How Much Does it Cost to Sell a House?

The good news is that most of your house selling expenses will only be due on completion of the sale. One of the few exceptions is sales through certain online estate agencies (which often require you to pay upfront).

Here’s a breakdown of the costs involved in the process (click on the link on the left for more information about each expense):

ExpenseCostWhen Due?
Energy Performance Cost (EPC)£40 to 90 + VATPre-Advertising
Estate Agency Fee1 to 3% or Fixed Fees of £500 to £5,000 + VATUpon Sale Completion
Auction Fees*0 to 3% or Fixed Fees of £500 to £5,000 + VATUpon Sale Completion
Conveyancing Fees£350 to £2,200 + VATUpon Sale Completion
Preparing Your House for Sale£500 to £10,000+
(depending on the condition)
Mortgage Exit Fees*£0 to £500Upon Sale Completion
Early Repayment Charge (ERC)*1 to 5% of the remaining loanUpon Sale Completion
Removal Costs£500 to £5,000 + VATDuring the Sales Process
Capital Gains Tax*18% to 28%
(depending on your tax bracket)
Within 30 Days of Completion
Costs to Encourage Buyers*£500 to £20,000During the Sales Process
* These costs may not be applicable

And here’s how the size of the expenses compare (excluding the less common fees):

How Much Does it Cost to Sell a HouseHow Much Does it Cost to Sell a House


Note that this analysis assumes you’re not buying another property (in which case you will need to bear in mind Stamp Duty Land Tax and possible mortgage costs, such as arrangement fees and conveyancing disbursements).

Also, when you use Property Solvers’ own sell house fast service, most of the costs don’t apply.

Below, we’ve provided a more detailed breakdown of fees in the order in which they typically occur…

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Cost

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Cost

Energy Performance Certificate CostEnergy Performance Certificate = Between £40 and £90 + VAT

It’s a legal requirement to have an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before advertising a property,

An EPC gives each property a grading between A to F (based on energy efficiency), which is decided by accredited assessors. They last for ten years.

You can see if your property has one by checking the Gov.UK EPC register.  You’ll need to scroll down, select ‘domestic property,’ and enter your postcode.

If you’ve sold or rented your property within the last decade, you will not need to pay for a new one.  However, if you’ve had extensive work on the property, we often suggest issuing a new one to boost the property value.

Most estate agents and auctioneers can recommend an assessor.  Alternatively, you can find one independently.

If your property has a low EPC rating, it could affect its final sale price. After 2035, all residential properties in the UK must have a minimum rating requirement of C – and by December 2028, existing tenancies must achieve this rating. As a result, landlords with low energy performance may struggle to refinance and achieve their desired selling price.

Here at Property Solvers, our EPC partners charge £72 + VAT.

Estate Agency Fees

Estate Agency Fees

Estate Agency Costs

Estate Agent Fees = 1-3% or Fixed Fees of £500 to £5,000 + VAT

Most home sales across the UK involve an estate agent.

Estate agent fees generally fall between 1% and 3% of the sales price.  Most offer a ‘no sale, no fee’ service (which protects you if the house sale falls through).

The amount estate agents charge can vary depending on a few factors. Estate agent fees are higher for luxury agencies, more expensive homes, and the south of the UK. When you’re selling the property shouldn’t affect fees.

If you’re selling to a developer (often through a part exchange house scheme), you won’t have to pay any fees.

Our own hybrid estate agency charges 1.5% (+VAT) on a no-sale, no-fee basis.  Others may charge a fixed fee, especially if the property is at the lower end of the price scale (typically around £75,000 and under).

To choose the right estate agent, don’t just look at fees. Read the contract carefully to avoid hidden costs, and check how long (on average) it takes for the agency to sell properties.

Should You Use an Online Estate Agency?

The term ‘online estate agency’ is a bit of a misnomer as, these days, most estate agencies operate online.  Long gone are the days where buyers and sellers would convene at a local high street agency for the sale to be processed.

Generally, you’ll end up paying less compared to a traditional or high street estate agency.

However, modern online estate agencies, i.e. the ones that have appeared in the marketplace over the last decade or so tend to take a more of a ‘call centre’ approach.  You can expect to put more effort across the whole process.

Bear in mind the costs that come when selling through an online estate agent...

However, many have now evolved to offer a more ‘hybrid’ approach – i.e. combining traditional and modern service delivery.

Perhaps the most well-known is agency of this kind is Purple Bricks.  In terms of fees, you can either pay an up-front fee of £999 (more for Greater London) or after 10 months, in which case the cost is higher.

Yopa offers a similar service but you can also choose a more traditional ‘no sale, no fee’ model also.

