Understanding the costs of buying and selling a home

4 min read

Know the other costs you could face when it comes to buying or selling a home.

What costs to expect

The costs of buying a home include stamp duty for the property transfer and for the registration of your mortgage. Stamp duty is charged by state and territory governments so the amount you will pay depends on the location of the property and its price.

To find a stamp duty calculator relevant to your state, or territory, visit the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s Money Smart website.

If you’re selling your current home and buying another you’ll probably sell through a real estate agent and this means paying the agent a commission on the sale. Agents in your area will have different fees, so be sure to shop around.

There are also legal costs for the transfer of a property from a vendor to a buyer. You’ll need the services of a conveyancer or a lawyer to professionally and legally transfer ownership of the property you are buying or selling. Your conveyancer or lawyer will also conduct property and title searches to ensure that the seller is legally entitled to sell the property. There will be some minor charges for completing these searches.

There may be a range of fees levied by your lender such as application, valuation and settlement fees. Make sure you ask your lender or mortgage broker about these fees. You might also be required to pay for lenders mortgage insurance (LMI), as well as building and contents insurance. There are also removalist fees, council or strata fees, and water rates to consider.

The costs of moving - one-off vs ongoing

You’ve bought and/or sold a house – now it’s time to get moving. Hiring a removalist is the primary cost of moving house to consider – or you might want to do it yourself.

If you’re considering a DIY budget move, expect to pay around $100 for a small van for a day. To find a minivan in your area, check out the websites of vehicle rental firms.

At the opposite end of the scale, for a full moving service interstate or overseas, you can expect to pay more than one thousand dollars. To find a suitable removalist, you can visit the Australian Furniture Removers Association’s website.

The cost of moving house will ultimately depend on the length of your move, the extent of your belongings and whether you hire a full-service removalist or take a DIY approach. It’s also worth noting that whether you hire a truck yourself or commission some removalists to shift your belongings, moving on a weekday is generally a cheaper option than a Saturday or Sunday move, though you could have to take time off work to manage the move.

Other costs of moving house can include a professional exit clean. To hire a cleaner, expect to pay anywhere between  $20 and $40 an hour – it can be more or less depending on the going rates in your area.

Need help understanding your financial options in buying and selling property? Contact us to arrange to speak to a BT adviser
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This information is current as at 15/08/2016.

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