How much does it cost to sell my house?
Generally speaking, you'll pay a traditional estate between 1 and 1.5% +VAT. Some of the online agents such as Purple Bricks do a fixed fee. If you sell to a cash buyer company, you'll pay nothing at all.
What are the up front costs before I can put my house on the market?
Before you can put your house on the market, there are a few things you'll need to have in place. Now, there's no need to panic, as whoever you're dealing with to sell your house will normally take care of all of this for you, or at least tell you how to get in touch with the right people.
The Energy Performance Certificate
Firstly you'll need an Energy Performance Certificate, commonly referred to as an EPC. This shows how energy efficient your property is. It has been a legal requirement to have one of these before you start marketing your property for a couple of years now. Until last year, most people considered them a bit of a waste of time, one of those classic pointless EU bureaucratic diktats that didn't have any practical use in the real world. However, since 1st April 2018, you can't legally let out a property with an EPC rating of less than E. There are exemptions, such as listed properties where you wouldn't be allowed to make the necessary changes to bring the rating up. It's normally fairly straightforward to lift your EPC rating. The easiest and cheapest ways being things like changing all of your light bulbs to LEDs, a bit of insulation in the loft or lagging your hot water tank, if you still have one. Obviously there are also costlier fixes, like putting in central heating or double glazing.
The EPC will cost roughly £60-150 depending on area and size of property.
If you have a mortgage on your property, you'll need to contact your lender to find out how much you still owe. This is called your redemption figure. Hopefully you owe far less than the property is worth. If you owe more than the property is worth, you basically can't sell your house unless you come to some arrangement with the mortgage lender which you would have to agree before you put the house on the market.
Another thing to find out if you don't know already is if you have any redemption or early repayment penalties. A redemption penalty is usually applied when you settle your mortgage during your fixed rate period. It's effectively because you haven't had the mortgage long enough for the lender to have made enough money from you to have made it worth their while, so they'll charge a penalty to settle early. This is normally a few percentage points of the total, which reduces the nearer you are to the end of your fixed rate. For example, if you were in year 1 of a 5 year fixed, your penalty might start at 5% and reduce by 1% every year you keep the mortgage, so year 2 would be 4% etc. This is important as these penalties can amount to hefty sums and may affect your decision whether to sell now or not.
If you're selling the house you live in, there shouldn't be any tax implications as you don't pay tax on your primary residence, even if you make a profit. If you're selling a second home or house you've rented out, you may be subject to capital gains tax. You should check with an accountant and make sure you fully understand the tax implications you may encounter if you're selling a second home or rental property.
There are several routes to go down to sell your house. I'll list them and the associated costs below;
Traditional estate agent - You'll normally pay between 1 and 1.5% plus VAT to a traditional high street style estate agent, on a no sale, no fee basis.
Online estate agent - With an agent like Purple Bricks for example you'll normally pay an upfront fixed fee. At the time of writing this is £999 inc. VAT (outside of London). This is cheaper than a traditional estate agent but obviously you'll pay whether or not they find you a buyer, so a bit more of a gamble.
Auction - An auction house will normally require the buyer to pay most of the fees. However you will be expected to pay up front for the legal pack which can be anything from £375 to £800.
Cash buyer company - If you sell your house to a cash buyer company, you won't have any fees at all, they even pay your legal bills. It's the only truly cost free option to sell your home and you normally have the cash in your bank within 28 days, albeit at around 20% below market value.
You'll need a legal professional, to do the necessary legal work involved in selling your home known as conveyancing. If you live in a house then your property is normally freehold, and the legal work for this will usually cost around £600-800.
If you live in a flat or similar, it'll probably be leasehold, which is more complex for your conveyancer so will cost a bit more, generally around £800-1000.
Some other miscellaneous costs can include;
Removals - This is very hard to price as it depends on a lot of variables; size of house, distance, accessibility etc. There are different packages and ways of doing it such as hiring a self-drive van for the day, to having a removal company doing all your packing from scratch and then unloading everything for you. I can't really give you a guide price but getting quotes from several removal companies will help you gauge the general costs.
Cleaning - You may decide after you've cleared your house that you want to have it cleaned for the new occupier. Obviously this is totally at your discretion but it's generally the case that when sofas, beds and the like are removed after years in the same spot, things are a bit grubbier than you'd like!
That should cover most of the costs you'll come across when selling your house or home. It is by no means exhaustive and you should fully research and take appropriate advice before selling your home.
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