One of the general trends is that you could end up paying a fee even if the property doesn’t sell.

There’s also Strike (formerly House Simple) who, in a number of areas, offer a free service.  This firm is going for market dominance and leaves many people scratching how they make money and how long they will last in the marketplace.

There are also listings agencies – where you can pay a relatively small fee to list on the major portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla.  There are then ‘bolt on’ services for viewing management, listings.

Online estate agents are notorious for over-valuing properties to get the listing.  Be sure to check how much your house is worth before signing anything. Remember also to check the customer reviews.

Auctioning Your Property Fees

Auctioning Your Property Fees

Auction Sale FeesAuction Fees = 0-3% or Fixed Fees of £500 to £5,000 + VAT

An increasing number of homeowners are opting for auctions when selling a house.

One of the main advantages of selling through an auction is that, once the hammer falls, the buyer is obliged to complete the sale – or face heavy financial penalties.

Fee structures can vary between auction houses. Some charge a sales fee upon completion, which is typically higher than the cost of using an estate agent (approximately 2-4%).

There may also be entry and admin fees to add (check out our selling at auction guide) since the workload is typically heavier and the sales process involves more steps.

These fees are often due upfront.

Modern method auctioneers exclusively charge a buyer’s fee (as high as 6%), which is due at the fall of the virtual hammer.

At Property Solvers Online Auctions, we charge a 1.5% + VAT seller’s fee.  We also charge buyers a fee, aimed at keeping a level playing field.

Auction Legal Pack Fees

An auction legal pack consists of documents uploaded to the auctioneer’s website or portal.

Although not compulsory, preparing the legal pack enables buyers to understand key legal aspects of a property. Failure to produce one before an auction often results in lower or no bids at all.

Most auction legal packs contain the following:

  • Title Register (also known as the Title Deed)
  • Title Plan
  • Conveyancing Searches
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  • Terms & Conditions of Sale
  • Special Conditions of Sale
  • A series of Law Society Forms
  • Leasehold Management Pack (where applicable)
  • Tenancy-Related Information (where applicable)
  • Commercial Property Details (where applicable)
  • Land Details (where applicable)

When selling through property auction, bear in mind fees you'll have to incur during the process...

Unfortunately, most conveyancing solicitors require a payment on account beforehand to prepare the pack (this should be stated in any quote you receive) – which increases the cost of selling.

This typically ranges from £300 to £1,000, depending on the complexity of the sale. If the property is a leasehold, commercial, or has separate titles involved, you can expect solicitors to charge more.

There will then be extra fees for the post-auction conveyancing processes, which are due between exchange and completion.

Legal costs tend to be higher when going through an auction, although the difference is fairly small.

The conveyancer should give you a firm idea of the costs before instruction, giving you the opportunity to shop around.

Conveyancing Fees

Conveyancing Fees

Conveyancing FeesConveyancing Fees = £350 to £2,200 + VAT

Although some choose a DIY approach, instructing a qualified conveyancer to administer a property sale is highly recommended.

Factors that affect fees include the conveyancer’s reputation, the property’s value, the complexity of the sale, and the property type.

If you’re a cash buyer, fees should be lower. You may also be able to negotiate a better price if you’re buying another property using the same solicitor.

Location is another relevant factor, although it’s possible to hire a conveyancer in a less expensive location.

Please check out our annual research on conveyancing fees.

Costs of Getting Your House Ready for Sale

Costs of Getting Your House Ready for Sale

Costs of Getting Your House Ready for SaleGetting Your House Ready for Sale = £100 to £5,000+

The more you spend on preparing your house for the market and improving its presentation, the more likely you are to achieve the best sale price possible.

However, you don’t want to go overboard – many new homeowners want to put their own stamp on a property.

Above all, buyers want to know there are no major issues (which will often be pointed out during the survey process) and that the house is clean and ready to live in. Kerb appeal is a definite plus.

Some choose to sell ‘as is’ and accept a lower sales price. This may mean using an auction house or a We Buy Any House service, both of which are more accustomed to taking on properties that need extensive work (and they’re faster than using an estate agent).

Below are some general home preparation costs to consider.

Deep House Clean (£50 to £500)

If you’re already living in the house you plan to sell, chances are you won’t need to do too much cleaning.

However, more work may be required in a property you’ve been less involved in, such as a buy-to-let. The size of the property is another huge factor.

Sometimes, it can make sense to contract a professional cleaning company instead of doing everything yourself.

Repairs and Replacements (£100 to £50,000+)

If potential viewers see that a house requires a lot of work, they’re more likely to try and negotiate on the price.

We recommend undertaking any necessary repairs.

