The cost of house clearance when selling a property

If you’re hoping to sell a property you’ve inherited, you may be considering using a house clearance service. Whilst property clearance is something you can do yourself, most people will opt for the speed and convenience of hiring a company to do it. If you’re looking to keep house clearance costs as low as possible, this useful guide will explain the options available to you.

belongings piled up during a house clearance

In this guide

  1. What is house clearance?
  2. Why might you use a house clearance service?
  3. How does house clearance work?
  4. Is there anything a house clearance company won’t remove?
  5. How much does house clearance cost?
  6. How to save money on house clearance services
  7. How can I find house clearance companies near me?
  8. Who pays for house clearance after death?
  9. Top tips – what should I look for when choosing a house clearance company?

    What is house clearance?

    House clearance companies take responsibility for emptying a property, or an area of a property. They can remove waste, furniture, rubbish, and even household appliances.

    Why might you use a house clearance service?

    There might be several circumstances when it would be appropriate to use the services of a house clearance company. These include:

    • Emptying a buy-to-let property after a tenant has moved out
    • Clearing a garage ready for conversion
    • Helping to clear areas of a property if you struggle with hoarding
    • Emptying the home of a loved one after they’ve passed away

    Clearing a property can be a tiring and time-consuming task. If you’re emptying an inherited property, there may also be difficult emotions involved. Using the services of a company can save you a lot of time, effort and stress.

    How does house clearance work?

    If you’re considering using a house clearance company, it’s important to do some research. Have any friends or family members used companies that they would recommend? Online customer reviews are also a good way to get an idea of how reputable a company is.

    Once you’ve chosen a house clearance company, you can arrange a date for them to come and clear the property. Before they arrive, you should ensure that you have removed any items you want to keep.

    On the day, it’s a good idea to confirm with the company which areas of the property you want clearing.

    Once they’ve cleared the contents of the property, the items will be sold, recycled, donated to charity, or disposed of.

    Before the company begins clearing the property, they should provide you with details of their waste carrier licence. You can confirm that they have a waste carrier licence by searching on the government database. It’s important to ensure the company has the correct permissions for waste carrying and disposal. If they don’t, you could be personally liable for any waste that is disposed of incorrectly or fly-tipped.

    Is there anything a house clearance company won’t remove?

    House clearance companies will be unable to remove any hazardous waste. You will need to arrange the collection of this separately.

    How much does house clearance cost?

    On average, house clearance costs are around £325-£595. The final costs will vary based on several factors, including the size of the clearance service needed, the time it takes, and the type of goods you need removing. 

    Here is a breakdown of the average house clearance costs based on the size of the vehicle needed:

    SizeVolume (using Luton van)Cost (£)
    Small½ van load or 500kg£325
    Medium¾ van load or 750kg£400
    LargeA full van load or 1,000kg£595
    *Data taken from Check a Trade

    You can also request a quote to remove specific items. These are some of the most common items removed by house clearance companies:

    ItemCost (£)
    TV/Monitors£20
    Pianos£113
    Large Fridge Freezer£106
    Small Fridge or Freezer£60
    Mattress£24
    Sofa£65
    Small Electrical Items (e.g. kettles, toasters, etc)£7.50
    *Data has been taken from Check a Trade, Household Quotes, Home How, and Cullens Clearances

    What can house clearance companies charge extra for?

    It’s important to note that house clearance companies can charge for extra services. The prices will vary depending on your specific needs. Here are some common additional charges:

    Skip hire 

    Skip hire is not typically included in the price of a house clearance, but if you’re looking to clear the contents of a larger home, they can be useful.

    Garden clearance

    If a garden is overgrown or garden rubbish needs to be removed, this may come at an additional cost. This is because it’s often classed as excess waste. Some removal companies will have specific skills to complete this job. Specific equipment and tools will need to be used for overgrown areas.

    Electronic items

    Many electronic items cannot be taken to a landfill site and will need to be disposed of correctly. This helps to ensure that items are recycled where possible. The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) has specific procedures put in place to ensure goods are disposed of and recycled correctly. 

    How to save money on house clearance services

    There are ways you can slash the cost of house clearance. These are some of the most popular:

    Organise the rooms to make things easy to remove

    Before you call in the house clearance company, you’ll want to remove any items of significant monetary value or sentimental value. When sorting through the items, you may want to try to organise the contents you’re going to want the company to remove. Doing this will make the job quicker for the clearance company, which will make it cheaper for you. Most companies will charge an hourly rate. The quicker they can get the job done, the cheaper it will be for you.

    Selling any higher-value items

    Some house clearance companies will agree to sell valuables and goods removed from the property. The money earned from the sale of these items can then be taken off the total cost of the service. This is typically done through auctions, and many clearance companies have close relationships with local auction houses.

    Alternatively, you can choose to sell them yourself and use the money to pay for some of the cost.

    Comparing quotes

    If you’re looking to keep costs down, it’s important to compare quotes from various companies.

    You can use comparison websites to compare different house clearance quotes. This will then provide you with a better understanding of the average costs in your area and help you to save money on your property clearance costs. 

    Remove some items yourself 

    If there are smaller items you can dispose of or give away, this can lessen the amount the house clearance companies need to take and help to keep costs down. There are many ways to get rid of smaller, unwanted items. This includes local charity shops, recycling centres, and selling items yourself. 

    How can I find house clearance companies near me?

    When looking for a local house clearance company, personal recommendations are a great place to start.

    If you don’t know anyone who has used a property clearance company, you can use an online comparison site. It’s a good idea to look for independent customer reviews for any company you’re considering using.

    Who pays for house clearance after death?

    House clearance costs should be paid for by the estate of the deceased person.

    Top tips – what should I look for when choosing a house clearance company?

    • Ensure they are licensed to carry waste.
    • Make sure they have public liability insurance.
    • Ensure they provide a detailed quote for the house clearance, including any extra costs for removal of specific items such as household appliances.
    • Allow enough time – it can take up to half a day to clear one room, depending on how much there is to remove, so make sure you’re not working to a tight deadline.
    • Remove any items you want to keep, or that you think you’d be able to easily re-sell yourself.
    • Remove or shred any paperwork that may leave you vulnerable to identity fraud. Any paperwork with confidential information such as name, address, or financial information should be removed from the property before home clearance takes place.

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Author:

Danny Luke

Danny Luke

As Managing Director, Danny is responsible for the overall performance of Quick Move Now and provides strategic guidance and direction to all its employees. Danny is committed to making Quick Move Now the leading and most trusted home buying company in the UK.
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