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It is important to be fully informed about real estate commission and fees before you sign up with a real estate agent to sell your house.

The average real estate commission rates are mostly in the 2.5 -3.95 per cent range, some higher, some lower. The above link has more detailed examples of how commission is calculated. It's quite comprehensive.

You also need to be on the lookout for any additional fees, including administration, auctioning, property marketing and advertising costs and look for ways to keep your costs to a minimum. The money is better off in your pocket.

If you choose a real estate agent based solely on commission without regard for the many other factors that influence optimum sale prices, you may end up with regrets.

Sometimes, agents will negotiate real estate commission and other fees. Some refund some marketing expenses when you have an unconditional sale and purchase agreement, although some are staunch and may not.

If you want more hands-on help or advice about commission and fees, or finding a suitable real estate agent with whom to negotiate commission with, the safest place is New Zealand's specialists Agent Finder NZ. They vet real estate agents and provide valuable pre-market real estate advice like this one-page checklist for making buying and selling easier.

All expenses should be included in the real estate agency agreement that you sign, authorising an agent to list your property. If you are not absolutely clear about all the expenses, don't sign. Advice and tips about real estate commission is well worth getting.


"The difference between the highest premium companies and the lowest fee companies on a property value of $500,000 is around $10,000."

Not Just About Commission Fees

You should choose your real estate service and agent by the price they can realistically achieve along with how they go about doing this.

This can mean NOT listing with the agent who provides you with the cheapest real estate commission or highest sale price estimate in the written appraisal. High prices are sometimes estimated to entice you to list with a real agent and once done, then the problems begin and regret sets in. Get some advice about how best to compare real estate agents.

We have consistently found over the years that real estate agents who are modest about their property appraisal estimates, and hope to get more, are more reliable than an agent who over-promises and under-delivers.

If you are hearing anything unethical in your discussions with the agent, or your intuition is ringing an alarm bell, you should probably listen.

Home staging and styling alone can boost the sale price by an extra 10 to 15 per cent according to real estate agents.

Risk Of Choosing A Real Estate Agent Based On Commission

When discussing real estate commission fees with a real estate agent, it is actually more important to establish whether they have the experience and competence at selling real estate. Some are only recently qualified and you might not know.

Selling property is a complex business, legally binding and your sale price will depend more on your real estate agent than the commission you based your choice of agent on.

When assessing whether someone is the right real estate agent for you, your property type and location, look for the logic behind any recommendations they make in the real estate appraisal. Take note of how good their knowledge of the market is, along with comparisons in the information they provide, and don't be afraid to ask for examples.

If time is short or you don't have the skills to do this, you can find vetted agents and interview help here and it's all free!

Pays To Know About The Legally Binding Stuff

Another matter to consider when anguishing over commission, is the amount of legal documentation required and the agent's ability to interpret the content or their honesty about explaining information that is contained in them.

Attention to the detail in every one of these is necessary to keep you safe. Once you've signed, it's legally binding.

We've provided some examples of the types of legal documents that may be required - a little daunting, but enlightening.

These are some of the reasons why real estate companies invest a lot of money into training their agents. Getting legal detail wrong can be life changing for consumers but it can also be for real estate agents who get it wrong as they can be held legally accountable. You can see some examples of agents' responsibilities here.

Real Estate Agent Competence Influences Sale Price

It has been proven often, that when you engage an experienced and competent real estate agent, you can be confident in achieving optimum sale prices, sometimes well above their original estimates.

We know there are highly skilled and professional agents that go above and beyond to help their clients, it's knowing how to find them that's the trick.

The difference in real estate agent skill can far outweigh the difference in commission if you engage a competent marketer and negotiator so be cautious about your decision who to list with.

Pounds And Pennies

Real estate agency work is complex and the equity you end up with comes from a combination of decisions that each affect your sale price - it's not just about the commission rate.

So our advice is - consider the big picture and don't jump over pounds to save pennies.


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