Moving home guide

The cost of moving home

NatWest mortgages are available to over 18s. Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. The content on this page is guidance only and does not constitute advice.
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How much does it cost to move house?

We all know that buying a house can be expensive – but sometimes we forget that moving home comes at a cost too.

Solicitors, stamp duty and estate agents all have their own price tags. While it varies depending on where you live in the UK, the average cost of moving house is around £10,000.

In this guide, we’ll talk through the real cost of moving home so you can be budget ready and steer clear of any unexpected surprises.

Estate agent fees

One of the key costs of moving house is estate agent fees. However, if you’re buying a property but don’t have one to sell, you shouldn’t have to pay the estate agent a penny. They are instructed by vendors, so they have to foot the bill.

High street estate agents usually charge a fixed percentage of the eventual selling cost of the property. On average, this is usually 1% to 3% of the sale price across the UK plus VAT (20%).

Online estate agents normally charge a fixed fee which could range from free to £999 or more. But it’s worth bearing in mind that online services are likely to charge you whether your property sells or not. This is generally not the case with traditional agents. But, again, this is an important point to check.

In most cases, estate agent fees are not payable until the sale is completed.

Mortgage costs

Some of the different fees you can expect when taking out a mortgage are:

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Cost estimates sourced from MoneyHelper.

Arrangement fee

Also known as a product fee. This can range from zero to over £2,000. 

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Early repayment charges

Currently in a fixed rate or tracker mortgage deal? If you decide to get a new mortgage when you move home, you may have to pay an early repayment charge (ERC). The ERC is typically between 1% to 5% of your remaining mortgage balance.

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Valuation fee

Lenders will usually assess the value of the property you’re asking to borrow against. Sometimes there will be a fee associated for this, usually for higher-value or more unusual properties. The cost of this can range from £250-£1,500.

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It may be possible to add some or all fees to the mortgage balance, rather than facing another bill at a time when your finances are stretched. But it may mean you end up paying more in interest over the term of the mortgage.


It’s not obligatory to have a house survey carried out on the property you are buying, but it can be a good idea. A surveyor can check for any structural flaws and make sure there are no issues with the fabric of your home.

Learn more about house surveys

Also, sellers must provide an Energy Performance Certificate to prospective buyers. This sets out the energy efficiency of the property, looking at factors such as lighting and heating.

An EPC is drawn up by a specialist domestic energy assessor. If you need a new EPC, this is likely to cost between £60 and £120

In Scotland, the EPC is usually included as part of the Home Report that sellers must provide. 

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Getting the legal side of buying and selling property right is crucial. You’ll need to instruct a solicitor or specialist conveyancer to handle your purchase and/or sale.

Their responsibility is to manage the contracts between the two parties in each transaction. They’ll also need to register purchases with the Land Registry. They can also offer advice, for example, relating to issues identified by the survey, and liaise with estate agents.

Your solicitor or conveyancer should be able to give a guide at the outset of what overall costs are likely to be. This is provided nothing out of the ordinary happens.

As a rough idea, expect to pay around £850-£1,500 in conveyancing fees when buying a home. Selling fees may be less as there are not as many checks to carry out. They may also carry out checks on any plans or issues in the area that might affect your property – typically for £250-£300.

Your legal professional will usually bill you once the transaction has completed.

If you're buying and selling in Scotland, it's possible to use either a solicitor or a specialist conveyancer for this process.

Stamp Duty

Buyers must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on any property purchase they make. The Stamp Duty system has changed in recent years, and the tax is now levied in bands, just like income tax.

In Scotland and Wales, it is referred to as Land and Buildings Transactions Tax (LBTT) and Land Transaction Tax (LTT), respectively. 

Stamp Duty, LTT and LBTT are all usually due when the purchase completes. You’ll have a set period in which to pay this amount from the day of completion.

Blue illustration of a removal van

Removal costs

Finally, you are likely to have to pay to move your belongings into your new home. Average costs will depend on where you live, how far you’re moving and the size of your home. For a three-bedroom house, you can expect to pay around £800 if you’re packing your stuff yourself.

It’s good to get quotes from different removal companies to find the best value option, though be careful to read details around insurance of your goods during transport. The cheapest option may not always be the best.

Of course, you can also move all your items by yourself. But you may need to factor in the cost of hiring a van or appropriate transport to move larger items like sofas. You should also check that you have someone who is licensed and insured to drive the size of vehicle you need to hire. 

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Your guide to the big move

For a step-by-step on everything you need to know about securing a mortgage for moving house, our home movers guide can help. It covers how to find out how much you could borrow, what mortgage could be right for you, and things to think about before you apply.