What Fees Do Real Estate Agents Charge in South Australia?


Did you know that selling property in South Australia can be a complicated process?

Australians, on average, sell property once every 7 to 10 years. Wouldn’t you agree, it’s best to be as informed as possible before you talk to the experts – the agents?

Believe it or not, we have many years of experience helping people choose quality real estate agents, which has enabled us to produce this guide. As we have seen, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way to help ease the process and save a few dollars at the same time.

In this extensive guide, we will show you what you need to know when you are selling (or buying) property in Adelaide and surrounds.

But before we jump into the details:

Select Selling or Renting (in map) to show correct type of commission rate for your situation.
Avg. Agent Fee (%)
  • 0.00% - 1.50%
  • 1.50% - 1.75%
  • 1.75% - 2.00%
  • 2.00% - 2.25%
  • 2.25% - 2.50%
  • 2.50% - 2.75%
  • 2.75% - 3.00%
  • 3.00%+
Avg. Agent Fee (%)
  • 0% - 5%
  • 5% - 6%
  • 6% - 7%
  • 7% - 8%
  • 8% - 9%
  • 9% - 10%
  • 10% +

The figures shown are an average. Agents charge different amounts based on a range of factors including property, price and likelihood to sell.

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Table of contents

Know how much you should pay to save money

Selling a property attracts a commission fee, and in SA, this is usually between 2% and 3% of the property purchase price of a house or a unit.

However:

The real estate agent commission rates and fees vary by area in SA.
Just for the record, agents in the city and metropolitan area are very competitive, with more agents competing for your business. Because of this, prices range between 2% and 2.75%.

That’s not all:

In regional areas where properties generally take longer to sell and values are not as great, commission rates are between 2.75% and 3%.

Our experience has enabled us to identify that the average commission rate in SA is 2.06%.

Did you know that this is the lowest commission rate in the country?

It’s true!

Breakdown:

Selling a property worth $500,000 works out to be $10,300 in commission.

Are agent fees regulated in SA?

To begin with:

When selling property in South Australia, it is up to you to negotiate a commission rate and any other fees or expenses with your agent.

Members of the Real Estate Institute of South Australia generally charge between 2% to 3% depending on where the property is located, but these are not fixed by any government or state agency.

Use our SA agent fee calculator to determine cost

Don’t forget:

Use the real estate agent fee calculator below to determine how much it will cost to sell your property in SA.

Amounts calculated include 10% GST, but exclude other costs an agent may charge such as advertising and marketing.

Enter your property value and local agent fee percentage.

Commission = including GST
*In NSW commissions generally range from 2% - 2.5% in metropolitan areas and 2.5% - 3.5% outside of those areas.

Avoid hidden extras – be aware of other fees

To promote and sell your home, a SA real estate agent may also charge the following:

Online Advertising

Know this:

Advertising your property online is a wise marketing investment.

The three dominant real estate advertising sites in SA are:

  • realestate.com.au
  • realestateview.com.au
  • domain.com.au

Their fees range from around $400 for a standard listing and up to $5,100 for a premier listing on realestate.com.au in high-value suburbs such as Malvern.

Traditional Media

Traditional media such as newspapers and magazines can also give you a good bang for your buck.

In fact:

National publications such as The Advertiser promote your property to a wider audience while local publications such as Border Chronicle, The Murray Pioneer, and Portside let local buyers know your property is available.

In truth, the prices and media effectiveness vary and will depend on your property’s target demographic.

A single advertisement in a local paper will cost you around $600.

Other

Other effective ways to advertise include:

  • billboards
  • flyers
  • brochures
  • investor databases
  • landlord databases
  • corporation databases

Preparation

Consider this:

It is vital that your property is well presented and has a range of effective marketing strategies to achieve the highest sale price possible. This includes having a professional photographer take photos of the interior and exterior of your property, as well as having professionally drawn up floor plans.

real estate agents charge SAPhotography

Now, here is what you need to do:

Engage the services of a professional property photographer to take photos of your property. It is an essential investment that you can’t do without.

When it comes to marketing, photographs speak louder than words. The online viewer of your property can use them to decide if they want to visit it in person, as well as refresh their memory of your property after personally viewing it.

But before you have your photographs taken:

Cast your eye over your furniture and ornaments.

Clutter can be a seller’s worst nightmare as buyers are unable to see past it to visualise themselves and their furniture in your home. Pack away all ornaments, excess vases and picture frames into boxes to store out of sight. Remove any extra furniture to make the rooms more spacious and inviting.

Floor plan

As we said before:

A professionally drawn up floor plan can help sellers in making or breaking a sale. They let online viewers visualise your property’s layout without having physically seen it, as well as help remind people of the rooms after having visited the property. They can also use it to make notes about the rooms and even use it to note if their furniture will fit in your property.

Be familiar with the legal / conveyancing process and associated costs to stay on track

Let’s begin:

Selling a property in South Australia involves 14 stages.

And what’s more:

Some of the stages require an individual payment, while others are included in the final settlement.

1. Preparing the contract of sale

The first stage in the conveyancing process is to prepare the contract out of the two standard forms that have been developed by either the Real Estate Institute of South Australia or The Law Society of South Australia.

Note:

This is the job of the seller’s solicitor or conveyancer to prepare the contract.

2. Make an offer

real estate agents charge house

The second stage is where an interested purchaser makes an offer, which may or may not be accepted by the seller. Negotiations over price and the terms of sale between the seller and the purchaser can also take place here.

Next:

3.  Paying a holding deposit

During the third stage, a holding deposit may be made by the purchaser.

