Choosing An Agent

Written by in Guides on November 14, 2015

Choosing An Agent

Ultimate Selling Guide

Once you have decided to sell your property with an agent, you will be faced with the task of choosing one which is most suited to your requirements.

Selecting an agent to represent you is a very important part of selling your property. To ensure that you appoint the most suitable agent to sell your property it is important to do your research and meet with a few agencies before making a final decision.

Often vendors select an agent on the basis of commission rates, however this is not the only consideration that should be made when selecting an agent. Here are some of the most important questions you should ask potential agents to make an informed decision about who will best represent the sale of your property in the local market.

Identifying Potential Agents

It is important to meet with 2 or 3 agents before making a decision regarding the sale of your property. Below are some ways to create a shortlist of potential agents.

  • Referrals From Friends; get a referral from friends or family who have recently sold or purchased a property.
  • Online; research potential agents to sell your property online via real estate sites. Look at which agents have a high number of listings / sold properties in your area as this may provide you with an indication of who is reputable in your local market.
  • Newspaper; find out who is having the most success at auctions (if applicable) by reviewing weekly auctions results. You may wish to shortlist a few agents who have sold properties similar to yours in the local area.
  • Local Notices; explore your local shopping strip to determine which agents operate in your local area. Look at what properties are featured in their window for sale.
  • Open Inspections; go to open for inspections for properties which are being handled by local agents. Discover how quickly the agent will respond to your request and the value of the information he / she provides.

Our Top Tip: It is important to meet with agents face to face to discuss the potential sale of your property and ensure you are choosing the right agent to represent your property

Questions To Ask When Interviewing an Agent:

  • Are you a licensed real estate agent? It is important to make sure that any potential agency that you will appoint is licensed by the relevant state authority to practice real estate.
  • Are you a member of your relevant state based real estate institute? In most states across Australia agents who are members of the relevant real estate institute in their state have to abide by a strict code of conduct and rules of practice. Institute members also need to complete a series of training courses each year to remain a member making them the most highly educated in the industry.
  • How long have you been in this industry? Determine how much experience they have in the real estate industry and also how much experience they have in your local area of the market.
  • Can I get the contact details for your last few clients? To determine where an agency’s strengths and weaknesses are, as well as understand the level of service that you may experience it can be a worthwhile exercise to speak to past clients of the agency.
  • What is your success rate? How successful have they been recently with selling properties listed with their agency? Did they meet the asking price or did they withdraw the property?
  • How many listings do you have at the moment? Are they representing many other vendors, hence being reputable and successful? Bigger however is not always better, it is also important to establish if you will be a priority and get the service and attention you need to achieve the best sale price for your property.
  • What is your process for finding potential buyers? Do they already have an established database of potential buyers looking for a property similar to yours? If not, what is their plan to find new potential buyers?
  • How do you plan to advertise my property? What marketing strategy will they adopt to promote your property? What can they provide for you that the competition cannot? How often will they advertise?
  • How often will you provide feedback from potential buyers? When will they contact you to let you know buyer interest and feedback?
  • How can I contact you? How will they be accessible to you during the sales process?
  • What are the terms and conditions? Prepare and know exactly  the terms and conditions of the agreements before you sign. In particular, make sure you understand what conditions are in place if you want to end the agreement with your agent.
  • How many sales people does your team consist of? Will this agent have adequate support and backup in order to manage this sale? If your allocated sales representative is unavailable, will they have someone who is also qualified to step in?
  • What are your fees?  How much do they charge for their services? Refer to the table below which details agent fees by state.
  • If the house does not sell, will I incur any charges? It is important to establish if fees are payable upon the successful sale of your property or if you will incur fees regardless of the outcome.


Real estate agents work on commission; however, their rates vary from state to state, as outlined below:

State or Territory Information Fee
Queensland (QLD) The Queensland Government has set agents fees. 5% of the first $18,000 of the sale price and 2.5% of the balance of the sale price.

10% GST is also payable on the agent’s fee.

Tasmania (TAS) Effective 1 July 2010 these fees, including GST, are recommended by the Real Estate Institute of Tasmania but members are not bound by them.

Where the purchase price does not exceed $10,000: 10.73% with a minimum of $100.

From $10,001 - $50,000: $1,073 plus 5.85% for every dollar over $10,000.

From $50,001 - $100,000: $3,413 plus 4.10% for every dollar over $50,000.

From $100,001 upwards: $5,463 plus 3.88% for every dollar over $100,000.

Rest of Australia The amounts charged by agents in these states / territories are not set by law or the real estate institutes. You can negotiate with the agent with respect to commission, fees or other expenses that you may be required to pay. Commission rates chargeable by agencies are at the discretion of the agent. Ensure all fees are negotiated and established before an agreement is signed. Contact your relevant state authority for more information.

Data is provided from the Real Estate Institutes of Australia

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