Real Estate Agent Fees in QLD
Tips on shortlisting agents
When it comes to selling properties in Queensland, there can be a lot to think about. First and foremost, you need to find someone that you can trust to represent you and, what is most likely, your largest financial asset.
One thing that you need to be on the lookout for in a prospective agent is local experience. A good agent should know their servicing area like the back of their hand. They should know what’s currently on the market, what’s recently sold, how the area is performing and all the little things in between, like the best coffee joint in town.
Local experience plays a crucial role in being able to sell properties well, but an understanding of particular property types will also go a long way in marketing homes effectively. For this reason, some agents choose to be specialists and focus only on particular home types, such as apartments or houses. It’s important to note, however, specialist agents will often come at a higher commission rate, as their services will be tailored to their specific expertise. Given this, it’s important to decide early on what kind of real estate agent you want to handle your property and take into account the costs of their services.
"Local experience plays a crucial role in being able to sell properties well, but an understanding of particular property types will also go a long way in marketing homes effectively."
When it comes to paying them, there are two main costs to consider - fees and commission. Generally speaking, fees are there to cover advertising and marketing expenses. They’re usually set payments to cover the costs of high resolution photos, flyers, online listings and other marketing materials.
Fees can set you back anything from $500 for a basic package, to anything in the thousands for a comprehensive campaign. It all depends on how extensive of a reach you’d like your campaign to be. However, as a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended for sellers to set aside between 0.5%- 1% of the total property value for the marketing budget.
Commission, on the other hand, works differently - it’s a percentage of the property’s selling price and is what an agent is paid for selling your house. Commission varies between areas and individual agents, with local market forces also influencing the final rate charged.
In regional areas, for example, commission tends to be slightly higher as fewer agents mean less competition, and fewer customers mean properties take longer to sell than in urban areas.
Nationwide, the lowest commission you're likely to find is about 1.6%, while the highest push at 4%. The average charge for Queensland currently sits at about 2.8%.
That means if you sell your house for $500,000, then commission billed at an average rate will cost you approximately $14,000.
Here’s where it gets tricky. Not all agents structure their fees the same way. Some will include advertising and marketing costs in their commission, and therefore quote a higher rate.
‘Tiered’ commission, also known as ‘sliding scale’ commission, is another variation. The idea is that it rewards agents for securing higher sale prices by charging vendors a higher commission rate passed a certain amount. For example, an agent could set a 2% rate on the first $600,000 and 5% on anything above that.
This commission structure is particularly common in saturated markets where agents can take advantage of high demand.
Clearly, there are a lot of options when it comes to real estate agent fees and commission - but for good reason. Commission structures are intended to be flexible to allow room for negotiation. This is especially the case as there are no longer any government regulations concerning commission in the real estate industry.
To better your chances of negotiation, it’s integral to not only find an agent that you can trust to represent you and your property well, but also someone that you feel comfortable doing business with. OpenAgent’s pre-screening process can help you to compare agents side by side so that you can walk into the home selling process with confidence.
"To better your chances of negotiation, it's integral to not only find an agent that you can trust to represent you and your property well, but also someone that you feel comfortable doing business with."
To estimate how much commission you could be paying for the sale of your home, try using our handy commissions calculator. Or to find out more about commissions and how to negotiate, take a look at our commissions guide.
Real Estate Agents in QLD
With all the active real estate agents servicing Queensland, it can be difficult to make a pick, especially if you’re doing all the research yourself.
But don’t stress, OpenAgent is here to help. With over 15,000 reviews on 1,900 agents in Queensland, our site makes comparing agents simple. We can help you find a real estate agent who not only charges a fair commission, but also someone who can get you the best possible price for your property.
The Queensland property market varies by location, with Brisbane being the most active and expensive market. In saturated markets such as this, you can expect lower commission rates due to the high levels of supply and demand, and abundance of real estate agents. Here, commission usually sit between 2% and 2.5%. In rural, semi-rural or generally less saturated markets, however, you can expect to see commission in a slightly higher range of 2.5% - 3.5%.
