Selling a house—make sure costs don’t spiral out of control

Reader's Digest Editors

Legal fees

A licensed conveyancer or solicitor must carry out all the legal work when selling your home. Generally legal fees cost between £500-£1,000, though this can vary greatly. There will also be some costs they have to pay to third parties to carry out checks. They will include anti-money laundering checks, obtaining the title deeds and property searches. Shop around for a conveyancer and ask what extra costs there may be.

Estate agency fees

If you sell through a traditional high street estate agent you will need to pay fees when the house is sold - typically between 1%-3% of the sale price, plus VAT. Online estate agents will also charge a fee - often this is a fixed, no matter how much you sell your property for. However, it is often less than the cost of a high street agent. Selling privately or using a property cash buyer - such as Reader’s Digest Property (more about this later) - means you avoid paying estate agent fees.

Removal costs

Removal companies cost between £300-£600. They can cost even more at weekends so a weekday moving date can save you a bit of cash. Hiring a van and doing it yourself can reduce costs, though can be stressful.

Cosmetic updates

Many people choose to do some cosmetic improvements to their property before putting it on the market hoping to sell it quicker or for more money. Improvements worth making are anything which may give the buyer an excuse to negotiate on the price following a survey. These can include electrics that need replacing, roof leaks, damp issues, plumbing that needs replacing, signs of woodworm and having no central heating. However, these improvements can also be time-consuming and costly. If you can’t afford to do these works then you may need to adjust your offer expectation.

Price reduction

Even if you think there’s nothing wrong with a property many buyers will find something wrong with it and try to get you to reduce the price. This can often happen after you have already accepted an offer. Make sure you factor this into your final costings and know how much - if anything - you are able to drop the price by to secure a sale.

Council tax, mortgage repayments & running costs

While waiting for your house to sell you will still need to pay council tax, mortgage repayments and running costs (such as utility bills). If this is more than you will be paying at any new property it’s important to factor these into your costs. An average house sale through a traditional estate agent takes around 6 months - however this can be much shorter or longer and is very difficult to predict.

Stopping any unexpected costs when selling a house

Reader’s Digest has teamed up with expert property buyers HouseBuyFast to form Reader’s Digest Property. We cover all legal and valuation fees, and there are no estate agent fees. We provide a guaranteed cash offer and can also complete the sale in a timescale to suit you. This means there are no hidden surprises and you know exactly how much you will be getting when the property sale completes.

For more information fill out the form below or contact us free on 0800 433 7979.