Financial considerations when you sell your home

Considering the financial aspects of buying your next home is about more than comparing your sale price with the cost of your new home. Take a holistic approach and factor in other moving costs and fees, as well as checking that your home loan can adapt to the change.

What’s your home worth?

What's your home worth?

Go to a number of different sources to get a well-rounded idea of what your home could sell for – here are a few ideas of where to start.

Find out your rateable value:

The rateable value (RV) provided by your local authority is used to work out your rates, but may not necessarily be a good guide to what your home might sell for. RV doesn’t include chattels, such as carpet, drapes, light fittings, appliances and built in items that can add to the value of your home.

Talk to your real estate agent:

Most agents are happy to do a free appraisal. While an experienced agent will have a good idea of the current market, it's still only their opinion and different agents could have quite different views. Some may tend to give a higher possible sale price to encourage you to sign up with them, while others may give a lower price because it makes the home easier to sell. So you may want to get a second (or third) opinion.

Look at other recent house sales:

Try to find out what other homes in the area have sold for in recent months. You can get this a Westpac Property Report, speak to your lender about getting one.

Your real estate agent can provide similar information from the REINZ (Real Estate Institute) database. And you could ask the agent to show you similar homes for sale in your area, so you get a feel for the ‘competition’.

Registered valuation:

Getting a valuation from a registered valuer may cost $500-$800, but it can be a good guide to how much your home is likely to sell for. 

Selling and your Home Loan

What happens to your Choices Home Loan when you move?

Whatever your next move is, there's a way we can help when it comes to your home loan. Here's a look at some scenarios that we can give you information on – just get in touch and we'll talk it through with you.

Take your home loan with you

When you buy a new home you can usually take your Westpac Choices home loan with you, keeping the same rate and term without paying any extra loan fees. You might also be able to use Choices for an investment home.

It's a good idea to come and have a chat with us as soon as you decide you might want to sell and move, so we can tell you what you need to do and how much extra you might be able to borrow.

Have a play with our online calculators

When there's a gap between when you sell and buy

Whether you're going to buy before you sell and may need bridging finance, or want to sell first before buying again, we can give you the right advice. Just give our Mobile Mortgage Managers a call or visit your nearest branch, or read more about these strategies on the Getting started page.

Not planning to buy again?

If you're not buying another home, your existing home loan will need to be repaid with the money you get when your home sells. If you have a fixed interest rate there may be a break cost to pay off the loan early.

We'll work with your lawyer to arrange the repayment of your loan and the discharge of your mortgage. And of course we can recommend a suitable investment for the money you get from the sale, so that it continues to work for you.

Cost of moving

What will it cost to move?

Usually the main costs you’ll have when you sell are the real estate fees and your moving costs. But you also need to be prepared to pay some one-off expenses for your new home, for instance if you need to make repairs or buy new appliances and furniture.

Real estate fees

The seller usually pays the real estate agent when the house sale becomes unconditional. Fees and costs can vary quite a bit from company to company – some companies charge a base fee plus a commission based on how much your home sells for. Others charge just a commission, and some charge a fixed fee no matter what your home sells for.

Base fees are usually around $500 plus GST. Commissions usually start at about 3.75-4% (plus GST) of the sale price, but may work out less for more expensive homes – or you may be able to negotiate a fixed fee.

You may also have other costs such as advertising (which you pay even if the home doesn’t sell).

You may be able to get a better deal, especially if you sign up with just one agency, so be prepared to talk with several agents and negotiate the fee.

Moving costs and insurance

Moving costs vary considerably. You could expect to pay up to $3,000 for professional movers to help you move within the same town or city. It also depends on how much of the packing you’ll do yourself, and you may need to consider putting things into storage too.

Most contents insurance policies don’t automatically cover your belongings during a move, so you’ll probably need to ask your insurer to give you extra cover for the day. Or the moving company may be able to provide the cover. If you’re planning to do any of the packing or moving yourself, it would pay to check what the insurance will cover.

Fees from your lawyer

You could pay around:

  • $600-$1,200 for legal fees
  • $100-$200 to discharge the mortgage.

So if you’re buying and selling at the same time you can expect to pay around:

  • $1,300-$3,000 for legal fees, plus
  • $300-$500 for other costs.

Ready to make a move? Talk to a Mobile Mortgage Managers or your nearest branch.