As many as 25% of movers in the UK underestimated the cost of moving house
Asking how much does it cost to sell your house can be a little like asking how long is a piece of string? The answer depends on the individual, the size of the property you’re leaving, what it’s worth on the market or even where you’re moving to yourself.
But recent research by Which? has highlighted that as many as 25% of movers in the UK underestimated the cost of moving house – and some of them by a considerable amount. So, although it’s difficult to come up with a definitive guide, below are a few pointers which we hope you’ll find useful:
Decoration and Repairs
It’s certainly true that first impressions count. In fact, another survey recently suggested Brits take only minutes to decide if they’ve found the house of their dreams so you may stand a better chance of persuading them of that by making sure they don’t come across something challenging as soon as they pull up outside. A cut lawn, neat flower beds and clean windows can make a difference but it’s not a bad idea to paint over the scuff marks on the skirting boards, strip down any peeling wallpaper and go for a neutral décor if you have the time.
However, we’d advise against an extensive refurbishment or any significant home improvements as what you are selling is an idea not a product. Your tastes could be entirely different to those of your prospective buyers and they might tear down something like a new bathroom suite or a fitted kitchen as soon as they move in.
As long as you make it easy for them to see your house as their new home, you’ll be on the right track. If you can tidy away any clutter, remove personal effects such as framed pictures and be ready to answer questions on nearby schools and amenities, you could be well on your way to a sale.
DO try to get a friend to do an honest dry run and give you some feedback. If you’re conducting the viewing yourself, talk them around your home.
DON’T bother with the fresh coffee or baked bread. We’re all wise to that and it may seem like you’re trying too hard.
Picking an estate agent
Click on the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbcPyvDLZsw and you’ll find one of our “How To …” videos which we hope will help with the process we’d recommend before choosing who you would like to manage the sale of your home. But the basic choice these days is between the traditional high street guys or an online estate agent like us.
High street estate agents will usually charge on a commission basis – an average of around 1.5 % of the price your property sells for so, if your home goes for £200,000, you’ll pay £3,000 for the estate agent’s services.
An online estate agent will ask for a set fee, sometimes up-front although some – like us – also offer a price on completion. The advantage is that they’re usually considerably cheaper; we offer to sell your home for a set fee of £595 up front or £1195 on completion. However, we acknowledge some will always be more comfortable with the more traditional face-to-face estate agency service and will be prepared to pay more – even if the high street guys use exactly the same online tools and portals to market their home.
DO some research on Rightmove, Zoopla or PrimeLocation first. It’s easy to find out quite a bit in advance these days, including how much homes have been selling for in your area – and even who sold them.
DON’T be talked into an unrealistically high asking price. Your home could be on the market for ages and the only reason may be a high street agent’s attempt to squeeze as much in commission as they can out of you.
Selecting A Conveyancing Solicitor
Just as in any other line of work there are good ones and bad ones – and, in our experience, it’s not cost which defines them, even though it can vary from £500 to £1,500, or higher if you’re also buying a home as well as selling. Every estate agent will certainly have their own conveyancing solicitor to recommend – we certainly do – but we’d urge you not to just take them on face value. Again, the internet is your friend so do some research on local firms on independent review sites like Trustpilot before you agree to appoint anyone.
However, if you know someone who moved recently, why not ask them who they used and what were they like? Personal experience is a powerful thing.
DO take your time and make a careful choice. It’s not just about cost but quality of service. A cheap firm might cost you more but, equally, could be just as good as an expensive one. Check out reviews and trawl your friends for details of their own experience.
DON’T just go with the guys the estate agents recommend. They could be great but, equally, they could be hopeless and you won’t know until it’s too late.
If you live in something bigger than a one-bedroom flat then there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to need help shifting things. A mate with a van might help to get some of the essentials to where you need them but, when it comes to the heavy stuff, we’d recommend calling in the professionals.
Again the cost can vary widely depending on who you use and how much there is to shift – anything from £400 for a small property to over £1,000 for a large one isn’t unreasonable. But, again, we’d recommend a bit of research before you move. It’s back to personal recommendations from friends, Trustpilot or you could try www.comparemymove.com
DO shop around, ask your friends, pick a few firms from your area and then do some research on the feedback sites. Don’t be afraid to negotiate a little if there are large variations in price.
DON’T go with anyone who won’t give you a written quote. You don’t want to find all your worldly possessions are packed away in their vehicle when they announce it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg to shift everything.
To be honest, the EPC is pretty straight forward. It’s your buyer’s solicitor who will ask you to produce one and it’s illegal not to do so. Your estate agent will normally include the EPC in their package but, if it is added as an extra, then the cost should be between £50 and £120 depending on the size of the home.
DO check as soon as you decide to sell your home to see if your home has an EPC rating and, if so, if it’s up to date. If you’ve had any home improvements done, it’s in your interests to make sure any positive impact it’s had on the property’s energy performance is recorded. You can check your home’s most recent rating here: https://www.epcregister.com/reportSearchAddressTerms.html?redirect=reportSearchAddressByPostcode
DON’T try to sell your home if your EPC is out-of-date or not recorded. It’s easy for a buyer to check and it’s only going to slow down the selling process.
The Hidden Extras
Have you thought about what you’re going to do with pets on moving day? Are they going to stay with family or do you need to book them into kennels for 24 hours?
Moving week can be chaotic and a bit stressful so what will you do for meals? Those takeaways can soon mount up if you’re feeding a family of four.
No doubt you’ll have a bit of a declutter and you’ll be able to make some of those outgoings back from a car boot sale or two – but what about the petrol for all those runs to the tip with the rubbish which you couldn’t persuade yourself anyone would want to buy?
If you’re self-employed, your time is a factor as well. You’re certainly going to be out of it for a day or two and, if you’re a one-man band, it’s time you’re not making money.
So, how much does it cost to sell a house in the UK? The answer is pretty much down to you … But if you have a plan and you make “things to do” lists your friend, it’s possible to feel at least a semblance of control. Don’t forget, although it’s up there on the list of the most stressful things we do in life, moving home is also mostly a positive thing so, if you need us, we’re here – and we promise we’ll do everything we can to help you actually enjoy it!