Can You Sell a Retirement Property in Australia?

Thinking of leaving a retirement village? Whether you’re moving back with family, overseas or on to a different village, this guide to selling your retirement property in Australia covers how you can sell your retirement property and what you should consider.

Can I sell my retirement property in NSW?

The short answer is yes – you can! However, like any residential property sale process, there are considerations that must be made in the process. These procedures can vary significantly between states. For example, selling a NSW retirement village property has some different processes from selling a QLD retirement village property. If you are considering selling your retirement village property, it’s a good idea to make sure you know what you need to do in order to sell.

Can I sell my retirement property if it is a land lease property?

A retired couple strolling through their retirement village surrounded by trees
What’s the difference between a land lease community and a regular retirement village residency?

In a land lease community, you buy the home, but not the land — meaning the home will be completely yours, but you won’t have to pay for stamp duty or council rates. (That’s the landowner’s responsibility). The home can be technically relocated should you choose to, but this is very rarely done. 

In a land lease community, you pay an upfront cost to buy the house, but sign a long term lease with the operator, to have the house reside on the operator’s land, and pay a weekly, or monthly, site fee or land lease fee to do so. Details vary from community to community and from state to state, but in most cases in NSW, there is no determined length — you can usually continue to lease the land for your home to reside on for as long as you’d like, and you can choose to sell your home, or relocate it, at any time. In most land lease communities, you also don’t have entry fees or exit fees.

This is the case with Oasis Communities, New South Wales’ leading land lease retirement community. With no entry fees or exit fees, no stamp duty or council rates, and all capital gain going back to you, the home buyer.

Traditional retirement villages, on the other hand, have a different legal title. With retirement villages, there are a few different types, either owning the property outright (which attracts stamp duty fees) or a long term lease to occupy the property itself (as well as the land it resides on). Retirement villages usually have entry fees and exit fees to pay, as well as ongoing service charges for maintenance, staff wages and other related costs. 

Whether you take up a traditional residence in a retirement village property or if you buy a retirement property that is on a land lease community, you will usually have an ongoing monthly or weekly cost. 

Stamp duty

You do not have to pay stamp duty or council rates when you own a home in a land lease community, because you don’t own the land so are not responsible for these payments. You are just leasing this land, long term — for however long you want to. When you sell your home on a land lease community, you receive all capital gains back for the sale of your home. Land lease community homes are also designed to be able to be relocated if you choose to, however this is very rarely done. 

In retirement village arrangements, if you buy the dwelling outright, you will have to pay stamp duty.

Core financial benefits of land lease communities
  • No stamp duty
  • No council rates
  • No entry or exit fees
Government rent assistance capabilities

Some people who purchase a home in a land lease community will be eligible for Government rent assistance on the site fees, if you receive the age pension and meet the other Government criteria for this assistance. In a traditional retirement village residency, in most cases, you will not qualify for rent assistance.

So, can I sell my land lease community retirement property?

Yes, you can. A great benefit of a land lease community for your retirement property is that, if you do choose to sell, all the capital gain goes back to you, and you won’t have to pay an exit fee either. And, at Oasis Communities, you can choose to list your property with whichever real estate agent you like, or Oasis Communities can sell it for you, if you’d like an even easier option.


Just as with other retirement properties, however, it’s important to look into all of the relevant policies and procedures for your state before considering the sale. This is something that your retirement community managers should be able to provide you with information for, including any state or territory regulations or processes, as well as any internal requirements, unique community selling benefits, and any other important factors to know. Ask the friendly team at Oasis Communities about your property today, if you own an Oasis Communities property and would like to learn everything there is to know about selling your retirement property.

Why do people decide to live in retirement communities (in all their various forms)?

Moving into retirement communities can have positive financial and social impacts for both individuals and couples as they enter their retirement years.

Before considering letting go of your retirement property, it’s important to consider whether the benefits of living in a retirement village or retirement community might still apply to you.

Benefits of living in a retirement community
  • When you sell or rent out your family home, you can unlock capital through the sale
  • Downsizing from a larger family home to a retirement community can help you save time and money. 
  • Retirement communities offer cost-effective living arrangements for senior years
  • Living with like-minded people of similar ages gives a better, more social, and more exciting lifestyle option.

People commonly start moving into retirement properties at around the age of 50-60, as they begin to retire or move towards retirement. During this period of time, one’s personal circumstances can change immensely, and it is important to consider the impacts your residential choices can make. One of the biggest benefits of living in a retirement community is the knowledge of what to expect and the financial security that this brings. At Oasis Communities, our over 50’s community has been thoughtfully designed to help you get the most out of life in your 50s and beyond!

