All Topics / General Property / Selling – Agents fees/tiered structure?

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Profile photo of swampy30swampy30
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 85

    Hi All,

    I am a nervous seller.  I do want to sell, but it is 16 years since I sold my last property, so I'm almost like a virgin seller – I feel I need someone to hold my hand. On the other hand, I am an accomplished buyer, no problems there.

    If anyone is in the same position, I found Michael Yardney's book, "All You Need to Know About Buying and Selling Your Home", very useful.  I felt like my hand was being held, as he outlined the nuts and bolts as well as the various negotiating tactics both sellers and buyers most commonly use.

    Anyway, I'm posting on here to get opinions re agency fee structure. I've had 3 agents view the property, chosen one, now am at the stage of signing the agency agreement.  The agents I've chosen have proposed a tiered commission structure rather than a flat rate i.e. under $480,000 fee is 1.8%, between $480,000 and $490,000 fee is 2%, $490,000 and over 2.1% fee, etc.  We think we should get around $520k going by recent sales.

    I don't begrudge the agents making a living but I don't want to appear like a mug either. So, two questions: are fees of around 2% a reasonable market rate for Sydney CBD? And any trips or pitfalls to using a tiered commission rather than flat rate?

    Love to hear your views!


    Profile photo of Steve McKnightSteve McKnight
    Join Date: 2001
    Post Count: 1,763

    G'day Swampy,

    2% seems reasonable to me.

    In regards to some quick pointers:

    a) Get an undertstanding of the 'extra costs' not in the 2%. For instance: marketing fees, advertising costs, etc
    b) Does the quoted commission include GST
    c) How long is the listing period. 60 days should be sufficient. Be careful not to lock yourself in for long periods.
    d) What is the actual marketing campaign? Who are you trying to attract? Auction / private treaty?
    e) Feedback mechanisms – agent to you, and you to agent
    f) Are you planning on staging the property? (maybe check out finishing touch in the online shop)
    g) Have you set the sale terms: deposit, closing date, etc.

    Anyway, there's some food for thought in the list above. Hope it helps.

    – Steve

    Steve McKnight | Pty Ltd | CEO

    Success comes from doing things differently

    Profile photo of TerrywTerryw
    Join Date: 2001
    Post Count: 16,213

    Hi Swampy

    There is not reason to give them a bonus for selling for less than you want.

    If you want $520,000 then give them a bit more if they achieve this. If they get more than $530,00 then you will be happy so give them a higher percentage still.

    Terryw | Structuring Lawyers Pty Ltd / Loan Structuring Pty Ltd
    Email Me

    Lawyer, Mortgage Broker and Tax Advisor (Sydney based but advising Aust wide)

    Profile photo of CharynyCharyny
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 10

    Hi Swampy

    Agents commissions shouldn't be your main consideration when choosing which agent is going to market and sell your home.

    Vendors forget that they are "employing" an agent to do a job for them and don't bother to "interview" them about their previous results.  You have owned your property for 16 years so I would imagine that your house could probably do with some presentation tips to improve it chances of attracting buyers and selling for the best price.  Did any of the agents who appraised your property suggest your home could do with some improvements or did they recommend that you sell "as is" which is typical of most agents.

    Would you sell your car "as is" or go to a new job interview dressed "as is"? No vendor ever benefits from selling the largest asset they will ever own "as  is" unless they want to sell their property for way below market value to a bargain hunter.

    Some of the questions you should be asking your intended real estate agent are

    1.  How many homes have you SOLD in the past 6 months?
    2.  How many DOM (days on the market) were each of these listings?
    3.  How many homes have you sold on the first open or in the first few weeks? 
    4.  How many of the homes that you sold achieved the first listing price? In other words how many price reductions did the agent make to get the sale?  Do you want an agent who only gets a result by discounting your sale price?
    5.  Will you do open inspections on week nights as well as weekends? Will you show prospective buyers the house outside of open inspection times?  (Sometimes buyers are not available for the advertised open inspection time once a week or the spouse may not be available and the husband/wife wants to see the property too before putting in an offer)

    <moderator: delete advertising>

    Do you want the cheapest agent or the agent who has the best track record and will deliver you the best results?

    Charyn Youngson | Houses to Impress | 0411 44 1038
    Professional Home Stager | Property Renovator | Author
    [email protected] |

    Profile photo of KevinTurnerKevinTurner
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 22

    Hello Swampy,

    More agents are using this system and it can be good for both agent and seller.  Just make sure the figure you are likely to get reflects the commission you will pay.  2% is the top of the scale you should pay.  It can be as low as 1% but if you pay peanuts you will get monkeys. <moderator: delete advertising>

    Kevin Turner | RealEstateTalk Host
    Property Academy CEO Selling your home without an agent
    [email protected] | Twitter: @Realestatetalk

    Profile photo of andrew191919andrew191919
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 13

    And don't forget that if you want to sell with an agent and yet pay zero commission ( yes you heard me right ) there are tools available to do that. <moderator: delete advertising>  I have just seached this forum and there is a scarcity of info about this. Private sale and no commission is not just alive and well, it's fast becoming the selling method of choice for thousands of aussies.

    Andrew Blachut

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