Real Estate News

What's The Cost Of Selling A House?

Published 17th October 2022Updated 26th May 2023

A young couple looking at the cost breakdown of selling a house

As a property investor, you’re constantly on the lookout for the next best thing. Whether it’s high-end condominiums or family-friendly holiday rentals, you’re ready to shell out quite a bit for a lifetime of profit.

But what happens when you’re the seller? There’s so much to upgrade and re-position about your home that it’s easy to forget about the most important question: what’s the cost of selling a house?

Although it may seem surreal that selling your home may ultimately cost you, there are in fact quite a few expenses that you will incur if you’re looking to put your home front and centre in the market.

In this blog, we’ll explore the general costs of selling a house, how they differ in every state, and how these expenses can be reduced.

How much does it cost to sell a house in Australia?

Selling a house is no different from any other profit-gaining venture – the lesser the expense, the more cash you can pocket. 

To figure out how you can reduce costs, it’s important to map out a total breakdown of the basic costs:

Pre-market repairs and renovations

If your home looks a little run-down and worn-out, you’ll want it to look its best before it goes on the market. 

Here’s what a few minor repairs will cost you:

  • Painting a wall: professional painters generally charge around $10 to $30 per square metre.
  • Repairing a door: repair services in Victoria charge around $50 an hour while costs in Queensland are $60 an hour.
  • Fixing a leaky faucet: plumbers generally charge a call-out fee of around $50 to $80 per hour.

Major repairs and upgrades may cost more:

  • Kitchen renovation: Sydney Renovations Hire stated that a standard kitchen upgrade will cost you $35,000.
  • Bathroom renovation: A mid-range bathroom may cost roughly $15,000 to $30,000, depending on its size and the materials used.
  • Roof replacement: According to ELR Plumbing, most Australian homeowners spend around $10,000 to $25,000, depending on the materials, the roof’s size and the home’s location.

Overall, Canstar projects that the total cost of pre-market repairs and renovations may vary from $100 to $30,000.

Conveyancing costs

The general costs for conveyancing in Australia may be anywhere between $499 and $2,500. Conveyancers may generally advertise a flat fee or fees.

The total service cost may depend on the circumstances of the home buyer and seller, details about the property, and how much work needs to be done. The more complicated a disclosure document is, the more you will have to pay.

Who pays for stamp duty?

Stamp duty is handled by the conveyancer or solicitor and is disbursed by those who purchase the property, not those who sell it. 

As it’s generally 3% to 4% of the property value, it does affect how much potential buyers are willing to spend on the house. 

With stamp duty costs rising along with house prices in Australia, the overall cost of buying a house may deter many people from sealing the deal.

Lender fees

If you are ending your contract with your home loan lender, you may have to pay a mortgage discharge fee to cover administration costs. These may vary from $150 to $1,500.

If you have a longer, fixed term loan where you repay certain amounts within a set period of time, some banks may charge ‘break fees’. These mainly depend on your loan and may even amount to tens of thousands of dollars.

Styling and staging 

The costs for basic styling and staging packages range from $2,000 to $8,000.  The charges usually depend on the size of the house, whether the home is empty or brand new and whether any furniture is still inside.


According to the Australian Tax Office, if you’ve lived in the house for less than two years and make a profit by selling the house, that profit (which is known as ‘capital gains’) should be declared by you on your tax return. This is known as a ‘capital gains tax’ (CGT).

If you sell the house after owning it for more than a year, you may be charged 15% of your taxable income. But if you’re in a top tax bracket, you may be charged 20%.


The cost for agent-assisted marketing and advertising may vary from $400 to $8,000. The exact numbers depend on your desired reach and the marketing package you choose.

Another option is to pay a third-party company to list your property on real estate websites. The starting price for these services may be around $700, but it depends on the company. 

Real estate agents

The two main agent costs are their fees and commission

Real estate agent fees cover their costs for advertising and marketing your home and may vary from 0.5% to 1% of your home value. Based on a median Australian home value of $537,506, agent fees may vary from $2,687 to $5,375.

Commission rates depend on whether they’re fixed or tiered. A fixed commission is the sale price multiplied by the commission rate. 

This means if the home was sold for $800,000 and the commission rate was 1.97%, the commission would be $15,760.

A tiered rate is based on agent performance. This is where a low commission would be paid if the house sells under the target sale price, and a higher commission would be paid if the house sells for more than the asking price. 

If the expected sale price is $830,000, you can agree to pay a lower rate of 2% if the home is sold for lower than this and a higher rate of 6% if it’s sold for more.

A state-by-state guide to the expenses you may incur


Marketing costs

Real estate agent fees

Conveyancing fees

Lender fees

Styling or staging fees

New South Wales

$600 to $10,000

1.97 to 3%

$1000 to $1500

$150 to $1500

$2,000 to $8,000


$500 to $8,000

1.99 to 2.44%

$500 to $2200

$100 to $1300

$2,000 to $8,000


$600 to $2,000

2.4 to 2.84%

$500 to $2200

$100 to $1400

$2,000 to $8,000

Australian Capital Territory

$1,500 to $3,500


$700 to $1,300

$150 to $1,500

$2,000 to $8,000

South Australia

$400 to $5,000

1.94 to 2.75%

$500 to $2200

$150 to $1600

$2,000 to $8,000

Western Australia

$500 to $6,000

2.4 to 2.95%

$500 to $2200

$200 to $1400

$2,000 to $8,000


$400 to $4,000

2.56 to 3.05%

$500 to $2200

$150 to $1,000

$2,000 to $8,000

Minimum and Maximum Cost of Selling a House in New South Wales (NSW)