The average cost depends on the last time you updated the property – particularly the areas most prone to wear and tear (like kitchens and bathrooms).

Redecoration (£500 to £2,000)

Most homeowners freshen up their properties every five years or so.

A fresh lick of paint on all the walls, doors, and window frames can help with the house’s appeal.

Gardening (£50 to £2,000)

The expected costs of gardening depend on the garden’s size and how well-maintained it is.

Garden costs can mount up, especially if you are redoing a patio or need any kind of re-levelling.

Our suggestion, however, is to avoid going too overboard.  Keeping the garden neat, trim and tidy should be fine – just remember to remove unsightly weeds!

For more information on preparing your property before selling a house, check out our 101 quick house sale tips blog post.

Mortgage Fees (When Selling)

Mortgage Charges (When Selling)

Mortgage Fees (When Selling)Mortgage Fees (When Selling) = £100 to £5,000+

If you have a mortgage, you may encounter two mortgage-related charges: a mortgage exit fee and early redemption charges (EPC).

Mortgage Exit Fees – between £0 and £500

These are administrative costs payable when you leave your current mortgage deal, whether you switch to a different provider or close the account (clearing the secured debt completely).

You can see which fees apply to you by checking the original signed contract (from when you bought or remortgageed the property). Much will depend on the size of the outstanding mortgage balance.

Often, the fee will be deducted from the sale proceeds (i.e. the difference between the price you sell your property for and your outstanding mortgage).

Early Repayment Charge (ERC) – 1-5% of the remaining loan

When selling a house, it’s often hard to time the sale so that it falls at the end of your mortgage term, meaning you may face an early repayment charge.

The original mortgage contract outlines when these fees apply.

While most mainstream lenders don’t charge more than 2%, some lesser-known (often sub-prime) mortgage companies charge up to 5%.

As with mortgage exit fees, there’s often a sliding fee scale based on how much mortgage debt is owed against the property. If you’re borrowing more, you’ll likely pay higher fees (often referred to as a further advance).

If the fees seem extortionate, it’s worth approaching The Financial Ombudsman Service. You could be eligible for a rebate due to unfair charges.

An ERC doesn’t usually apply to those paying a Standard Variable Rate (SVR), so switching over can be a way to keep costs down.

However, if you have a couple of years left on your term, it’s probably more cost-effective to take the hit on the ERC than to face higher monthly payments for such a long period.

Porting Your Mortgage

If you’re buying another property, you may be able to port (transfer) the mortgage over to avoid the above charges.

You can check your ability to do this by reading through the contract or contacting the mortgage company directly.

The fees will often depend on how much remains on the mortgage.

Although porting a mortgage reduces costs, it doesn’t eliminate them. You may still have to pay for:

  • The Homebuyers Survey
  • Transfer, product, or arrangement fees
  • An up-to-date affordability check.

Sometimes, lenders offer a porting service but reject the finance at the last minute. It’s worth working with a good mortgage broker to avoid this scenario.

House Removal Costs

House Removal Costs

House Removal CostsHouse Removal Costs = £500 to £5,000 + VAT

Removal fees depend on factors such as:

  • The size of the property
  • How much legwork you put in yourself
  • Location (using a London-based removal company will certainly cost more);
  • Time of year (as discussed in our post on the best time to sell a house, spring and autumn tend to be busier)
  • Ease of access;
  • How much furniture and belongings you’re looking to move;
  • How heavy your furniture is;
  • Whether you have lots of valuable or delicate furniture or items;
  • How much ‘clutter’ there is;
  • If you’re willing to sell any items to offset your removal costs;
  • The day of the removal service (early to mid-week tends to be cheaper);
  • How far in advance you book;
  • Whether you need to organise childcare or accommodation during the home moving process;
  • Whether you need to put anything into storage

The costly way…

Hire a removal company to handle everything.

This means you can pretty much leave the firm to their own devices. It also includes insurance, so you will receive compensation for anything damaged in transit.

The cheaper way…

Pack everything yourself and hire a van.

You can then take out ‘goods in transit’ insurance to protect your belongings (although your home contents insurance policy may cover you).

Opting for a ‘man with a van’ is also a cheaper option than a removals company.

Final bills to pay off

£50 to £1,000

You will need to pay for all your utility bills (gas, electricity and water) up to the date you move out. Remember to take meter readings on the day you leave the property permanently.

The same goes for Council Tax. These days, you can usually visit your local authority website and let them know your move-out date.

Remember also to redirect your post. To avoid any unexpected bills or even late payment penalties, it’s worth leaving your contact details with the buyer.

