Selling a house in Australia is a pricey venture for most vendors. Between agent’s fees, conveyancing, marketing, and maintenance expenses, there is a myriad of costs that can quickly add up.
Here are some of the typical expenses you can expect to incur when selling a property – and how choosing the right agent can make all the difference.
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What property sales expenses can I expect?
Whether you have an owner-occupied home or an investment property, going through a traditional house sales process can become expensive quickly. Some of the standard costs of selling a home include:
There are two types of agent’s fees you can choose between when selling a home in Australia – a flat fee or commission. You and the agent agree upon the flat fee before the property goes to market, and it’s the same cost regardless of how much your house sells for. Some agents will also require you to pay the fee even if your property doesn’t sell. The commission is a percentage of the final sale price that goes to the agent after your home sells.
At Upside, we charge only $1900 upfront to cover essential costs, and the balance is only paid when the property sells. We never charge commission , so you know exactly what you’re paying for from day one.
Paying agents bonuses for selling a home above the reserve price is also becoming increasingly common. For example, if your home is expected to sell for $1 million but ends up going for $1.1 million, and you agreed on a 10% bonus for everything above the reserve price, the agent would get a $10,000 bonus plus the commission. Assuming a commission rate of 2.2%, that’s a total of $32,000 going to your agent for selling your house.
Agents at Upside are paid a salary and performance bonuses that are capped amounts rather than a percentage of the sale price. Bonuses are linked to the level of service provided (based on indicators like reviews on RateMyAgent), which means they are encouraged to provide you with great service.
Transferring legal ownership of a property from one owner to another is required for every property sale. There are costs associated with hiring a professional conveyancer or solicitor to manage the transfer process.
Making your house look great when it goes on the market is essential to securing the best price. Agents will usually suggest a marketing campaign including professional photography, online listings (e.g. Domain and Realestate.com.au), a floor plan, copywriting, and a board outside your house – all of which can cost extra (except with Upside, of course).
If you're paying your home loan off in advance, your lender might charge you an early exit fee. Most home loans also come with settlement fees that lenders charge to handle administrative costs.
Just like marketing, showcasing your home’s best features is key to securing the best price when you sell. Typical maintenance costs include things like cleaning, gardening, renovations, and repairs. You can also choose to hire professional home stylists for advice on the styling of your home, which helps to present your home in the best light possible and attract lots of interest from buyers.
Budgeting to sell your home
The costs of selling a home extend much further than just the commission or flat fee you pay your real estate agent. In many circumstances, you’ll need to invest in updates to your home before selling to ensure you secure the best sale price. This includes minor expenses like carpet cleaning and painting to bigger costs like renovations, reroofing, landscaping and so on.
Here’s how to plan a budget for selling your home:
- Pick your ideal selling date
- Get an online property value estimate. This free report from Upside will give you an early indication of what your property may be worth based on data from recent and historic home sales in your suburb.
- Book a property appraisal with a real estate professional who can offer advice on what maintenance and repairs will increase your home’s value.
- Make a list of all necessary work that needs to be done before the house goes to market.
- Shop around to compare quotes from real estate agents, tradesmen and conveyancers.
- Tally up the total costs and divide by the number of weeks or months before your ideal selling date to create a realistic budget. Remember that you need to allow enough time for all work to be completed in advance of photography.
Unexpected costs can and do arise often for home sellers, so it’s best to be generous when budget planning. Paying an all-inclusive flat fee to a real estate agent rather than a commission can also help you budget more accurately ahead of time.
The cost of selling a house in Australia: state-by-state breakdown
The cost of selling a house can vary significantly depending on factors like the market value of your home, what repairs are needed, and how much voluntary marketing and maintenance you opt for. To give you a general idea of how much it costs to sell a house in your area, here's a chart comparing the cost of selling in each Australian state. Below, you'll find deeper insights for each state.
|State||Real estate commission||Marketing fees|
|VIC||1.6% - 2.5%||$500 - $2000|
|NSW||1.8% - 2.5%||$600 - $2000|
|QLD||5% on the first $18,000 then 2.5%||$600 - $2000|
|WA||2.44% - 3.25%||$600 - $2000|
|ACT||2.5% - 4%||$100 - $800|
|SA||2% - 2.75%||$500 - $1000|
|TAS||~3.25%||$400 - $800|
- Agency commissions: If you live in Melbourne, a typical agency commission rate is between 1.6% and 2.5%. In regional areas, you can expect to pay between 2.5% and 3.5%. Additionally, agency advertising rates and fees vary in cost between $500 and $2000 per 45 days, depending on the type of campaign you decide to run. For example, a top-tier listing that appears at the top of search results could set you back over $2000, while a standard listing could cost around $1000.
