How much will it cost to sell my home? Estate agent fees, solicitors bills, EPCs and more

Updated on 24 May 2024 | 1 Comment

From estate agent fees to legal fees, selling your home comes with a host of costs to consider.

Selling a property is one of the most stressful things any of us will ever do – and one of the reasons it’s so difficult is because of the expenses.

Nearly seven in 10 households have been caught out by surprise costs and fees when moving house, according to Compare the Market research.

The most common include larger-than-expected legal fees, removal costs, and various legal expenses and mortgage-related fees.

Hidden cost

% of homebuyers caught out

Average cost

 Legal fees



 Moving costs (e.g. removals) 



 Mortgage arrangement fees



 Homebuyer survey



 Valuation fee



 Mortgage broker fees



 Unplanned building work



Source: Compare The Market

So what costs are you likely to face when selling your home? And how can you keep them to a minimum?

Early Repayment Charges

Most mortgage deals are for short periods of two to five years. However, if you need to clear the mortgage before it ends then you may be hit with an early repayment charge (ERC ).

This will be calculated as a percentage of the loan amount. Normally this figure will be between 1% and 5%. The amount you’re charged will depend on how long left to go.

For example, if you still have three years outstanding then you may be faced with a 3% fee, whereas if you’re in your final 12 months this may be just 1%.

Of course, once the fixed rate term has come to an end – and you have reverted back to your lender’s normal variable rate – then an ERC won’t apply.

Your mortgage documents will detail what ERCs you might be subject to, while a quick call to your lender will help you establish exactly what size of fee you’ll have to pay.

Exit fee

Fees you'll face when selling a house (Image: Shutterstock)

An Early Repayment Charge is not the only potential levy you may face. Many lenders also charge an exit fee for closing your mortgage account.

This can apply if you’re switching to a different provider – or have even just come to the end of the mortgage term. In the case of the latter, it’s often referred to as a mortgage completion fee.

An exit fee is supposed to cover all the various admin costs involved with closing your account and the amount charged will vary between lenders. 

Expect to pay anything from £20 to £100. However, your lender may wave the charge if you’re taking out a new mortgage with them, so check the small print.

Estate agent fees

One of the biggest expenses involved in selling a home is paying the estate agent who has marketed the property and overseen the sale.

Of course, you can choose not to use an agent and put it on the market yourself. However, many people prefer to tap into an agent’s expertise.

Not only will they be able to accurately value your home, but they should be able to use their network to lure potential buyers.

Estate agent fees typically range from 0.9% to 3.6%, according to the HomeOwners Alliance. The actual charge will depend on how many agencies you’ve hired and your negotiating skills.

For example, you will normally pay 1.2% to 1.8% if you choose just one estate agent to market your property. This is known as a sole agency agreement.

If you want more than one to be involved – to hopefully increase your chances of finding a potential buyer – you can expect to pay 3% to 3.6%.

These percentages may not sound much but they can add up. For example, 1.5% on a £250,000 house would cost you £3,750. If you’re paying 3.6% then it would be £9,000.

An alternative to traditional estate agents are online operators. Most will charge a basic flat listing fee and give you the option to buy other services if required.

Energy Performance Certificate

Energy efficiency has become an important consideration in recent years – particularly given the soaring costs of heating homes.

Vendors are now legally required to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when selling their homes. 

The cost of an EPC will usually range between £60 and £120. Therefore, it’s worth shopping around to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

This document contains information about a property’s energy use, typical energy costs, and steps that can be taken to improve its efficiency.

The certificates, which are valid for 10 years, rank properties from from A to G, with A being the most energy efficient. 

You can check if you still have one in date here

Legal fees

You can’t avoid legal fees – but you can compare the charges levied by rival companies and pick the most cost-effective option.

The reality is that both buyers and sellers need solicitors as there are numerous legal requirements, not to mention potential banana skins.

Their role will include analysing the property and surrounding area, as well as drawing up a list of fixtures and fittings that are staying in the property.

They will also be responsible for drafting – and checking – the contract for the sale. As always, costs will vary but you should expect to pay between £1,000 and £2,000.

Removal costs

Once the sale is completed, you’ll need to move your belongings – either to your new home or into storage if you’re stepping off the property ladder.

Of course, there’s no legal requirement to use a removals firm. You – or a friend – may have a large van that can be used to shift everything.

However, most of us have an eye-watering amount to move with beds, sofas, wardrobes and tables, not to mention all our various personal effects.

That’s why many of us opt for a professional removal service. Costs will vary according to the size of the property and location. 

According to CompareMyMove, the average house removal cost in 2024 for a three-bedroom property travelling 50 miles is £1,181.

The cost breakdown is:

  • £125.00 – dismantling and reassembling furniture (three double beds)
  • £250 – packing materials (30 large boxes)
  • £806 – loading and unloading

Capital Gains Tax

The good news is that most home sellers won’t have to worry about Capital Gains Tax as it’s only payable if the property isn’t your main home.

Everyone enjoys a capital gains tax allowance, which is basically how much of that profit you can pocket without having to pay any tax. 

However, the bad news is this allowance has fallen to just £3,000 for the 2024-2025 tax year. It used to be £12,000.

The tax rate you pay depends on your Income Tax band. If you’re a Basic Rate taxpayer, you’ll pay 18% on the gain made from the sale, while higher rate taxpayers will have to shell out 24%.


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