The hidden costs of selling your home

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Selling property is one of the most stressful things you can do. Not only that, it can be a real challenge financially too, with a host of hidden, and not-so-hidden, costs to deal with.

So what expenses do you need to plan for?

Get your house in better shape

If your house is in need of some repair then it is less likely to attract interest from potential buyers. To make sure you get a buyer and a price that you're happy with, you will need to get that leaky roof or cracked window sorted before putting it on the market.

If it is a simple job then you may feel comfortable tackling it yourself. But if you need a professional, then make sure you compare quotes. You can find professionals using

Estate agent fees

The biggest cost will be paying an estate agent to sell your house for you. High street agents will generally charge a percentage of the final sold fee. So the more expensive your property is, the more significant the fee will be, though you only have to pay if the agent is successful in selling your property.

A cheaper alternative is to go with one of the many online estate agents which now operate in the UK, such as eMoov or Purplebricks. These agents charge a much smaller flat fee - usually only a couple of hundred pounds, though you have to pay this upfront.

You may need to pay extra for certain services though, such as accompanied viewings or a 'For Sale' board outside your property, though this will vary between different agents. Make sure you understand exactly what your fee covers and what any additional features will cost.

You will also need to appoint a solicitor to handle the legal side of the sale. The cost of your solicitor can vary significantly. According to Which?, the legal costs of selling a property can range from £500-£1,500, so it's a good idea to shop around to find one in your budget. It's a good idea to ask for an itemised quote so that you can see exactly what you will be paying and for what.

Bear in mind that you don't have to go for a local firm - just because you live in London, you could appoint a solicitor from the other side of the country, which will likely work out cheaper too. You can find a licensed conveyancer with the CLC website.

Removal fees

Another consideration is the cost of moving all of your belongings from your old home to your new one. The cheapest way to handle this is to rent a van and do it all yourself, but this can be incredibly stressful - you'll have to source all of the packing materials and then load up the van yourself.

Alternatively, you can get professionals in to handle it. Again, the fees they charge can vary between different firms, and based on the size and timing of the job. Don't simply go for the first firm you find - get quotes from a handful of different removal firms and see if your family and friends have any recommendations.

It's a good idea to get the removals firm booked in as soon as you have a moving date, as they can get extremely busy at certain times of the year.

An energy performance certificate

You are now required by law to have an energy performance certificate when selling a home. This gives potential buyers an idea of how energy efficient the property is, as it is given a rating between A (the most efficient) and G (the least efficient).

You can arrange for this to be carried out through your estate agent, and it is valid for 10 years. It tends to cost anything up to £120.

What now?

Here are some further links which can prove helpful

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