How Much Does It Cost to Sell a House?

Factor in these fees before you sell.

Moving home can be an exciting time. But while you’re busy doing the sums for how much your new place is going to cost, you may have overlooked an all-important question: how much does it cost to sell a house? 

The average selling costs for a house in England come in at around £4,500 (based on a property worth £225k). Here, we explain the costs involved to help you budget for your big move. 

What are the main costs of selling a house?

The fees to sell a house will vary, depending on where in the UK you’re based. But in general, you’ll need to fork out for the following: 

  • Estate agent fees
  • Conveyancing fees (legal costs)
  • Energy Performance Certificate
  • Mortgage fees
  • Removal costs 

Let’s take a look at each of these in a little more detail. 

1. Estate agent fees

Perhaps the biggest expense related to selling a home, the cost of hiring your estate agent will depend on the type of agent and agreement in place. 

Most high street estate agents work for a commission, which is typically a percentage of your home’s sale price. This can range anywhere from 0.75% to 3% + VAT, and will often vary depending on the value of your property.   

Alternatively, there are a growing number of online estate agents offering a fixed-fee service. These fees can range from £99 to £999, and sometimes more. You’ll usually be asked to pay the fee upfront, although some will offer a No Sale, No Fee guarantee. 

Whether you use a traditional high street estate agent or an online one, always double-check what their fees cover. At a minimum, you’ll want to ensure that your home:

  • Is professionally photographed 
  • Has floor plans drawn up 
  • Has a “For Sale” sign put up at your property
  • Is listed on the major property platforms, like Zoopla, Rightmove, and OnTheMarket

You may find there are additional fees for “accompanied viewings,” where the estate agent conducts viewings on your behalf. However, some will throw this in as part of the package.

2. Conveyancing fees: How much do solicitors charge to sell a house in the UK? 

Conveyancing is the fancy name for the legal transfer of land and property from one owner to another, including the exchange of contracts after a sale has been agreed.   

This is usually handled by a solicitor or licensed conveyancer (a specialist property lawyer), and they’ll charge a conveyancing fee for the service.

There are two main parts to conveyancing costs:

  • The costs of the solicitor or conveyancer’s legal work.
  • Costs paid to third parties for checks required as part of the process. These are known as disbursements.

Fees will vary depending on the complexity of the sale, the location and price of the property, and whether the work is done by a solicitor or licensed conveyancer. Licensed conveyancers are usually less expensive. 

Generally speaking, conveyancing fees can range from £600 to £1,800. Your estate agent may recommend a conveyancer, but you don’t need to use them. Always shop around first to make sure you’re getting the best deal. 

Read more: Conveyancing Fees Explained

3. Energy Performance Certificate

You need to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before you can legally sell your home. 

An EPC sets out how energy efficient your home is by placing it into one of seven different categories, from A to G. A is the most energy-efficient, and G is the least. It will also include recommendations on how its energy efficiency could be improved. 

EPCs are valid for ten years, so if you’ve owned your home for longer than this, you may need to get a new one. Your estate agent will probably arrange this on your behalf, but you can also book an accredited energy assessor yourself. You can find contact details online for accredited assessors in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, and accredited assessors in Scotland.

The cost of a new EPC will depend on the size and location of your property and will range from £50 to £120

Read more: How Much Does an EPC Cost?

4. Mortgage fees

If your mortgage is still outstanding when you sell your home, you may need to stump up an early repayment charge (ERC). This is often the case if you’re still within the terms of a fixed-rate mortgage (one that has a fixed interest rate for a set period of time, such as 2 or 5 years). 

An ERC is usually a percentage of your outstanding mortgage balance, typically between 1% and 5%. So, for example, if you owe £100,000 on your mortgage and your ERC is 2%, you’ll need to pay £2,000 to clear your mortgage early. 

Some mortgage providers may waive the ERC if you stick with them for your next mortgage. This will depend on the lender and the terms of your current mortgage agreement, but it’s worth checking!

5. Removal costs

If you don’t want to pack and move boxes after your sale is confirmed, a professional moving company could be money well spent. But the fee will depend on the size of your property, how much stuff you need to be moved, how far you’re moving, and the level of service you require. 

Some removal companies will do everything for you, including the dismantling of furniture, packing up boxes (which they provide), and reassembly and unpacking on the other side.

If you want to keep costs down, you could choose a more basic service, where you pack (and unpack) yourself. 

Costs will range from £300 to well into the thousands depending on the above factors. Some companies will even offer storage facilities if there’s a gap between your move-out and move-in dates.  

Sidenote: Most professional removal companies will include insurance as part of the fee, but this isn’t always the most comprehensive. It’s a good idea to check whether your home insurance includes removals, just in case. 

Costs for selling a home in Scotland

In addition to the above costs, if you’re selling a home north of the border, you’ll need to pay for a Home Report. This is a document provided to potential buyers on request, which includes: 

  • A survey of the property by a professional and accredited surveyor
  • A valid Energy Performance Certificate
  • A questionnaire containing information related to the property, such as Council Tax charges and on-street parking

You cannot sell a home in Scotland without a Home Report. Fees will vary depending on the surveyor who carries it out and the size, age, and location of the property. Costs can range from £290 to £450 + VAT.

What other costs are there when selling a house?

If you’re preparing your home for sale, you may want to invest in some home improvements to try and fetch the best possible price. This could cost you the price of a tin of paint, or something more substantial, like a new front door, replacement flooring, or professional cleaning fees. 

And some major costs can creep up on you if you’re not careful. If the buyer’s home survey reveals a significant issue, they may want you to fix the problem first (or renegotiate the price) before they’ll go ahead with the purchase. 

To reduce the risk of this happening, you may want to consider getting a “seller’s survey” carried out by a professional surveyor. That way, you can fix any defects before putting your home on the market.

To recap: What is the charge for selling a house? 

There are a handful of typical fees you can expect to pay when selling your home. From estate agent costs to legal bills and mortgage charges to removal expenses, you’ll need to budget carefully for your sale as well as your purchase. Happy moving! 

Also read:

New year, new home – are you moving house in 2023?
10 questions to ask when viewing a house
Top tips for buying your first home