If you’re thinking about buying or selling a house, it’s important to factor in all the costs of moving. According to Which Magazine, it costs an average of around £10,400 to move (based on first-time buyers paying £180,000 for a property and existing homeowners paying £292,500), but this can vary quite a lot depending on the property. As well as solicitors’ fees for buying and selling a house, costs for buyers may include search fees, surveys and stamp duty, and costs for sellers can include estate agent fees and the purchase of an energy performance certificate (EPC). We’ve put together a checklist of costs for moving house to help you plan your move. You can also get an instant conveyancing quote using our residential conveyancing calculator.
What are the costs of moving house?
Costs for buyers and sellers
1. Conveyancing Fees
Whether you are buying, selling or both, a conveyancing lawyer is essential to your house move. You should get several conveyancing quotes for before choosing your solicitor. Your quote should include the legal fees for buying and selling a house plus costs for searches and stamp duty if applicable.
Try and get recommendations, and ask to speak to the person who would be handling your transaction. Make sure you understand all their fees for buying and selling a house. At Cartridges Law we are completely upfront about our fees, there are no hidden add-ons. You can use our conveyancing fee calculator to get a instant quote.
For more tips, read our advice for choosing a conveyancer.
Make sure you get a couple of quotes for your removals, which can vary greatly depending on the type of service you require. If budgets allow, you may opt for professional removers who pack up and move everything for you, or you may simply want to hire a van and rope in a couple of friends. Whichever you decide, ensure you have accounted for removals, and storage if you will need it, in your budgeting.
3. Mail Redirection
Don’t forget to arrange for your mail to be redirected to your new address before you move. This will ensure you don’t miss anything important and prevent any letters containing your personal information from ending up in the wrong hands, which could put you at risk of fraud. Royal Mail’s redirection service requires at least 5 working days’ notice to arrange your redirection, but you can apply up to 6 months before your moving date and redirection can be arranged for 3, 6 or 12 months.
Costs for buyers
4. Search Fees
Searches are enquiries which are made by your solicitor to discover information about the property you plan to purchase. A number of searches will need to be undertaken, the main ones being local authority, water and environmental.
Get a conveyancing quote including the cost of searches using our online conveyancing calculator.
5. Stamp Duty
Stamp duty is a tax you pay when you are buying a house or piece of land. When it applies, it is usually one of the biggest costs of buying a house so it is important that you factor this into your calculations.
As a measure to boost the housing market and the economy following the coronavirus lockdown, the government has announced that people will not have to pay Stamp Duty on properties costing up to £500,000 until 31 March, 2021. This applies whether you’re a first-time buyer or have previously owned a property. Properties costing more than £500,000 will pay the Stamp Duty rate based on the value of the property over £500,000. The rules are different if you are buying a second home.
Use our online fee calculator to get a conveyancing quote and find out how much stamp duty you will need to pay.
6. Survey Fees
A survey is an inspection carried out by a buildings expert, which may uncover potential problems with the property. There are three main types of survey – a valuation survey, a homebuyer survey, and a full structural survey – and costs vary according to the one you choose. They tend to vary in price from £400 to £1,500.
The deposit is the amount of money you will need to provide up front to secure a mortgage. Lenders will normally require a minimum deposit of at least 5% of the value of the property you are buying.
8. Mortgage Fees
Some mortgages come with an extra cost known as an arrangement fee, which is charged by the lender. These fees can be paid up front or added to your mortgage (with interest). Often mortgages with lower interest rates come with higher arrangement fees, so make sure to include it when comparing the cost of different deals.
Costs for sellers
9. Estate Agent Fees
Estate agent fees are one of the most significant costs of selling a house, and are paid out of the proceeds of your sale. Most agents charge between 0.75% and 3% of the property sale price, with the average being 1-2%. In some cases agents charge a flat fee, which can work out cheaper but it can also be a risk as you will usually have to pay even if your property doesn’t sell.
10. Energy Performance Certificate
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) contains information about a property’s energy use and is another cost for sellers. It is a legal requirement for a seller to provide one and costs can vary depending on the size, location and type of property. It is worth getting quotes from a couple of EPC assessors.
For information about Cartridges Law conveyancing services and to get a personalised quote, you can send us a message using our online form or contact Cyndy Walker directly on firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 01392 286770.