London 2017; we are all very aware of the post-Brexit, post-stamp-duty, post-election property market. Housing values are depreciating and sellers are simply withdrawing their listings whilst demand increases. LonRes found that 72 per cent of homeowners gave up their sale because they could not achieve the price they wanted, while another 17 per cent decided they would rent rather than sell. HomeOwners Alliance completed a survey which indicated that over a quarter of homeowners spent more during the sales process than they had initially budgeted for. It’s expensive to sell your home and it’s very expensive right now. How can you reduce the costs of selling your home?
Estate agent fees - Although ‘doing it yourself’ may seem like the obvious solution to save some cash, unless the market is extremely buoyant you will find it more hassle than it’s worth, advertising, arranging viewings, preparing legal letters etc. Right now, is probably not the best time. But there are alternative methods to save yourself from paying anywhere between 0.75 - 3% of the agreed selling price + VAT because let’s face it, with an average property price of £615,838 in London, that’s almost 20K without VAT!
This is where online agents come in (#PropTech) and they can offer considerably cheaper fixed prices varying from a couple of hundred pounds to £1000, per sale. They are far less ‘involved’ than your high street agent but some will offer more assistance than others and the process can move very quickly.
Conveyancing fees - Although the buyer will be responsible for the survey and stamp duty, you will still need to engage the services of a licensed conveyancer to deal with all the legal issues involved in selling a property, on your behalf. These costs tend to range between £500 and £1,500, depending on how complicated the sale is. However, there are steps that can be taken to ensure that there are no hidden costs later down the line.
- Work with reputable/recommended conveyancers – ask the estate agents in your area.
- Always confirm the fees in writing and clarify if they are subject to VAT payments.
- Try to avoid agreeing an hourly rate! There is no saying how long it may take and very quickly this becomes an extremely pricey option.
Energy performance certificates (EPCs) - When selling a property, the owner is legally required to provide any potential buyers with information about the energy efficiency of the property (EPC.) Your estate agent will be able to arrange one for you but it is likely you can secure a better deal by doing it yourself. Prices will tend to range from £50 to £120. From April 2018, rental properties must have a minimum EPC rating of E. The regulations will apply to new lets and renewals of tenancies, and from 1 April 2020 it will extend to all tenancies, including sitting tenants. It will be unlawful to rent a property that has less than an E-rating and landlords will be liable to a £200 fine without a valid one.
Removal costs - Depending on the size of your property, prices will vary but professional removals start from £400 and go up to roughly £1200. In most cases this is an expense many forget to consider as a part of their initial budget. If you are willing to put in the leg work and heavy lifting yourself, it will be a lot cheaper to hire a ‘man with a van’ over a removals company but it is important to do your research and literally ‘shop around’ to find your best price.
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