12 key costs of selling a house or apartment

12 key costs of selling a house or apartment

Feb 23, 2022 | by DiJones

If you’re thinking about selling your property, one of the first questions you’ll probably want answered is “how much does it cost to sell my house or apartment?” 

Most of us know that when we sell a property, we need to engage a few different professionals to help with different steps in the process. 

The good news is that many of these expenses will go towards maximising your sale price, so they can be considered an investment in a positive outcome. 

Read on to get an understanding of the key costs of selling your home. 

1. Agent fees for selling a house or apartment 

To get the best possible sales result for your house or apartment you should engage a real estate agent. A good agent will partner with you through each step of the sales process.  

Most agents are paid by way of commission, which means they’ll receive an agreed percentage of your sale price once your property is sold. 

For example, if your agent charges 2.5% plus GST and your home sells for $1.2 million, you’ll pay the agent $33,000 in commission.  

A small number of agencies offer their services for a fixed fee, and some will agree to a tiered commission. To find out more about agent fees and commission click here.

The tasks you can expect an agent to perform to earn their commission can include: 

  • Providing advice on what you should do to get your property ready for sale. This might include suggested repairs, minor renovations, tidying or improving the garden and suggesting a stylist to present the property in the best possible light
  • Providing a property appraisal in line with the current market
  • Executing a marketing strategy to attract as many qualified buyers to your home as possible
  • Promoting your home or investment property to their database of buyers
  • Organising and hosting inspections of the property
  • Liaising with buyers, building and pest inspectors, legal professionals and lenders.
  • Negotiating with potential buyers to secure a sale
  • Organising and hosting an auction
  • Conducting a pre-settlement inspection with the buyer
  • Organising the handover of keys to the new owner 


Marketing fees for selling a property 

When you decide to sell your house or apartment you will want as many potential buyers as possible to know about it. The more interest you can generate, the more competition you will create between buyers which will often translate to a higher sale price. 

Your agent will suggest a marketing strategy to reach buyers in your target markets, but here are some of the key ingredients for a good marketing campaign.

2. Professional photography 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and there has never been a truer statement when it comes to selling your property. Excellent quality photos will act like a magnet to buyers who will spend many hours trawling through online property portals to find their dream house.  

And do not be fooled into thinking a tired property does not deserve professional photos, because there are plenty of buyers looking for a renovation or rebuild project.  

Paying for professional photography shows buyers you value your home or apartment and helps to deter disingenuous offers.  

Depending on the number of photos and whether you include a twilight shoot, expect to pay between $160 to $1000 

3. Professional video/drone footage 

Not every home benefits from video footage, but if your property enjoys a unique location (for example a clifftop, beachfront or bush hideaway), has vast amounts of land or has noteworthy architecture, a drone could be the best method for capturing inspiring footage. 

Expect to pay between $500 and $3000. 

4. Floor-plan / site plan 

Floor-plans can often be included in your photography package.  Agents report that floorplans are important for showing buyers your property layout, how spaces flow and the location of doors and windows. It shows the orientation of your home and will also indicate the position of wardrobes, kitchen units and bathroom fittings while giving people a sense of the scale of each room. Without a floorplan to show if a property meets a buyer’s wish list, some buyers will be reluctant to commit time to a real-life inspection. 

Expect to pay between $80 and $140 

5. Digital advertising 

Listing your property online is one of the best ways to find buyers. You can list “off-market”, which means you only advertise on your agency’s website, but most vendors also opt to list on the leading property portals to help maximise your exposure  

Discuss pricing with your agents as costs can vary here. 

6. Social media 

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms can all be harnessed in your sales campaign to boost your property’s visibility.  

Prices vary on so ask your agent for a quote. 

7. Print advertising 

Print advertising has evolved over recent years. Many local papers have been phased out or replaced with new bespoke, locally owned and produced publications. Talking to your agent about the best local options for you and your property is a good idea.  

Aside from advertising in local papers, print advertising also includes the production of drop cards, flyers and brochures. These are important elements of an advertising campaign and can help reach passive buyers who may not be actively looking for a new home, but when the right property appears in their letter box, they may be motivated to purchase. 

Talk to your agent about print advertising pricing . 

8. Signboard 

Placing a signboard in front of your property is a good way to let locals know your home is for sale, particularly if the property is in a high-traffic area. 

Expect to pay between $200 and $1100 or can be custom built depending on the size required. 

9. Styling your property for sale 

Once upon a time it was common to see photos of empty rooms or sparse or dated furniture when viewing property listings, but today’s buyers like to be wooed with photos of beautifully presented homes. This could mean engaging a property stylist to furnish your home or supplement your existing furniture with some key accessories for a better overall impression. Some property experts believe professional styling of your home can help your property sell more quickly and can add an extra five or 10 per cent to a property’s sale price. 

Expect to pay from $1500 up to $15,000 for styling, depending on the size of your property and the duration of your campaign. 

10. Auction fees 

If you’ve opted for an auction campaign you’ll need to pay for an auctioneer. Rates vary between states, but on average you can expect to pay $600 - $1000. 

11. The legal costs of selling your home 

While you’re not obliged to get outside help to perform the legal processes of selling a property, most vendors prefer to delegate this role to an experienced professional. A solicitor or conveyancer will: 

  • Prepare the legal documents required to sell your property, including the contract for sale
  • Help with negotiating the terms and conditions of sale with a serious buyer
  • Conduct contract exchange
  • Conduct settlement of the property
  • Arrange the discharge of the mortgage 

Expect to pay between $1000 and $2000.  

12. Fees the lender may charge when selling your home 

If you have a mortgage over your property, this will need to be discharged or transferred to your new property. Your bank or lender can inform you of any mortgage discharge, exit, transfer, or settlement fees. 

These are the main costs of selling your house or apartment. You might also spend money on repairs and maintenance to get your home ready for sale; a professional cleaner to give your property a thorough clean; a gardener to get your garden in tip-top condition; a pest and building report to avoid any unexpected discoveries when buyers begin inspections; temporary accommodation if you need to move out during your sales campaign; and storage if you have decluttered your home and need to store your furniture.  

If your property is an investment it is likely you will have to pay capital gains tax on any profit you make on the sale. Your accountant will be able to provide guidance here. 

Selling a property counts as a major transaction so it is great if you can plan and budget for all the key costs involved in the process. 

Other selling a house or apartment tools and information 

Our guide to selling a house or apartment in NSW  
How do I find out how much my property is worth?  
Selling my house or apartment in NSW eBook 
Selling a house or an apartment in NSW FAQ’s 
How much is my property worth?
Any estimated prices included in this article should only be used as a guide. Please discuss costs with your sales and legal team. 

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