The Cost of Selling a House
The cost of selling a house depends on what method you use to sell your house. So, whether you opt to sell privately, go through an estate agent, or try a property auction, there are a multitude of different fees to consider either way.
From home improvements, to legal fees, and getting your EPC, the last thing you want is to get stuck with a surprise bill, so we’re going to guide you through the biggest costs associated with selling a house..
On this page, we compare the price of selling your house with and without an estate agent, but don’t forget you can drastically reduce this cost by using Good Move. We’ll buy your house for up to 85% of its market value, and our sales can complete in as little as 7 days. Get in touch for more information.
In this guide:
- Estate agents: initial costs
- Estate agent fees: online vs. high Street
- Selling privately
- Selling at auction
- Legal fees
- Summary of fees
- Capital Gains Tax
Initial costs when selling a house on the open market
Before you put your house on the market, there are several initial expenses which are worth factoring into your budget. These include:
- Home improvement costs – you may need to make small aesthetic changes, and carry out any obvious repairs around your house, to make it more sellable.
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – every house up for sale must have an energy performance certificate, which rates your property’s efficiency between A-G. A standard EPC costs between £30 and £120, but they do last 10 years, so you’ll need to factor this into your house selling costs.
- Early mortgage repayment charges – this is effectively a penalty for breaking the commitment you have with your provider too soon, e.g. if you overpay on your mortgage before the agreed period has ended. You can avoid paying these charges by porting your mortgage, or remortgaging after the end of your current tie-in period.
- Final bills – an inevitable expense, you’ll need to pay off any remaining utilities and council tax before you relocate.
Online vs. High Street Estate Agent Fees
Using an estate agent is the most common method of selling a house, and it certainly has its advantages. Online-only estate agents are becoming ever-more popular, so to make things easier for you we’ve compared the process of selling through both high street and online estate agents.
High Street Estate Agent
Online Estate Agent
|You pay the estate agent fees once the house is sold, and it’s generally higher, and varies according to the price of the house.||The fee will be lower and also a fixed-rate, but you may have to pay it upfront prior to the sale.|
|The fee will include help with sourcing potential buyers, hosting viewings and help with negotiations.||The fee may not include extras; which means you’ll have to host viewings yourself, and have more contact with potential buyers.|
|The fee also covers advertising your property in the shop window, and through direct contact with database of potential buyers.||Advertising will rely on their website, as well as property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla.|
As the table above suggests, the most significant difference between an online and high-street estate agent is the fee.
According to the government, the average house price in 2020 in England is £248,000, so a high-street estate agent with a 1.3% commission rate would get £3,224 in fees. In comparison, online estate agents charge a flat fee, regardless of the house price, which usually sits between £300 and £1,500.
That being said, using an online estate agent is likely to be more time-consuming, as they’ll take a more hands-off approach. High-street agents cost more, but you won’t pay until completion, and they’ll guide you through the offer process too. Depending on your preference, either way, if you choose to use an estate agent, you’ll need to factor these fees in to your costs of selling a house.
The Cost of Selling Your House Privately
Selling privately is almost guaranteed to save you money – to start with, you won’t have to pay any pesky estate agent fees. While you can get valuations carried out for free, there are several alternative expenses to bear in mind, such as:
- Photography – with no estate agent, you’ll need to organise photography yourself, and hiring a professional is the easiest way to do your home justice.
- Advertising – there are some free options, but the most effective ways to advertise do cost money. Pay a small fee to use property portals like Rightmove, Zoopla and Gumtree, or you could try sponsored posts on social media.
- Legal Fees – even if you’re bypassing estate agents, you still need to bring a solicitor or conveyancer in to handle the legal documentation. We’ll provide a breakdown of the relevant legal fees when selling a house below (jump ahead now).
- Time – selling privately is less expensive, but much more time-consuming. From sourcing buyers to hosting viewings to negotiating offers, it’s not for the time-poor.
If this method suits you, read our handy guide to selling your house privately!
The cost of selling at a property auction
Selling your home at a property auction is one of the fastest ways to achieve a house sale, so if you’re short on time and keen to get a reliable buyer, it’s a good option to consider. The most sizeable costs are likely to be:
- Entry fee – most auction houses will charge you a fee for putting your home up for sale, which might range from £500 – £2,500, depending on the business.
- Commission – an auction will usually charge around 2.5% of the property’s selling-price for their services.
- Advertising – while some auction houses may take care of this for you, others will have a surcharge for this service.
- Solicitor fee – you’ll still have to pay a solicitor to handle the legal side of things for you, and they may also need to be present on the day of the auction.
Check out our guide on how to sell your house at auction for more!
A breakdown of legal fees
Regardless of whether you sell your house through an estate agent, at a property auction or privately, you’ll still need to bring a solicitor or conveyancer in to handle the legal side of the process for you. This is one of the biggest costs associated with selling a house. The Home Owners Alliance suggests that the average cost of hiring a solicitor is anywhere from £850 – £1,500, and that’s for their services alone.
On top of this, you’ll need to factor in the cost of the checks they carry out, and the legal documentation they source on your behalf. We’ve put together an estimation of these costs in the table below.
|Local Authority Search||£250|
|Transferral of Ownership||£300|
|Property Fraud Check||£10|
|Copy of Title Deeds||£25|
These costs are another great reason to consider selling your house with Good Move – as when we buy your house for cash, we’ll take care of all the legal fees for you. You can find out how it works today.
Summary of Fees
If you’re still unsure of which method to choose, take a look at our table below, to find out the average cost to sell a house through an estate agent, privately, at auction, and through Good Move.
|Expenses||Good Move||Estate Agent||Online Agent||Private Sale||Auction|
|Early Mortgage Fees||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Do you need to pay Capital Gains Tax?
If you’re looking into selling your house, you’ll have heard the term Capital Gains Tax (CGT). Simply put, it’s a deduction on the profit you make when you sell an asset (like a property) for more than you bought it for. The good news is, you’ll only be taxed on the gain you make, rather than the whole value of the house. There are several exceptions to this tax, so you’ll only have to pay CGT if the following statements apply.
- Your home and its grounds are larger than 5,000 square metres.
- You’ve let your home out, or used it for business purposes.
- You’re selling a secondary property which isn’t your main home.
- You bought it just to make a gain (buy-to-sell)
The average cost to sell a house varies depending on which route you choose. However, if you need to sell your house fast – whether it’s to stop it from being repossessed, to pay off debts, or following a divorce, we can help.