What are the costs of selling my property? image 1

What are the costs of selling my property?

Budgeting for your property sale - understanding the costs involved

Wednesday 15 Mar 2023

With the cost of living rising and ongoing interest rate increases, many New Zealanders are paying close attention to every outgoing in the current economic climate. When it comes to selling a property there are inherent costs associated with the process; some may be optional, but many of these are unavoidable.

Planning for these expenses when considering selling your property is essential. We’ve summarised below some of the charges which you may be required to include in your budgeting.

Legal fees

Highly recommended when selling a property, a lawyer or conveyancer can assist with the process and provide valuable advice throughout the transaction process. Costs vary, depending on the complexity of the sale and entities involved.

Approx cost:       $2,000 upwards

LIM Report

A Land Information Memorandum can be obtained from local council to provide potential purchasers with information about the property and the land. Many sellers choose to provide a LIM Report up-front, to assist with buyer due diligence.

Approx cost:       $270

Building inspection

Again useful for removing potential barriers to purchase, many sellers choose to commission a building inspector to undertake a thorough review of the property prior to hitting the market. Not only does this give the seller the opportunity to identify and remedy issues in advance of viewings, it also provides purchasers with reassurance about the condition of their investment.

Approx cost:       $900  upwards

Agency commission

Listing with a real estate agency such as Colliers will attract professional fees for the service, usually known as commission. This is generally a percentage of the sale price and is only payable upon successful sale. Most agencies also charge an administration fee to cover compliance and administration costs (Anti Money-Laundering legislation requires specific compliance processes that attract a charge).

Agency fees are usually taken from the deposit paid by the buyer when the sale is confirmed, therefore sellers do not generally need to ‘find’ the money up-front.

Approx cost:       Can be up to 4% of sale price, dependent on agency and property value

Rates, body corporate and insurance

As the seller of a property, you’re responsible for keeping the property insured and paying the rates and any body corporate fees until settlement time. Whilst a property is considered sold when it goes unconditional, the new owner doesn’t actually take possession and therefore take over the responsibility for these elements until settlement time. If you are purchasing at the same time as selling, you may need to bridge an insurance gap between selling your property and taking possession of the new one. We recommend talking to your insurer or insurance broker about this.

Approx cost:       Dependent on the property

Photography and marketing costs

Quality photography is essential for attracting the right kind of interest. Some agencies cover this cost, but it’s worth checking out examples of their photography to be sure it’s at a level you’re happy with. Marketing and advertising are vital components of any campaign – after all, you can’t sell a secret. Your Colliers Sales Consultant will discuss a tailored marketing plan with you, driven by your timeframe, priorities in the sale and likely buyer market.

Approx cost:       $1,500 - $5,000 for marketing campaign, dependent on property value and method of sale

Mortgage break fees

If you opt to sell at a time when your mortgage is locked into a fixed term, there may be a penalty fee payable to your bank upon selling the property. Before choosing to sell, it’s worth a conversation with your bank or mortgage broker about what this would look like for you.

Approx cost:       Dependent on the mortgage structure, size and time remaining on loan

Home staging and cleaning

Presenting your property at its best will make a difference in your final sale price. An attractive property can generate an emotional response, particularly in buyers looking for a home. Maximum buyer interest means maximum competition and optimum sale price.

It’s well worth getting the carpets professionally cleaned and working through all of those little jobs you’ve been meaning to do. Home staging takes presentation to the next level; professional stagers will introduce furniture, artwork and soft furnishings designed to complement your home and show it at its best.

Approx cost – cleaning:                 Approx $50 per hour of cleaning

Approx cost – home staging:       $3,000-4,000 for a month, negotiable rate thereafter

Moving costs

When you’ve successfully secured a purchaser and it’s time to shift, there can be some surprising hidden costs that it’s worth considering beforehand. You’ll need to choose between hiring a truck and moving yourself (perhaps with help from friends and family) or utilising a professional company. Recommendations and reviews can be the best way to find the right option and right company for your property move.

There can also be costs associated with getting established in your new home, such as utility connection costs, fibre internet etc.

Approx cost – self move:                               Truck hire upwards of $200 per day

Approx cost – professional movers:         Dependent on distance and house size. We recommend getting multiple quotes.


We hope this summary has been useful as you plan to bring your Otago property to the market – many of these elements may be negotiable in pricing, so it’s well worth investing some time in exploring each area and how it pertains to your sale. For further information on selling your property, just give one of our expert property team a call.

This article in no way constitutes financial advice and we highly recommend at all times seeking expert technical and professional advice.

Article by

Sue 2

Sue Charlesworth

Sales Consultant

Queenstown Office

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