Selling your home can be expensive. As well as estate agent fees and removal costs, you’ll need to think about putting some money towards making your house look it’s best for viewings.

Easy as hack

Why not invest in a house survey before you start the selling process? That way you won’t get any nasty surprises further down the line.


1. There's no set amount you should spend to get your home ready for a sale

2. However, spending your money wisely could help you find the right buyer

3. Making your home sale-ready could be cheaper than you think

How much money should I spend when preparing my house for sale?

There’s no ideal amount of money to spend when preparing your house for sale.

You might need to fix major issues so that the value of your home doesn’t fall far below the market average. Maybe, all your place needs is a lick of paint to spruce things up. If your house is more of a show home, it might just need a quick spring clean before its first viewing.

No matter what your situation, the size and features of your home will affect your budget too. There's no such thing as an amount ‘you should spend’ but keeping costs low is always a good idea if you’re looking to make a tidy profit.

Where should I start when deciding how to prepare my home?

One of the best ways to start the house selling process is to invest in a survey.

Although its buyers who usually arrange a house survey and after an offer has been accepted , a professional inspection can help you to prioritise jobs around the home and prepare you for negotiations with buyers.

There are three main types of house survey from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to choose from:

  • Level 1 (£300 - £900): A basic survey that gives a rating from 1-3 on the condition of parts of your home.
  • Level 2 (£400 - £1,000): A more detailed survey that highlight’s problems that might affect the value of your property – available with or without a valuation.
  • Level 3 (£630 - £1,500+): The most thorough survey of them all, useful if you plan on making significant changes to your home.

And two types of survey from the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA):

  • Home Condition Survey (£400 - £900) – Equivalent to a RICS Home Survey Level 2
  • Building Survey (£630 - £1,500) – Like the Home Condition Survey with added details on how to fix problems and the consequences of leaving them

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What are some of the cheapest things I can do to prepare my house for a sale?

Getting your house ready to sell doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

Here are some cheap and effective things you can do to make your home more appealing to buyers

  • Pack and declutter: Try finding a new home for some of your quirkier items around the house. Putting things in storage could free up space to help buyers imagine themselves living in your property and give you a head start on packing before moving day.
  • Remove pets: Not everyone loves your furry friends as much as you do. For the cost of hiring a dog walker or giving a gift to a loved one to look after your pet, you could improve your chances of selling.
  • Clean grouting: You won’t always have the time or money to retile kitchens and bathrooms but a clean in the spaces in between could work wonders for your décor. A decent bottle of grout cleaner shouldn’t set you back more than £10.
  • Scrub your windows: Light-filled spaces always go down well with buyers. A simple spray and scrub of your windows can help to let the sunshine in and put your property in the best possible light.
  • Hang some mirrors: By buying and hanging mirrors on your walls you can give the illusion of more space in your home. Pick up a hammer or pay a handyman to do the job. You won’t regret it.
  • Invest in sweet smells: Treat your potential buyers’ senses by investing in sweet smelling candles and air fresheners. The right scent could make all the difference.

Are there any jobs I can do myself to prepare my house for a sale?

Of course. If you’re looking to avoid unnecessary expenses, you can try taking on jobs around the home yourself.

Why not try swapping a professional cleaner for good old-fashioned elbow grease, a decorator for a DIY paint job, or a gardener for a green-fingered afternoon?

Check this out: What affects the cost of your home insurance?

Can I spend nothing on my home before putting it up for sale?

You can choose to spend nothing on your home before putting it up for sale, but you might not get the kinds of offers you were hoping for.

There’s always something you can do to spruce up your house when preparing it for viewings, even if it’s just buying a tin of paint to freshen things up.

What other selling costs should I be aware of?

There are lots of other selling costs involved when selling your house. Here’s the ones you should be aware of:

  • Estate agent fees – normally range from 0.9%-3.6% depending on which estate agent you use and how well you negotiate
  • Stamp Duty – only applies to properties over £250,000. The amount you pay depends on when you bought the property and how much you paid for it
  • Conveyancing fees – run from £500-£1150 on average, but exact costs depend on the size and value of your property
  • Removal fees – vary depending on the size of your house, what kind of house you have (flat/house/etc), and how far you’re travelling

You should also be sure to plan for any unexpected costs that may crop up.

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