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Selling your home

Typical costs of selling a property


2016-08-03 00:00

When you’re selling your house it’s easy to underestimate the costs involved. You’ll need to consider everything, from fixing the garden fence to paying legal fees. We asked John Cunningham, president of the Real Estate Institute of NSW, how much you should expect to shell out before, during and after the sale.

Clean-up/minor repairs

Whether it’s a fresh lick of paint or a garden tidy-up, there’s a good bet your home will need something fixed before you put it on the market.

“About two-thirds of properties need work,” Cunningham says.

Typical cost: $1000-plus

Property styling

If your budget allows, getting rid of any run-down belongings and hiring someone to replace them with cool stuff may be a good option. This is called property styling, or showcasing.

“It can be anything from putting hired throws on the couch to hiring a dining table or outdoor furniture,” Cunningham says.

Typical cost: $1,500-$5,000


“The golden rule used to be that advertising should cost 1% of the property’s value, but it’s become a bit cheaper,” Cunningham says.

Typical cost: 0.5-1.0% of your property’s value ($2,500-$5,000 on a $500,000 home).

Agent’s commission

Commissions vary around the country, with percentages usually lower for higher-end properties.

“In cheaper areas fees tend to be higher,” Cunningham says.

Typical cost: 1.5%-4.5% of your property’s value ($7,500-$22,500 on a $500,000 home).

Auction fees

If your home is going under the hammer, paying the auctioneer is another cost to bear in mind. “Contract auctioneers in Sydney charge about $600 per job,” Cunningham says. Depending on customs in certain states, these fees may be included in the agent’s commission. It may be good to agree this upfront with your agent.

Typical cost: $400-$1,000 (or may be included as part of the agent’s commission).


If you engage a conveyancer or a solicitor, you will need to pay a fee. How much can depend on multiple factors, so it may be a good idea to obtain a number of quotes in advance.

According to Cunningham, costs for conveyancing typically range between $1,000 and $2,000.

Typical cost: $1,000-$2,000

Pest and building report

“Sometimes a seller will get one of these to see if they need to fix anything, and to avoid last-minute shocks should the buyer find live termites, for example,” Cunningham says.

Typical cost: $500-$700

Mortgage discharge fees

You may have to pay fees to your lender when you sell your home. These can include mortgage discharge fees, settlement fees and government fees.

Typical cost: $150-$600

If you have a fixed rate loan you may also have to pay early repayment costs. Contact your lender for an indicative payout figure.

You might also consider renovating...

In some situations a renovation might be worthwhile, in attracting buyers, and possibly for raising the property value. It may be a good idea to do some research such as talking to agents, assessing the state of the market and comparing the property prices in your area before embarking on a renovation to make a profit.

Don’t forget to factor in:

  • The possibility of your home not selling and the advertising campaign having to be extended.
  • The cost of moving home.
  • Staying in temporary accommodation if you need to.
Typical costs of selling a property
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