AA - 2020

Author:  Ted Frazer
Seeff – National Marketing Manager
September 2020

Agents commission:  What am I paying for?

Sellers often feel estate agents get too big a piece of the pie, mainly because they don’t know and can’t see what the agent is actually doing for commission earned. This sometimes leads sellers to avoid using an agent when selling their homes.

For most people, selling their home is one of the largest property transactions that they will make in their life. Naturally, as a homeowner you want a solid return on this investment.

Now that you can list your home for free on various online property platforms or with low fee online agencies, you may well ask why you should pay commission for an estate agent to sell your home for you.

The reality is that most people soon find out that there’s far more to getting a good price for your home within a reasonable time than just getting it listed online. No wonder most residential properties (over 95%) are still sold by estate agents.

“That’s because very few property owners have success in selling their own property. History has shown that local area agents with a track record of successful sales achieve more sales and higher prices for sellers,” explains Ted Frazer, national marketing manager, Seeff.

What does an agent do?

The estate agent provides a professional marketing and selling service from start to finish that will result in the best outcome for the buyer, says Frazer. This includes:

Recommending a competitive asking price

To help you price your home competitively, an agent must do a comparative market analysis (CMA) and stay up to date with local, regional and national market trends and news.

Taking care of all admin and documentation

Paperwork is generally drawn up by the agency’s attorneys to ensure legal compliance and protection. Besides the sale mandate, this also includes arranging for home inspections and then completing a schedule of specifications as well as a schedule of defects. The agent will advise you of any vital maintenance, clean-up and staging required for viewings.

Developing a marketing plan

The agent lists and markets the property. For this purpose, they take inside and outside photos or arrange for a professional photographer, prepare a listing presentation and take care of all marketing materials (flyers, brochures etc) and activities (including website listings, listing alerts, digital mailers, social media updates etc).

Liaising with buyers

The agent liaises with buyers. This process includes vetting them to ensure they are genuine, sharing information about the property and the area, taking buyers to view the property and hosting show days. The agent negotiates an offer from the buyer, re-engages with counter offers and usually works with a mortgage originator to assist the buyer (if needed) with home loan finance.


Agents typically network with other agents in their team to ensure the net of buyers is cast as wide as possible. Any shared commission arrangements are taken care of by the agent in the case of a sole mandate.

Staying up to date with new legislation

Real estate is legally complex and legislation constantly changes. Agents keep up to date to ensure that all aspects of their work are compliant so that clients enjoy legal protection.

Property focus:
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