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The cost of selling a house

From estate agent fees to EPCs, learn about some of the key costs you'll need to budget for when selling your home and how to save.

In this article
How much does it cost to sell a house?  Mortgage fees: porting vs remortgaging Estate agent fees  EPC costs
Conveyancing fees  Removal companies Compare high-street agents in your area

How much does it cost to sell a house? 

Moving home can be an expensive business, with lots of different fees to factor in.

One of the biggest costs you'll face when selling your house is usually the estate agent's fee, which will either be charged as a percentage of the selling price or a set rate.

You’ll also need to budget for a mortgage, conveyancing and removal fees, and may have to pay for an energy performance certificate (EPC).

In the table below we’ve estimated the total cost of selling a home on the market for £234,853 (the average cost of a UK home according to the UK House Price Index for August) with a high-street agent.

Type of cost High street agent
Agency fees

 

More info

Based on 1.53% (including VAT) average fee according to GetAgent data.

£3,593
Remortgaging

 

More info

The average fee for a remortgage deal in October 2019 according to Moneyfacts figures. Excludes fee-free products. Assumes no early repayment charges are payable to your old lender.

£1,009
Conveyancing fees £400-£1,870
Energy performance certificate (EPC) £50-£120
Removal company £45-£1,440
Total £5,097 - £8,032

Mortgage fees: porting vs remortgaging

Most mortgages are portable, meaning that you can transfer or ‘port’ them from the property that you originally borrowed against to the home you're moving into. 

Porting your mortgage is relatively simple if you plan to move to a similarly priced or cheaper property. You'll just need to pay for a valuation and undergo an affordability check.

If you’re moving to a more expensive property, you'll probably need to borrow extra cash which can make porting a mortgage more difficult and costly.

Remortgaging

Regardless of whether porting is an option for you, moving house is a great opportunity to see if you can save thousands by remortgaging.

This could be a particularly savvy move if you’ve come to the end of your introductory rate and are now paying the (usually much pricier) standard variable rate.

Being out of the fixed-rate period will also mean you're no longer subject to an early repayment charge, which can heap thousands onto the cost of moving. You'll just need to factor in a mortgage exit fee and weigh up the costs of the arrangement, valuation and product fee for your new deal. 

In our analysis of Moneyfacts data, we found that remortgage deals that charged fees (2,423 in October 2019) typically cost £1,09. But there are plenty of remortgage deals available fee-free, too (1,558 in October 2019).

It's worth taking expert advice to work out the cheapest option for your situation. A mortgage broker can help you understand what deals are available to you and calculate whether the cost of remortgaging is worth it. 

 

Estate agent fees 

Although it is possible to go it alone and sell your home privately or through a property auction, most people choose to use the services of an estate agent.  

You can choose to go with a traditional high-street estate agent, which will usually charge a percentage of the selling price, or an online or hybrid agent, which will generally charge a fixed fee. 

High street estate agent fees

The average estate agent's fee was 1.53% in October 2019, according to GetAgent, analysis of over 40,000 branches and 2,400 postcodes in England and Wales.

However, charges can vary from 0.85% to as much as 3.07% depending on where you live.

The fee you are charged could depend on the agent and the type of contract you have. You can usually negotiate a better deal if you agree to a sole agency contract or if you have a high-value property. 

On a lower-value property, an agent might charge a fixed fee. You should double-check what percentage this comes to, to ensure you aren’t paying over the odds. 

For example, a £3,600 fixed fee for a flat with an asking price of £200,000 equates to 1.8% which you might feel is too high – especially as the property may sell for less.

Estate agent fees used to be quoted 'plus VAT' most of the time (meaning you had to add 20% on top of your quote), but since October 2016 the rules state that quotes should now always include VAT. If your quote doesn't make it clear either way, always check.

You can compare the cost of local agents in your area using our Get Agent estate agent comparison tool, below.

Online estate agent costs

Online-only or hybrid estate agents are usually much cheaper than traditional high-street agents, with some claiming to charge nothing at all or fixed fees of between £99 and £3,999.

Some online agents will offer a full level of service, but with others you might just pay for the advertising, meaning you'll conduct viewings and even negotiations yourself. 

  • Find out more: to understand the pros and cons as well as costs, check out our guide to online estate agents

EPC costs

Anyone selling a home has to provide potential buyers with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property.  

An EPC provides information about the energy efficiency of your property using a scale from A to G - A being the most efficient, G the least efficient. 

 

New-build homes tend to have better EPC ratings, while older homes tend to be lower down the scale. The average EPC rating for a home in the UK is D.

You can expect to pay somewhere between £50 and £120 for an EPC - but they're valid for 10 years, so if you bought your home less than a decade ago you may be able to use the existing one and save yourself some cash. 

If you don’t have an EPC you can get one through an accredited domestic energy assessor. You can arrange for an EPC to be done through your estate agent, although you can usually get it done more cheaply if you arrange one independently.  

Conveyancing fees 

You'll need to hire a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to deal with the legal aspects of selling your property. They'll either charge you a flat fee or a percentage of the value of the property.  

Your estate agent may suggest you use their conveyancer or solicitor, but you are under no obligation to do so and it could cost you more.

You can expect to pay anywhere between £400 and £1,500 for sales conveyancing, depending on how complex the transaction is. If you’re also buying a property, the same solicitor can usually deal with that transaction as well, in which case you can negotiate fees accordingly. 

If you're selling a leasehold property there is usually an additional charge of between £100 and £300 for the extra legal work involved, such as reviewing the lease. 

In addition to these fees, you'll usually have to stump up the cash for other admin-related costs including:

  • Copy of title deeds – a document which proves you own the property, usually held by the Land Registry (£4 - £12)
  • Money-laundering checks – this is done to check buyers are who they claim to be (£8 per person)
  • Bank transfer fee – when you have to transfer large sums of money to your bank there’s a fee (£25-£50)  

Find out more: conveyancing when you're selling

Removal companies

Another big cost you’ll have to factor in is moving day and getting all your worldly processions from A to B.

If you have a small one or two-bedroom property you might be able to do it yourself and just hire a van to transport your things. Our research shows this could set you back £45 to £100.

But if you have a bigger property or just want professional help you're better off leaving it to a removals company. Our research has found the average cost of hiring a removals company is between £230 and £1,440.

This is obviously a wide price range, and the amount you pay will be influenced by factors including:

  • Size of van/lorry required
  • Distance from the old home to the new one
  • Time of day, day of the week, time of year
  • Whether you want the professionals to pack for you
  • Packing materials

Make sure you get quotes from a few removals companies before hiring one and only use someone who gets good reviews.

The Which? Trusted Traders site can help you find a reliable removals company near you.

Compare high-street agents in your area

We’ve teamed up with estate agent comparison service GetAgent to provide sellers with a way to find the best high-street estate agents, based on past performance. Use their tool for free by providing a few details about your property or read more about how it works. Use of the service is governed by the terms and conditions of GetAgent, which will process your details in accordance with its privacy policy.

 

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