The cost of moving has hit a record high but agentsí fees have remain unchanged in the past year. Thatís the main take-home from an annual study of transaction charges by home-moving site reallymoving.com.
The findings revealed that house moving costs are now at a record average high of nearly £10,000, with the increase in 2018 over 2017 - up by about 6% to a current average of £9,812 - largely due to house prices increasing with equal growth in stamp duty and conveyancing costs.
The study also found that the average cost of moving is now equivalent to one third of the median salary in the UK of £29,588.
Stamp duty accounts for a significant chunk of the total costs involved in a house move. On a UK basis (and taking into consideration regional rates), stamp duty now makes up some 46% of total moving costs.
Reallymoving estimates that existing homeowners pay on average £4,500 in stamp duty, an 11% increase on the year before. Meanwhile, average conveyancing costs in 2018 were £1,497, up slightly from £1,417 in 2017.
Surveying costs, on the other hand, rose by only 1%, while estate agent fees, removals costs and EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) all remained unchanged.
Despite the struggles they face in getting on the property ladder to begin with, first-time buyers are actually in a more advantageous position when it comes to the cost of moving.
This is largely thanks to the changes to stamp duty in England in November 2017, when Philip Hammond announced that the tax would be scrapped completely for all first-time buyers of homes worth up to £300,000. This exemption was later applied to shared ownership properties, too, and backdated for anyone who purchased this type of property after November 22 2017.
The change has had a dramatic effect. In 2017, the average first-time buyer faced a stamp duty bill of £800, but this has now fallen to nothing Ė in turn bringing the moving costs of this demographic down considerably.
To offer movers the best possible deal in an uncertain, competitive market, the average agent commission of £2,880 - based on a rate of 1.2% for a home with a sale price of £240,000 Ė has remained the same. While complaints are often aired about the high fees agent charge, itís far from the most significant cost involved in a house move. Whatís more, consumers get plenty for their money when they partner with an experienced, reliable agent, who can help the sale go off without a hitch, deal with any issues along the way and ensure that sellers get the best possible price for their property.
The fact that fees have remained static is something you can convey to potential clients, pointing out to them what they get for the fee they pay. In the majority of cases, too, the fee is only paid on completion of the sale, which means the incentive is there for agents to do all they can to get a home sold for the highest possible price.
For the money they pay, consumers get a great full agency service, with their property receiving excellent exposure on the portals and your website, as well as through traditional marketing methods and local advertising. In this day and age, consumers will also want to utilise a switched-on, digital-savvy estate agency, which is where partnering with a software provider like Gnomen becomes vitally important.
If you can tell your consumers that their home will appear on a slick, interactive, glossy website, and that they can check on the progress of their sale at any time via a personalised customer portal, they are likely to be reassured that they are getting full value for their money.
With Gnomen, you can improve the chances of selling the homes of your clients by using next generation technology to deliver the ultimate viewing experience to would-be buyers. This includes free 360-degree virtual reality tours, QR codes and free video tours.
Buyers and sellers alike can also use the 24/7 customer portal to book viewings, view feedback, make or accept offers and track sales progression.
To find out more about what we can do for you, please call 0208 123 9019 or book a free demo here.