Being aware of selling costs and where you can save money on them
It’s estimated that at least a quarter of property sellers underestimate how much it costs to sell their home, so at an expensive time the last thing you need is further costs you hadn’t bargained for.
Being aware of hidden selling costs and saving where possible will help avoid nasty surprises.
Estate agent fees
Not really a hidden cost as anyone selling is aware that the estate agent charges for their services usually in the form of a percentage of the selling price of the property as their selling commission.
Where you can save money on fees is in going sole agency; this is where you instruct just one agent to sell your home as opposed to multiple estate agents. Most usually charge a lower commission for sole agency.
Another important point to check is what is included in their fee and what may be chargeable as extras – perhaps certain marketing costs.
It’s important to choose an experienced, local and reputable property professional who will be transparent with their costs and fees so you know where you are. For sellers in Essex a suitable professional could be found with an ‘estate agents Romford’ search.
Again you’ll be aware that legal help is needed to progress your house sale, but don’t miss out on ways to save and at least be aware of the full costs.
Ask if they’ll charge a fixed fee rather than by the hour; this will help you budget more accurately, as will having an itemised quote showing what’s included so as to avoid any hidden extras such as being charged extra for photocopying or postage.
Check their contract or terms carefully.
Preparation for sale costs
You may have to spend a certain amount on making your home more saleable; it could be as simple as a few tins of paint to redecorate the hallway or perhaps certain repairs are required.
A shopping list of seemingly minor improvements can soon add up, so save where you can.
Your estate agent should be able to advise on what is and isn’t worth doing to your property to help it sell. Listen to their advice as they’re experienced in what helps to sell a property, and will be ‘on your side’ in helping you to maximise your chances of making a quick sale at the asking price without spending excessively on repairs and renovations.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
You are required by law to have an EPC that informs potential buyers as to the energy efficiency of your property.
You may be able to get a slightly better deal by arranging one yourself with an accredited assessor, but your estate agent can organise this for you – it’s one less thing for you to worry about.
More of a cost when the actual time comes to move, but planning ahead and being aware of where costs could be saved is worthwhile.
If using a removal company there are ways to save costs:
- Packing – if you do your own packing it’s likely to work out cheaper than the removal company doing everything
- Include everything – if you do use a removals firm, ensure they’re aware of the full scope of your house move; for example, forgetting to tell them the loft or a garden shed needs clearing will be added to their bill
- Book ahead – you can often secure a better price by booking as far ahead as you an and choosing a midweek moving day
- Shop around – compare removal company costs amongst different companies
You could save with alternative moving methods:
- DIY – move yourself using perhaps a hired van and the help of some friends and family
- ‘Man with a van’ – a halfway house between moving yourself and using a removals company is to hire one of the many operators who are happy to do general moving of items with a van. They’ll be cheaper than removals firms and have some know how when it comes to moving bulky items
As with many major projects, when selling a property planning ahead and attention to detail will help you save money and avoid hidden costs.