How much does it cost to sell your home?

By Mark Rosanes

Selling a home involves a lot of expenses that can be easily overlooked, especially if youre too caught up in the imminent cash windfall that can come after accepting a buyers offer.

But overlooking the costs of selling could come back to bite you, as the costs can easily amount to several thousand dollars.

What are the costs you need to consider when selling your home?

Real estate agent fees

One of the biggest costs associated with selling your property is the real estate agents commission.

Real estate agents typically work for a commission of what the property sells for, but in some instances they may work for a flat fee, regardless of what the final sale price is.

Typically, a commission fee ranges between 1% and 3% of the propertys value and can vary depending on where your home is located.

Average commission by state:

State/Territory

Average commission

Australian Capital Territory

2.18%

New South Wales

2.46%

Northern Territory

2.80%

Queensland

2.80%

South Australia

2.35%

Tasmania

2.96%

Victoria

2.05%

Western Australia

2.66%

Source: OpenAgent.com.au

Using these average commission figures and median house price data from CoreLogics August 2021 Home Value Index, we calculated the average commission fees you could need to pay in the capital cities.

City

House

Unit

 

Median price*

Agent’s commission

Median price*

Agent’s commission

Canberra

$905,325

$19,736

$520,900

$11,355

Sydney

$1,258,203

$30,951

$810,236

$19,931

Darwin

$571,024

$15,988

$342,389

$9,586

Brisbane

$674,738

$18,892

$419,143

$11,736

Adelaide

$560,732

$13,177

$363,113

$8,533

Hobart

$666,351

$19,723

$510,007

$15,096

Melbourne

$945,769

$19,388

$612,711

$12,560

Perth

$556,509

$14,803

$404,257

$10,753

*Median property price figures correct as of August 2021

Marketing costs

It can be expensive, but marketing is arguably one of the most important things to get right when selling your property. An internet listing with a good write-up and professional photos and videos can go a long way in enticing buyers to check out your property.

Advertising your property can set you back around a few hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the length and type of marketing campaign you and your agent decide to run.

The average market fee sits around the $5,000 mark but its easy to spend more than that if you decide you want your property to feature in print media, or if youre in a blue-chip suburb where its common to spend over $10,000 on marketing.

Capital gains tax

Capital gains tax is incurred when you sell an investment property or if the property was used to generate an income. Any profit you make from the sale of your property is defined as a capital gain and must be taxed accordingly. The capital gain is added to your taxable income, reported to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and is then taxed at your tax bracket.

Our capital gains tax calculator can help provide you an estimate of how much you may need to pay.

Conveyancing fees

Conveyancing is the process of transferring ownership of a property from one person to another and is one of the most important steps in selling a home.

Conveyancing entails a lot of legal and administrative tasks that require certain knowledge which is why its highly recommended that you hire a conveyancer to assist you with this process. If you opt to hire a professional, here is a breakdown of the fees you may need to pay: 

  • Conveyancers fee: $500 to $1,200
  • Title search: Up to $50 per search
  • Council searches and certificates: $100 to $1,000
  • Title registration and transfer: $50 to $200
  • Settlement fees: Up to $80
  • General clerical work: Up to $50

If you decide to go the DIY route, you can purchase DIY conveyancing kits for between $70 to $200.

Council rates and body corporate fees

As the current owner of the property, you are responsible for council or body corporate rates up to the day of settlement. Your conveyancer should be able to assist you in finding out how much these fees are.

Bank or lender fees

Many banks and lenders charge a one-off discharge or settlement fee that covers the cost of paperwork associated with the completion of your mortgage.

This fee typically ranges between $150 and $400.

Property styling

First impressions count when youre trying to sell your home and spending money on property styling can add value - but it can also set you back a bit.

Staging a home for sale can help a lot in attracting potential buyers, but can cost around the $5,000 and $10,000 mark, depending on the level of service you choose and how long your property is staged for.

However, there many ways you can make your home appealing to buyers without the need to break the bank.

Home upgrades and renovations

You obviously don't have to upgrade or renovate your home before you sell it, but improvements can add significant value.

How much this costs can depend on the type of upgrades you choose to make. Heres a breakdown of how much it will cost to renovate different parts your home, according to Hipages.

  • Kitchen: $10,000 to $45,000+
  • Garden and deck: $2,000 to $10,000+
  • Bathroom: $10,000 to $35,000+
  • Living room: $10,000 to $15,000+
  • Master bedroom: $10,000 to $35,000+

If you are looking to renovate your home to increase its value, however, it is advisable that you consult your real estate agent beforehand to make sure you do not overcapitalise.

Going overboard with upgrades may raise the value of your property well beyond what buyers are willing to pay to live in your area.

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