What Are The Costs Of Selling A House Or An Apartment? | McGrath
What Are The Costs Of Selling A House Or An Apartment?

What Are The Costs Of Selling A House Or An Apartment?

22/04/2021 | 4 MIN READ

If you’re thinking of selling your property, the question “how much does it cost to sell a house or a property?” has undoubtedly crossed your mind. To help you plan ahead, here is a deep dive into the key costs vendors will be faced with when selling a house or an apartment. 

When working your way through the below, it’s worth keeping in mind that while some of these costs are unavoidable and some are optional, they are all worth considering given the positive impact they can have on a sales campaign. 


Conveyancer or solicitor fees for selling a house or apartment

Selling a property is a legal process and while you are not required to have a conveyancer or lawyer manage the settlement, managing the documentation and settlement of your property sale can be complicated.  Having experts familiar with the legal documents and legislation can provide peace of mind and ensure the process runs smoothly. 

Conveyancing can be done by a professional real estate conveyancer or a solicitor who specialises in conveyancing.  If your property sale is fairly straight forward, a real estate conveyancer can provide a thorough service and may be a cheaper. For larger or more complicated property sales, a conveyancing solicitor may be a better option as they have the legal knowledge necessary to handle a wider set of situations.  

To determine the level of professional you should employ, think about the detail of your property sale and perhaps discuss it with your real estate agent.

Expected investment: between $450 - $3000

Agent fees for selling a house or apartment

Agents get paid a commission for the successful sale of a property. This is a percentage of the sale price and is their payment for a successful sale. 

For this commission, your agent will manage the sales process on your behalf. They will:

  • Create a sales strategy and marketing campaign focused on attracting the greatest number of interested buyers to achieve the best possible result
  • Help advise you on how to prepare the property for sale
  • Promote the property to their list of active buyers
  • Provide you with a price guide for your property based on the latest market data
  • Communicate between the buyer and the seller throughout the campaign
  • Nurture interested buyers to commit to the sale
  • Negotiate with buyers to ensure the seller achieves the best result for the seller
  • Plus other jobs throughout the campaign

Talk to your real estate agent as commission rates vary in each state and territory.

Professional photography, floor plan and copywriting

Professional photography is considered to be the cornerstone of success when selling your property. With the majority of people searching on online portals for a property, professional photos are the window for potential buyers to imagine what life could be like in your property. So making sure that you choose an Agent, and brand who will help present your home to ensure it stands out and attracts maximum attention, is imperative. 

Copywriting and computer-generated floor plans are equally as critical. Most buyers will review the copy with keen interest and assess the benefits of the property. They will also closely review the floorplan before they come in for an inspection. Buyers like to determine how the configuration will work for them and their family even before they have stepped foot in the property.

Expected investment: between $470 - $800

Property video costs

Property videos are a powerful marketing tool that allows your buying audience to be fully immersed in your property. It enables potential buyers to do a video walk through the property and to understand the layout and the feel of the home. Plus, if social media packages are part of your advertising strategy, videos often receive higher engagement (likes, comments, shares) than single image posts, so a worthwhile investment in creating buyer interest and competition.

Expected investment: between $300 - $1000

Advertising and promotion fees for selling a house or apartment

Spending money advertising and promoting your property for sale to ensure it reaches the greatest number of interested buyers is an important step to maximise your sale price. The more people who know about your property, the more buyers you’ll attract, the more competition you’ll generate and the better the result. Getting this simple strategy right gives you the best opportunity to help mitigate external factors in the sales process. 

Your real estate agent will recommend a comprehensive advertising plan for your property and it will most likely include a mix of:

  • Professional copywriting & floor plan
  • Professional property photographs
  • Property video
  • Property brochure
  • Internet package including advertising on mcgrath.com.au, realestate.com.au and domain.com.au
  • A digital media package that likely includes Facebook and Google advertisements
  • Signboard
  • Extras, like drone filming and auction fees are other costs to consider depending on your location, and sales method

Expected investment: For this the budget can vary significantly, so we encourage you to talk to your real estate agent about these in detail to help create a campaign that’s right for you. We do have different financing options for our advertising plans, so talk to your real estate agent for more detail. 

