What commissions should you pay your Queensland real estate agent?

Brisbane

If you are planning on selling your home in Queensland and are talking to prospective agents, you would want to ensure you are not overpaying them in commissions. Depending on the value of your property, this could amount to thousands in dollars of your hard earned cash.

Sadly, there is no single answer to how much you should be paying. It depends on a wide range of factors.

The first thing to note is that commission rates on residential home sales in Queensland have been deregulated since December 2014. Before that, the state set a maximum commission rate of five per cent of the first $18,000 paid for a property and then 2.5 per cent of the balance.

These days, commissions are negotiable just like they are in rest of Australia. The average commission paid to real estate agents across the country is around 2.30 per cent. In Queensland, commissions can be as low as one per cent or as high as 4.5 per cent, but they are usually between 2.5 per cent to three per cent.

Image of a well presented traditional Queenslander home.

Here are some of the factors that could influence the commission rate:

What’s included in the rate?

Sometimes quotes of higher commissions also include some advertising costs or other services from the agent.

The property itself

Some properties are harder to sell, requiring more of an agent’s time and energy.

The value of the property

Some agents may accept a lower commission rate on a property that has a comparatively high value because they know they will still get a great payout once it is sold.

Location

Commissions do vary by location and whether they are in metro or rural areas. They are more likely to be lower at around 2.5 to 2.75 per cent in built-up areas, such as Brisbane, Cairns and the Gold Coast, and higher at around three per cent in regional areas, such as Cunnamulla and Tambo.

Read: Best regions in Queensland to buy property

The supply and demand of agents

If there are a lot of agents looking for homes to sell in an area, there will be more competition and more agents willing to cut their rates in that area just to get the listing. Conversely, commission rates may be higher in areas with fewer agents as there isn’t the same level competition that would keep these rates down.

The quality of the agent

Good agents with great track records are able to charge a lot more than mediocre ones. They know their reputations will speak for them. They are already busy and know that they don’t have to slash their commission rates to attract new clients. Sometimes, it is not so much about what an agent charges you, but more about what it could cost you if you get the wrong agent to sell what is likely to be your most valuable possession.

The agent’s experience

Newer agents may accept lower commission rates to help them break into the market and build up a track record. Even though they have less experience, some may be worth the risk on because they are likely to try harder to prove themselves.

The commission structure

Some agents offer an incentive-based or tier-based commission structure rather than just a flat percentage fee. Many home sellers believe this is a good way to better motivate agents to work harder them you because the agents will earn a higher commission if they meet higher sale price targets.

Negotiation skills

The commission rate struck between you and your agent will depend on both of your negotiating skills. If you are out-manoeuvred by your agent, take heart! That means your agent is more able and more skilled to negotiate a better price for you on your property. If an agent gives in too easily or too quickly when negotiating his or her own commission rate, imagine how he or she will fare when it comes pushing prospective buyers for a better price on your home.

For some further tips to help you avoid overpaying on real estate agents’ commissions in Queensland, click here.

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