Taking both markets in consideration, the average Queensland commission rate is around 2.62%. Keep in mind though, area is not the only factor that determines commission - your property, and agent’s experience and proven track record will also influence the final rate charged to you.
Why OpenAgent is different
OpenAgent was born out of the need to fill a gap in the Australian real estate market. Sellers today want information about the people they are trusting with their homes. However, doing the research yourself can be extremely difficult and time-consuming.
To take the stress out of doing research, we’ve collected information on real estate agents across Australia, including sales performance and customer reviews. Not only will this help you to compare agents side by side with ease, but it will also save you the energy of needing to put in the hard yards yourself. The best part about it? It's completely free of charge.
How does it work? When a property is sold, the real estate agent pays us an industry standard referral fee of 20% of their commission. Our goal as a company is to provide a forum where everybody benefits from our services. On one hand, sellers get access to a personalised customer experience that helps them to find the right agent for their needs. While on the other hand, top performing agents are rewarded for their honesty, integrity and exceptional sales abilities, with online promotion and business growth.
"Our goal as a company is to provide a forum where everybody benefits from our services."
To make this all happen, our team is comprised of experts from a wide range of backgrounds, including ex-real estate agents, designers, IT wizards, marketing specialists and business professionals - so you know the service you’ll be getting is the best-in-class.
Find Agents in QLD
No matter what area you’re considering, OpenAgent is here to take the hassle out of researching for and comparing agents in QLD. By using our search function, you can compare agents in your area of choice based on their sales, average listing prices, reviews and customer testimonials - so you can make the most informed decision possible when finding the best agent to represent you and your property.
If you have any questions regarding our service, feel free to contact us directly at OpenAgent on 13 24 34. We're Australia's number one real estate agent comparison website and we can help you sell your home for the best possible price.
Are cheap agents worth it?
It may be tempting to hire an agent who offers the lowest commission rate, however in just about every case, you’ll be far better off investing a little more money for quality service and assurance. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for.
Some agents may have a high turnover rate and they may have low commission, however, these aren’t indicative of the quality of service they’re able to provide. A higher commission rate, on the other hand, suggests that an agent has the experience, credentials and skills to achieve a rewarding sale and back up their premium charge. For this reason, it’s worthwhile investing in a better agent for a higher commission, as the final sale price will most likely mean more money in your pocket.
"Some agents may have a high turnover rate and they may have low commission, however, these aren't indicative of the quality of service they're able to provide."
Negotiating fees with agents
Once you’ve done your research and shortlisted several suitable agents through OpenAgent's free service, the next step is to conduct interviews with your favourite 2 or 3 agents to find out more about each of them, their fees and how they work.
Here are our tips for negotiating fees and commission rates with your shortlisted agents.
- Start by asking each agent about their commission structures. This will help you to compare their fees and services with that of other agents.
- If you’re after a street record sale for your property, don't expect a low commission rate. Record prices require a lot of work to run comprehensive marketing campaigns, open homes, buyer follow-up activities and admin successfully.
- Consider taking on a tiered or sliding scale commission structure. This can motivate your agent to work harder for your property.
- As we’ve previously discussed, finding an agent with the lowest commission shouldn’t be your biggest priority. While it’s worth doing your research and negotiating with your agent for a good commission rate, it’s also important to keep in mind that a budget deal will more often than not achieve a budget selling price.
- As marketing and advertising may not always be included in an agent’s commission rate, it’s a good idea to factor these fees into your cost estimates, so that you’re not left unprepared for any hidden surprises.
- If your property has a high value or is in a particularly saturated or bustling market, you can negotiate with your agent on a lower commission rate, as higher property values and increased competition mean agents have the ability to generate more income and hence, wiggle room to set competitive prices.
- As commission rates are unregulated in Australia, you’re free to negotiate with your agent a rate that’s suitable for both you and your property.
- Lastly, it’s recommended to have all the terms and conditions of your agreement with your agent in writing from day one - including fees and commission structure details. This will prevent you from being left high and dry when it comes to selling time.
