Real Estate Agent Fees Explained

    A lot of people lack understanding about rental, sales and management fees. Understandably, real estate agents don’t like to talk about it.  Lots of people wonder what they are getting for their money, and what they are paying for. But it’s about time we tell you what goes on behind the scenes, what the costs are, where your money goes and some hot tips to make sure you don’t get ripped off by other real estate agents.  

    Rental Fees: Leasing and Property Management Costs

    Here’s where your money gets spent when you pay real estate agents to manage your rental property:

    1. Marketing 
    2. Letting
    3. Management 


    Marketing Fees

    • Advertising the property online (websites like realestate.com.au and domain.com.au charge uploading fees). This is around $200 – $300 for rental listing prices. 
    • Photography, especially if you want the property to look good to attract the right tenants. You can also use these photos for future campaigns as well. 
    • Admin – sometimes, this is essential.

    Hot tip: Ask what your agent is spending your money on. You have the right to choose and the right to know where your money is going. 

    Letting Fees

    This is the most important part of the process. This includes the whole process from advertising the property online to getting the right tenants in the door. 

    • Finding the right tenant (application and checks)
    • Shortlisting for the landlord
    • Deciding on the right tenants
    • Condition report
    • Creating the lease 

    Cost: This could be a percentage or a fixed amount. But it also depends on the competition and the relationship you have with the agent. Everything is negotiable! If you have multiple properties with a property manager, you might get a better deal. This is often a one-off fee. 

    Hot tip: This is the most important process. You want the right tenants in your property, this takes time and experience. 


    Management Fees

    If you have done the right thing in the letting process, this could be a really cruisy job. Ensuring the property is in good condition and the tenants are the right fit require an ongoing fee usually based on a percentage – such as 5% of the monthly rental cost. But remember, you get what you pay for, if something does go wrong, you want the best managers on the job to help resolve any major issues!

    Hot Tip: See what is included in the management service and what exactly your property manager is charging you for. 


    Real Estate Property Sales: Marketing and Agency Costs and Feed


    Marketing cost

    You are likely going to have to pay this upfront when you put the property on the market. The substantial cost is internet advertising (mainly real estate.com and domain.com). Within premium suburbs, this could be $2000 to list your property (per platform).

    Photography and videos can be anywhere between $300 to $3000 depending on the level of production. 

    Realestate.com seems to be getting far more traction and enquiries than Domain. They have control of things, which means they can (and do) up the prices regularly. 

    Pricing also depends on location. Inner-city, high median price suburbs are going to cost a lot more than a suburb outside of the city. 

    Styling also adds a lot of value to the property but it does come with another cost. Advertising a property with nice furniture which is designed by a professional, adds huge value to the property. 

    Lots of people fall in love with the furniture and the styling more than the home. 

    The cost for styling depends, but it can be around $4000 to $8000 for a campaign.


    Agency fees and commission

    There are a few options for agency fees and commissions:

    1. Fixed fees – more common for smaller properties (could be anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 depending on the value of the property)
    2. Fixed percentages – i.e. 2% of the total sale price
    3. Incentive-based (infinite different structures)

    Remember that the outcome you get for your property is the result of the effort, skill and performance of the real estate agent. Providing strong performance incentives for agents to get a higher price can reap amazing benefits for clients. There is also an argument for why percentages are more favourable because it benefits both agent and seller. The higher the price, the higher the amount for both agent and owner.

    Incentives can be a percentage or fixed. Such as, an incentive of selling a property under $1 million is a 2% commission but over $1 million could be a 2.5% commission.

    Hot tip: Don’t forget about GST! Make sure you are aware of whether it is inclusive of or excludes GST. Don’t look for the cheapest agent. Good agents will get better prices and will cost more but it will likely result in you getting more for your property. 



    We hope to make things a little clearer for property owners and agents. Fees can be confusing but they are negotiable, which means they can differ a lot between agents. The most important thing is to ask questions and shop around. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our fees, feel free to contact us anytime.