How do real estate commission and fees work in Queensland?
As of 2014, real estate agent fees are deregulated in the state of Queensland. A deregulated commissions system means that agents are free to set up their commission and fee structure in a way they deem most suitable. Before this change in 2014, the commission rates were the same across the state. So, what do deregulated agent fees mean for you as a seller in QLD?
It means that commissions and fees will be guided by the “supply and demand” of the free market. The effect of this is that rural areas of QLD are likely to charge a higher fee than in the more metro areas of e.g. Brisbane. The reason for this is essentially the level of activity in the market likely being lower in more rural areas and higher in city areas. In addition, prices of homes closer to city areas tend to be higher, so agents can charge a lesser commission fee on properties with a higher sale price and still make a reasonable profit.
In addition to understanding what you're likely to pay in commission and fees, it’s also a good idea to think about what it is exactly that's included in your commission and fee price. It’s easy for us to look at the terms commissions and fees and see this as one term – but often your agent will have separated these costs. It’s common practice in real estate world to have different allocation under “commission” and “fees”. Agents don’t always include their marketing, advertising and auction fees under commission, in fact, this commonly sits under the term “fees”. Where 'commission' is usually the term given to the actual percentage allocation of the total sale price achieved that the agent charges the vendor, and 'fee' sits outside of this. It’s a good idea to define how your agent charges their fees and whether they include marketing and auction fees within their commission rate.
Ultimately, the decision of how much commission you’ll pay is up to you. Always feel comfortable with the negotiation process, because good agents will be willing to work with you. It's a good idea to compare agent commission rates alongside the services they provide, so you can get the most bang for your buck.
Queensland (QLD) is the second largest and third most populous state in Australia. QLD is also known for experiencing two weather seasons: a "winter" period of mild to warm temperatures and a hot summer. However, even with all that sunshine, all the beauty that it brings hasn’t always lived up to its property potential. Natural disasters and a declining mining sector have contributed to the current property climate, but as the property boom continues to explode in Australia, investors are turning to Queensland for new opportunities.
The median house price currently sits at $547,918 according to Domain Group House Price Report in December 2017) and has increased by 0.4%. So, if you’re seeking to sell in Queensland, now may be a good time for you to start looking at how commissions and fees work, and the average rates in your area.
Below, we'll talk you through:
- Average Queensland commission
- Negotiating fees and commission in QLD
- Other real estate agent fees to consider
- Additional tips for selling in QLD
What is the average commission rate in Queensland
Here at LocalAgentFinder, we’ve dug deep into our commissions data and pulled out some very interesting stats for commission rates in QLD. The overall average rate sits at 2.62% which ranks in the top three higher averages.The below table looks at how QLD compares to the rest of the country.
State Ave. Fees
How does Queensland's average commission compare to other states?
In comparison to other states, Queensland’s average commission rate is high, and is second highest to Tasmania. Higher rates like this this could be a reflection of the way that QLD’s towns and cities are dispersed across Queensland as it is a large state in terms of area, meaning lower levels of competition between real estate agents, allowing them to bump up their commission rates.
As we would expect, the average rate in Brisbane comes in a little lower at 2.54%. The difference in regional and metro averages in QLD is highlighted in the below table.
City Ave. Commission Rate Lowest Rate Highest Rate
Brisbane 2.54% 1.00% 3.50%
Gold Coast 2.56% 1.50% 3.85%
Regional 2.69% 1.00% 3.99%
The difference between rural and city real estate agent fees is due to a number of factors, but namely supply and demand. We know that rural areas see fewer sales and so it’s necessary for real estate agents to allocate higher commissions to earn a living. We see the opposite trend in city areas, as agents in metropolitan areas see a higher volume of sales and so can afford to set up competitive commissions and fees structures.
Negotiating fees and commissions in Queensland
Although QLD has a higher skewed commission and fee rate, this doesn’t mean that you’re not in a position to negotiate your fee and commission rate with your agent. There are steps you can take to ensure you’re in a better position to negotiate. It’s a good idea to be in the know before you start to negotiate fees and commissions with your potential real estate agent. It’s a good idea to have the correct up to date information and data to inform your bottom line (averages in your area) as well as understanding the process of how commission and fees are calculated.
As experts in the property industry, we know that averages can help paint a picture for you. So, we’ve calculated averages and compared these against the entire country, to help you understand the trend. However, while we deem this information useful, we encourage you to consider it as a guide. We also encourage you to remember that commission and fees will depend on a number of other circumstances like the size of your property, the current market etc.
Understanding how commission works may also put you in a stronger position to negotiate. Here are some explanations that may help with that process:
A commission-based approach is used to encourage the agent to secure a higher price for your home which earns the agent a bigger commission. In general, agents will use one of two of the most common commission structures; fixed rate and tiered percentage.
