How much does it cost to sell a house in the Northern Territory?
Thinking of selling your house in the NT? In this guide, we take a look at the major costs of selling a house in the NT, including average real estate commission fees and conveyancing costs. We also explain some important factors it’s handy to know when selling property in the Top End.
Key costs to consider when selling your house in the Northern Territory
The costs of selling a house in the NT can, on average, be more expensive than elsewhere in Australia due to the smaller size of the property market. The smaller market can present more challenges to sellers, with a lower median house price and fewer potential buyers than other states. If you’re considering selling, the help of a good real estate agent who has experience negotiating the often-volatile NT property market can be a sound investment for a successful house sale.
These are the key costs of selling a house in the NT:
Agent fees and commission
Average real estate commission is around 2.80% of the sale price in the NT. In Darwin, the Territory’s largest property market, average real estate commission is slightly lower at 2.78%. As a guide, 2.80% commission on the sale of a $500,000 home equates to around $14,000 in real estate commission fees.
Real estate commission in the NT is higher than the national average of around 2% to 2.5% due to a smaller population. With less property for sale and less competition between real estate agents, agents raise their rates to meet the market. As such, you’re more likely to find lower commission rates available in more-densely populated Darwin than elsewhere in the NT.
While it may be tempting to pick an agent with the lowest rate, it’s important to do your research and find an agent with a proven track record of selling in the NT. Commissions and other real estate fees are negotiable, and working with a more experienced agent for a higher commission can mean selling your property at a higher price.
If you’re thinking of selling your house at auction, you’ll need to hire a professional auctioneer who can charge between $400 and $1,000 for their services in the NT. You’ll also need to budget for a larger marketing campaign than if selling via private treaty. In some cases, a $700,000 house can cost between $6,000 and $9,000 to advertise for auction.
Conveyancing costs in the Northern Territory
Base conveyancing costs in the NT range between $800 to $2000 but you can generally expect to pay $1,000+. This cost doesn’t include professional fees and search fees incurred by your conveyancer or solicitor as they do their job. Professional fees can include administrative costs and may be in the vicinity of $800. Search fees, also called disbursement fees, are charged by the Land Titles Office for providing the reports your conveyancer needs to complete your property sale. These can cost approximately $500.
Not all real estate agents include marketing costs in their commission structure, so it’s a good idea to budget for these separately in your selling costs. The general recommendation is to put aside between 0.5% to 1% of the property’s total value for marketing and advertising.
Unlike every other Australian state and territory, there’s no land tax in the NT.
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Additional costs and why these costs are also worth investing into
While you may not be planning on major renovations before selling your house, investing in a few preparations to present a clean, well-maintained home can help attract buyers. You don’t need to fork out on expensive overhauls – some of the most value-adding fixes are simple repairs, garden maintenance and professional home staging. Minor cosmetic updates in the bathroom and kitchen – such as replacing outmoded fixtures – can cost under $2,000 and may add to your final sale price.
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.
Challenges with selling a house in the Northern Territory
Selling a house in the NT can bring its own unique challenges that aren’t as commonly encountered in other states. These challenges are:
Outside of Darwin and its satellite city Palmerston, most of the NT is considered rural, remote or very remote. It can be challenging to find potential buyers in these areas and properties may take longer to sell. Getting the help of a local agent who’s well-versed in the area can be an invaluable selling strategy.
A large portion of the NT is Indigenous land. This can make selling properties on this land more difficult as there are restrictions on who can buy the property (e.g., investors vs for residential purposes), what can be done with the property and complexities involved with native title requirements. In general, more legal steps are required before the sale of the house.
Preparing your house to present in best condition can be costly considering the harsh climate of the NT.
Other factors that can alter the cost of selling a house in the Northern Territory
These additional factors can also impact how much it costs to sell a house in the NT:
Unusual properties or ones with limited appeal often take more time and effort to sell, and agents may charge more accordingly.
Method of sale (private or auction)
Selling your house via auction rather than private sale typically costs more due to auctioneer’s fees and higher marketing expenses.
Agents are more willing to accept a lower rate for selling a higher value property as the sale price will still bring in a great fee for their work. On the other hand, agents may not be willing to reduce their rate when selling a lower value home.
How much does conveyancing cost in the Northern Territory?
What is the average real estate commission in the Northern Territory?
What government fees are involved when selling a house in the Northern Territory?
Can I do conveyancing myself in the Northern Territory?
Do you need to pay land tax in the Northern Territory?
Is it hard to sell rural property?