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How to save money on your house sale - and what to do with it

Moovingo estate agents has clever packages that can save you on the hidden costs of moving house, which gives you lots of options for your next property

Moving house consistently ranks as one of life’s most stressful events. Aside from emotional and sentimental attachments to bricks and mortar buildings, and the area that you live in, there are also considerable logistics and finance options to consider before packing up and moving on.

That’s because costs for surveys, insurance, removals and home upgrades can vary wildly – as can stamp duty and solicitor’s fees. Not to mention estate agent’s fees, an item which is of particular interest to Moovingo director Tony Deane, who set up his estate agency with co-founder Jack Brady, because of their frustrations with the sales process.

“We provide a like-for-like estate agent service – but we charge a fixed fee and we don’t charge commission,” he says.

That means pricing is really straightforward. Moovingo currently offers three packages; Pro for €1,500, Performance for €2,500 and the new M-Pack for €3,500.

All packages start with a free valuation and include professional photography and listings on Daft and MyHome. You’ll get a ‘for sale’ sign and a licensed agent will manage and negotiate the sale.

Moving up, "Our M-Pack option offers all the add-ons you could need such as 3D virtual tour, featured adverts on Daft and MyHome, plus a social media campaign targeting specific buyers and a press release," Deane explains, pointing out that Moovingo offers a really impactful marketing campaign for a very reasonable price.

“The final fee is lower than a percentage commission, it’s known from the get-go and allows you to budget accordingly,” Deane points out. “Regardless of the package, we aim to provide a best-in-class customer experience and strive to reach the strongest possible sale price. Like any other estate agent, we manage all enquiries and negotiations and don’t finish until the keys are handed over.

Deane knows that the knock-on-effect of a happy customer is an excellent growth strategy. “This industry relies heavily on referrals and we are no different,” he says.

From working in the property industry, he also has a good overview of broad home improvement costs and has seen clients put the savings they can make through using Moovingo’s services to excellent use in their new homes.

The stronger the sales price when selling with Moovingo the bigger the saving: for example, a property selling for €350,000 will save the seller €3,250. One which sells for €500,000 will save €5,500, and a home selling for €750,000 will save €9,250.

[Discover how much you could save by trying the "How much can I save?" slider tool on Moovingo.com]

Outside of a full renovation, “There are several things most people generally look to,” he says. “Painting the walls, flooring, kitchens and bathrooms, new furnishings and the garden.”

“It’s important to put together a wish list, analyse costs and then set your budget.” Costs can vary, but here we share some indicative rates as a starting point.

If you’ve saved €3,000-€4,000

New appliances are a really popular choice, and you could put €3,000 towards new white goods, outfitting your kitchen with a new oven, hob, microwave and dishwasher.

This saving will also allow you to paint and repair minor wall damage. Labour for paint jobs isn’t that expensive, but costs can escalate depending on the brand of paint you use and what condition the walls are in already. “If holes in walls need to be filled in and sanded down, to really do a nice job on it, you could be looking at €3,000 to €4,000,” Deane advises.

If you’ve saved €5,000-€8,000

“To re-floor a three-bedroom house with laminate downstairs and carpet upstairs, you’re looking at around €4,000 to €5,000,” advises Deane. Or you can put your Moovingo fee savings towards getting that parquet or herringbone hardwood floor of your dreams.

For bathroom re-fits, including the downstairs WC, the family bathroom and an en suite, Deane cites prices “from around €8,000” and says that tiling as much of the bathroom as possible is important to many new buyers.

If you’ve saved €10,000-plus

As the heart of the home, kitchens are a priority and €10,000 is a good starting point. “Typically, but size-dependent of course, you’re looking at least €5,000-€10,000 for the joinery, €2,000 for quartz countertops, plus your appliances. An in-frame kitchen is a little more expensive, but can be worth it,” he says. Money can be no object with kitchens, however. “A high-end kitchen can go to €50,000 and up,” he advises.

This saving will also allow you to redo your garden, a really popular choice with families.

Extend and renovate

You may want to put any savings you have made towards a bigger project. “Buyers are getting quotes starting at around €150,000 to extend and renovate a 1970s or 1980s semi-detached property,” Deane says. “And this would not include replacing existing windows, insulation, the garden, furnishings or appliances.”

He points out that costs are continuing to rise due to the lack of tradespeople, a global shortage for materials, and the impacts of both Brexit and the cost of shipping materials due to Covid-19. Wait times are long too. “Many builders were caught out with having larger teams in the last downturn, so they have been cautious with leaner teams who are extremely busy, and this adds to wait times.”