VIDEO: Agents’ commissions fall

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Kevin Turner: With a lot of talk about real estate agent’s commissions, it is interesting to note that there is no one commission in Australia. In most states, it is unregulated which means that agents can charge as much as they can negotiate or sellers can negotiate as little as possible.

When deregulation was first introduced in the various states, each state decided when they would introduce it – and it took quite a while, many years in fact in some states – but when it was introduced, it was assumed that it would drop.

Recent figures released show that the most expensive place in the nation is in Tasmania where you will pay, on average 3%, Queensland is at 2.61%, WA it will set you back 2.31% but in the nation’s property powerhouses – pardon the pun – Sydney and Melbourne the average commission is 2.05%. Still, I don’t hear too many agents in those cities complaining when the median is at least double what it is in other capital cities.

A story now about crying poor – it was interesting to hear News Corps CEO Michael Miller issue a rallying cry for more collaboration from rival media owners to shore up publishers and broadcasters for the future. He has urged his peers to work together more closely to compete with the scale of global and digital operators and said they must stop reveling in each other’s decline. He talked about the “shrinking advertising pie’ no doubt referring to the impact online advertising is having on print media.

But here is the interesting thing – News Corp is the largest shareholder in the country’s biggest property portal – Australia is the most expensive country in the world to advertise a property on the internet – something overseas operators cannot believe.

The root cause of the problem was way back in the beginning when real estate agents gave all the listing details of properties for sale to the portals and then agreed to buy the same information back by having to pay to have their listings on the portals they had allowed to flourish on the back of the information they had provided. Crazy.

In fairness though, Michael Miller was referring, in the main, to the demise of journalism. He said – “It is a cruel irony that here we are, organisations who invest in journalism and support the creation of unique, local content for Australian audiences, in the fight of our lives against international players – who, despite their scale, lack our local commitment, influence and impact.”

Real Estate Talk – the only place where you hear all Australasia’s leading property experts.
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