Taxes to Pay When Selling Your House

Taxes to Pay When Selling Your House

Taxes to Pay When Selling Your HouseTaxes to Pay When Selling Your House = 0% to 28% of Profit

Most homeowners do not pay tax when selling. Current tax rules outlined in Principle Private Residence (PPR) relief state that you will be entitled to not pay any tax, provided that:

  • The property has been your only or main residence throughout your period of ownership;
  • You have not rented it out;
  • You have not been absent other than for permitted reasons, such as holidays;
  • No part of your home has been used exclusively for business purposes;

There will not be any Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to pay either, unless you’re buying and selling at the same time.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

This will be payable if you make a financial gain (or profit) when you sell your property that is not your main home, or Principle Private Residence.

The most common capital gains liabilities arise from the sale of a buy-to-let property (tenanted or untenanted), property portfolio sales, second and holiday homes.

You’ll also be liable if you’re selling an inherited property, land or use your property as business premises (even partially).

You will not need to pay CGT on gifts to a spouse, civil partner or a charity as well as if the property was occupied by a dependent relative.  There may also be some tax relief if the property is owned as a business asset.

You will have to report and pay Capital Gains Tax within 30 days of the property sale.

Calculating Your Capital Gains Tax Liability

In most cases, your Capital Gains Liability is essentially the difference between the price you paid for the property and the end sales price.

If in doubt, you can use this Gov.UK calculator.

The percentage charged will depend on your tax bracket. However, you can deduct some costs, including estate agency charges and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) – so ensure you keep all the receipts and invoices.

Costs to Encourage Buyers

Costs to Encourage Buyers

Costs to Encourage BuyersCosts to Encourage Buyers = £500 to £25,000

If you’re in a seller’s market (i.e. more demand from buyers than sellers), selling a house should be straightforward.

However, if you find yourself in a buyer’s market, you may need to incentivise buyers to make a purchase.

Make sure your property is priced realistically, and check out our tips on how to sell your house here.

Some other potential ideas include:

  • Paying or partially paying the buyer’s legal fees (£500 to £2,000 + VAT)
  • Paying for removals (£500 to £5,000 + VAT)
  • Contributing to stamp duty payments (check stamp duty costs here)
  • Leaving furniture or providing a furniture pack (£1,000 to £20,000)
  • Paying admin costs, deposits, and other overheads for rental properties (£500 to £2,000)
  • Including ‘gifts’ such as household appliances

Other House Selling Costs (Depending on Your Situation)

Other House Selling Costs (Depending on Your Situation) There may be additional costs to consider if you’re selling under specific circumstances, some of which we have highlighted below:

Selling a Tenanted Property

Possible (Additional) Costs = £500 t0 £5,000

If you’re selling a tenanted property, you will have to consider:

  • Whether the property will achieve a lower price due to the tenant staying in the house during the sales process
  • Losing proceeds from rent during the sales period if the property is vacant;
  • Extra costs involved in bringing the property to a presentable/saleable condition.

Selling to Stop Repossession

Possible (Additional) Costs = £100 to £3,000

If you are selling a house to stop repossession, there may be some extra costs to bear in mind:

  • Mortgage arrears
  • Mortgage lender penalties
  • Early Redemption Charges (ERCs)
  • Court fees (N244 and N11M forms)
  • Solicitor fees

Note that if you sell directly to Property Solvers’ We Buy Any House service, we cover these costs (whilst stopping the repossession process, regardless of its stage).

Selling an Inherited Property

Possible (Additional) Costs = £1,000 to £25,000

When selling an inherited property, you may incur costs related to the probate process.

Even if you use the same solicitor’s firm that is handling the conveyancing, they’re unlikely to offer a discount.

Selling a Problem Property

Possible (Additional) Costs = £3,000 to £25,000

A problem property carries issues that have prevented a smooth sale.

The impact will depend on the extent of the problem. Structural issues, Japanese Knotweed, and damp are some of the more serious concerns. First-time or cautious buyers may well pull out of the sale.

Some take the property off the market while resolving the situation, but it may be worth negotiating with the buyer.

For example, you could get three quotes for the remediation works and deduct the cost from the final purchase price. As long as there’s mutual consent, the property purchase price can be changed during the conveyancing process.

Selling Commercial Property or Land

Possible (Additional) Costs = £3,000 to £25,000

Selling a commercial property almost always comes with complications – and therefore costs.

Buyers often want to know that a property meets certain conditions before the exchange of contracts.  This often means solicitor fees will be higher than normal residential sales.

Selling After Divorce / Separation

Possible (Additional) Costs = £1,000 to £10,000

Selling a property after a divorce should not incur significant extra costs compared to a normal sale.

Unfortunately, much depends on how acrimonious the split is. Financial burdens mostly revolve around the distribution of the sale proceeds.