Guide to NSW Real Estate Agents Fees and Commissions
Selling your home in NSW?
Do you want to save money on fees and commissions?
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We think you’ll agree that understanding what you are being charged is very confusing.
However, knowing the process can save you thousands of dollars.
Having assisted over 3,000 property owners find the best agent to sell their property, we will share our insight into what agents charge in Sydney, NSW and surrounds and explain how the sales process works.
But before we go into that:
Enter suburb to view average agent fees for your area
Avg. Agent Fee (%)
- 0.00% – 1.50%
- 1.50% – 1.75%
- 1.75% – 2.00%
- 2.00% – 2.25%
- 2.25% – 2.50%
- 2.50% – 2.75%
- 2.75% – 3.00%
Avg. Agent Fee (%)
- 0% – 5%
- 5% – 6%
- 6% – 7%
- 7% – 8%
- 8% – 9%
- 9% – 10%
- 10% +
The figures shown are an average. Agents charge different amounts based on a range of factors including property, price and likelihood to sell.
Looking for a good real estate agent to sell your property?
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Table of contents
- How real estate agent fees are determined in NSW
- Are agent fees regulated in NSW?
- Use our NSW calculator to determine cost
- Real estate agent fees and commission in Sydney
- Comparing local agents helps you negotiate a better price
- Avoid hidden extras – be aware of other fees
- Be familiar with the legal / conveyancing process and associated costs to stay on track
- Use these New South Wales Property Resources to speed up the proccess
How real estate agent fees are determined in NSW
Let’s get started. The commission a NSW real estate agent charges for the sale of your property is influenced by many factors.
Firstly, commission rates and fees vary by geographical area.
In city and metropolitan areas you are likely to be able to achieve a rate lower than the state average of 2.1%. This is due to the large numbers of agents in these areas competing for listings as well as the higher value of the properties. In regional areas where properties generally take longer to sell and values are not as great, higher commission rates of between 2.5% and 3.5% are the norm.
Find out what commission rate the top performing agents in your area are willing to offer you.
NSW agent fees are also influenced by external market conditions. In a buoyant market an agent is more willing to negotiate on fees as the time it takes to sell your property is less, enabling them to manage more sales. In a tough market, it may take the many months to secure a sale and they want to be remunerated fairly for their time and effort.
The characteristics of your home can also factor into the commission rate you are able to negotiate with the agent. If the agent sees your home as having highly desirable features (e.g. views across Sydney Harbour) and thinks will be popular with buyers they will generally be more inclined to negotiate on their commission as a (quick) sale is more likely.
Finally, remember that real estate agent fees in Sydney and NSW are negotiated between the agent and the home owner. Your own negotiation skills come into play here and by talking to 2-3 agents you will get a good understanding on what commission rate is fair. We are believers in “you get what you pay for” though, so don’t always jump to appoint the agent offering you the lowest commission rate.
Be creative, consider adding any savings in commission to your marketing budget. That way, both you and the agent benefit by ensuring that your house gets maximum exposure.
Are agent fees regulated in NSW?
Real estate agent fees are not regulated in Sydney or throughout NSW.
Yes, you read that right!
But it gets better:
There are also no state-based industry or government guidelines or regulations. This means that you are free to negotiate with your chosen agent when signing your contract.
Things to consider when entering into price discussions with an agent are:
- the actual commission sale rate fees
- any other expenses or fees you may be liable for
Use our NSW agent fee calculator to determine cost
Use the real estate agent fee calculator below to find out how much it will cost to sell your property in NSW.
Amounts calculated include 10% GST, but exclude other costs an agent may charge such as advertising and marketing.
Enter your property value and local agent fee percentage here:
*For QLD the agent fee % figure is ignored as in QLD it is common for agents to charge 5% on the first $18,000 of sale price and 2.5% on balance. This was the regulated maximum before fees were deregulated in 2014. Note fees are negotiatble and from our experience generally range from 2% – 3%.
