Sur­vey shows WA agents’ slice of sale pie not the big­gest in the coun­try

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Liftout: News -

COM­MIS­SION is of­ten a bone of con­tention for prop­erty sell­ers but WA agents’ fees are not the high­est in the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to a pop­u­lar agent re­fer­ral site.

A sur­vey by Lo­cala­gentfinder found WA sell­ers paid an av­er­age com­mis­sion of 2.31 per cent of the sales price, be­hind Tas­ma­nia at 3 per cent and Queens­land at 2.61 per cent.

South Aus­tralian sell­ers paid the low­est com­mis­sion of 2 per cent, with a na­tional av­er­age of 2.07 per cent in June.

Lo­cala­gentfinder chief ex­ec­u­tive Matt Mc­cann said the WA re­sults were in­ter­est­ing given the state of the mar­ket.

“Un­like the east­ern seaboard, WA has been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a down­turn in the hous­ing mar­ket over the last cou­ple of years,” he said.

“In some parts of WA, I would ex­pect that agents are low­er­ing com­mis­sions in order to com­pete in a down­ward mar­ket.

“On the other hand, other agents may be charg­ing a higher com­mis­sion be­cause they have to work harder to sell prop­er­ties in the slow hous­ing mar­ket.”

REIWA pres­i­dent Hay­den Groves said while the WA fig­ure seemed rea­son­able as an av­er­age, com­mis­sions var­ied from agent to agent and sale to sale.

“Some agents charge a per­cent­age, oth­ers do a flat fee or tiered struc­ture,” he said.

“Some sales can be more in­volved so the com­mis­sion may be jus­ti­fi­ably higher.

“At other times, it may be ap­pro­pri­ate to of­fer a lower fee. It’s a com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment and agents do ne­go­ti­ate.”

Mr Groves said com­mis­sions were ne­go­tiable. “Agents are obliged un­der law to in­form clients that fees are ne­go­tiable, so sell­ers can cer­tainly ask if that is their best rate,” he said.

“How­ever, some agents will say that this is my fee and if you want me, this is what I charge and it is then up to the seller to de­cide if they want to work with that agent.

“There is no such thing as a com­mis­sion that is too high.

“It all de­pends on the cir­cum­stances of the sale, each in­di­vid­ual trans­ac­tion and what the seller is pre­pared to pay.”

Rather than choos­ing an agent based on the cheap­est fee, Mr Groves said sell­ers should ask the agent what work they do for their com­mis­sion.

“This will in­clude the usual things like hold home opens, or­gan­ise ad­ver­tis­ing, take of­fers and ne­go­ti­ate,” he said.

“It also in­volves the ser­vices they pro­vide buy­ers, how they work with buy­ers and how they will best pro­mote the prop­erty.”

Mr Groves said sell­ers who en­gaged an agent were also pay­ing to trans­fer risk.

“There are a lot of sub­tle nu­ances in in­di­vid­ual mar­kets and you are pay­ing for an agent’s lo­cal knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

“For ex­am­ple, a prop­erty may have her­itage is­sues, or there may be a sewer run­ning right down the mid­dle of the block that might not show up on the ti­tle. Agents have to do their due dili­gence when sell­ing and they are tak­ing on a sig­nif­i­cant part of the risk of the trans­ac­tion. If there is an is­sue, the seller has the right to look to them for guid­ance.” ■

Hay­den Groves

Matt Mc­cann

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