The cost of moving

Page 1: Stamp duty and land tax
Page 2: Solicitors and surveyors
Page 3: Removals and storage

Hannah Shanks - Editor

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Solicitors are needed to approve all the paperwork and to make sure that the sale is legally made. Although you do not have to employ a solicitor, doing your own conveyancing may cause problems and you may get into legal difficulties if you are not totally sure about what you are doing.

Some solicitors will charge you a fix fee or a percentage of the selling price, whereas others will charge by the hour. Try and get a quote from the solicitor, or if they charge by the hour try and get them to estimate how many hours they think the work will take. If your sale is a standard one, most solicitors should be able to provide you with a reasonably accurate quote. Additional costs like Land Registry fees also may be added onto the quote. Try and use a solicitor that you know has a good reputation; often buyers and sellers will use the same solicitor.


Having the house you wish to buy surveyed is not essential, but is recommended to find out exactly what state the house is in. If you need to take out a mortgage, the lender will nearly always require you to have a survey carried out. The type of survey you have done will vary in how thorough they are; a valuation is a basic, surface survey, whereas a full structural survey will inform you about the structural state of the house. The variation in price is relatively small, therefore it is always advisable to go for the fuller report. If there are major structural problems with the house, then having a survey done could save you a great deal of money in the long run.

Some mortgage suppliers will often have their own "in-house" surveyors, and will let you use them at a discounted rate. Otherwise, a valuation will cost you around 85 and a homebuyer's report will cost around 250. To get a full structural survey you will have to pay between 450 and 500. These prices are based on average sized houses, obviously for much larger properties these quotes will increase, and the state of repair which the house is in.


This part of moving is usually largely overlooked until the person actually comes to move out of their house. When you leave your house you will need to thoroughly clean it; many people end up hiring professional cleaners to come and clean the house as years of dirt can build up into a pretty extensive job. When you move into your new house you may want to clean that house as well, and again many people choose to use professional cleaners to save them time, which is often limited in the move.

In your agreement, there may also be general repairs which you have promised to make to the house before you leave. These can sometimes lead to larger than expected bills from such people as plumbers, electricians etc, or just from replacing door handles.


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