*For TAS the agent fee % figure is ignored as in TAS the
Real Estate Institute of Tasmania
recommends a commission fee structure, which most agents adhere to. The figure was calculated as $5523 plus 3.99% of excess over $100,000 (REIT guideline as at 1 November 2014).
*In NSW commissions generally range from 2% – 2.5% in metropolitan areas and 2.5% – 3.5% outside of those areas.
*In the ACT commissions generally range from 2.5% in metropolitan areas to 2.5% – 4% outside of those areas.
*In VIC commissions generally range from 1.6% – 2.5% in metropolitan areas and 2.5% – 3% outside of those areas.
*In SA commissions generally range from 2% – 3%.
*In the NT commissions generally range from 2.5% – 4%.
*In WA commissions generally range from 3% – 3.25%.
Real estate agent fees and commission in Sydney
With over 15,000 real estate agents in Sydney and a decline in the number of properties being listed for sale, agents are increasingly required to negotiate their commission and fees to secure new listings.
If you are a Sydney homeowner it is essential that you research and speak with the top performing agents in your area to ensure that you select the right agent to maximise your sale price but you must also understand current trends in commission and fees so that you don’t overpay for their service.
Real estate agent fees in Sydney vary depending on sub-region, and the competition amongst agents in these areas. Based on our research, the areas of South Sydney have the lowest average commission of approx. 1.7%. Sydney’s inner city areas, including the eastern suburbs and inner west, offer the next lowest average commission rates of approximately 1.9%. The north shore and Parramatta generally attract slightly higher commission, of approx. 1.9% and 2-2.2% respectively.
When negotiating commission with your agent it is important to be aware of the different fee structures available. There are generally 3 models used by different agents in Sydney, outlined below.
- Flat fee model – The agent is paid a pre-agreed flat dollar amount, regardless of sales price (this is the model utilised by Purple Bricks)
- Percentage of sale price – The agent is paid a pre-agreed percentage of the sale price. This is the most common fee structure used by agents in Sydney.
- Incentive based model – The agent agrees to a lower base commission rate (this could be a dollar value or percentage) plus received a “bonus” if the sales price meets an agreed amount. Your imagination is the limit here!
See our real estate agents in Sydney page for insights into Sydney’s top agents and its property market.
Comparing local agents helps you negotiate a better price
A word of caution:
Deciding which real estate agent to sign up to sell your property can be a daunting experience.
Don’t we know it!
However, it is in your best interest to spend some time comparing your local agents against each other to find the one that is right for you. It will also give you the information that will allow you to negotiate more comprehensively on a commission rate.
Our website can help you compare local agents and make the decision easier.
We will show you how to find out and compare information about:
- the agent’s relevant experience
- properties sold
- prices achieved
- average days on market
The below questions to ask your short list of agents can also help with your decision.
Ask questions such as:
- what are they going to do to achieve the highest selling price for your property
- how many homes have they sold in your area
- what prices did they sell for
Ask each of the agents you are comparing for references.
A good agent will be able to supply you with plenty of references, both written and verbal. A referral from a friend or family member can be useful in identifying an agent to research, but is not to be solely relied on when deciding which agent to sign up with.
Avoid hidden extras – be aware of other fees
When selling your property in Sydney, NSW, you may also be liable for fees other than the commission.
Let’s take a closer look.
A NSW real estate agent may also charge you fees for:
Did you know?
Online advertising in NSW is mostly done through domain.com.au and realestate.com.au.
These are the dominant real estate advertising websites in NSW and receive the most traffic from potential buyers.
What are their fees?
They range from around $400 for a standard listing and up to $5,000 for a premier listing on realestate.com.au in high-value inner Sydney suburbs such as Vaucluse.
To begin with:
Traditional media such as newspapers and magazines are also well-used.
National newspapers such as the Sydney Morning Herald and the Daily Telegraph are widely read by potential buyers from outside your local area.
