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Legal Costs When Selling Your Home

Legal Costs When Selling Your Home

Let’s delve into costs, legal fees and other charges you may potentially come across when selling your home.

You have considered the area you are moving to, undertaken due diligence on the mortgage (if buying) affordability and now need to understand what is required next and the associated charges with selling a house or apartment.

 

Getting an EPC for your Home

Your initial task, (or could be done simultaneously with point two) will be to acquire an energy performance certificate (EPC), you are legally required to order this before marketing your home for sale. This will provide potential buyers with information about the energy efficiency of your property and what can be done to possibly improve that and reduce running costs. Always complete an online search of the EPC register first as there could be a previous version available to download, they are valid for ten years so well worth checking! You could even ask your chosen estate agent to put this in place for you. Via an accredited assessor, the cost will typically vary from £50 – £120 but possibly outside of this range.

 

Recruiting an Estate Agent

There are options to sell via your own means possibly through social media, auction, online or to a company for cash but the vast majority of people (circa 95%) will recruit the services of an estate agent to assist them. The average cost here from recent research is close to 1.5% of the sale price, however, a commission percentage can range from 0.5% to 2.5% depending on where you live and the competition for your signature in your area. Always try to negotiate the fee or even look to have two agents involved to try and incentivise the workforces of those chosen offices (be aware of higher fees here possibly). There are online or hybrid estate agents that may charge what appears a low, set fee. Quite often this will need to be paid upfront so can leave almost no incentive for the agent to work hard for you but it can work out, you may need to put a little extra work in too possibly. Always ask questions of agents you ask to value your property, what can they do that is different from their competitors? Do they have relevant and recently sold comparable properties? Do they offer a short term, no sale, no fee contract? Do they have a strong local and online presence? Are they overvaluing your home to try and secure your instruction? Have their listings been online for a while and needed to be reduced in price? Ask friends and family living close by whether they can recommend a good local agent too!

 

Legal Costs when Selling a Property

Let us now look at the conveyancing costs you can expect to pay or may come across when you sell your home. With the trusted and experienced 75+ strong panel available via us here Your Conveyancing Solution, we can ensure you are placed with the solicitor that best meets your needs while guaranteeing you pay the same fixed conveyancing fees no matter your location. Here is an overview of many of the costs associated with selling; mortgage fee £85, ID/anti-money laundering check £20 pp, telegraphic transfer £42, local authority search £69, land registry search £6, bankruptcy search £4, land registry fee £135.

There could also be an additional charge if your sale falls into one of the following categories; leasehold, shared ownership, help to buy, new build, right to buy and auction.

With a property solicitor via Your Conveyancing Solution, in addition to a quality service, you can also expect to receive – a no sale no fee service, 24/7 online case tracking, coverage of every mortgage lender, buyer protection insurance and 120 offices in England & Wales with significant consideration to the case capacity of each solicitor on the network so as not to overload and affect the quality of service.

Property costs

Mortgage Fees

You may also encounter fees connected to your mortgage. If redeeming in full please refer to your mortgage offer document as this will highlight any cost when exiting the mortgage. This will cost in the region of £100-£300 but it could be outside of these parameters. (Please note this is a separate fee to any early repayment charges).

If you are making an onward purchase and either porting (transferring) your existing mortgage deal or re-mortgaging to a new lender completely, you will need to qualify for the mortgage and there will be associated costs. You will require at the very least in either instance a valuation survey and may incur a mortgage product fee, particularly via a new lender. That can generally be added to the new loan and there will potentially be further charges, please refer to your mortgage adviser here.

 

Removal and Storage Costs

Removal and or storage costs are another point to consider, particularly if moving quite a distance or you decide to rent for a period before re-joining the housing ladder.

The cost of moving all of your possessions from A to B can vary hugely, are you just hiring a van for the day and doing the work yourself? If selling a smaller apartment or house this is possible and will set you back between £50-£250 potentially. However, if moving more items than you can shift, the packing of these items or travelling over a longer distance, you may need professional assistance. This cost will vary dependant on those answers, it could be from £250 – £1500+ on average. Also, check that your items are insured whilst being moved. If storing items for a period, an average-sized unit of 50 square feet would cost circa £140 per month on average. This will vary by location, time needed and unit size, please contact secure self-storage companies in the area you are moving into.

 

Taxes and Insurance Fees

If you own one home (including any overseas) or are selling your main home that has not been rented or used for business purposes you are likely to not be liable for any capital gains tax. If so, you will likely be charged 28% on any amount of profit beyond your annual allowance. Please refer to the gov site or an accountant for any further information.

If you are selling an inherited property worth more than £285,000 that has not been left to you by a spouse or civil partner, again refer to your solicitor or the gov site for relevant taxes here.

Again, you will not be liable for stamp duty land tax if not making an onward purchase as a seller would not pay for this. However, if you are buying, please refer to our guide on stamp duty land tax charges.

If making an onward please consider that you will require as a condition of any mortgage – buildings insurance, so this will need to be put in place and it’s best to do so at the point of exchanging contracts. An oddity of the English legal system is you are legally responsible for the property you are buying upon exchange, so have this in place.

If you have increased your borrowing, consider whether you want to add to the level of level cover and insurances linked to this.

 

Plus, Any Extra Cost…

Finally, anything else to consider? Cleaning costs, mail redirection, child and or pet care on moving day possibly. Also informing companies of your move such as; local authority, utility providers, car insurer/finance company, tv licencing, phone company, DVLA, buildings insurance provider, tv package provider, pet insurer, life insurer, bank and maybe even Apple, Amazon or Tesco!

 

We hope that you find the information in this blog useful. If you wish to discuss any of our services any further then please feel free to contact us via our enquiry form, or call us on 01536 238660