THE number of people moving to a new property is higher than at any time since 2016.
If you are one of them, we have cash hacks that can save you £10,000 on fees for agents, brokers, solicitors and banks.
The home-buying stampede has led to around two million people across 600,000 households moving in the first six months of this year.
Last week Sun Money told you how the extended stamp duty holiday and other government initiatives are helping buyers.
Now follow our guide and give less of your cash to middlemen, leaving more money to spend on your new pad.
Make low offers
DO not get your heart set on one property. Make low offers on several homes.
Owners often accept less if they must sell urgently, for example if they are moving for work, or are divorcing.
Get an “in principle” mortgage offer and take it to viewings. It could help to persuade the agent and seller to sell to you.
Cut out estate agents
IF you want to buy in a certain street, or hear on the grapevine that a property you like will be sold, pop a letter in their postbox offering to buy direct.
This saves sellers paying estate agent fees of between one and three per cent – up to £7,500 for the UK average house price of £250,000.
Tell the vendor you can split the saving, reducing the sale by half the fee – for example £3,750 of a £7,500 fee.
Private sale middlemen Knock For Sale say: “Sellers won’t pay thousands to agents, so may pass savings to buyers.”
SAVE: £3,750 or more
Free mortgage broker
USE a “whole of market” broker – don’t just ask your bank for a mortgage.
Some brokers charge fees of up to £1,000. Some charge no fee at all. All are paid a separate fee by the lender you choose.
Check free brokers’ reviews and decide if you are confident the mortgage they recommend is the cheapest.
But remember, it may be worth paying a fee if the broker can access a cheaper mortgage which a free broker cannot offer.
SAVE: £500 to 1,000
Check loan’s true cost
NEVER choose a mortgage based on the lowest interest rate.
Add up all costs, including set-up fees which can be £1,000 or £2,000, to find the true cheapest price over the duration of your deal.
MoneySavingExpert says: “Cunning lenders use high fees so interest rates rise up best-buy tables.”
Slash removal costs
A FEW men and a big van can set you back £2,000.
Pack your house yourself – it will knock many hundreds of pounds off the bill.
Or save even more by asking a removal firm from your new area to move you on a day they move someone the other way, saving them a trip.
Do you need a survey?
GET a proper survey, costing between £600 and £1,000, if buying a house.
It is seriously worth it, to spot any potentially expensive defects.
But new builds are often guaranteed, so a survey may not be needed.
Flats in purpose-built blocks may also not require a survey, as freeholders often maintain external walls and even windows.
But flats in converted houses should be surveyed.
If in doubt, pay for a survey.
SAVE: £600 to 1,000
SOME solicitors will deduct a fair whack for purchases if your broker sends a referral.
An insider at a major firm said: “Clients save over £200 by getting quoted by their broker.”
Other solicitors give discounts to returning customers.
For conveyancing on a £250,000 property, £600 is cheap.
IF you need white goods and furniture for your new home, maybe try asking the seller to include a fridge, washing machine and sofa in the sale of the property.
Or offer to buy these off them at a knock-down price.
Watch out for…
MORTGAGE CASHBACK: This is when lenders tempt you to take their deal. Add all your fees and check the overall mortgage price.
ESTATE AGENT HYPE: Do not let them talk you into paying more.
DODGY PROPERTIES: “Cash sale only” often means a property has a short lease, of fewer than 85 years, shady paperwork, or is next to a shop or pub. These factors can make it difficult to get a mortgage.