However, local Sydney publications such as the Mosman Daily, Wentworth Courier, Manly Daily and Hornsby Times are also used to capture the interest of local buyers.
The cost of advertising in traditional media publications will vary depending on your property’s target demographic, as will the effectiveness of using such publications.
Other advertising opportunities used regularly are:
- investor databases
- landlord databases
- corporation databases
Your chosen agent will be able to identify those which are most suitable for you and your situation. See what advertising the top agents in your area recommend.
Preparing your property for sale is one of the most crucial parts of the selling process.
A well-presented property is more appealing to buyers and a great first impression on all potential buyers is essential. Being prepared with professionally-created photographs and a floor plan can help potential buyers greatly.
Visually market your property so potential buyers can view it in person.
Professionally taken photographs of both the internal and external areas of your property are a valuable marketing tool.
They allow potential buyers to:
- visualise your property without having seen it in person
- remind themselves of it after a visit.
We have found that having a professional take photographs costs around $300-$400 per property.
Having a professionally drawn up floor plan can be a useful tool for many sellers.
Think we’re exaggerating?
Online viewers of your property can use it to visualise the layout of your home and physical visitors can make notes on it during their visit to keep your property clear in their mind. The cost for a professionally created floor plan is around $200 per property.
Be familiar with the legal / conveyancing process and associated costs to stay on track
Generally, there are 14 stages associated with purchasing and selling a property in NSW.
1. Preparing the contract of sale
The first stage in the conveyancing process is to prepare The Contract for the Sale and Purchase of Land.
So far so good.
This is prepared by the seller’s solicitor or conveyancer, ready for an offer to be made. A solicitor or conveyancer can charge anywhere from $500 up to $4,000 to prepare the contract, make amendments as required and to manage the transfer of title.
2. Making an offer
The second stage is where the potential buyer makes an offer to purchase the property.
The seller may or may not accept the original offer and negotiations over the price and terms of the sale may begin.
3. Paying a holding deposit
As a sign of good faith and to show genuine interest in the property, the purchaser may decide to pay an initial deposit called a holding deposit.
Pretty self-explanatory, right?
Generally non-refundable, the amount of the holding deposit is usually 0.25% of the purchase price or the amount defined by the seller or the seller’s agent.
4. Buying at auction
The fourth stage is in regard to purchasing the property at an auction. Before the auction, both the seller and the purchaser have certain responsibilities to have carried out.
What do these responsibilities entail?
The seller should have had their solicitor or conveyancer ensure that that everything is in order by examining the sale contract. The purchaser should have all their finances arranged and any necessary property inspections completed.
In addition, for the purchaser to make a bid at the auction, they should have provided the selling agent with:
- their name
- their address
- proof of identity
These details are then recorded within the Bidders Record and each registered bidder is provided a number.
During an auction, the seller would set a reserve price, which is the lowest price the seller is willing to accept. The purchaser does not usually know the reserve price. If during the auction bidding was to rise above the reserve price, the property could be sold.
However, if the highest bids were below the reserve price, the seller’s agent would then either try to negotiate an acceptable price with the interested parties or just leave the property on the market.
Selling your property at auction will cost you further fees, which is in addition to the agent’s commission rate for the purpose of marketing, advertising and other fees.
5. Exchanging of contracts & paying a deposit
The fifth stage is concerned with exchanging contracts and paying a deposit.
Here’s all you have to do:
The seller and purchaser each sign one copy of the contract. The copies are then usually exchanged between the parties’ solicitor or conveyancer, except with regards to auction sales when the agent exchanges the contract. The exchange of contracts could occur either by mail or face-to-face. The deposit is usually around 10% of the purchase price less the initial holding deposit.
6. Insuring property before settlement
The sixth stage is where the purchasers may choose to insure the property before they take possession of it. Even though the seller is responsible for any damage until the completion of sale, purchasers are choosing to take out their own insurance from the time the contracts are exchanged to reduce their level of risk. Property insurance costs will vary depending on each property’s individual circumstances.
