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How much does it cost to sell a house in Australia?

December 30, 2019 8:00 am by Upside

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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The cost of selling a house in Australia by state

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.

Average real estate commissions by state

State/territory Average commission
NSW 2.46%
VIC 2.05%
QLD 2.8%
ACT 2.18%
SA 2.35%
WA 2.66%
NT 2.80%
TAS 2.96%
Source: OpenAgent.com.au

If you sell your home for the median price in each city, you can expect to pay the following real estate commissions:

City Median house price Commission payment
Sydney $1,079,491 $26,555
Melbourne $855,428 $17,536
Brisbane $562,847 $15,760
Canberra $738,864 $16,107
Adelaide $538,550 $12,656
Perth $527,107 $14,021
Darwin $521,651 $14,606
Hobart $482,960 $14,296

Cost of selling a house in Victoria

Real estate commission: 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%.

  • Marketing: 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.

Cost of selling a house in New South Wales

  • Real estate commission: In Sydney, Real estate commission range between 1.8% and 2.5%, while homeowners in regional areas can expect to pay anywhere from 2.5% to 3.5%.
  • Marketing: Paying for a standard marketing package in Sydney will 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.

Cost of selling a house in Queensland

  • Real estate commission: On average, real estate agents in QLD charge a 2.8% commission rate.
  • Marketing: In metropolitan areas of Brisbane, the cost of a 45-day marketing campaign 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.

Cost of selling a house in Western Australia

  • Real estate commission: The typical commission rate in WA is 2.66%, but you could pay up to 3.25%.
  • Marketing: Opting for a basic marketing package in Perth will 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.

Cost of selling a house in Australian Capital Territory

  • Real estate commission: Commission rates in ACT hover at around 2.18%.
  • Marketing: 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.

Cost of selling a house in South Australia

  • Real estate commission: SA is one of the cheaper states in the country for commissions, with typical rates ranging between 2% and 2.75%.
  • Marketing: In Adelaide, a 45-day agency-led marketing campaign costs between $500 and $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.

Cost of selling a house in Tasmania

  • Real estate commission: The average Tassie property owner can expect to pay around 2.96% in real estate commission.
  • Marketing: Marketing for a Hobart property ranges in price from around $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 real estate fees should 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:

Agent’s fees

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.

A commission, on the other hand, is a percentage of the final sale price that goes to the agent after your home sells. Some commission-based real estate agents stipulate that you must pay the commission even if the sale of the property falls through before settlement.

To avoid the potential of paying this cost out-of-pocket, it’s a good idea to ensure that the buyer’s holding deposit is at least worth the cost of the commission, or to choose a fixed-fee real estate agent and avoid the commission altogether.

Legal/conveyancing fees

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.

Marketing fees

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. Some agents charge more these services. At upside, marketing is included as part of our flat fee.

Lender/settlement fees

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.

Maintenance fees

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.

Capital Gains Tax on investment property

Another cost to consider if you’re selling an investment property (i.e. a property that you don’t live in) is Capital Gains Tax (CGT). Capital Gains Tax is the tax that you’re liable to pay if you make a profit from an increase in the value of your asset between the time you bought it and the time you sell. CGT is collected by the Australian Government through the ATO. The amount of Capital Gains Tax you’ll need to pay depends on how much of a profit you make off the sale of your property, and expenses incurred relating to owning the property.

When selling an investment property, CGT is calculated based on the sale price of the property minus your expenses. Typical expenses include:

  • Sale fees e.g. stamp duty, legal fees, real estate agent fees and advertising and marketing fees.
  • Ownership costs e.g. rates, land tax, maintenance and interest on your home loan
  • Renovation costs e.g. upgrading kitchens, bathrooms, and any other improvements you've made on the property
  • Title costs e.g. legal fees associated with organising and defending your title on the property

A Capital Gains Tax calculator can help you work out how much CGT you might have to pay if you sell your investment property. There are also some situations in which you can avoid paying CGT. See our guide to Capital Gains Tax for more information on exemptions.

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:

  1. Pick your ideal selling date
  2. 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.
  3. Book a property appraisal with a real estate professional who can offer advice on what maintenance and repairs will increase your home’s value.
  4. Make a list of all necessary work that needs to be done before the house goes to market.
  5. Shop around to compare quotes from real estate agents, tradesmen and conveyancers.
  6. 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.

How can I reduce costs and avoid paying a commission when selling a property?

  • Shop around: Assess what a reasonable commission rate is for your area and property.
  • Negotiate: Don’t be afraid to ask upfront whether an agent will consider reducing their commission if a competing agent is offering a lower rate.
  • Consider a tiered commission rate: With this type of commission, you only pay a higher percentage if your property reaches a certain sale price threshold.
  • Choose a fixed fee agent: The best way to sell your property on a budget and avoid a commission altogether is to choose an agent that charges a flat fee which includes all the services you need to sell your home:
    • Agent managed viewings and open homes
    • Property appraisal
    • Buyer call-backs and negotiation
    • Photography, copywriting and floorplan
    • Large photo signboard, flyers and drop cards
    • Advertising on Realestate.com.au and Domain
    • Online sale progress & customer service

Upside is a fixed-fee real estate agent, which means you’ll never pay a commission or hidden costs should you choose to sell your property with us. We charge a flat, cheaper fee – $8,900 for private treaty sales and $9,700 for auction sales – that covers all the essentials for selling your home.

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If you’re thinking about selling your home, see why Upside has some of the most highly rated real estate agents in Australia. Start your journey today with a free property appraisal.

Upside

Upside is an Australian-owned, full-service real estate agency with one low fee and no commission. Our standard is other agents’ ‘extras’, delivering vendors a complete agent managed service including a full appraisal, open home management, copywriting, photography, signage and advertising. It's the way real estate should be.

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