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Nov 2020 – 7 Minute Read

Always try to investigate the real costs of selling your property


A real estate agent provides a range of essential services for anyone looking to buy or sell property. What surprises many people is how much their fees can vary. With such a difference in prices for some real estate agents it does beg the question, what are you really paying for when it comes to real estate agent fees in Melbourne?


To understand the price difference,, you need to know what influences the fees of a real estate agent in the first place. What it can boil down to is several things such as the location of the house, the services used, and the time invested in marketing and selling the house. 


Depending on the sale price of your house you can end up paying large service fees to a real estate agent. These large fees can be influenced by commission rates. So the more your house sells for, the larger the commission can be. As the owner of the property who’s looking to sell, you have every right to scrutinise the real estate agent fees in Melbourne that you need to pay. 


Once you realise what you’re paying for in terms of real estate agent fees, it can provide reassurance that you’re not being ripped off. Alternatively, it could also reveal that maybe you are being charged too much for the level of service you’re getting. So learning about the real estate agent services you’re being charged for is very important. 




After selling your house a real estate agent can get a commission between 1% and 5% of the property sale price. It’s easy to see how a commission rate can influence people’s decision to choose an agent. Some may see that 5% is too high and opt for lower rates of between 1% and 2%. But rates aren’t the only thing to consider when it comes to choosing an agent. 


An agent’s experience, success rate, negotiation skills and approach to marketing should all be considered too. These credentials of a real estate agent can tell you how much value you’re getting out of their service. You can always expect a real estate agent with more experience and a high success rate to charge more due to the fact they have a higher chance of securing you a favourable sale.


Fees vary by state


It’s not just the credentials of an agent that affects real estate agent fees in Melbourne. Even the state an agent operates in can tell you just how much you’ll pay for their fees. One of the tell-tale signs of how much you’ll pay is the amount of competition in the area an agent is selling in. The more densely populated an area is, the more houses there will be. 


When a state or city has more housing, there’s bound to be more competition to get business from you in the first place. Real estate agents are usually forced to lower their rates to be more competitive with rival agents in the same area. Alternatively, you’ll find regional areas have fewer houses going up for sale and less competition. This scenario gives agents the freedom to up their rates because they have little to no competition in the areas they operate in. 


Want to stay ahead of the game and figure out how much commission fees will cost in your area? Try looking up the average sale price and population numbers in the area you’re interested in. Compare these numbers with other cities or suburbs and you’ll get a fair idea of how much you can expect to pay. 


Negotiating fees


Not happy with the commission rate that agents offer for their real estate agent fees in Melbourne? You may be surprised to learn that many agents are open to negotiation. These agents are hungry to get your business. So in most cases, they won’t say no to you straight away if you tell them the initial commission rate is too high. An agent will often try and offer you a lower alternative commission rate. 


Just remember that a high commission rate does help encourage an agent to secure a higher selling price for you. With a low commission rate, they may not be willing to work as hard to push the sale price of your house up during an auction. 


The fee structure can also be negotiated. The fee structure ultimately comes down to two options; fixed-rate and tiered percentage. A fixed-rate means you will pay a specific dollar amount upon the sale of your property no matter what the sale price ends up being. 


A tiered percentage operates on a sliding scale. 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 sale price sells for higher. So, if the sale price is $500,000, you’ll pay 2% on the first $480,000 ($9,600). If the sale price reaches $500,000, you’ll pay an additional 10% on the extra $20,000 made ($2000). So the total commission you would pay is going to be around $11,600. 


Marketing fees


Think it’s easy advertising your house online? Thanks to the digital age it’s easy to get your ads online but the market has become extremely competitive. It can be very difficult to make your property stand out online amongst a sea of similar houses advertised online. It’s the extra time and effort involved that can really add to your real estate agent fees in Melbourne. 


You’re no longer competing against other property listings advertised on a shop window. You’re up against hundreds, if not thousands of other houses advertised online which can be in your suburb or others close by. That’s why it takes a thorough and targeted marketing approach to help your property stand out. 


Some agents still consider print and signage as essential parts of your house’s marketing campaign. Others will focus most of their attention and budget towards online marketing. So the cost of your marketing fees could come down to the marketing channels used. Here’s how both marketing channels are used. 


Online marketing


Advertising and marketing property online is now the most popular option for real estate agents. Property websites such as and are two of the most popular options in Australia right now. Listing a property on websites like these can cost as much as $499 for a 28-day listing. These numbers may change over time as either website offers more functionality and marketing options. So think of this amount as a baseline. 


Another common platform used to advertise property is social media. Platforms like Facebook enable you to target potential buyers with relevant interests. Specific details such as location, demographic can all be targeted in this platform to help advertise to the right people who have a high chance of being interested in your property. 


Your marketing budget for online advertising can’t always be defined straight away. The cost of online marketing depends on how many people you want to reach, property location, and the cost of reaching your target market. A good real estate agent should understand this and consider all forms of online marketing when they calculate your real estate agent fees in Melbourne.


Print media

Traditional forms of print media can include the following options:

    • Letters
    • Local newspaper ads
    • Postcards
    • Promo material
    • Property magazines

Traditional forms of print media don’t tend to reach as far as online marketing. Your property will only be advertised to potential buyers within a short distance of your property. Printed material may only reach as far as people in neighbouring postcodes. Another issue is there are no data available to back up how successful your print media campaign is. Online forms of advertising enable you to see how many views, engagements and impressions were made with ads on various platforms. 


Back yourself by comparing fees and services


So don’t be afraid to spend a little bit of extra time reviewing the costs of real estate agent fees in Melbourne. You may find discrepancies in the way things are being charged. You can always bring attention to these discrepancies with your real estate agent to negotiate lower fees. 

Comparing service fees can also help you determine the real value you’re getting out of real estate agents. It makes it easier to compare different real estate agents and discover the real costs. Compare these costs and you may find it easier to choose the right real estate agent for your property sale.

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