- Conveyancer/solicitor fees: The cost of conveyancing services in Victoria ranges between $700 and $1300.
- Lender fees: Early exit and mortgage discharge fees usually range between $100 and $1,500.
- Styling/staging: Paying a stylist to stage your home could cost between $2000 and $8000.
New South Wales
- Agency commissions: In Sydney, agency commissions range between 1.8% and 2.5%, while homeowners in regional areas can expect to pay anywhere from 2.5% to 3.5%. Paying for a standard marketing package in Sydney will also set you back around $600, while a top-tier package could cost as much as $2000 for 45 days.
- Conveyancer/solicitor fees: Conveyancing in NSW typically ranges between $700 and $1300.
- Lender fees: Early exit and mortgage discharge fees in NSW usually range between $150 and $1,500.
- Styling/staging: Paying to style and furnish your home could cost between $2000 and $8000.
- Agency commissions: On average, real estate agents in QLD charge 5% of the first $18,000, plus 2.5% on the remainder of the sales price. In metropolitan areas of Brisbane, the cost of a 45-day marketing campaign also ranges between $600 to over $2000.
- Conveyancer/solicitor fees: Conveyancing in QLD typically ranges between $700 and $1300.
- Lender fees: Early exit and mortgage discharge fees in QLD usually range between $150 and $1,500.
- Styling/staging: Paying to style and furnish your home could cost between $2000 and $8000.
- Agency commissions: The typical commission rate in WA is 2.44%, but you could pay up to 3.25%. Opting for a basic marketing package in Perth will also set you back around $400, while a top-tier package will cost around $1000 for 45 days.
- Conveyancer/solicitor fees: Throughout WA, conveyancing typically ranges between $700 and $1300.
- Lender fees: Early exit and mortgage discharge fees in WA are generally between $150 and $1,500.
- Styling/staging: Expect to pay between $2000 and $8000 for staging and styling services in WA.
Australian Capital Territory
- Agency commissions: Commission rates range between around 2.5% and 4%. Low-tier agency marketing in Canberra and throughout the ACT starts as low as $100, but can reach as much as $800 for a top-tier campaign.
- Conveyancer/solicitor fees: Throughout the ACT, conveyancing typically ranges between $700 and $1300.
- Lender fees: Early exit and mortgage discharge fees in the ACT are generally between $150 and $1,500, depending on your mortgage.
- Styling/staging: Paying for professional styling could cost between $2000 and $8000.
- Agency commissions: SA is one of the cheapest states in the country for commissions, with typical rates ranging between 2% and 2.75%. In Adelaide, a 45-day agency-led marketing campaign also costs around $500 to over $1000.
- Conveyancer/solicitor fees: Legal fees in SA vary between $700 and $1300.
- Lender fees: Early exit and mortgage discharge fees in SA vary depending on the lender, but are generally between $150 and $1,500.
- Styling/staging: Professional home staging services could cost between $2000 and $8000.
- Agency commissions: The average Tassie property owner can expect to pay around 3.25% in agency commissions. Marketing for a Hobart property also ranges in price from $400 to $800.
- Conveyancer/solicitor fees: Legal fees in TAS vary between $700 and $1300.
- Lender fees: Early exit and mortgage discharge fees in TAS are generally between $150 and $1,500, depending on your mortgage.
- Styling/staging: If you want to use a professional company to stage your home in TAS, it could cost you between $2000 and $8000.
- What's the difference between commission and fixed fee?
- Are real estate agent fees too high?
- Top 10 questions to ask a real estate agent when selling you house
At Upside, we charge a single all-inclusive fee to manage the entire sales process, and we’re completely transparent about what’s included. If you’d like to know more, get in touch to book a free property appraisal.