Establishing the costs of moving is tricky
In the conveyancing industry, a ‘repeat customer’ is quite different from in most other businesses. Unless they are a professional property developer, our clients come back to us after a VERY long gap, usually one of several years. They might say: “We last spoke 9 years ago! Well, I’m moving again, can you help?”
With a gap of this long between property transactions, it’s very easy to forget all the admin tasks that will need to be ticked off or the items that have to be paid for when you sell your house and buy another. Not to mention, the sad fact that all the prices may have increased by a significant amount during the hiatus, and regulations change.
So, here’s our guide to the costs of moving. It’s not hugely cheering reading, but we believe it’s better to be prepared for the inevitable, rather than receive a nasty shock!
These costs are estimates. The amount you pay will depend on the sizes of the houses you are buying and selling, and your personal circumstances. But, they are all based on research done at the time of writing (March 2018). We based our estimates on the transactions of an imaginary family selling a four-bed, detached home worth £750,000, moving within the local area, to a house of a similar size and value.
Estate Agents Fee
Estate agents usually base what they charge on a percentage of the sale of your house. The specific percentage will vary from agent to agent. You can generally expect the fee to be set at between 1-3% of the value of the house that they are selling for you. So, if you were selling a property worth £750,000 and paying 1.5% to your agent: you should expect to pay: £11,250 plus vat at 20% to your estate agent on completion of the transaction.
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)
SDLT is payable based on the price of the property that you are buying, and there are different rates for buy to let properties and for first time buyers.
You usually pay SDLT on increasing portions of the property price above £125,000 when you buy residential property.
Here’s a link to the Government’s SDLT calculator, that is very easy to use and really helps get a straight answer depending on your individual situation.
For our imaginary family buying a freehold property, worth £750,000, which will be their only property (so, not buy-to-let), and not their first purchase, the SDLT due is: £27,500.
There are various different levels of surveys. You should choose the one that best matches the condition of your property. Different surveyors charge different amounts, but according to the money advice service these are the average costs you can expect to pay for each level of survey.
- RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Condition Report
The RICS Condition Report describes the condition of the property, identifies any risks and potential legal issues and highlights any urgent defects. It’s suitable for new-build and conventional homes in good condition; no advice or valuation is provided in this survey.
A Condition Report is the cheapest, costing around £300.
- RICS HomeBuyer Report
A HomeBuyer Report is a suitable for conventional properties in reasonable condition This will help you find out if there are any structural problems, such as subsidence or damp, as well as any other unwelcome hidden issues inside and outside.
The HomeBuyer Report doesn’t look beyond the floorboards or behind the walls.
Costs start at £450.
- RICS Building Survey
The RICS Building Survey uses a simple a clear presentation style and a 1, 2, 3 rating system to ensure that you can easily identify the most serious issues. This is mainly aimed at larger or older properties, or if you’re planning major works.
The usual cost is around £500-£700 or more for listed buildings.
- Building or full structural survey
The most comprehensive survey and is suitable for all residential properties. It’s particularly good for older homes or homes that might need repairs. This type of survey and provides detailed advice on repairs.
It would typically cost upwards of £600 (more for listed buildings).
To find out what you can currently expect to pay for removals, we spoke to Nigel, at our local removals firm – Hellier’s.
Naturally, it’s very hard to get an exact idea because it depends on the individual properties involved, but, as a rough estimate, Nigel quoted an approximate cost of £750 to move locally, with £260 to pack, for a four-bed house. Of course, you should expect any good removal firm to do a site visit to firm up the cost – it could go up or down. He also mentioned that they usually will move (non-grand) pianos as part of the general moving costs at no extra charge, but not all firms do. Their estimate also included boxes and packing materials, whereas other removers might charge more for these.
If you have pets, it’s a good idea to add in the cost of cattery or kennel fees, to keep your cats or dogs safe while you move.
The average kennel costs £17.50 per day, and a cattery charges £9.50 per day.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are a legal requirement if you are renting, selling or building a property in the UK. An EPC costs from £45.83 – £100.00 plus VAT. The cost depends on a number of factors regarding your property, including the type of property you own and how many bedrooms it has.
For our imaginary house, we’ve estimated a cost of £80.
Legal fees are typically £950-£1,800 per property including VAT at 20%. We will ask you for detailed information about the property to establish how much to quote. Some properties cost more in legal fees, for example, leaseholds, listed buildings, properties with ‘Help to Buy’ loans, properties with management companies and brand-new houses.
There are also other fees that we pay on your behalf. For buyers, these include land registration fee, property searches, bankruptcy and Land Registry searches, and further notices and charges if you are buying a property with a management company. These commonly cost around £300.00-500.00
Selling costs less in extras, you just need to add Land Registry office copies and management information (if applicable). For most houses this is less than £50.00.
We hope you’ve found this useful, and that it helps you to budget for your move. Moving house is certainly not a cheap option, but it is definitely the best approach to get a grip of all the costs of moving upfront.
When you ask for our quote (you can request a quote here by the way) we will include every single charge that you could expect to pay. When you are buying a new house, the last thing you need is a terrifying bill at the end. That’s why, unlike some of our competitors, we make it a policy to have a very transparent and upfront approach to quoting for our work, no surprises and no hidden fees.