Everyone knows that moving house can be expensive, but how do you make sure that you’re prepared and not surprised by any ‘hidden’ or forgotten costs? Here at Bromley Property Company, we’re giving you the lowdown on moving costs, what to factor in, and cover everything you need to know about legal fees, conveyancing, stamp duty and surveyor costs. We’ve also found some clever ways to help you cut the cost!
Here are the main things you can expect to pay for:
This is when you hire a solicitor to act for you when buying or selling a property and will, on average, cost between £500 and £1,500 (including VAT at 20%) depending on the type of property you are purchasing. They will also conduct local searches, and these will cost you between £250 and £300.
When searching for a solicitor, a personal recommendation goes a long way – ask friends and family if they can put you in touch with a firm they experienced a good service with. Make sure they are accredited by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Agents work on commission and most high street agents charge between 1 per cent to 3 per cent of the price of your house sale (this is only paid by sellers, not buyers). Remember to add 20 per cent VAT to this amount. HOWEVER here at Bromley Property Company we work on a different model, charging only 0.75% fee if we conduct your viewings, and 0.5% if you carry out the viewings yourself. We’re leading the way when it comes to a new model of estate agent operation- find out more about our fee structure here.
Stamp duty is the tax payable to the government for changing the documents that specify who owns a particular property. You must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if you buy property or land over a certain price in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Today, the current SDLT threshold is £125,000 for residential properties (both freehold and leasehold and when buying a property through a shared ownership scheme) and, due to changes announced by the government, rates will now now apply only to that part of the property price that falls within each band.
First-time buyers do not need to pay SDLT up to £300,000, and then 5 per cent on the portion from £300,001 to £500,000.
Here’s a handy calculator from the Money Advice Service:
Property price bracket: £0-£125,000
Stamp duty rate: No stamp duty payable
Property price bracket: £125,001-£250,000
Stamp duty rate: 2 per cent
Property price bracket: £250,001-£925,000
Stamp duty rate: 5 per cent
Property price bracket: £925,001-£1.5 million
Stamp duty rate: 10 per cent
Property price bracket: Over £1.5 million
Stamp duty rate: 12 per cent
For example, the stamp duty on a £300,000 property would be £5,000. The tax rate is 1.7 per cent.
Depending on your mortgage, you may have to pay the bank a valuation fee for them to assess how much they are prepared to lend you for the property. This can vary from £150 to £1,500 depending on your mortgage deal.
Before the sale goes through, we strongly advise that you have your property checked by a surveyor. This flags up if there are any structural issues or anything else that may need addressing. You can pay anything from £250 to £600 plus for different surveys, which vary in detail. The most basic – and cheapest – is called a home condition survey. Paying for a good survey could save you a lot of money when it comes to work on your new home further down the line.
When using a removal company, there are many factors that will affect the overall cost, including the distance you are moving, the time of year and the amount of stuff you have. Removal firms usually charge more on Fridays, weekends and at the end of the month.
For a rough idea of cost, a survey by Compare My Move found that the average cost of moving house in the UK came in at £1,761 plus additional charges for packing materials, special care items and access issues.
By making note of these charges and moving costs you can start to budget and plan for buying and/or selling your property, and there hopefully won’t be any nasty shocks!