Real Estate FAQs

Help and Advice

How do your fees work?

Most agents receive a commission after the property is sold. An agent cannot claim a commission from your property sale unless you give them permission to do so in the sales authority.

An agent must advise you that the commission is negotiable, before you sign the sales authority.

The commission:

  • is not a set amount. You can negotiate the amount with the agent 

  • can be paid as either a fixed fee or a percentage of the sale price, or as a combination of both

  • must, be recorded on the sales authority. If you agree to a percentage, the commission must also be shown in dollar terms on the sales authority. The dollar amount is calculated on an approximate sale price to give you an indication of the amount of commission you will owe. 

If the agent is using a commission scale, make sure you understand how much you may have to pay. For example:

The agent’s commission is 3.3 per cent (including GST) for a sale price less than $500,000 and 3.85 per cent (including GST) if the sale price is more than $500,000. The property sells for $585,000.

You might interpret this as $500,000 having a 3.3 per cent commission and $85,000 having 3.85 per cent commission. However, the agent may interpret this as the entire sale price of $585,000 having a 3.85 per cent commission.

Check the dollar amount stated in the sales authority and, if you are still unsure about how the commission is to be calculated, ask your agent to provide examples of what the commission would be based on various possible sale prices.

At settlement, your agent will deduct their commission from the deposit, pay you the balance and give you an account for the sale. If you dispute the amount of commission your agent has charged because it is excessive, you can:

  • lodge a complaint with us using our Estate agent complaint form. You must make the complaint within 28 days of receiving the agent's account 

  • apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a decision on the dispute.

How is Independent Estate Agents different from large franchises ?

Hiring an independent real estate agent can often be a much cheaper alternative when compared to the price schemes of major franchises. On top of this fact, there’s a good chance you’ll receive more attention from your estate agent, as well as a more intimate experience and relationship based around consistent one-on-one interaction.
Independent real estate agents have gained a lot of momentum in the industry over the last ten years or so, and this could be for numerous reasons. Online listings via the internet have meant that anyone with a presence on the web can become visible enough to sell or buy homes.

How to present a home before sale?

First impressions are important.

  • An inviting exterior encourages inspection of the interior, and a sparkling home attracts buyers.

  • Keep lawns trimmed and edged, and gardens neat and tidy.

  • Minor repairs can make a big difference. If a prospective buyer finds minor faults e.g. loose doorknobs, sticky doors and windows, leaking taps, they often go looking for major faults.

  • Keep the house as tidy as possible.   Neat, well-ordered cupboards look much bigger; try to clear stairways, passages and walkways. 

  • The kitchen and bathrooms are a focal point of your home; try to keep them bright, neat and fresh looking.

  • Low volume, pleasant music can create a pleasant atmosphere for prospective buyers.

  • Finally the old cliché - fresh flowers, freshly baked bread and freshly brewed coffee always complement any home.