Ready to interview agents? Make sure you’re prepared to ask all the essential questions with this handy interview checklist.
Don't have the time to start interviewing agents?
Don’t have time to interview your agents? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. At OpenAgent, we offer free agent pre-screening services to take the stress out of selling your property and help you narrow down your options as quickly as possible.
Final cost tips
Before you draw up that all important budget, here’s a quick guide to help you estimate your overall costs. It's a good idea to be informed of all the potential costs that could spring up.
Advertising and marketing fees
As mentioned, not all real estate agents will use a flat fee for their marketing and advertising costs. Some will include it in their commission rate. For this reason, it’s a good idea to prepare ahead of time and factor in these costs into your estimations.
As a rule of thumb, it’s recommended for vendors to set aside between 0.5% and 1% of the property value to cover the costs of marketing and advertising. For a home worth $500,000, it means setting aside a budget of between $2,500-$5,000.
Some agents might offer cheaper marketing packages, but if you’re spending less than $1000, don’t expect anything more than a simple online listing. Better, more comprehensive campaigns that have extensive reach will come at a higher price tag. To find the most interested buyers and achieve a great sell price, it’s recommended to not only invest in a top agent, but also in excellent marketing campaigns.
"To find the most interested buyers and achieve a great sell price, it's recommended to not only invest in a top agent, but also in excellent marketing campaigns."
Unconditional commission is very common and something to be wary of. A lot of real estate agent contracts will state that the commission must be paid, regardless of whether the sale is successful. This means, you’ll still be liable to pay the agent, as a vendor, even if the sale falls through before settlement. To cover your bases, it’s a good idea to ensure that the buyer’s deposit is at least equivalent to the agent’s commission.
In addition to this, it’s also recommended for you to speak to your agent about their policy and ensure you’re across the terms and conditions of your agreement.
Another measure you can take is to have your solicitor review all agent contracts prior to signing to ensure that all of the clauses stated are reasonable and fair.
Don’t forget to prepare for GST! A 10% tax is required for all real estate transactions, and unlike normal everyday purchases, this figure is paid in addition to any real estate agent commission charged.
Capital Gains Tax
When selling properties, a CGT tax is charged for any property that you don’t live in. For example, investment properties or industrial/commercial premises.
CGT, on the other hand, doesn’t apply to homes or dwellings that have been resided by the owner. However, defining factors here include: the location where your mail is delivered, where you are registered on the electoral roll and where all of your personal belongings are kept.
You can expect an auctioneer to cost, on average, around $400.
Other selling costs to consider
Conveyancer or solicitor fees
Many people are surprised to learn that you need a conveyancer/solicitor not only when you are buying a house, but also when you are selling. The legal processes that need to be completed when buying also need to be performed when it comes time to sell.
You should put aside about $800 to pay a conveyancer or solicitor.
Mortgage discharge fee
Most banks will require you to pay a discharge fee if you have an outstanding mortgage at the time you sell your home. This fee covers the release of the mortgage and all the administration involved in the process.
These fees vary between banks and home loan terms, but you can expect a fee of approximately $1,000.
If you're not planning to undergo any major renovations before you sell, be sure to budget for a last minute makeover to ensure your property is looking its best. Minor improvements like painting trims, changing handles and taps, planting foliage and fixing cracks, for example, will help to create a good impression on prospective buyers and push up that sale price.
"Minor improvements will help to create a good impression on prospective buyers and push up that sale price."
We recommend setting aside $1,000 for these fixes.
For more information have a look at our comprehensive renovation guide.
After you sell your house, it’ll inevitably be time to get moving, so you’ll need to consider the cost of transporting all your furniture and belongings in your budget.
Unless all your friends have utes, it will generally cost about $800 to hire a truck.
Are you ready to find real estate agents and make a head start on your property sale? If so, pop in your postcode or suburb below and start comparing real estate agents in your area now.
You can also refine your search by using our SmartSearch tool, which uses your answers to a few quick questions to match your needs to the most suitable agents.