The median house price: $1,410,133

The minimum cost:  $31,650

The maximum cost:  $31,650

Minimum and Maximum Cost of Selling a House in Victoria

The median house price: $1,022,927

The minimum cost:   $23,576

The maximum cost:  $44,479

Minimum and Maximum Cost of Selling a House in Queensland (QLD)

The median house price: $678,236

The minimum cost:   $19,598

The maximum cost:  $33,081

Minimum and Maximum Cost of Selling a House in Canberra (Australian Capital Territory)

The median house price: $1,015,833

The minimum cost:   $26,615

The maximum cost:  $36,665

Minimum and Maximum Cost of Selling a House in South Australia

The median house price: $629,728

The minimum cost:   $15,382

The maximum cost:  $34,332

Minimum and Maximum Cost of Selling a House in Western Australia

The median house price: $595,823

The minimum cost:   $17,614

The maximum cost:  $35,388

Minimum and Maximum Cost Of Selling a House in Tasmania

The median house price: $646,301

The minimum cost:   $19,710

The maximum cost:  $35,127

Remember, these figures are based on median house prices in each state. If your home’s sale price is higher or lower than the median figure, the minimum and maximum costs may change accordingly.

How can these costs of selling a property be avoided or reduced?

Before you begin using a platform like SquareFoot Homes to find your ideal property, you need to address how to reduce the costs of selling your house. So, make sure you spend time performing relevant research. By doing a little research, you can easily find several ways to reduce the cost of selling a house.

Pre-sale repairs and renovations

If you have previous knowledge or experience in these upgrades, the cheapest solution is to DIY.  A piece by Real Homes listed out a number of DIY tips, from sprinkling talcum powder into the joint of creaking steps to injecting wood glue into loose knobs.

Major renovations may cost a thumping, so stick to upgrades that have a guaranteed ROI. Start on the essentials first, and the rest can be done later.


Choose an affordable conveyancer by comparing quotes from different specialists. Another option is online conveyancing, which would reduce time, effort and expenses.

It is possible to do your own conveyancing if you’re selling the property without a mortgage or you don’t have an outstanding mortgage. 

However, this is not generally recommended unless you understand legal jargon as any mistakes may cost you thousands of dollars.

Lender fees

Discharge costs can be avoided if you plan ahead when establishing your loan with the bank. 

Opt for a home loan with a variable interest rate and compare the rates from different banks. This is more flexible and lets you make additional payments or refinance at any time without penalty.

Break fees, however, are usually unavoidable. The Australian Financial Complaints Authority may only require the lender to reduce or vary the fees if:

  • The lender misled you about the fees when you took out the loan.
  • The fees are not a reasonable estimate of the extra costs the lender has to pay if you end the fixed rate period early.


Capital gains tax will not apply if:

  • The property you’re selling is your main residence and hasn’t been used to produce income.
  • You move out or stop living in your home and continue to treat the property as your main residence for up to 6 years.
  • A self-managed super fund member starts a full retirement pension from the assets of this fund.

Partial tax will be applied if:

  • The earnings generated from your super fund are capital gains from a property which you’ve owned for more than a year and then sold. CGT is reduced to 10% from 15%.
  • You hold the property for more than a year. 50% of the tax will be reduced.


Thanks to modern technology, there are now a number of ways you can effectively market your property yourself – if you don’t mind taking a bit of time and energy to do it:

  • Shift all advertising exclusively to online platforms. According to Property Now, real estate portal Domain charges a flat fee of $660 for an 8 week listing and $770 for a 12 week listing. 
  • Spread the word on social media. 
  • Capture videos and photos with your phone and offer viewers a look or a short tour of the Melbourne areas
  • Erect a ‘For Sale’ sign next to your house. A full-size professional sign may cost less than $100.
  • Advertise your property on free sites such as Craigslist, Zillow, Gumtree and AgentPages.

Real estate agent services

If you make a plan and know exactly what you need, these expenses can be reduced from the start:

  • Check out what a reasonable commission rate is for your area and property and compare different agents’ fees. 
  • You could avoid the agent’s commission and go for a flat fee for selling your property which includes all the services you need.

Professional styling and staging services

Reap the benefits of staging while paying less:

  • If your furniture and décor are still in the house and can be used, this cuts down on transport and rental costs for more items owned by the stager - however, as the stager will have to envision and decorate around your items, this may increase labour costs. Carrying out a deep-clean and depersonalising your home before the stager arrives may reduce the workload.
  • Do your own home staging by consulting a professional stager for guidance.
  • Stage only key rooms in a vacant home such as the living room, master bedroom, kitchen and bathroom.

No matter how many high-end features you’ve added, you’re going to have to spend a little to get the offers coming in. 

But great advertising does not necessarily have to mean big bucks spent. A few corners cut here and there and careful planning could not only market your home well but also rake in a sizable profit at the end.

Disclaimer: The views, information, or opinions expressed in this blog post are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon. We have not taken into account specific situations, facts or circumstances, and no part of this blog post constitutes personal financial, legal, or tax advice to you. You should seek tax advice from your accountant, specific to your situation.

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