No Fees? No Sale: What it REALLY costs to sell up

Deciding to sell is no easy decision. 

Ask any home seller or agent, and they’ll tell you it’s a pricey venture (an honest one, that is). And between lending fees, real estate costs and legal expenses, it can seem like everyone wants a piece of the pie.

But contrary to belief, costs are only ‘hidden’ if you don’t do your research; it can’t be a shock if you know what to expect. While some expenses are unavoidable, others are a matter of choice – all it takes is some careful planning, a bit of foresight (and a great agent) to start the process of selling your home with complete confidence.

We’ve put together an outline of typical expenses to get you started – however for an accurate plan of costs that you factor into your budget, our agents at Prudential Real Estate are only a phone call away! 

Pre-listing costs – flexible

For the savvy home seller, this is where you can save a lot of cash by taking the bulk of home repair into your own hands. Things to consider might be painting, cleaning or staging your home through a professional decorator, in order to increase its sales potential. For tips and tricks on how to spend little but sell big, see our full blog here.

Budget for: While every home and need differs, it’s not unusual for home owners to spend a few hundred on ‘fixing up’ to sell. However this depends on whether or not your property requires major repairs or improvements – or simply just a coat of paint.

Capital Gains Tax – for selling an INVESTMENT property

In Australia, Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is a tax levied on the profits you make when you go to sell an asset. Generally, you aren’t required to pay Capital Gains Tax if you sell the home you live in, under the main residence exemption; but it’s wise to seek advice from an accountant about your property and circumstances, and for an accurate indication of whether or not you’ll be up for it. For the latest information on CGT, head to the ATO website here.

Budget for: CGT is determined by the cost of your asset – for more information or to find out what it means for your home, click here

Conveyancing – mandatory

Conveyancing is the act of transferring ownership of a title from one entity to another. It’s a legal process that involves preparing a contract for sale – and while anyone can do their own conveyancing, the smart thing to do is to seek the services of a conveyancer, solicitor or someone that holds a licence in property law. 

Why? It’s easy to make an error, and for the relatively small cost of going through a professional, you can save yourself a huge headache and potential damages down the track should your contract or paperwork incur a mistake. Even many real estate professionals, despite being able to process the documentation themselves, will opt for a solicitor or conveyancer to assume all liability. 

Both solicitors and conveyancers can prepare a contract for sale – and while solicitors can provide a specialised knowledge for complex transactions, they typically charge more for it. Most conveyancers work on a fixed fee basis as opposed to a sliding fee basis (the higher the property price, the higher the fee), and this is one of numerous reasons that many home sellers opt to work with a conveyancer instead.

Budget for: If you’re looking for detailed and specialised service that’s also affordable, Prudential Real Estate has partnered with East-West Conveyancing for decades for their reliable service, quick turnaround and competitive rates. Prices start at $400 to have a contract for sale prepared and all documents obtained from relevant government authorities – for a quote on your home, speak to Glen Sharman on 02 9829 8494 or via

Marketing and real estate – flexible

When considering how to market your home, it’s important to know that whatever you put in, you’re more than likely to get out. While it’s tempting to save some dough here, it’s vital to recognise that a property listed through an attractive sales campaign with professional photos, engaging signage and print advertising will have a MUCH greater chance of drawing more people to your open home – and of attracting a competitive offer (or multiple!) in the end.

Budget for: The cost of marketing your home for sale can be anything from $500 for a smaller property, to $10,000 for a more expensive, unique or specialised property. As the home seller you get to decide what level of marketing you require to advertise your property, which your agent will be happy to assist with. The cost of marketing is additional to the fee that you pay your agent, as this will cover services such as professional photography, copywriting, floorplanning and in some instances, the styling of your home.

Other costs
  • Any fees applicable to paying out and discharging a loan (speak to your bank or lender)
  • Stamp duty (only applicable when purchasing another property)
  • Moving costs – see our blog How to spend LITTLE but sell BIG for tips on how to save on these.