Real Estate Agent Fees in Darwin

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How do commissions work when selling your Darwin house?

A quick introduction to real estate agent fees Darwin

Darwin is the capital of Australia's Northern Territory. It is the smallest and most northerly of the Australian capital cities. Darwin boasts a sparkling harbour, a rich WW11 history, and the city's Asian-influenced foodie scene makes Darwin a pretty hot city in NT. Darwin house prices have dropped almost 9% in the last 12 months, which could explain their increase in the average commission rate over the last year and the increase in competition amongst Darwin real estate agents. Darwin's commission rates are now the second highest in the country, second to Hobart.

With a small population of around 145,000, competition in the real estate market is lessened and so naturally, there is a higher fee charge which follows the trend found in the NT as a whole. In the Darwin CBD, an agent is likely to charge a lower real estate agent fee than those based in the more rural Northern Territory areas.

Understanding how much selling your property will cost you is made easier with LocalAgentFinder’s leading online comparison service that provides you access to agent commission rates, marketing fees, unique selling strategies and more

How do real estate commissions and fees work in Darwin?

Commission rates and fees in Darwin (like the rest of the NT) are deregulated. Deregulated commission means that an agent has the power to set up their commission and fee structure based on supply and demand. Average fees in Darwin rank among the highest in the country, and so this tells us the competition is low which enables agents to set higher fees. It is a good idea to understand how commission rates are calculated in order to ensure you have the best chance to secure the lowest rate.

Let's start with the basic allocations that fall under each term “commission” and “fee”. More often than not, we will often bundle this term together when in fact, commission and fees are usually two separate costs.

Commission: This is the term usually referring to the percentage allocation of the total price of the property sold.

Fee: This is a term that is commonly associated with marketing, advertising and administrative costs.

With the higher terms currently operating in Darwin, it's more important than ever to seek clarity on what you're paying your real estate agent for. There's also an array of external factors that will contribute to the cost of commission and selling your property. For example, the location of your home within Darwin, your property type and the overall property condition.

Considering all of this, we believe that comparing an agent will help you understand commission and fee structure in Darwin. Comparing an agent will help you understand how commissions and fees are allocated and the various ways in which this is structured. Comparing agents in your area will also help give you an overview of how agents create their fee structure and their approach to selling real estate, which can help you decide what your preference is.

What is the average commission rate in Darwin?

Property prices have eased in the Northern Territory’s capital city in recent times, but the market remains steady. There are hopes that a further dip in house prices and further cuts to interest rates could lessen entry barriers into the property market. While buyers are on the lookout for properties with bonus lifestyle factors like schools and amenities close by, buyers are also buying for investment and those selling property with good development potential.

With that in mind, what should those selling in Darwin be willing to pay in commission? The below graph looks at how Darwin compares to other 6 capital cities. Although not sitting quite as high as Tasmania, Darwin's rate is the third-highest just behind Brisbane. Darwin has an average of 2.49%.

City Ave. Fee
Canberra 2.19%
Sydney 1.87%
Darwin 2.49%
Brisbane 2.52%
Adelaide 1.90%
Hobart 2.67%
Melbourne 1.93%
Perth 2.28%
From LocalAgentFinder Data Researched September 2022, based on a $500,000 property sale

Hobart has a high-ranking average commission, and this makes sense given the small population and size of Hobart which would result in a lack of competition. The same can be said for Darwin. The low population would contribute to the lack of competition that is happening amongst real estate agents. With this lack of agent activity comes the freedom for agents in Darwin to set their commission fees at higher prices. Agents in Darwin currently have no need to drive them down in order to compete with fellow local agents.

We know that market competition affects commission rates, but other factors contribute to the variation in cost. These factors include location, property type and whether or not an agent includes all services in the commission.

Agent fees and commissions vary between metro and regional areas. Factors such as average sale prices impact this. Finding out what this means for you is made easy with LocalAgentFinder’s leading online comparison service offering local agent information for sales performance, average sales price, fees and agent commission and more.

Negotiating fees and commissions with Real Estate Agents in Darwin

With such a high fee, it makes sense to gather every piece of information possible to help you negotiate offers when selling . We've created a guide to help you better understand how fees and commissions work in order to put you in a stronger position.

Commission type: Fixed rate or Tiered percentage

In general, an agent will charge commission in one of two ways.

1. Fixed rate commission agreement.

A fixed rate is calculated by agreeing on a percentage of the total sale of the property. A fixed-rate agreement means that you will always pay the same amount, which offers you peace of mind. You will never be in any danger of paying more than you had initially wanted to. The amount you agree to pay will never change, regardless of the price your property will sell for. The potential downside of this method is the danger of your agent selling property quickly to prospective buyers, resulting in a lower price for you.

