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Selling Secrets

There are two types of Sales Agents trying to sell your home.

Firstly all sales representatives are required to complete a salesperson licensing course and gain a real estate salespersons license before they can be employed to sell property.

They have to complete a training course takes over several weeks. Once they have obtained their real estate salespersons license from the Queensland Government, Office of Fair Trading the salesperson can then work in a real estate agency.

Looking for an agency to work in you notice that there is an array of commission and salary packages offered by real estate agencies.

The majority of sales agents in Queensland work on a commission only structure. For new salespeople to the industry there is a base salary offered. All pay structures are regulated by Fair Work Australia and the Fair Work OMBUDSMAN.

Commission only Salespeople

To work on a commission only basis the salesperson has to have been employed in the industry for a number of years and comply with a minimum standard set by Fair Work Australia.

Commission only salespeople are mostly paid at the end of the sales process – this is after a property has been listed, marketed, sold, settlement takes place and the agency receives its full commission entitlement. This process can take from one month or up to several months depending on how long the property takes to sell.  To survive potentially long periods of time waiting for a property to settle, commission only salespeople need to have substantial cash reserves and be good money managers!

Example: This is only one of many variations being used within the guidelines of Fair Work Australia.

The commission only salesperson selling a home for $500,000 …

The gross commission the agency receives (if they receive the maximum commission scale set by the govt.) is $12,950.

If the agency is part of a franchise, they are required to pay up to 10% of the total commission in franchise fees, which is $1,295.00.

The commission only salesperson would then receive around 45% of the remaining gross commission. This includes the compulsory super component of 9.25%.

Gross sales commission$12,950.00
Less 10% franchise fees$1,295.00
Balance after Franchise fee$11,655.00
Agents 45% cut of $11,655 including super Is$5,244.75
Less the 9.25% CSG$485.13
Less tax on income @ approx. 30%$1,425.88
Balance take home commission$3,333.74
Less running expenses *approx. per sale$400.00
Balance to live on, per sale$2,933.74


Salaried salespeople

New salespeople are required to be paid the basic salary, which currently stands at just under $35,000.

Click the link to see the appropriate page in Fair Work Australia

Salaried Salespeople may also be paid a small commission on top of their salary depending on their sales performance and office policy and within the guidelines of Fair Work Australia.

The sales salary is an incentive to attract new recruits to the industry as well as being an award within the industry. New salespeople need to be supported by extensive training as well. The R.E.I.Q has these courses to kick start a new salesperson.

Most business owners aim to move the sales agent to a commission only basis as soon as possible and when legislation permits.

A salaried salesperson has approximately the same outgoing expenses as those on commission only. Ie. Around $300 to $400 per sale if they sell around 20 properties per year.

*Salesperson’s estimated running expenses are based on car expenses, mobile phone, real estate sales license and possibly self-promotional material and training. This may add up to $400 per sale based on the salesperson making approximately 20 sales per year.

The example above is only a guide as to how payment structures can work in a real estate office. Each type of agency has their own commission and payment structure, which may vary considerably from the above example.

To make a reasonable living in a real estate office, it would be estimated that the salesperson would have to list and sell approximately 20 properties per year to achieve an annual salary after tax of about $60,000.This is provided the average sale in the area of operation was around $500,000.