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Beware these 3 hidden fees traditional real estate agents charge

September 19, 2018 9:00 am by Upside

Selling your home can be a stressful process. First, there’s making the decision to sell; then there’s finding a real estate agent, preparing the house for sale, making necessary improvements, putting it on the market, negotiations, and, well, the list goes on.

But you know what’s even more stressful? Finding out that, after hiring your agent and agreeing on a real estate commission rate and fee that fit your budget, you actually have to spend more money.

Hidden fees are the norm in the real estate world, and they pop up out of nowhere if you let your guard down. Traditional real estate agents work with commissions based on the final selling price, unlike Upside, where we only charge a low fixed fee.

There are a few givens that you can count on when hiring a traditional real estate agent who works on commission. How much commission a real estate agent gets varies from state to state, but it’s usually somewhere between 1.6% and 3.5%. In exchange, you generally always receive:

  • Appraisal – Your agent evaluates different aspects of your home and gives you an estimate of what they believe the value and worth of your property is to help set a price.
  • Managed open homes – The agent organises and manages home inspections for you.
  • Negotiations with buyers – All the back and forth between the seller and buyer is handled by the real estate agent.

It looks like you’re all covered, right? What else could you possibly need to sell your house other than, maybe, making some minor improvements?

You may be surprised to know that most agents don’t include several other necessities in their fees. You must pay for this additional cost, which can vary greatly and significantly affect your budget. They include:

Photography and copywriting

Professional photographs of your home are extremely important. They are used to attract potential buyers by giving them a good idea of what the property looks like. With great photographs, a potential buyer’s curiosity may be piqued to keep looking into your house and make an offer. They can cost anywhere from $100 to $500.

At Upside, we don’t just include high-quality, professional photography in our fixed fee; we also provide the services of specialised writers who create expert written material for advertising. That way, your home is captured visually and verbally in its best possible light.


A floorplan helps the buyer visualise what the house looks like and makes it easier for them to imagine themselves in it. Floorplans are drawn by professionals and cost around $100 to $200.

Advertising material

This includes printed material like signboards, flyers, postcards, and online advertising.

Most agents charge extra for marketing, but at Upside we offer these materials and advertise online at and without charging you extra. Considering that advertising expenses can cost up to $5,000, this can be a massive saving.

At Upside, we always try to find smarter and quicker ways to get things done for you. That’s why we also offer two additional services you won’t find anywhere else.

Through our online platform, you can follow every stage of the sale from buyer interest to offers. It’s all there for you to see anytime, anywhere. And because we want you to have access to us 24/7, we also offer customer support that works around the clock to help you check on progress and answer your questions.

Selling your house shouldn’t be more stressful or hectic than it already is, so make sure you check with your real estate agent what their fees include. It will not only save you time and money, but also any unnecessary headaches.

More on this topic:

Thinking of selling? Find out the value of your property in 30 seconds.


Upside is an Australian-owned, full-service real estate agency with one low fee and no commission. Our standard is other agents’ ‘extras’, delivering vendors a complete agent managed service including a full appraisal, open home management, copywriting, photography, signage and advertising. It's the way real estate should be.