2021 Update

10 smart ways to save money when selling your home

James Lockett

Selling a property is not only stressful, it tends to be an expensive process. You’ve got the cost of using agents, solicitors and removal services, and if you’re buying a new property that will set you back too. So let us present you with some tips to help you keep more cash in your pocket.

Save money when sellingSave money when selling

Selling and moving house is never fun, but you can limit the stress and costs if you follow our tips. Some decisions are personal, for example whether you go for an online or traditional agent. However planning your moving date well in advance and packing up with time to spare is something we’d recommend for every seller.

You’re more likely to save money if you’re organised – so keep your wits about you and plan for your moving day as early as possible.

How to save on Estate Agent fees

1. Consider an online estate agents - but beware of these downsides

Online agents tend to be cheaper than their traditional high street equivalent.

They come with certain upsides, as they can give you more exposure, as well as more control over the selling process. This can be a double-edged sword however. You might need to do more negotiating yourself, as online agents often lack local market knowledge compared to high street players.

They'll also usually charge you hundreds of pounds up front, which will leave you out-of-pocket if you don't eventually manage to sell. Traditional estate agents, on the other hand, tend to work strictly on a no-sale-no-fee basis. It means you may end up paying slightly more overall, but only in the event of a successful sale.

So there are pros and cons to using an online agent, we've written in more detail about this topic here: Online vs Traditional Estate Agents

2. Negotiate the fee with your estate agent

Negotiate on estate agent fees to save money when selling your home. Two illustrated hands play chess over a question mark.

If you decide to go for a traditional high street agent, it’s worth negotiating hard on commission.

On average, high street agents charge around 1.5%, but will often reduce this to around 1% or even lower if you ask - especially in the current market. This can save you a small fortune. Here's an example: 

  • Take the average UK house price, which is £245,443 for Oct 2020.
  • At 1.5%, the commission will be £3,682
  • At 1%, it's only £2,454.
  • So negotiating on fee can save you approximately £1,227.

Long story short, it’s worth asking the question.

Why would the estate agent agree to work for a lower fee? 

Well, if they really believe they can sell the property then the last thing they want is you heading down the street to their competitor who may well negotiate on the fee.

3. Consider a professional home-buying company

A home-buying service such as ours might not be the first thing you think of when looking to save money as we'll offer you a marginally lower price for your property than you could secure via traditional selling routes.

However, there are no fees to pay and as a bonafide buyer we'll pay you exactly what we offer - meaning no nasty surprises later on down the line.

We're also far quicker, less complicated and a lot less stressful than selling in the traditional market. So once you’ve calculated the time you save and the other costs of selling traditionally, the slight hit you take on the price offered for your home can be well worth it in order to sell your house fast.

We can also tailor your transaction time to fit with your individual situation, which is particularly good for those in need of a quick sale. Time is money, after all.

How to save on legal fees

how to save on solicitor fees. A solicitor sits with their client to sign house paperwork
4. Choose your solicitor wisely

They say time is money, so ideally you want the selling process to be as streamlined as possible. Therefore, you should select a solicitor who will carry out prep work before a buyer is even found. This can really speed things along when a buyer makes an offer. An efficient solicitor service can shave weeks, or even months, off the conveyancing process.

5. Avoid the estate agent's recommended conveyancer or surveyor

If an estate agent refers you to a conveyancers or surveyor it’s likely they will receive referral fees, and these costs can be passed onto you as the consumer. Sometimes, an agent will only recommend you to the solicitor who pays them the biggest referral fee, rather than the one that does the best job.

There is also a potential conflict of interest - if your solicitor is commercially dependent on the agent then in a way they’re working for them, rather than for you.

This isn’t to say they aren’t a good solicitor or conveyancer but it always pays (or in this case saves you money) to do your research. Or, let us do the research for you (get recommendations here)

How to save on Removal Costs

How to save on house removal costs. Two furniture movers lift sofa out of van.
6. Consider DIY moving/removals

Using a removal firm is expensive, as it costs around £1200-£1500 for a 3-bed house moving 50 miles. You can therefore save a bundle if you’re prepared to do this yourself, though don’t expect it to be easy and take into account how much stuff you have.

7. Book removals in good time

While removals are pricey you can get significant discounts if you book well in advance. For this you need to have a completion date established as early as possible – a good agent, solicitor or surveyor can help make this happen.

8. Pack wisely and disassemble large items in advance

Whether you decide to go for a DIY move or use a removals service, pack efficiently. The small things make a big difference, whether you’re filling suitcases with clothes or saucepans with dry food. You should also disassemble large items and furniture in advance, especially if you’re being charged for the time it takes a removals company to move your possessions.

9. Select your moving day carefully

For some people moving on a Friday is attractive, as you could potentially take fewer days off work and spend less on childcare for example. However, if it doesn’t matter you should move earlier in the week, as it tends to be cheaper.

Any other ways to save?

10. Explore whether to remortgage

If you’re selling your home to buy elsewhere, you may be able to port your current mortgage. This can potentially save you money. However, given how low rates have become in the past few years, it could be an opportunity to save on your monthly repayments by leaving your current mortgage behind, and getting a new one.

It’s really worth speaking to your current lender, or even better a mortgage broker, to get more information.

Remember the bigger picture... Don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish

When selling your home it can feel like you're paying expensive fees out left, right and centre. When you're paying out a lot of cash, it's natural to look for cost-saving measures.

But it's important to consider the bigger picture too. When you're paying professional fees (to estate agents, solicitors, mortgage brokers and so on), it's because their knowledge, insight, and help will ultimately save you more money than it costs you.

Minimising costs can be expensive in the long run
Advice on choosing estate agents and solicitors. Don't just go with the cheapest - concentrate on getting the best you can.

Do you really want to save £500 by going with a cheaper estate agent if it means you sell your house for £5,000 less, because you didn't have the right agent doing the job? Probably not.

And saving £200 on your solicitors may not seem such a good deal if it means your sale takes 12 weeks to complete, rather than 6 weeks.

Before you go for the cheapest option, always consider the bigger picture. Do your own research, check out reviews, and focus on trying to make the right decision - not just the cheapest one.

To get access to the estate agents, solicitors and mortgage brokers we rely on, get in touch with us. Call 0800 133 7687 and ask for our recommendations.

HOW WE CAN HELP

Selling your home to Yes Homebuyers

  • We buy your home directly from you so you can sell your house fast and avoid waiting around to find a buyer on the regular market. 
  • You can get a "ballpark" offer from us within 5 minutes, a formal offer within 24 hours, and we can complete on the purchase of your home in as little as 2 weeks.
  • Our quickest purchase was made within six days.
  • We guarantee the price we will pay, unlike some buying platforms who reduce their offer shortly before completion.
  • There are no fees or costs involved and we cover all legal fees involved.
  • There are no contracts or tie-ins even if you accept an offer, and no viewings to take care of.
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