Option 1. Fixed rate means you agree to pay a specific dollar amount upon the sale of your property and because the rate is fixed, it doesn’t matter what the final price is. This approach gives you certainty over the fee, but this approach can sometimes cause fear that the agent will sell the house quickly, even if that results in a lower price.
Option 2. The tiered percentage option operates on a sliding scale and this encourages agents to secure a higher sale price. 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 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.
Should I choose a cheap real estate agent?
It's going to be tempting to choose an agent with a lower commission rate. However, we recommend comparing real estate agents including not only their commission rates, but the services included in that fee and their sales history. This is so you can understand why they're charging the rate they are, so you can weigh up which real estate agent has a better deal.
By using our real estate agent comparison service, you can compare real estate agent commission rates as well as their sales history, marketing fees, independent homeowner reviews and more. A higher agent commission rate could put you off to begin with, but remember, the right real estate agent with the right strategy can add thousands of dollars value to your property sale.
Other real estate agent fees to consider in QLD
As mentioned, it’s important to consider other fees such as marketing fees when you’re selecting a real estate agent to sell your property.
Marketing fees in Queensland
Marketing (advertising) fees can vary significantly and be negotiated with your real estate agent. Depending on which marketing channel your real estate agent implements for your selling campaign, your marketing costs will vary. It’s a good idea to request a breakdown of marketing costs from your agent before you sign them on.
Some Queensland real estate agents include marketing fees within their commission, and other agents will charge marketing fees in addition.
What’s included in marketing costs?
- Property listings on real estate websites
- Property listings in local print publications such as newspapers and magazines
- A sign board for your property
- Professional photography and videography
- Flyer and brochure creation for open for inspections
- Social media amplification of your property listing
How much are real estate agent marketing fees in Queensland?
Marketing fees can vary between $500 and $2000 in Queensland. In Brisbane and higher populated areas areas, marketing fees tend to be more expensive compared to regional areas such as Townsville and Cairns.
Similarly to marketing fees, some real estate agents will charge an auctioneer fee on top of the commission amount. This is for the services of the auctioneer on auction day. An auctioneer fee generally sits at around the $600 dollar mark in Queensland.
Home staging is the process of preparing your home for inspections, photography and selling day. It may involve simple styling tips, all the way through to furnishing your home for the duration of the selling campaign.
A good real estate agent will either be able to give you staging advice themselves, generally as a part of their commission, or may connect you with professional home stagers in your area.
Staging can cost you a few thousand dollars, but again can vary depending on the size of your property and the duration of the selling campaign. We recommend asking for tips from your real estate agent as a first step and hire a professional if they recommend to do so.
Top tips for selling your house in Queensland
The current commission rate averages in QLD may look less than attractive compared to other states. We know this can sometimes cause fear around the process of selling. However, whilst commission rates will be a contributing factor to your decision, we urge you to consider the bigger picture. To do so, we’ve developed some advice to help...
- Commission rates are important, but they shouldn’t act as a deciding factor when choosing your agent. Cheaper commission rates as a stand-alone factor shouldn’t hold too much weight with your decision. Consider other important factors like the agent’s history, local knowledge and marketing plan.
- As mentioned, marketing plans are important. It’s a good idea to have an open conversation about their marketing strategy and the results they expect to gain from that plan.
- Consider doing a background check on your agent. Before you choose your agent, it may be helpful to find out their experience in the local market. LocalAgentFinder can do this for you, giving you relevant and useful information to help inform your decision. By looking at sales history when you compare agents, you'll be able to look at how many properties agents in your area have listed and sold.
Now that commission rates are a little higher, finding the right agent is more important than ever in QLD. We’re aware that hidden fees are always a concern when selling your house and the good news is that LocalAgentFinder is completely free (the agent you choose will only pay LocalAgentFinder a referral fee upon successful sale of your property).
As well as our free service, we also want to make things as hassle-free as possible for you and so we made our comparison service completely anonymous. This means that unless you let us know you're happy to connect with agents, they will never attempt to contact you. However, in saying that, we do recommend getting in touch with a couple of agents so you can choose the most suitable for you.
If you’d like to compare real estate agents including their fees in QLD, you can register with LocalAgentFinder today. We also have a fully operational Australian based call centre, so if you have any questions, we’re here to help. You can give us a call on 133 033.
Fess & Commissions by State
To determine average commission rates, LocalAgentFinder took the average commission of all active agents respectively on 1 May 2018. This included agents with tiered and fixed commission structures based on a $500,000 selling price. This page was updated on 4th May 2018.