7. Cooling off period
The seventh stage refers to a cooling off period where the purchaser could revoke the contract before the end of the cooling off period. In New South Wales, the cooling off period is five business days from exchange unless waived by the purchaser who has received a Section 66W Certificate from a solicitor or conveyancer.
It is not automatically applied.
It requires the consent of both the seller and purchaser for it to be applicable. The purchaser who cancels the contract of sale then forfeits 0.25% of the purchase price.
8. Transfer of property title
The eighth stage is with regards to the transfer of the property title.
Now, this is very important:
The purchaser’s solicitor or conveyancer prepares the transfer document and gets the purchaser to sign it. The purchaser also then pays for any stamp duty due at the time of the document registration. The purchaser’s solicitor or conveyancer then sees to it that the transfer is sent to the seller’s solicitor or conveyancer for the seller to sign.
The stamp duty varies depending on the property value.
9. Time for completion
In NSW, the time for completion of the sale is generally around six weeks.
However, this varies from state to state unless it is set by agreement between the seller and purchaser.
The time needed for completion of “off the plan” purchases can be quite lengthy, as building and/or construction needs to be completed and new titles need to be issued first.
The tenth stage requires the purchaser’s solicitor or conveyancer to send out a list of formal questions about the property called requisitions on title. This is sent to the seller’s solicitor or conveyancer who will reply to these questions.
These questions are asked to help determine various factors such as whether there have been general defects in the title, if there has been construction on the land or if the property is spoiled. The answers to questions can include information, which may not have been disclosed or even discovered during the inspection of the property.
But that’s not all:
If the questions are not replied to satisfactorily or if undisclosed information arises, then the purchaser can:
- revoke the contract
- sue for damages
- seek a reduction within the sale price.
11. Outgoing mortgage
If the seller has a mortgage over the property, the mortgagee should be contacted to allow a payout figure to be obtained.
Keep in mind:
The mortgagee should also attend at the settlement to hand over a discharge of mortgage as well as the certificate of title or title deed.
During settlement time, adjustments are often made.
This is for things such as:
- council rates
- water rates
- strata body corporate contributions
- land tax
- rent if the property is tenanted.
The purchaser will mostly be responsible for any arising adjustments.
Settlement is the day when solicitors, mortgagees and/or conveyancers meet and hand over the title documents in exchange for payment. The sale becomes settled or completed only when the purchaser pays the balance of the purchase price, plus or minus any adjustments to the seller.
We’re not through yet:
A final search of the title is also obtained on this day to make sure that the property is cleared from any obstacle or interest that may have been recorded for between the date of exchange and settlement.
14. After Settlement
Now we come to the final stage.
This is where the purchaser or purchaser’s mortgagee needs to register the transfer documents with the Land Titles Office where there will be a:
- discharge of any existing mortgage(s)
- withdrawal of any caveat(s)
- transfer of title from the seller to the buyer and mortgage from the purchaser to the new mortgagee if required
The Land Titles Offices then advises the relevant authorities that the property has a new owner.
It’s that easy.
Use these online New South Wales Property Resources to speed up the process
And if that’s not enough, here are two useful NSW online resources which have been established by The NSW Office of Fair Trading and The Real Estate Institute of NSW.
Both of these websites have useful information on selling property within the state of New South Wales.
Firstly, the NSW Office of Fair Trading, has useful information on selling a property within NSW.
They explain in clear terms what happens during the sale process and what to consider when selecting an agent. Useful videos are also available for learning more about the buying and selling process and what steps you need to take when putting your property up for sale.
Secondly, the Real Estate Institute of NSW is a real estate agent advocacy organisation, established in 1910 to ensure professional standards and best practise in real estate.
The REINSW has a comprehensive range of resources available to the public through their website. They have a wide range of videos and fact sheets which cover areas such as:
- buying and selling essentials
- choosing an agent
- local authority regulations.
And that’s all there is to it!
Here’s The Next Step:
Looking for a good real estate agent to sell your property?
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