Region Average removal costs (2022) [1]
East of England £1,583.31
East Midlands £1,562.36
South West £1,543.81
Yorkshire and the Humber £1,234.88
North East £1,297.13
London £1,282.50
Scotland

£1,122.89

South East £1,525.31
Wales £1,213.28
West Midlands £1,234.43
North West £917.83
National Average £1,332.03

[1] Average removal costs based on Compare My Move data for all house sizes and distances in 2022.  

If you want to keep the costs down or don’t have many belongings, you might want to opt for a basic service where you do the packing yourself.

A full removals service, which typically includes packing materials, packing and unpacking, dismantling and re-assembly, will cost a lot more. Some firms also provide storage facilities if you’re not moving straight into your new home.

​Most removal companies will also include insurance, but this can often be very limited in terms of the level of protection they offer.  

Check whether your home insurance includes house removals or contents temporarily away from home cover – if not, you may want to add the extra cover to your contents insurance

Unexpected fees

Make sure you know what to expect when dealing with any professionals who are helping you to sell your home. Always ask for details of any fees upfront to avoid nasty surprises later in the process. And check if any prices you’re quoted include VAT.

Get in touch on a regular basis with anyone who’s involved in selling your home. And keep copies (with dates) of any correspondence you have with them throughout the selling process.

Be sure to include notes of any phone conversations you have, as these could come in handy if there’s a dispute later on.

Capital gains tax

You might be liable to pay capital gains tax on any profit you make from selling your property if:

  • You’ve let out your home to tenants at any time while owning it
  • You sell a second home. For example, a rental property, holiday let or a place you bought for someone else to live in
  • You sell a property after you’ve inherited it.

Are there any other costs of selling a house I need to consider?

There’s a couple of other potential costs you should think about before putting your house on the market:

Preparing your house for sale

The costs involved in preparing your house for sale will vary, depending on how much work needs to be done. This could range anywhere from a quick lick of paint to a full-blown roof replacement.

If something crops up in the home survey, it’s likely your buyers may want to re-negotiate the price. Alternatively, they might ask you to fix the problem before they go ahead with the purchase.

Early mortgage repayment charges

If you sell your home while your current mortgage is still outstanding, you may be liable for an early repayment charge (ERC). This is likely to be the case if you’re still within the terms of a low-interest or fixed-rate mortgage.

An ERC is typically between 1% and 5% of the outstanding mortgage balance. The amount you’ll be charged usually depends on how close you are to the end of your mortgage term. 

If you want to avoid paying an ERC, you might want to see if you can port your mortgage – this means moving your existing mortgage to your new property. 

Your current provider may also be willing to waive the ERC if you re-mortgage with them instead of switching to another lender. This depends on your provider and the terms of your mortgage agreement.

And remember, if you’re buying as well as selling, there’ll be separate costs such as:

Mortgage fees: porting vs re-mortgaging

If you’re on a particularly good deal with a low interest rate, it might be worth porting your mortgage if your lender allows it (most do). The alternative is remortgaging to a new deal, either with your current provider or another lender. 

If you’re looking to upsize to a more expensive property, you may need to apply for an increase to your existing mortgage. Or your lender may insist that you take out a separate loan for the extra amount – so you’re essentially paying for two mortgages. This will mean another round of arrangement fees to pay and, quite possibly, a higher interest rate.

If you remortgage, remember that you’ll have to factor in the exit fee, arrangement and valuation fees for your new mortgage.

At this point it would be best to get expert advice from a mortgage adviser. They’ll help you do the sums and work out which option would be the most cost-effective.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Expert mortgage advice

Our partners London & Country Mortgages Ltd (L&C)** offer fee-free, expert mortgage advice. They’ll do the sums and help you work out the best financial option for your needs.

**London & Country Mortgages Ltd (L&C) are a multi-award-winning mortgage broker with over 20 years’ experience in helping people secure their perfect mortgage. Advice is provided by L&C, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (143002). L&C are not part of Compare the Market Limited. Compare the Market receive a % of the commission that our partner London & Country earns. All applications are subject to lending and eligibility criteria.

L&C will not charge you a broker fee should you decide to proceed with a mortgage.

Go to L&C mortgages

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to sell a house?

It varies, of course, but selling a home can take up to six months. The process can take longer, though, particularly properties that are being sold as  part of a chain.

Unfortunately, sales can fall through for a number of reasons – for example, if a buyer’s finances aren’t in order.

What are closing costs?

Closing costs is a phrase sometimes used to describe all the fees and charges that come towards the end of the home buying and selling process – for example, stamp duty and solicitor or conveyancer fees. 

The content written in this article is for information purposes only and should not be taken as financial advice. If you require support on the products discussed here, please speak to your bank/lender or seek the advice of an independent professional financial advisor. We also have more information on our Customer Support Hub.

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Sajni Shah - Consumer expert on utilities and money

Sajni is passionate about building products, allowing Compare the Market to help you make great financial decisions. She keeps track of the latest trends and evolving markets to find new ways to help you save money.

Learn more about Sajni

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