What's the real cost of selling your house?

When selling your house, the costs can really add up quickly. Often people don’t realise how much they will need to pay until the sale has already gone through. To help you we have listed some of the typical costs you will encounter when selling a house—and buying one—along with some tips to help keep the costs down.

Cost of selling a house

the true cost of selling a hosue

  • 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
  • Estate agency fees 
    If you sell through a traditional estate agent you will need to pay fees when the house is sold—typically between 1 and 3 per cent of the sale price, plus VAT. Selling privately or using a property cash buyer—such as Reader’s Digest Property—means you avoid paying both estate agency and legal fees
  • Removal costs
    Removal companies cost between £300-£600 and more at weekends. Doing it yourself can save money, 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
  • Council tax, mortgage repayments and 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.


Cost of buying a house

cost of buying a house

  • Stamp duty
    This is a government tax paid when buying a home of a certain value (currently over £125,000). The rate you pay depends on the purchase price of the property and whether it is the only property you own or a second (or third, fourth) property you will be the owner of
  • Valuation fee
    If you require a mortgage then the lender will usually want to carry out their own assessment of the property’s value. Many lenders charge for this and can cost between £150-£1,500, though some do it for free
  • Surveyor’s fee
    It’s wise to have a surveyor check the property you are buying for any issues. This can cost from £150 for a basic survey and from £600 for a structural survey. You may be able to upgrade the valuation survey carried out by your lender to include this—which could save you money
  • Legal fees
    You will need a licensed conveyor or solicitor to carry out legal work which generally costs between £500-£1,000. When buying a property they may also suggest some property searches are carried out—such as Land Registry, flood risk and local authority. These can add £250-£300 upwards to your costs
  • Electronic transfer fee
    If you need a mortgage this is a fee you need to pay for transferring the mortgage money from the lender to the solicitor. This is around £40-£50
  • Removal costs
    These will be in the region of £300-£600.


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.

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


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