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How much does it cost to sell a house in the ACT?

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Are you selling a house in the ACT? This guide offers a close look at how much it costs to sell a house in today’s market, including how much you can expect to pay in real estate agent fees.

Key costs to consider when selling your house in the ACT

The cost of selling a house in the ACT can generally be broken down into:

Real estate agent fees and commission

The average real estate commission rate is 2.18% in the ACT but can be higher or lower depending on your location.

In Canberra, commission rates can range between 2% and 2.5%. In surrounding regional areas, commission rates are usually higher, around 2.5% to 3.5%. This difference in percentage points can translate to thousands of dollars when it comes to how much real estate commission you may pay, for instance:

  • A real estate agent commission rate of 2.18% – the ACT average – equates to around $10,900 commission on a $500,000 property sale
  • A real estate agent commission rate of 2.5% –the upper end of typical rates in Canberra and lower end of typical regional rates in the ACT – equates to around $12,500 commission on a $500,000 sale
  • A real estate agent commission rate of 3.5% – at the higher end of typical regional commission rates in the ACT – equates to around $17,500 on a $500,000 sale

The difference in commission rates between urban and regional areas in the ACT is typical of how real estate agent fees are charged around Australia. Real estate agents set their own rates to reflect the conditions of the market they’re in. Commission rates tend to be lower in high density, metro locations where there’s higher turnover rates, higher supply, higher demand and more competition amongst agents. In regional areas, fewer agents mean less competition, and fewer buyers can mean properties may take longer to sell. Agents in these areas generally must work harder to get sellers a great result.

Searching for an agent with the lowest rate may seem cost effective but isn’t necessarily the best strategy for selling your home for the best possible price. Paying a little extra in commission can buy you the expertise of an experienced agent who knows your area and how to get you the best deal. It’s important to find an experienced local agent you can trust and negotiate for a mutually agreeable rate.

How real estate agents structure their fees varies by agent. Commission is a percentage of the sale price agents receive for selling your home but is separate to the associated costs of selling, like marketing. Some agents include advertising in their quoted commission rates, which tend to be higher. Lower quotes generally exclude marketing costs – so always ask what is and isn’t included.

Commission in real estate is usually either fixed or tiered. Fixed is the most common and is calculated by multiplying your sale price by the commission rate. Tiered is an incentive-based structure that rewards your agent with a higher rate for every dollar they get over the agreed amount. A tiered commission motivates agents to work for the highest possible sale price.

Auction fees

Selling your property at auction requires the services of a professional auctioneer, which can cost between $200 to $1,000 in the ACT. Some agents bundle auctioneer costs into their fees – this is the case if an auction service is advertised as “free.” If you’re considering selling at auction, it's important to clarify with your agent if auctioneering fees are included or are an extra cost.

Auctions require extensive marketing campaigns which can be a “hidden” cost of selling your home this way. To attract buyers for a competitive auction, you need to have a far-reaching marketing campaign in place well before the big day. Typically, the cost of marketing a $700,000 house for auction can be between $6,000 and $9,000.

If you're looking to sell your home anytime soon, it's a good idea to calculate the cost of selling your home to avoid any surprises.

Conveyancing costs in the ACT

Conveyancing fees in the ACT can range between $500 and $2,200, but this depends on who does your conveyancing, your property type, the complexity of the transaction and what services are included in the fee. Your quoted conveyancing fee may not include additional expenses, such as disbursement, administrative or transaction fees, so be sure to ask for a breakdown of all possible charges.

Marketing costs 

Marketing costs when selling a house in the ACT can be anywhere between $600 to $10,000, depending on the size of your campaign. As some agents charge this separately, it’s generally recommended sellers allocate 0.5% to 1% of their property’s total value in their budget for marketing and advertising.

Additional costs

Buyers are attracted to clean, well-presented homes, and a few preparations before listing your house can help boost your selling price. You don’t need to spend on major renovations – some of the most value-adding fixes are simple repairs, garden maintenance and professional home staging. Minor cosmetic updates across your home can cost under $2,000.

Other factors to consider when selling a house in the ACT

These additional factors can impact how much it costs to sell a house in the ACT:

Leasehold land / crown land

All residential land in the ACT is owned by the Commonwealth which residents lease for a 99-year term. Residential leasehold land in the ACT is effectively treated the same as freehold land when buying and selling, except towards the end of your lease when the Government charges a renewal fee.

Property type 

Unusual properties or ones that appeal to a limited number of buyers often take more work to sell, and agents may charge more for their efforts.

Method of sale

Selling your house via auction rather than private sale is usually more expensive due to auctioneer’s fees and increased marketing costs 

Property value

Owning a higher value property can help when negotiating your agent’s commission. Agents are more willing to accept a lower rate if your sale will still earn them a great fee. Conversely, agents may not negotiate on their rate for lower value homes.

Stay on top of all the costs and processes involved with selling a property with OpenAgent's ultimate property guide.

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