Marketing campaigns, agent commission, taxes... there's a lot to consider when it comes to the cost of selling your home. We've laid out the main expenses for you, so you can stay on track, and on budget.
Advertising costs vary depending on a number of factors, especially how you choose to sell and how long your home stays on the market. But there are some common costs you can't avoid, such as listing fees (online or in print), photography for your home and floor plans.
Repairs and presentation
Pre-sale repairs and presentation can add significant costs to prepping your house for sale. Work out a budget for home staging, cosmetic upgrades, minor repairs and landscaping.
"Get an agent in before you decide to renovate," says Kylie Davis, head of marketing, Property Solutions & Content at CoreLogic, opens in new window. "Often the agent has very different ideas on what makes property a dream home to live in. If it's to change the carpet or paint the walls, do it. But if it's putting in marble bathrooms, maybe not. Decisions must be made with the head, not the heart – think about the buyer."
Commissions and other bonuses
The agent's commission is one of the more significant costs in selling your house. Agents can charge fixed rates, a flat fee or a tiered rate that's based on your property's final sale price. Make sure your agent has a good track record, and that you settle on all fees before signing.
Auction and private sale fees
Advertising for private sales tends to cost less than it does for auctions. You don't need to pay for an auctioneer, and if you accept an offer immediately, you'll be up for less marketing costs. However, if your home doesn't sell quickly, you'll need to keep it on the market. This could mean continued advertising costs; you may even want to refresh your campaign completely.
Online fixed fee sites
Listing with fixed fee agents online and 'for sale by owner' websites helps you control your costs in fixed fee packages. But remember, after you meet the agent face-to-face for the initial property viewing, you'll largely have to drive the sale process yourself.
Conveyancing and solicitor fees
Conveyancing is the process of transferring legal ownership of the home from seller to buyer, also known as settlement. It's a must in every state, and fees vary depending on where you're selling.
These fees cover work that goes into assessing contracts, dealing with banks and lenders, conducting title searches, adjusting rates and taxes, and booking the settlement date.
Shop around for a good conveyancer by researching the services they offer, how well they understand your situation, and how they charge.
Title search and transfer
The land title outlines the owner of the title, and all current recordings and registrations on the title including mortgages, easements, and any liens, caveats or covenants. Learn more about land titles in each state., opens in new window
Government and bank fees
Capital gains tax
Capital gains tax is the tax you pay on a capital gain you make from selling an asset. For example, if you paid $650,000 for a property and sell it for $750,000, you’ll pay capital gains tax on the difference of $100,000.
The good news is that, under the main residence exemption, you usually don't have to pay capital gains tax on the family home – but there could be exceptions. Learn about calculating and paying capital gains tax to stay on track and in the know.
Mortgage discharge fee
A mortgage discharge fee is payable to your bank or financial institution when you close the mortgage.
Buying your next home
You'll need to pay stamp duty on your next home based on the purchase price of the property and its location. Find out how much it could be with our stamp duty calculator.
If you've found your next home before you've sold your current one, you might need to take out a bridging loan to get the funds you'll need. Learn more about the ins and outs of bridging loans, and buying before selling.
Your agent can estimate the value of your house, but nothing beats a valuation from an accredited, independent valuer. Research a few third-party valuers, and choose the best option for your budget and needs. Our free property insights report, opens in new window can also start you off with an idea of your house’s value early on.
A new home loan
The NAB home loan selector is a great tool to help homeowners determine suitable NAB home loan products for their current life stage.
You can select your current life stage and the features that are most important to you. Or, enquire about a home loan and speak to a home loan specialist for advice.
You can also use our borrowing capacity tool to estimate how much you may be able to borrow.
Lenders Mortgage Insurance
Have you been approved to borrow more than 80% of the assessed value of your home (loan-to-value ratio, or LVR)? Then most lenders will ask you take out a Lenders Mortgage Insurance policy. This provides insurance in relation to the increased risk of your loan.
Relocating and storage costs
You could be up for moving and storage costs at various stages of the sale. For example, most home-stagers recommend you move out while your home is on the market to provide easy access to potential buyers. Moving and storage costs vary from state to state, and can reach the thousands if you hire professionals.
Your energy provider may charge disconnection and reconnection fees when you move. These fees also vary from state to state, so check what you could be up for and budget accordingly.
An auction is a popular property-selling method where interested parties make offers to buy a property at a specific time and place – usually at the property itself, but sometimes at auction rooms.
The bidder with the highest offer is the successful buyer and must pay a deposit then and there, which is usually 10% of the sale price. All auction sales are final.
A bridging loan or bridging finance is a loan that provides the funds you need to buy a new home before you’ve sold your current home (generally temporary and short-term).
Capital gains tax (CGT) is a tax applied to the capital gains you make on a property or asset. The capital gains amount is the difference between what you paid for a property or asset, and what you sold it for.
A caveat is a notice that another party (other than the seller) is claiming an interest in a property.
If a property has a caveat, it doesn’t have a clear title – one that gives sole undisputed ownership with no other claims. An example is someone (the caveator) lodging a caveat on the grounds that they’re the legal beneficiary of a property as outlined in a previous owner’s will.
The legal process of transferring ownership of real property from the seller to the buyer.
A covenant (sometimes referred to as a restrictive covenant or a deed of covenant) outlines or restricts how you can build or alter your property.
Covenants are put in place to limit or guide the development of land or property for the benefit of another land or property. The land the covenant applies to is known as ‘burdened’ land, and the land that benefits from the restrictions is known as ‘benefited’ land.
Lender's Mortgage Insurance (LMI) is a one-off insurance payment which covers your lender in case you can’t make your repayments. It's required for home loans with a loan-to-value ratio (LVR) over 80%.
A lien is a claim lodged by a worker or supplier against a property to inform others that they’re owed payment for work done to the property. If a property has a lien on it, it doesn’t have a clear title, so banks and buyers will be deterred from purchasing it.
Generally, the seller ends up clearing the lien with money from the sale of the property.
The loan-to-value ratio (LVR) is your loan amount divided by the appraised value of the property. For example, if your property valuation is $300,000 and your loan is $240,000, then the LVR is 80%.
A mortgage discharge fee is charged by the mortgage provider for services involved in clearing the existing mortgage. Services include things like attending settlement, and preparing relevant documents.
Private sale or private treaty (also known as sale by negotiation) is a selling method where a property is advertised at a set or ballpark price. Interested parties submit offers in writing to the vendor, who accepts the most desirable offer.
Property or home staging (also known as property styling) uses furniture and décor curated by professionals to present your home in its best light. A staged home aims to appeal to the target buyer’s lifestyle and tastes to increase interest before the sale.
Stamp duty is a tax you pay to the state or territory government when you buy a property.
The value of your property as determined by a bank, real estate agent, or independent valuer.
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The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. NAB does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any information in this article which is stated or provided by a third party. Before acting on this information, NAB recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. NAB is not providing any legal, financial or tax advice in this article. You should seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article, and speak to a specialist banker who can help you choose a loan that suits you.