Renovations and cosmetic repairs

Spending time repairing the quick fix jobs before you put your property on the market is a good idea before selling. Buyers will undoubtedly request a building inspection report so fixing the important noticeable issues can ensure you’re not hit with unexpected surprises. You don’t want a potential buyer to leverage any issues with your property to their advantage. 

Scoping out and investing the time and money into repairs before you put your property on the market is a good idea when it comes to being able to achieve your maximum sale price.

Expected investment: Costs vary depending on how much you need to fix within your property. 

Styling to sell 

Presentation is a critical part of the selling process. Whilst it is not guaranteed, we have seen styling a property for sale add up to 5% - 10% to sale a price, so it is definitely worth exploring with your agent. 

The aim of property styling is to maximise the property's appeal to attract as many buyers as possible. You want buyers to imagine themselves living in your property, you want to create an emotional connection with your home. The reason being this connection drives competition amongst buyers and is a driving force behind achieving a higher price. 

There are many simple ways you can style your own property, or if the budget allows, hiring a skilled real estate stylist can help ensure your property shines come open home day.

To help you know what to focus on download our room by room Preparing your Home for Sale Checklist here.

Expected investment between: From $500+ 

Auction fee for selling a house or property 

If you are selling your property via auction, you will likely have to invest in a licenced auctioneer to auction your property. They are highly skilled at generating maximum excitement amongst bidders and extracting the most amount of money out of them on auction day.

Auctions are governed by strict rules and regulations so it’s important that you have a skilled and qualified auctioneer to ensure the process goes ahead without any issues. 

Expected investment between: $400 - $1000

Home loan exit fees

If you are selling your property before you have completed your home loan, your lender may charge you an early exit fee. Contact your lender and ask them to provide you with a ‘payoff quote’ so you know exactly how much money you need to pay back, along with fees and any early exit charges. 

The charges vary for each property and home loan so check with your lender


Moving costs when selling a house or apartment

Working out how much it will cost you to move depends on a number of things:

  • The services you choose (E.g. do you want them to help you pack, do you need packing boxes and wrap)
  • The number of items you have to move
  • How far you are moving
  • The access to the property
  • How long the move will take

Expected investment: Removalists normally charge by the hour and rates can vary from $35 - $60+ per hour but other charges may apply such as transport and insurance costs. We recommend sourcing a minimum of two quotes so you have a benchmark, as well as looking at reviews to find someone local and a good fit for your needs.

Are there any taxes on selling a house or apartment?

Typically, when you sell an asset you are required to pay capital gains tax (CGT) on any profit you make on the sale. The good news is though, in the majority of cases, if you are selling your main residence you are exempt from paying Capital Gains Tax when you sell your house or property.

The ATO classifies a main residence when:

  • You and your family live there
  • You have moved your personal belongings into the home
  • This is the address to which your mail is delivered
  • This is your address on the electoral roll
  • The property is connected to services and utilities
  • You actually occupy the dwelling

There are some situations where you may have to pay CGT on the sale of your home. For instance, if you live on a large block, the CGT exemption only applies to the house and up to two hectares of the land. Talking to your accountant is important here to understand if you have CGT implications.

Additionally, if you are selling an investment property, you will most likely be expected to pay capital gains tax. Make sure you talk to your accountant about how much this will impact you.

Do I pay stamp duty when selling a house or apartment?

No, the seller is not required to pay stamp duty when they sell. You’ll only pay stamp duty when you purchase your next home. 

A final word

Being prepared for the costs of selling a house or apartment is important so you are not hit with any surprises down the track. We hope that this has helped clarify what some of normal expenses are. If you’re looking for more information on the selling process, download our Complete Guide to Selling a Property here or talk to one of our team here


Other sell my house or apartment tools and information

Complete Guide to Selling a Property 

Preparing Your Home For Sale Checklist

Guide to Sell my House or Apartment

Get a Price Guide for my Property

Selling a Property FAQ's 



McGrath Limited and its subsidiaries, together with their directors, officers, employees and agents have used their best endeavours to ensure the information passed on in this document is accurate. However, you must make your own enquiries in relation to the information contained in this document and seek advice from your financial advisor, broker or accountant to ascertain its application to your circumstances. 


This information is provided subject to our Terms and Conditions.

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