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The BIG Commission Debate

The BIG Commission Debate.

The BIG C debate.

“There is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being – to help someone to succeed” – Alan Loy

The debate:

Who’s your agent? Has he earned his commission?  Is your agent worth his weight in commission? This is a very contentious question and the jury is still out…..

The problem with commission is that it is often perceived as something similar to a “bonus” and not as remuneration for professional work done.

If a property sells quickly, most sellers will battle to understand how the agent can charge such a “huge” amount in such a short time. If the property takes too long to sell, the seller complains that he has to pay so much money for ‘a job badly done.’

Debating this issue the outcome always depends on the audience, be that sellers, buyers, agents or franchisors; and the argument rages on.


Some basic research has revealed that globally (South Africa included), real estate commission range between 5% and 7% in countries with a free market. Locally in South Africa commission also attracts VAT, increasing the seller’s liability to between 5.7% and 7.98%.

You good agent can be compared to any sportsman. Like an athlete, hours of training is required to run the 100 meters in 10 seconds.  Your agent works hours behind the scenes offering up weekends, Sundays and public holidays to achieve the results every seller wants – a swift sale with as little complications and fuss possible.

Jeanne van Jaarsveldt, GM of Harcourts and newly elected president of the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa ( IEASA ) believes that the commission amount should be negotiated with the seller and the agent at the outset and be based on the value of service delivery from the agent. “I do not believe that experience alone would be a measurement for the commission percentage payable, but rather the agent’s proactive manner in servicing the client, creating a lasting real estate transaction experience that leaves the client happy to pay the agent based on quality service received.

The agent is part of an business organisation that is that can be like a ship, and it needs a well organised crew with all the right engine and tools to steer the boat towards the sale of the sellers property. Most agents are part of a business that is also dependent of the commission. Agents normally split the commission or pay towards their operational expenses. In most cases 50% of commission earned is going towards the management of the agency.

Apart from all the above an agent only gets paid on the successful conclusion and registration of the property he/she has sold. This could take from six weeks to as many months. There is no other income/salary and every agent is self-reliant as far as transportation, communication and living expenses is concerned.


Find yourself a qualified and registered Estate agent. Ask for proof thereof.

Interview your agent and request a marketing plan for your property.

Request a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) from your agent and determine the marketing price for your home.

Determine the commission percentage upfront and make sure you have it in writing.

Allow your chosen agent an exclusive mandate to market and sell you property within a pre-determined period.

Request regular feedback, then sit back and let your agent go to work.


In the words of Donald Trump:  I wasn’t satisfied just to earn a good living. I was looking to make a statement.”

Commission is earned.

Let the Property Professional agents of HARCOURTS DOLPHIN COAST; the independent agency located at 11 Jack Powel Road, (behind the Boulevard centre), take care of your property sales, giving you the peace of mind of quality service, earning our commission by selling your property for the best price in the shortest time.

Call us : 032 946 2331


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