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What will it cost to sell my property?

August 31, 2020

We wish we could just give you a number in one sentence. But, like most things, it depends. House sale costs fall into four different categories:

  1. Real estate agent commission
  2. Marketing costs
  3. Legal and bank fees
  4. Miscellaneous
1. Real estate agent commission

We have a Complete Guide to Real Estate Commission that takes you through the ins and outs of commission structures and the different factors that can impact how much commission you’ll pay.

The short answer is: if you’re paying percentage fees (as opposed to a flat fee or incentive structure) the real estate agent commission typically varies from as little as 1% to around 3%.

Most Canberra agencies charge between 2% and 3%. The average commission for a real estate agent is around 2.5%.

Understanding what structure works best in your situation can mean thousands of extra dollars in your pocket come sale time.

Other agent fees that you may need to pay include auctioneer’s fees. Usually, the agent that is selling your home is not the person running the show on auction day (although some of our auctioneers are also incredible agents).

Generally, an ACT auctioneer charges between $500 - $1,000.

2. Marketing costs

These days, there’s more to marketing your home than placing an ad in the newspaper. Marketing
options are almost endless and range from traditional print to digital tools, to marketing you
don’t even see—like calling an agent’s database.

The key to a profitable campaign is knowing which of the different options is most likely to hook the
right buyer. You real estate agent will be able to personally tailor a marketing campaign to suit your
property, your budget, and the right audience based on their years of experience.

Marketing campaigns vary significantly in cost. In Canberra, you can expect them to start at around $2,000-$2,500 for a base level campaign. At the higher end, you might spend $10,000 or a little over to get the best result.

What does your marketing money buy? A campaign may include some or all of the following:

  • Print advertising
  • Real estate portal listings (such as
  • Social media advertising
  • Internet display advertising
  • Print property brochures
  • Digital brochures
  • Signage
  • 2D and 3D floorplans
  • Property videos
  • Drone photography
  • Professional photography
  • Professional copywriting
  • Property styling
  • Virtual tours
  • Virtual agents
  • PR/editorial
How to choose the right property marketing for you

How much you spend will depend on the type of property and your target audience. Bigger isn’t always better. If your advertising strategy isn’t focussed on the right people, it doesn’t matter how much exposure it gets.

On the other hand, you don’t want to skimp on marketing and limit your pool of potential buyers.

According to Matt Peden, principal of Independent Belconnen, “It comes down to the demographic that you’re targeting for your property. We look at who’s likely to buy your property and analyse their buying behaviours. If your home is likely to attract first home buyers, we concentrate on online advertising and social targeting. They’re younger, so they’re online. If you’re appealing to downsizers, though, the opposite is true. There, we’ll concentrate more on print advertising.”

There are other considerations as well. If you’re selling a rural spread, for example, you’ll need drone photography to show the land. Drones are also useful for vacant blocks of land, or to highlight an amazing view.

What about prestige properties? Buyers for these properties can afford to be choosy, so you’ll need to pull out all the stops. Again, Matt says, a successful campaign is partly dollar spend, partly smart targeting.

“If we’re selling a high end prestige property, we might look at Sydney newspapers as well as Canberra, so that we can reach those interstate buyers that might be looking for a professional residence. We’ll also consider which newspapers to advertise in—the Australian Financial Review, for example, is better targeted for those buyers.”

3. Legal and bank fees

Conveyancing is much less exciting part of the process (to us, anyway) but is crucially important. Something easily overlooked by a non-specialist, like a missing compliance certificate, can cause major delays and financial penalties come settlement.

You can find all the information you need about conveyancing costs and the conveyancing process.

As a rough guide, the average conveyancing cost can range from as little as $500 to $2000 or a little over.

Some conveyancers charge a sliding fee depending on the cost of the property, but most charge a flat rate.

Essentially, conveyancing costs can be divided into two categories:

  1. The amount that you pay to the solicitor or conveyancer for their time and expertise. This might be a fixed amount, a sliding scale or a ‘base’ fee with additional charges for extra work on top.
  2. The amounts payable to various authorities for the required searches and due diligence. Your solicitor will pay these for you and then charge the amount back. This should be itemised on your final invoice, usually under a category heading of ‘disbursements’.

Disbursements include:

  • A title search, which checks that the property belongs to the person who is selling it, and has no restrictions that would impede the sale
  • Compliance certificate and search fees charged by government authorities
  • Registration of mortgage fee
  • Registration of transfer fee
  • Photocopying
Bank fees

There are a number of fees that you may need to pay to your lender when you sell your home, unless you own your home outright. These include:

  • Mortgage discharge fees
  • Settlement fees
  • Government fees.

This can vary depending on your loan, but typically ranges from $150 - $600

4. Miscellaneous

There are a few other outlays that it’s worth keeping in mind as you put together your budget. Miscellaneous costs include:

  • Building inspection reports. In the ACT this is a cost that the seller outlays initially, however the purchaser will reimburse the seller for these costs at settlement
  • Property maintenance and styling. You can control how much you spend on this, however your agent will provide some guidance. They’re experts in knowing what investments will pay off come auction day.
  • Outstanding council rates and strata fees. You were going to pay these eventually anyway, but it’s worth remembering that these bills will need to be paid on settlement.
  • Capital Gains Tax. This is only relevant if you’re selling a property that is not your primary place of residence. You can find more information on the Australia Tax Office website.

Understanding all the costs involved, as well as what your home might sell for, is an important part of the appraisal process. If you’re after a local expert, drop us a line in the form below and an agent that specialises in your area will be in touch.

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