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Do House Clearance Companies Pay You? If so, How Much?

Updated: Jun 18

Sometimes house clearance companies will pay you, but it's not a given. If they find valuable items during the clearance that are worth more than the cost of their service, you might get paid the difference.  However, if they don't find much of value, or the clearance costs are high (due to large items or the property size), you'll likely have to pay them instead. It all depends on the company's policies and what they uncover while clearing your house.


Whether you're downsizing your home, clearing out a relative's property, or simply need a fresh start, house clearance companies can be a lifesaver. They've got the manpower and know-how to tackle even the most cluttered homes, taking the stress out of getting rid of unwanted belongings.


But here's the question on everyone's mind: will you have to fork out a small fortune for the service, or could the house clearance company actually pay you?





When House Clearance Companies Might Pay You


Believe it or not, sometimes house clearance companies will pay you rather than the other way around.  This all depends on whether they uncover hidden gems during the clearance process. If they find antiques, collectibles, jewellery, or other valuable items, there are a few ways this could work out in your favour:


  • Full payout: If the goodies they find are worth more than the cost to clear your house, you could end up with a nice bit of cash in your pocket!

  • Reduced bill: Maybe the treasures aren't quite enough for a full payout, but they still have some value.  In this case, the company might deduct what they make selling the items from your overall bill, lowering what you have to pay.

  • You pay the rest: However, if large furniture, tricky-to-dispose items, or just a sheer volume of stuff outweighs the value of any finds, it's likely you'll still have to pay some of the clearance costs.


Understanding the Payment Process


Knowing how payment works with house clearance companies goes a long way in avoiding misunderstandings or feeling blindsided.  The most reputable companies will visit your property beforehand to give you a quote.  This is their chance to assess how big the job is and get a sense of whether there might be valuable goodies tucked away. Then, you usually have two main options:


Option 1:  Pay upfront. 

 

Some companies will ask for full payment in advance.  In this case, they'll handle getting rid of everything (including selling any valuables) as part of the agreed service.  It's good to clarify what happens if they find items worth more than expected, so you know whether you're entitled to any of that money.


Option 2:  Pay later, minus valuables. 


This is where things get interesting! If the company is confident they can sell some of the items they clear out, they might offer to deduct their earnings from your bill.  Make sure you discuss this transparently upfront: what kind of items they typically resell, where they sell them, and how they determine value.


No matter which option you choose, getting everything down in writing – the quote, the payment terms, even a basic list of any valuables you mention  – protects you and ensures everyone's on the same page. Sometimes the process can change a bit on clearance day itself, but starting with good communication gives you the best chance of a fair and positive outcome.


moving boxes from a house being cleared


What Happens When Clearance Costs Exceed Items' Value


Unfortunately, not every house clearance is a treasure hunt that pays for itself.  If the company finds very little of value, or if you have many large, heavy items that are expensive to dispose of, you'll likely end up needing to pay the company.


Here's why costs can add up quickly:


  • Size matters: Clearing a big house naturally costs more than a small one. More items mean longer work hours and potentially a bigger van.

  • Heavy lifting: Large furniture like sofas and beds, or bulky appliances, take more manpower and special disposal procedures.

  • Location: Companies in remote areas or with higher overhead costs may charge more for their services.


Don't despair if this scenario seems likely in your case!  That initial quote the company gave you exists precisely to avoid last-minute financial shock.


House Clearance Costs

The average house clearance in the UK costs between £325 and £595, but the final price depends heavily on the size of the clearance and other factors.


Here's a general guide to what those factors are and how much you might expect to pay:


Factors that influence cost:


  • Property size: Larger properties naturally have more to clear out.

  • Volume of items: The sheer amount of belongings impacts disposal and labour costs.

  • Difficulty of access: Cluttered or multi-story properties are more time-consuming to clear.

  • Location: Remote areas or companies with higher overheads might charge more.

  • Additional services: Packing, special item disposal, etc., are usually extra.


Average Costs Based on Size

Clearance Size

Volume (Approx.)

Average Cost (£)

Small

½ Luton van or 500kg

£325

Medium

¾ Luton van or 750kg

£400

Large

Full Luton van or 1,000kg

£595

Important Note: Some companies offer fixed prices, while others provide estimates. Costs can change on the day if the job ends up being more complex than initially anticipated.  Always ask for a detailed breakdown of charges and get clarification about potential add-ons.


Maximising Your Potential Payout


While it's not always guaranteed you'll get paid for your house clearance, there are steps you can take to increase your chances and potentially walk away with a bit more cash in your pocket. Being savvy about your belongings before the company arrives pays off, as it helps you decide how to handle anything valuable.


Start by doing some basic research. A rummage through the attic or the back of cupboards might turn up old toys, coins, stamps, or jewellery that are surprisingly collectible. A quick search online can give you a sense of whether something similar has sold for a decent price recently.  Even if you don't end up with a fortune, this knowledge puts you in a better bargaining position with the clearance company.


Once you know what potential treasures you have, consider your options. Selling those items yourself beforehand means you get the full market value, rather than relying on what the clearance company can get for them. However, this takes time and effort.  If you're keen to get the clearance done quickly, you can negotiate with the company to ensure you get the fairest possible deal for your valuables, ensuring they're not undervalued when it comes to offsetting your bill.


Remember, knowledge is power.  The more you know about what you've got, the better your potential payout will be –  or you may even decide the house clearance isn't the best option in the first place!


  • Do your research: Basic online searches can reveal if you have potentially valuable items.

  • Consider your options: Sell valuable items yourself beforehand for full profit, or negotiate with the clearance company for a fair deal.

  • Knowledge is power: Know what you have to decide the best approach for maximising your potential earnings.


The Bottom Line: Can You Make Money From a House Clearance?


The answer is maybe! While not guaranteed, getting paid by a house clearance company depends on the value of items they find and their policies. Getting multiple quotes, being transparent about your belongings, and doing a bit of research on your potential treasures goes a long way. 


Whether you end up paying the company, having them pay you, or simply breaking even, the key is knowledge. The more informed you are, the better equipped you'll be to make the savviest decisions and have a smooth, stress-free house clearance experience.


Need help with your house clearance? Don't stress! Denix Moving, an award-winning London removal company, offers personalised and reliable services. Contact us for a free quote and discover how we can take the worry out of your move.





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