2. Tiered commission percentage

Tiered percentage works a little bit differently. It's more common for people to use a tiered percentage method when selling a larger house in a popular area. Tiered percentage operations on a sliding skill and it is believed to encourage agents to get a higher price for a property. For example, you may agree to a 2% commission rate if the sale price is $480,000 or less, and an additional amount if the property is sold for more than that. So, if the sale price is $500,000 you'll pay 2% on the first $480,000 (being $9,600) and, for example, 10% on the additional $20,000 (being $2,000). The total commission payable would be $11,600. However, the potential drawback of this is that you may end up paying more commission than you had initially believed you would. There is no certainty around what you will pay in commission and this can cause unease.

There are other factors that will contribute to the final commission you will pay. The current market, the suburb in Darwin where your property is based, and the size and condition of your property will have an effect on the final fee.

Top tips for selling your house in Darwin

We have a long history of helping people sell their homes in Darwin with the right real estate agent. Along the way, we've picked up some helpful insights that will help you get there.

1. Ensure your Marketing plan is airtight

Studies have shown that after an online presence, a sign at the front of your property is one of the best ways to attract buyers in the local market. Although this is a very traditional way of marketing, it is effective. A real estate agent will be able to supply the sign for you and provide the cost. Marketing and advertising costs usually fall under the fees you pay. However, it's important to clarify what marketing costs fall under this fee (if any). Make sure you are working with an experienced agent with a sound marketing plan that includes traditional marketing methods, such as print advertising, and online advertising tactics, like online listings on real estate websites.

Depending on your real estate agent or real estate agency you go with, marketing costs may or may not be included in the quoted real estate fees. Therefore it is essential to inquire about marketing fees and strategies before choosing a real estate agent, as they can significantly increase agent fees.

2. Hire the right agent for the job

It seems like an obvious piece of advice, but we know people make rushed decisions on their choice of agent all the time. This usually comes down to a lack of time. Whether it's the family home or an investment property, selling real estate is often a busy and frantic time, so researching agents and comparing their history isn't always easy. It should, however, be a priority.

LocalAgentFinder uses your priorities to source the most appropriate agents in your area and delivers these to you. The comparison tool is free for you to use, and the real estate agent you choose will only pay LocalAgentFinder a referral free after closing the sale of your property.

3. Consider commission

The amount your real estate agent will charge you in commission is always going to be a consideration. However, we firmly believe that it shouldn't be your only consideration. Information like an agent's local knowledge, their previous history selling houses like yours, and their confidence in their ability to sell your home is important. Keeping this in mind will help you choose the best real estate agent to sell your property.

So, if you'd like to compare real estate agents in the Darwin area, look at LocalAgentFinder today and see if we can help. We also have a fully operational Australian-based call centre, so if you have any questions, you can call us on 133 033.

Knowing the agent’s fees, commissions and performance in your suburb before you meet them puts you in a great position to negotiate. LocalAgentFinder’s leading online comparison platform, selling guide and agent questionnaire gives you access to this information and much more.


Which suburbs have the highest real estate commission in Darwin?

The suburb with the highest real estate commission rate in Darwin as of May 2021 is Berry Springs which has an average commission rate of 2.75%, followed by Virginia at 2.50%. This is based on a property sale of $500k.

Which suburbs have the lowest real estate commission in Darwin?

The suburbs with the lowest real estate commission in Darwin are Girraween, Herbert and Humpty Doo, with an average commission rate of 2.00%. Bayview, Charles Darwin, Coonawarra, East Point, Eaton, Fannie Bay, Larrakeyah, Ludmilla, Parap, Stuart Park, The Gardens, The Narrows, Winnellie and Woolner come second with a commission rate of 2.36%. This is based on a property sale of $500k.

Do you pay more commission closer to the centre of Darwin's CBD?

In areas closer to the Darwin CBD, commission rates are generally lower because there's high competition and local agents try to offer competitive rates. When it comes to regional areas, real estate agent commission rates tend to be higher because there's less competition for the agents, and they can charge higher rates.

How can I get a higher sale price for my property?

From professional photography and home staging to landscaping and renovations, there are many things you can do to increase your property's sale price. However, before going ahead and spending tens of thousands of dollars, we recommend getting the advice of an experienced local real estate agent who can give you first-hand knowledge of the current market competition and sale prices.

For a comprehensive guide on increasing your home value, take a look at our related blog: Top Ten Tips to Increase Your Home’s Value Before Selling

Real Estate Agent Fees & Commissions by City

To determine average real estate agent commission rates, LocalAgentFinder took the average commission of all active agents respectively on 26 May 2021. This included real estate agents with tiered and fixed commission structures based on a $500,000 selling price. This page was updated in November 2022.