Falling into the trap of paying double commission is something to be aware of before you sign an agency agreement with a real estate company to sell your home.

Commission disputes are often referred to the Real Estate Authority for resolution using their complaints process so it's important you understand the pitfalls.

If you want to find out what real estate commission fees are first, see our percentages and example calculations page.


If you need to sell your house quickly post Covid-19 or want advice first, call 0800 789 532, we're happy to help and it's all a free service.

Avoid having to list your property a second time around

There are a number of potential pitfalls to face if you are forced to put your property on the market a second time around or to list with more than one real estate agent.

If you've had your house listed for sale with a real estate agent but have not sold it and are now intending to list with a different property agent, you need to be wary of being charged double real estate commission rates (one to the first agent and one to the new agent).

When the first listing agreement ends - whether the time period concludes or if you cancel it in accordance with the terms of the agency agreement - the first estate agent must give you a list of the people they intend to claim a commission for, if the property is sold to one of them at a later date by the new agent.

Disputes over which agent influenced the sale

Agreeing who influenced or made a sale and who should get your real estate commission is one area that results in complaints with the Real Estate Authority (REA).

Standard Clauses were therefore developed jointly by the Real Estate Authority and the Real Estate Institute of NZ to address this situation. These clauses protect people selling property by:

  • Reducing the likelihood of sellers being charged commission by two agencies
  • Clarifying when the agency agreement ends and when the seller needs to pay a commission.

Free advice and guidance to make sure your property is not listed twice

Agent Finder NZ is here to guide and protect you through the whole process, so when you make contact, you will receive:

  • The standard clauses about commission and fees 
  • A shortlist of vetted real estate agents to compare objectively
  • Questions to ask real estate agents
  • A buying and selling a house checklist

 Request a shortlist of vetted real estate agents so you can review and compare agents first.

Why properties sit on the market

There are many reasons why a person might have to go on the market twice, and our research shows the calibre of your agent is the main influence on whether or not this happens to you.

Take a look at these 14 reasons that contribute to why a property sits unsold for long periods.

These pointers demonstrate that what may seem like a small or relatively unimportant decision when you started out ends up being a costly one, for more reasons than just real estate commission.

The costs of second time on the market

Some consequences of not selling the first time include:

  • Having to look for a real estate agent who is better than the last one
  • Finding new ways to attract fresh buyer interest in your property
  • Paying for an additional period of property advertising and marketing at your expense
  • The possibility of paying double commission rates if you omit signing the commission clauses provided
  • Additional interest paid on a mortgage on the property if you have one
  • Increased legal costs from your lawyer
  • Having more prospective home buyers trudging through your house
  • You may have to re-rent the property again to new tenants
  • Price reduced marketing can impress as being 'desperate to sell' which can attract buyers in lower price brackets or investors wanting a higher yield
  • You are more likely to accept a less than desirable sale price

How to avoid the risk of paying double commission

You can avoid the risk of paying two real estate commissions by taking the following steps:


  • When you have the list of people from the first real estate agent, you should provide it to the new agent you are intending to list with and ask them to exclude those named parties from the agency agreement you enter into with them.
  • Alternatively, you can request that your new real estate agent put a clause in the new listing agency agreement that will ensure that you will not have to pay double commission, should your property sell to one of those named persons introduced by the first estate agent.  
  • If you take this latter approach, and if the second agent sells your home to one of the named persons, the two agents will have to sort out any sharing of the real estate commission between themselves.

    You can prevent having to be in this predicament at all by engaging a professionally vetted real estate agent the first time. It's a free service for Kiwi home sellers. Request a shortlist now

For over a decade, we have had numerous home sellers approach us for help because their house hasn't sold. Many have sold in just a few weeks after taking our advice. Call 0800 789 532 - 7 days
Get in Touch Now

Everything else you need to know about real estate commission



Article updated July 21 2020 | Trish Willis

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