A holding deposit is an initial deposit of which the amount has been specified by the seller or the seller’s agent. It is given as a good faith payment to show genuine interest in purchasing the property.

A word of caution:

Deposits are generally non-refundable.

4. Buying at auction

Purchasing the property at an auction is the fourth stage of the selling process. Before the auction, the seller’s solicitor or conveyancer should make sure that everything is in order by examining the sale contract, while the purchaser should have their finances arranged and all the necessary property inspections done.

The seller sets a reserve price, which is the lowest price they are willing to accept to sell their property.

Of course:

The purchaser does not usually know the reserve price. If the highest bids come in below the reserve price, the seller’s agent would then either try to negotiate a price with the interested parties or put the property back on the market. Selling your property at auction will cost you further fees, which is in addition to the agent’s commission rate for the purpose of marketing, advertising and other fees.

5. Exchange of contracts & paying a deposit

The fifth stage is in regards to exchanging contracts & paying a deposit. In SA, as soon as both parties sign the contract of sale and the purchaser receives their copy, both the seller and purchaser are bound by the terms of the contract.

Here’s something else:

The real estate agent usually arranges and delivers the copies to both the seller’s and purchaser’s solicitors or conveyancers.

The deposit is usually around 10% of the sale price while for bigger properties, the deposit is usually less than 10% of the sale price.

6. Insuring property before settlement

The sixth stage is where purchasers may choose to insure the property before settlement.

Why insure the property?

This is done to reduce their personal risk, just in case the seller does not have a current insurance policy. Property insurance costs will vary depending on each property’s individual circumstances.

The seller must provide a Form 1 Seller’s Statement to the purchaser at least ten days before the settlement. But if the property is to be sold at auction, then the Seller’s Statement needs to be available two business days before the auction date.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

The Statement should include details of all mortgages, charges and prescribed encumbrances affecting the sale and subject to sale, along with any prescribed matters.

7. Cooling off period

Understand this:

The seventh stage is in regards to the cooling off period where the purchaser could revoke the contract before the end of the cooling off period.

In SA, the cooling off period is two business days, unless it was waived by the purchaser who has received a certificate of independent advice from a solicitor or conveyancer concerning residential land. It would not otherwise apply if the purchaser is a company or if the property has been bought at auction. The cooling off period does not start until the purchaser gets served the Form 1 Seller’s Statement or exchange.

Remember:

If the sale is cancelled the seller will refund any purchase deposit over $100 in full.

8. Transfer of property title

The eighth stage includes the transfer of the property title where the purchaser’s solicitor or conveyancer prepares the transfer document and gets the purchaser to sign it and pay for any stamp duty for the document registration.

Now listen to this:

The stamp duty varies depending on the property value.

The purchaser’s solicitor or conveyancer then sees to it that the transfer is sent to the seller’s solicitor or conveyancer for the seller to sign. The fee for transferring a property title is commonly included in the final settlement costs.

9. Time for completion

The time for completion varies from state to state unless it is set by agreement between the seller and purchaser, but in SA the time for completion is usually 30 days.

However:

The time needed for completion of “off the plan” purchases could be quite lengthy, as other factors such as permits and finishing the construction process need to be taken into account.

10.  Requisitions

The tenth stage requires the purchaser’s solicitor or conveyancer to send out a list of formal questions about the property called requisitions on title. This is sent to the seller’s solicitor or conveyancer who will reply to these questions.

These questions are asked to help determine various factors such as:

  • whether there have been general defects in the title
  • if there has been construction on the land
  • if the property is spoiled.

The answers can include information, which may not have been disclosed or even discovered during the inspection of the property.

It’s as simple as that!

If the purchaser believes that they are not replied to satisfactorily as disclosed in the sale contract, then the purchaser can:

  • evoke the contract
  • sue for damages
  • seek a reduction in the sale price.

11. Outgoing mortgage

If the seller has a mortgage over the property, the mortgagee should be contacted where a payout figure could be obtained.

Here’s something else:

The mortgagee should also attend at settlement to hand over a discharge of mortgage as well as the certificate of title or title deed.

real estate agents charge front door

12. Adjustments

During settlement time, adjustments are made which the purchaser is required to pay.

The usual ones are:

  • council rates
  • water rates
  • strata body corporate contributions
  • land tax
  • rent if the property is tenanted.

13. Settlement

Settlement is the day when solicitors, mortgagees or conveyancers meet and hand over the title documents in exchange for payment.

How does it work?

The sale becomes settled or completed only when the purchaser pays the balance of the purchase money, plus or minus adjustments to the seller. A final search of the title is also obtained on this day, to make sure that the property is cleared from any obstacle or interest that may have been accounted for between the date of exchange and settlement.

14. After Settlement

The final stage occurs when the purchaser or purchaser’s mortgagee registers the transfer documents with the Land Titles Office where there will be:

  • a discharge of any existing mortgage(s)
  • withdrawal of any caveat(s)
  • a transfer of title from the seller to the buyer
  • a transfer of mortgage from the purchaser to the new mortgagee.

The Land Titles Office then advises the relevant authorities that the property has a new owner.

Use these online South Australia Useful Property Resources to speed up the process

There are two useful websites that can provide further information on buying and selling property in SA.

They are:

REISA offers information on the buying and selling process, as well as the latest news in the SA property market. While they are an agent advocacy organisation, they also have information available for the general public.

The Consumer and Business Service website offers advice on the buying and selling process, as well as factsheets on selling properties. They can also assist you with explaining how to make a complaint and what your responsibilities are when selling your home.

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