Common reasons for leaving retirement villages or communities

A luxury pool area in a retirement village with loungers and shade

Buying or moving into a retirement village or retirement community doesn’t mean you are locked into staying there indefinitely. At Oasis Communities, you (or a representative you authorise to act on your behalf for the sale) can choose to sell your retirement home at any time, and for any reason. 

Common reasons that people may decide to sell their retirement home may include:

  • The resident may be moving from a retirement village or retirement community to a residential aged care facility
  • The resident may be switching between retirement villages or retirement communities, having decided to move to another property that better suits their needs
  • The resident may be moving in with relatives to stay closer to their family and friends
  • The resident may be moving overseas and will no longer reside within the property
  • If a resident passes away, a resident or authorised representative may sell the home.

For some types of legal title arrangements, the reasons for leaving may impact the procedures that must be followed. The procedures that must be followed to sell a retirement property when the resident leaves the retirement village are determined by two factors; the reason for leaving, as well as the type of tenure in place. 

At Oasis Communities however (and for most, if not all land lease communities), you can sell your property any time you please, for any reason. And if you’d like help, we can even help you with the sale.

Do I need to use a real estate agent to sell my retirement home?

When preparing to sell your retirement home in Australia, it is not a requirement to use a real estate agent. Many retirement villages or communities will even have an internal selling agent who can help you finalise the sale. You can, of course, choose to use a real estate agent if this will make the sale process easier for you and if all correct processes and procedures are followed. We are always happy to help with this at Oasis Communities, should you need it.

Capital gain vs capital loss

When your property is sold, the property can make a capital gain or loss. Your sale proceeds are primarily determined by your residence contract and the title type (retirement village and or land lease) and whether your retirement home is sold at this profit or a loss — as well as the size of that profit or loss. With a land lease community, like Oasis Communities, all the capital gain comes back to you.

What are capital gains?

If the market value of the property increases and you sell your retirement property at a profit, for a sale price higher than the price you purchased the property for, that positive difference is a ‘capital gain’. So when you own a home in a land lease retirement community, you get all of the profit back from the sale of your home when you sell.

How does capital gain affect the sale of your retirement village home?

If you own a home in a retirement village that is not a land lease arrangement, a share or portion of this gain may be passed to estate agents or a village operator. This will increase the costs involved for you as you engage in the sale of your retirement property or properties. However, those who own with Oasis Communities and other land lease retirement communities can rest assured that this is not the case for you; you get all the capital gains back, directly to you.

Types of fees when selling retirement properties

There are various fees that could be incurred when selling a retirement property. Whilst the applicability and proportion of each cost may vary between states (and vary based on the type of legal title — land lease or non-land-lease), they can broadly be classified into:

  1. Selling costs
  2. Departure fees
  3. Reinstatement costs
Selling costs

This can include marketing expenses and sales commissions involved in the process of getting your property to market through a real estate agent, private auction or through the internal sales team of the retirement village or retirement community operator. In this case, a retirement village operator may be entitled to some portion of the capital gains on your property, but they must also contribute to some of the selling costs. 

Top tip: At Oasis Communities, you get to keep all the capital gain for the sale of your property.

Departure fees / DMF (Deferred Management Fees) / exit fees

Departure fees, also referred to as “exit fees” or “deferred management fees” are costs that are incurred during one’s residency at a retirement village. It is charged when the resident leaves the retirement community, and the costs are deducted from the sale price of the retirement property.

It is important to consider these deferred management fees, whether they apply to you with the type of legal title you’re choosing, and how they will impact you and your beneficiaries in the long term, before choosing a retirement house.

Top tip: For Oasis Communities, which is a land lease retirement village option, you do not have to pay these deferred management fees when you leave or sell your property. People who own an Oasis Communities property can sell at any time, through any agent of their choice, and will receive all the money and capital gains themselves — meaning you retain 100% of the capital gain when you sell.

What happens if the owner of the retirement property passes away during their tenure?

If the owner was to pass away in their retirement property, the deferred management fee will be deducted from the sale value of the house, the proceeds of which will be given to the appropriate heir or beneficiary.

Reinstatement costs

In a retirement village, reinstatement costs are fees incurred to restore the wear and tear damage of a property to its original state through repairs or renovations. This may take into consideration the condition of similar comparable properties in the village, as well as the condition the property was in when the outgoing resident purchased the property and moved into it.

