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New Data Reveals How Real Estate Commissions Fare Across Australia

November 13, 2017
real estate agent commissions

Surprising new findings reveal commissions vary considerably across the country, with South Australia having the cheapest agent commissions, at two per cent.

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LocalAgentFinder.com.au, a leading platform that enables vendors to compare real estate agents side by side based on performance history, sales and independent feedback, analysed data from agents on its platform in each state (excluding NT and ACT)*.

Australia’s highest average commission rates are in Tasmania – at three per cent – compared with the national average at 2.07 per cent in metropolitan areas and 2.54 per cent in regional areas. On a $500,000 sale, the average Tasmanian resident pays $5,000 more in commission than a vendor in South Australia.

NSW and Victoria are on par, with an average commission fee of 2.05 per cent, while WA’s average is at 2.31 per cent and Queensland average commissions are creeping up to Tasmania’s rate – at 2.61 per cent. Queensland was the last state to have its commissions deregulated in late 2014.

Matt McCann, CEO of LocalAgentFinder.com.au, says: “The average commission in NSW and Victoria are indicative of the robust market in these states – particularly in the metropolitan parts of these states. It’s interesting to see Western Australia is at 2.31 per cent, given the market’s current state, and to see the average commission in Queensland sit at 2.61 per cent.

“Prior to commissions being deregulated in Queensland, they were capped, so a high average commission could still be carrying on as an effect of that. Further, the fact that property prices in Queensland are slightly lower, on average, than the rest of Australia might be indicative of how the average commission in Queensland compares.”

While the perception may be that vendors focus on fees and commissions in their agent selection process, Matt says that for the large majority of vendors using the platform, the final decision comes down to an agent’s local knowledge and expertise.

“Interestingly, we found that agents offering vendors the lowest fees are not the agents that vendors most commonly choose on the platform. In fact, three-quarters of vendors rate an agent’s ‘ability to get the best outcome’ as the number one factor when choosing an agent when they register on the platform – not commissions.

“This indicates that agents should focus on demonstrating how they will achieve the best price for the vendor’s property based on their experience in the area and from recent sales success, rather than cutting commissions,” he says.

In terms of a fixed rate or tiered percentage, vendors through the platform are favouring a tiered percentage model to encourage agents to secure a higher sale price for their property.

“Gone are the days where vendors think negatively about commissions – they know that an agent will be motivated to secure the highest price for a property regardless and they understand that a tiered commission structure is one tactic that may encourage their agent to work towards this.

“Generally, vendors are much savvier than they were 20 years ago and understand that a lot of time and work goes into selling a property.

Our insights tell us that paying the lowest commission isn’t the focus for the majority of vendors.

They know that they might be paying their agent a little more through a tiered percentage model, but their agent may have achieved them an extra $50K-$100K.”

Average commission by state

StateAverage commission (%)
SA2%
Vic2.05%
NSW2.05%
WA2.32%
QLD2.61%
TAS3%

Average commission on a $500,000 property

StateAverage commission on a $500,000 sale
SA$10,000
Vic$10,250
NSW$10,250
WA$11,550
Qld$13,050
Tas$15,000

 
*To determine the average commission by state, LocalAgentFinder.com.au took the average commission of all active agents in each state respectively on 5 June 2017, excluding NT and ACT. This included agents with tiered and fixed commission structures based on a $500,000 selling price.

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