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The Hidden Costs of House Buying & Selling

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When it comes to buying, selling or letting out a property, there are certain charges that you may not have taken into consideration. It can become quite an expensive affair once they’ve all been dutily added up, and often it’s wise to remember that this needs to be accounted for and built into your budget.

Stamp Duty

Most of us are already well aware about this lump-sum tax that goes hand in hand with buying a house. Stamp duty rules have changed, meaning that if you are purchasing a property that’s below £125,000, you no longer have to pay the 1% that you were required to before. There are calculators online which will let you know just how much you will be having to hand over, and it’s good to get a rough idea before you go in and seal the deal, just to make sure that you’ve actually got the finances in place beforehand.

Legal Fees

Especially when buying, the legal fees that mount up in the trading of properties can be enormous. Finding a good solicitor means different things to different people; some are looking for efficiency and quickness with a house sale, whereas others are looking for stable communications throughout the process. Then there are some who simply associate good with being cheap. Whereas a cheap solicitor can be tempting, you really do get what you pay for in this line of work, and going on sound recommendations from someone that you trust as well as having to dig a little deeper into your pocket can count for a lot.


An energy performance certificate is required whenever a building is constructed, sold or let out. It’s quite easy to get an energy assessor to come out to you to figure out what grading you’re on in terms of the energy usage of your property in regards to its efficiency. These charts can usually be found on the side of new electrical appliances, to give you a general idea of how common they are and what they look like, but you should be looking at the consumption of energy in the building rather than the aesthetics of the graph. The average banding for a house in the UK is D – anything above this and you’re more quids in than the majority of other people.

Estate Agents

Estate agents have got a reputation for being good at getting money for everything that they do, but bare in mind that they’ll be getting it from both your tenants/new buyers as well as yourself. This is completely open to haggling, and settling on a firm price will make your intentions clear. Make sure that you get whatever agreements in writing to avoid hidden charges. It’s natural for them to want to take a cut of the sale price, but there are agents appearing online who charge a one-off fee rather than a percentage of what you make. It can end up being a lot cheaper in the long run.

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