Regulations surrounding the mandatory refurbishment of retirement properties are highly dependent on state laws and regulations. In New South Wales, you are not required to make any repairs or renovations on your property before selling your property in a retirement village. This cannot be mandated on you by the village operator.

It is a good idea to do further research into the relevant local laws that will apply to you, or consult your retirement village operator for advice. Your operator is required to provide a written and verbal summary of the potential costs incurred if you were to leave, based on your contract.

What are Oasis Communities?

Oasis Communities is a land lease community that is exclusively for over 50s. 

Oasis promotes a relaxed and enjoyable way of living for over 50s in our residential communities, with a big focus on creating the lifestyle that you will love. After all, you’ve worked hard to get to where you are now. 

Oasis Communities are manufactured home estates which operate under the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act. This means that with Oasis Communities, you have the benefit of owning the home that you live in, without the costs associated with buying the land that the home is on as well. Instead, you lease the land that your home resides on, with a lease in perpetuity and a weekly site fee that covers most ongoing costs.

With affordable, comfortable and secure properties, we make it easy to enter and exit the retirement home lifestyle.

The financial benefits of Oasis Communities land lease retirement homes

At Oasis Communities, we are different from a standard retirement village. Our residential retirement villages feature various benefits to reduce financial stress when you buy or sell a retirement property. 

These benefits for Oasis Communities land lease villages include:

  • No council rates or strata levies
  • No stamp duty
  • No exit fees
  • You, the owner, can retain 100% of the capital gain when you sell. 
    • On the other hand, if you opt for a community that operates under a DMF (Deferred Management Fee) structure that regular retirement villages use, you will typically lose a large percentage of the final sale price back to the village owner. 
    • But with Oasis Communities, being a land lease, that capital gain is retained by you, as you own the property. So you keep all of the money and capital gains yourself.
    • This gives you the peace of mind in knowing that you, or your family, will not be left with a big fee that is owed to the retirement village when you leave, in addition to any ‘exit fees’ that most retirement villages have.
  • You can sell at any time, through any agent of your choice.
  • Government rental assistance (For eligible Centrelink recipients)

The Oasis Communities difference

If you have retirement in mind, there are many reasons why you should choose Oasis Communities.

Retirement living made affordable & easy

At Oasis Communities, we take the complexity out of entering and leaving retirement villages. When you choose to live with Oasis Communities, you lease the land your home lies on as a lease in perpetuity, and pay a weekly site fee —  which can be reduced through Commonwealth rent assistance via Centrelink.

When the time comes for you to sell, you are free to list on the housing market with an external agent, or conduct a private sale, or our Oasis Redhead team can sell your home on your behalf. It’s your call how you make the sale.

Quality homes & prime locations

We guarantee every home in our Oasis Communities with a 6-year warranty, so you can rest assured you will be living in a facility held to the highest standard of quality. Live every day of your retirement like a holiday, with extra resort-style facilities, from a community centre, to a swimming pool, to a spa, gym, and a dedicated village manager. We’re also pet-friendly, and welcome friends and family, both old and new, to enjoy the facilities with you.

Our Oasis Redhead community in New South Wales is a highly desired destination, located in the beautiful beachside suburb of Redhead, NSW, and right on the doorstep of Redhead Beach. Oasis Redhead embraces the laidback coastal lifestyle while remaining close to Newcastle’s buzzing centre.

Great community

Communities don’t just appear, they’re created. Oasis is the perfect opportunity for retirement living in a collective. Whether you’re looking into independent living or living as a couple, Oasis provides plenty of facilities and activities to get you involved with your new friends.

Award-winning construction team

The Oasis portfolio is being constructed by The Mavid Group, one of Australia’s largest residential builders. Their award-winning homes and estates are brought to life by our experienced and knowledgeable team. With extensive industry experience in working with local communities, planners, architects, local councils and house buyers, each residence is designed and built to meet its residents’ changing needs.

Get in contact today

If you’re looking to sell and repurchase a retirement property, rediscover your retirement with Oasis Communities.

Contact us at 1300 624 624, or register your interest online today.

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At Oasis Communities we’d love to strike the word ‘retire’ from your vocabulary and replace it with anything from ‘relax’ and ‘recharge’, to ‘explore’ and ‘discover’.

Prefer the phone? Call us on 1300 624 624