Monday, June 24, 2024

How To Save Money When Selling Your Home

Selling a property is an expensive affair. From estate agent fees to stamp duty taxation, it seems like everyone wants their share of your sales proceeds by the time moving day finally arrives.

However, with a dash of knowledge and a generous helping of thriftiness, it’s possible to sell your home for less than you may have initially thought.

Here is our guide on how to save money on the most common expenses that come hand in hand with selling a home:

Estate Agent Fees

Most estate agents work on a commission basis. That means, you won’t pay money up-front but you will pay a percentage of the final sales price of your property. Typically this will be between 1-2%. That means on a fairly average £250,000 house, you’ll pay between £2,500 and £5,000 in estate agent fees.

However, you can significantly cut this figure by choosing an online estate agent to sell your home instead. Many now work similar to traditional estate agents and offer sales packages on a ‘no sale, no fee’ basis. The cost is usually between £1,000 and £1,500 as a fixed-fee. That means it’s the same no matter how much your home sells for.  Click here to know more about conveyancing.

If you want to save even more money you can opt for an up-front fee package. This will usually cost around £500-£800 (although can be as little as £99) but you’ll pay regardless of whether your property sells so there is an element of risk.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

It is a legal requirement for properties listed for sale to have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).  EPCs were initially introduced in 2007 as part of Home Information Packs (HIPs) but remained a requirement even after HIPs were withdrawn in 2010.

In short, an EPC tells prospective buyers how energy efficient the property is, how much energy bills are likely to be, and how the energy efficiency of the property can be improved.

Most estate agents offer EPCs either as part of their service, or as an optional add-on (usually around £70-100).

The good news is that EPCs are valid for 10 years. That means if you bought your home in the last 10 years, you probably won’t need to pay for a new EPC. You can check if your home has a valid EPC on the EPC Register.

Legal Costs

When selling your home, there are a number of unavoidable legal costs that you’ll incur. That’s because the sale will go through what’s called the conveyancing process. This is basically when all the paperwork is done so that the buyer knows exactly what they are getting and to ensure there are no legal disputes after the sale completes.

Although it’s possible to do the conveyancing yourself, it’s not recommended as it can be complicated process. The best advise is, therefore, to simply shop around to find a solicitor who can do a good job at a fair price. Don’t just accept the first price you are given. As a rule of thumb, get at least three conveyancing quotes before you settle on which one to go ahead with.

If you are also buying a home, you may be able to save money on your legal costs by opting not to have some of the recommended searches carried out. Again, this isn’t necessarily the best idea if you want to avoid any nasty surprises later down the line!

Removal Fees

Once you have exchanged contracts, you’ve officially sold your home and will need to prepare for moving day. It’s possible (though not always recommended) to exchange contracts and move on the same day, so it’s important to plan well in advance.

If you use a professional removal company you can expect to pay around £900 for an average 3-bedroom property, plus around another £300 if you want their packing service too. Before hiring a removal firm, check the British Association of Removers website to see if the firm is registered to abide by the standards they set.

If you want to save money on removals, the most obvious thing to do is to hire a van and do the removal yourself. As moving house is a physically demanding job, you’ll need to be in good shape and will need at least one extra pair of strong hands to help move large and heavy items.

As you’ll need to have everything moved out by a certain time, it’s usually only best to attempt to carry out your own removal in 2-bedroom properties or smaller.

So, as you can see, moving house doesn’t need to cost you the earth. There are a number of things you can do to cut costs and make selling your home a whole lot more affordable!

Elliot is the Editor at ABCMoney. He manages a team that writes and contributes to many leading publications across a number of industries.

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