The cost of selling a house: a guide

Estate agent fees are just one of the costs you’ll face when selling your home. Let’s take a look.

Estate agent fees are just one of the costs you’ll face when selling your home. Let’s take a look.

Daniel Evans
Head of Mortgages
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Posted 3 JANUARY 2020

What are the main costs of selling a home?

There are many costs when you sell your home, including:

  • Estate agent fees
  • Conveyancing fees
  • Energy Performance Certificate
  • Removal fees

Estate agent fees

Typically an estate agent will charge you anything between 0.75% and 3% of your home’s sale price. The rate varies depending on the value of your property. An estate agent could charge you a fixed fee for their services, but this is less common. When selling a home, estate agent fees are often the biggest expense.

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’s been agreed. Expect these fees to be around £1,000.

You should compare your options with care when choosing your estate agent and conveyancer – try to find out how long these 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, as our guide explains.

Energy Performance Certificate

If you don’t already have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), you’ll need to get one before you can sell your home on the market. An EPC has information about how energy efficient your property is, and the typical energy costs you ought to pay. Again, your estate agent can arrange for an accredited assessor to come to your home. Alternatively, you could choose your own provider.

There’s no fixed fee for an EPC. The cost depends on factors including the type of property you own and the number of bedrooms it has. You can expect to be charged anything from around £35 to £150 for this service. Your EPC will remain valid for 10 years. To see if you already have an EPC, visit the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government website.

Ask about all the fees you might be charged

To ensure 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 up-front to avoid nasty surprises later in the process. Always check if any prices you get 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.

What else should I be aware of when selling my home?

There are times you may have to pay capital gains tax on any profit you make from selling your property. Typically, you don’t need to pay this tax at the time you sell your home because you can claim private residence relief on any profit you make.

The times when you might be liable to pay capital gains tax are:

  • If you’ve let out your home to tenants – at any time during which you’ve owned it
  • Selling a second home – for example a rental property, holiday let or a place you bought for someone else to live in
  • If you sell a property after you’ve inherited it.

Buying or selling a home typically takes between two and three months. The process can take longer though, so make sure you plan well for the worst – properties which are being sold as part of a chain can take longer than three months. Unfortunately, these might fall through for a number of reasons, such as if a buyer’s finances aren’t in order.

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