Real Estate Agents

Compare Real Estate Agents in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. First National, Barfoot & Thompson, Bayleys, Eves, Harcourts, LJ Hooker, Property Brokers, Professionals, Ray White, Tall Poppy were compared on Overall Satisfaction, Communication & Advice, Contract Handling, Marketing, Problem Resolution, Financial Paperwork and Value for Money.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | First National

First National & Tall Poppy rated number one for customer satisfaction


First National: NZ’s First Choice in Real Estate Agents

It doesn’t matter if you are buying or selling. An investor, or a renter. Or whether it’s a buyers’ or a sellers’ market, one profession is at the heart of the housing market: real estate agents.

A real estate agent’s expert knowledge of local neighbourhoods, housing trends, and the best ways to market homes, can help smooth any property transaction and ensure the best results.

Over the past few years, as NZ’s property market has boomed, there’s been a proliferation of new real estate agents. Alongside long-established agents, there’s a new breed of recently qualified property professionals, and a wide range of real estate agent businesses, from national chains to international brands.

But how do you choose which agency to use when engaging in a property transaction, and which can you entrust with your family home or investment?

According to Canstar Blue’s latest research, two of the most important traits for choosing a real estate agent are reputation and personal reference. And this is where we’re here to help. As our latest award research is a nationwide snapshot of the reputations and personal references of the country’s real estate agents.

As part of our mission to inform consumers of the best NZ has to offer, this year Canstar Blue canvassed the opinions of 1063 New Zealanders who had used the services of a real estate agent to purchase, sell or rent a home in the past three years, across a range of categories, to measure and track their satisfaction.

To decide which real estate agents offer the best levels of customer satisfaction, each was rated across the following categories:

  • Communication & Advice
  • Contract Handling
  • Marketing
  • Problem Resolution
  • Financial Paperwork
  • Value for Money

On top is First National, the clear winner of Canstar Blue’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Real Estate Agents.

Coming on the back of First National’s win last year, this year’s achievement marks the fourth time the agency has won Canstar Blue’s award over the past seven years.

It’s a remarkable feat, and one reflected in the fact that First National is the only real estate agent in this year’s award to earn a 5-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction. Across the board, it sets itself above its competitors by earning a further four 5-Star ratings, plus two 4-Star results.

Only two other agencies earn 5-Star ratings in the all-important category of Communication & Advice. They are Tall Poppy and Property Brokers, both agencies earn a respectable 4-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction.

What Kiwis Want From Their Real Estate Agents

Buying homes, selling homes, and renting homes – each is an extremely stressful process rife with possible pitfalls. Not to mention a lot of expense.

These concerns are mirrored in what our research reveals as the most important features of the whole real estate agent experience.

Communication & Advice is the most important consideration when measuring consumer satisfaction with real estate agents, closely followed by Problem Resolution. And, of course, Value for Money.

Value is especially pertinent as 60% of home vendors in our survey think that real estate agents charge too much for their services.

Overall, the main drivers of satisfaction are:

First National: NZ’s First Choice in Real Estate Agents

First National was established in New Zealand in 1985. Since then it has spread into a nationwide network of independently owned and operated real estate agencies. It has even expanded across the ditch, into Australia, where it has become the country’s leading real estate network.

Back here in NZ, however, First National prides itself on its unique position of delivering real estate professionals with superior local knowledge, combined with the support and systems that only a national network can provide.

And given First National’s superior performance not only in this year’s award ratings, but previous years’, too, it’s clear that First National’s customers are first to praise it for delivering excellent service, value for money, and overall satisfaction.

So whatever your needs, if you’re dealing in property, deal with the best: First National, the winner of Canstar Blue’s 2022 award for Most Satisfied Customers | Real Estate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Key statistics

As a seller, think real estate agents charge too much for what they do: 60%

Was happy with the real estate agent they dealt with: 57%

Think they pay too much rent for what they receive in return: 48%

As a renter, think real estate agents charge too much for what they do: 37%

Think they receive better service from a smaller real estate agency: 28%

Generally trust real estate agents: 23%

Think the costs of selling a home are justified: 15%

Bought a house outside preferred area because it was cheaper: 10%

As a landlord, think real estate agents/property managers charge too much for what they do: 2%


Choice of realtor is based on? %
Local area knowledge 38%
Reputation 36%
Personal reference 35%
Price 17%


There can be a lot of costs involved with selling your home. Expenses you will need to consider include:

  • Administration fee – Expect to pay approximately $500.
  • Agent’s commission or fee – Obviously, these vary between agencies, but in broad terms you can expect to pay between 2.95% – 4% on the first $400,000 of your sale price and around 2% on anything over that.
  • Marketing costs – These are usually incurred on top of the commission fee and cover the cost of advertising in local property magazines, newspapers and online, as well as any bespoke property literature. Again, there is a huge variance in costs here, as it really does depend on what the vendor wants and how much additional cash they want to spend. Have a clear plan of what you want to spend before you sign any agreements. Also have a clear understanding of how many adverts you can expect, their size and when and where they will be placed.
  • Auctioneers costs – You can expect to pay around $500 for the services of a qualified auctioneer, regardless of whether your property sells or not. 


No matter which agent you engage, in return for the fees and charges, you should expect:

  • Clear advice on what is involved in selling your property, including outlining your legal obligations.
  • An outline of current market conditions and recent selling prices of comparable properties in your area.
  • To be given copies of the Agency Agreement Guide and the Sale and Purchase Agreement Guide.
  • Arranging and managing the advertising of your property.
  • To be provided with a pool of potential buyers viewing your property.
  • Your agent to act as a contact point for potential buyers and other agents, answering queries and arranging viewings (both scheduled open homes and private appointments).

The most important thing is to do your research before you sign with an agent and, where possible, to negotiate. All agreements should be included in your agency agreement (which both you and the agent sign) but make sure you receive and read a copy of the agency agreement guide before you make any decisions.

Every real estate agent needs to be registered and must adhere to a code of conduct. In addition, their licence needs to be renewed with the Real Estate Agents Authority each year. 

Canstar Blue surveyed 5080 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from respondents who had used the services of a real estate agent to purchase, sell or rent a home in the past years. In this case, 1063 New Zealanders.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criterion.











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