October 17, 2022

Hidden costs of buying a house in Queensland

A lot of ink is spilled over the price of real estate in Queensland, but aside from the purchase price, what are some other costs associated with buying a house?

Unforeseen or hidden costs can really add up and hurt buyers pockets. It is important to be as informed as possible about the kind of expenses you can expect, so you can budget accordingly.

Here are some costs to consider when you buy a house in Queensland;

Conveyancing Fee

A conveyancer’s job is to take care of all the legal work associated with buying or selling property. This includes preparing and lodging legal documents, performing searches on the property, calculating adjustments of figures such as rates, and representing the client at settlement.

We recommend you look for a fixed-fee arrangement when you are choosing a conveyancer. In a fixed-fee arrangement, the conveyancer will do all the work for an agreed-upon fee, and this can prevent your legal costs from skyrocketing.

Keylaw’s fixed fee is $825 for buyers (including GST).

Transfer Duty

Transfer Duty (sometimes called ‘Stamp Duty’) is the tax paid when ownership of property is transferred. The amount depends on the value of the property, and whether you are eligible for any concessions.

You can estimate the amount of Transfer Duty payable on your purchase using the Queensland State Government’s calculator here, and find out more about available transfer duty concessions here.


PEXA (short for ‘Property Exchange Australia’) is an Electronic Lodgement Network, and it allows settlements to take place one hundred percent online. PEXA settlements tend to be smoother, faster and they require less paperwork from buyers.

PEXA charges a fee of $124.

Use of an Electronic Lodgement Network is set to become mandatory in Queensland from February 2023.

Transfer Registration Fee

Titles Queensland charges a fee to transfer the ownership of freehold land to your name. The amount depends on the value of the property. You can estimate your fee on the Titles Office website.


Searches are a vital part of conveyancing for buyers, as they may reveal important things about the property.

The number and type of searches you need, and therefore the cost for searches, will depend on the property you are buying, and which council area it is in. If you would like an estimate of the cost for searches for your purchase, please call our office for a quote.

Building & Pest Inspection

Most contracts for the sale of property in Queensland are subject to a building and pest condition. This condition typically gives the buyer the right to cancel the contract and retain their deposit if they are not satisfied with a building and pest report which they obtain at their expense.

The cost of the inspection and report depends on the property and its location, but it is recommended that buyers set aside $400 – $800.

Bank Fees And Charges

Buyers should speak to their lenders about what bank fees and charges will apply to their loan account to avoid any surprises.

If the bank deposit is less than 20% of the purchase price of the property, the lender may also require the buyer to take out mortgage insurance.


Under the standard terms of contracts for the sale of property in Queensland, the property is at the buyers risk from 5pm on the first business day after the contract is signed. This means if the property is damaged between that time and settlement, the buyer is liable. Buyers can arrange to insure the property by contacting a home insurance company or an insurance broker.

More Questions? Give Us A Call!

The above is general information only, and it is recommended that you seek legal advice prior to signing a contract. Keylaw offers free pre-contract review, as well as personalised quotes, and our experienced conveyancing solicitors are waiting to take your call!

The above is not legal advice and is general information only.