The Average Cost of a House Move is More Than £10,000

Planning a house move? Be sure to factor in all the costs before you begin, to avoid unpleasant surprises down the line.

Moving house can be exciting and life-changing but also highly stressful and expensive. Yet it is one of those things that everyone does from time to time. In order to enjoy all the positives of moving to a new home while minimising the negatives, one of the most important things you can do is have a clear picture of the financial impact that the move is going to have.

Most people automatically think of things like estate agent fees and the cost of appointing conveyancing solicitors to deal with the legal aspects of the sale and purchase. However, there are also such factors as stamp duty and moving costs to keep in mind.

Agents fees

This is the age of choice, and there are more options when it comes to estate agents than ever before. The traditional high street agents generally charge a percentage of the final selling price. This could be anywhere between one and three percent, depending on the package you choose and whether you go with sole or multiple agents. Keep in mind that this will be subject to VAT. So to sell a home at the average house price of £225,000, the fee will be around the £5,000 mark. Online agents are often considerably cheaper, charging a fixed up-front fee. But keep in mind that you will receive a less personal service, and they will not have the same incentive to push for a quick sale at the best price. Plus, if you don’t sell, you still pay – around half of all houses that go on the market are never sold.

Solicitors fees

If you are both buying and selling, you can reduce the costs, admin and hassle by using the same conveyancing solicitor for both transactions. There is a little more work involved in buying than selling in terms of the searches and land registration fees. Also, fees will be higher for a leasehold property due to the additional form-filling. For a property of average price, expect fees of around £600 including VAT for selling and £1,000 including VAT for buying.

Survey fees

Buyers will need to have some form of survey completed on their house, especially if they are applying for a mortgage. The cost depends on the depth of the survey. A basic condition report is around £250, while a full structural survey could easily run to four figures. For older houses you should consider electrical safety surveys as well as structural surveys.

Stamp duty

This is an easy one to calculate, as it depends entirely on the value of the property you are buying. Plug the value into a stamp duty calculator to find out how much you will have to pay – for our average value property, it is £2,000. Keep in mind that you will not have to pay this personally, your conveyancing solicitor will take care of it during completion. Also note that first time buyers do not have to pay stamp duty on properties up to £300,000.

Removal costs

Some manage without the help of a professional removal firm, and if you feel brave, you can hire a 3.5 tonne van with a tail lift for less than £100 per day. However, most people have enough on their plate on moving day, and feel that getting a professional removals firm in to pack, stow, move and unpack everything is a huge weight off their shoulders. The average cost is around £650.

Ever increasing house prices means that all these fees are rising too. You can’t change stamp duty, so it makes even more sense to shop around for the best solicitor fees, removal firms, surveyors and estate agents.