Costs Associated With House Sale

Living room with christmas decorations

Selling your home can be an exciting time as you look ahead to your next chapter. However, it also involves navigating a complex process with many associated costs. From hiring an estate agent to conveyancing fees, you’ll need to budget carefully to cover all the expenses that arise during the sale. Being aware of these key costs and factoring them into your planning will help ensure a smooth transaction. This guide examines the main costs to consider when selling a residential property in the UK.

Estate Agent Fees

One of the first major costs is estate agent fees. High street and online agents typically charge 1-3% of the final sold price. The exact fee depends on the service level and whether they operate on a sole agency or multi-agency basis. Be clear on their specific rates and the small print before signing a contract. For example, some include fees for professional photography and advertising, while others charge extra for this. Comparing quotes from 2-3 agents will help secure a competitive price. Also, consider discounted services like Purple Bricks which have lower fees but still provide exposure on property portals.

Conveyancing Fees

Handling the legal work involved in property sales through a licenced conveyancer or solicitor also incurs fees. Allow around £500-£1000 for straightforward conveyancing, but closer to £1500 for more complex cases. Rates can vary significantly between conveyancers, so get quotes from a few options. Check what exactly is covered too – some include searches in their fees but others charge extra for these important checks and due diligence. Conveyancing costs will be money well spent to ensure your interests are protected.

Surveys and Valuations

When buying a property, the buyer will carry out various surveys and valuations. However, as a seller, you may also choose to pay for certain surveys upfront to address any issues and give buyers confidence. A HomeBuyers Report costs £300-£600 and identifies major defects. More extensive Building Surveys are £600-£1000. Your mortgage lender may also require a valuation report for which you’ll pay a few hundred pounds. Consider these optional costs carefully and the benefits they could bring.

Cleaning and Repairs

Preparing your home for sale often requires an intensive cleaning, decluttering and some maintenance or redecoration. Thoroughly cleaning carpets and windows yourself will minimise costs. But hiring home cleaners and gardeners could easily cost £300-£500 to get the property looking its absolute best. Be ready to pay for any repairs identified in surveys too – electrical fixes, roof tiles, damp proofing etc can all add up. DIY where possible or obtain multiple quotes from tradespeople. Presenting the home well will maximise the sale price.

Staging and Styling

First impressions count when buyers view a property. Staging or styling refers to presenting the rooms in their most appealing light to create a great ambience. Hire professionals to furnish vacant rooms, style vignettes on mantelpieces and rearrange furniture for enhanced flow. While not essential, spending £200-£500 on staging could clinch more viewings and offers. Alternatively, use Pinterest and Instagram for styling tips you can implement yourself.

Photography and Floorplans

Quality photographs in listing adverts are proven to increase interest and offers. Paying a property photographer to take 20-30 high-resolution shots costs around £200-£300. Drone photography can showcase grounds and surroundings too. Floorplans help buyers envisage room sizes, so commissioning these professionally at around £100 per floor is a wise investment. These things add value by enticing serious buyers who can visualise living in your home.

Advertising and Marketing

Your estate agent will market on major portals as standard. However additional paid advertising can enhance visibility, especially if your home is in a slow market. Options include paid social media promotions, print advertising in local publications and eye-catching ‘For Sale’ signage. Allow £100-£300 for this. Using your own social media accounts to share the listing is free. Effective marketing provides better exposure to find buyers quickly.

Mortgages and Loans

If you have an outstanding mortgage or equity loan on the property, early repayment charges may apply when settling these on completion. Check your mortgage terms as these can be 1-5% of the loan’s value. You may also be required to pay an exit fee. Factor these costly charges into your expectation of proceeds once the sums are done. Your conveyancer can clarify the amounts so they don’t catch you unawares.

Capital Gains Tax

When you make a profit selling your home, capital gains tax is payable in certain situations. This is outside the scope of this article, but do familiarise yourself with capital gains tax rules to ensure it’s calculated correctly – professional advice may be required. Understand your obligations and make financial provisions for any tax due to avoid an unwelcome bill arriving later.

Moving Costs

Although not directly related to the sale, you’ll likely incur costs associated with moving out too. Hiring a removal company, renting a van or transportation costs need consideration. Changing utilities, forwarding mail and removing or installing new broadband will also add up. Make sure these expenses are accounted for in your budget so the impact is minimal.


Selling a property involves significant costs, including standard estate agent fees, conveyancing, surveys, staging, marketing, and more. While these expenses can accumulate, they typically justify the investment to attain a swift and lucrative sale at the appropriate market value. Understanding all the associated costs, obtaining multiple quotes, and budgeting accordingly will make the process more manageable and financially sound. Additionally, considering the option of a cash buyer for house may offer advantages in terms of efficiency and simplicity. With the right preparation and knowledge, you can successfully cover all the costs associated with your house sale.

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