Real Estate Agents

Compare Real Estate Agents in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. First National, Tall Poppy, Barfoot & Thompson, Bayleys, Eves, Harcourts, LJ Hooker, Mike Pero, Professionals, Property Brokers, Ray White 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 & Tall Poppy

First National & Tall Poppy rated number one for customer satisfaction


First National & Tall Poppy: The Nation’s Top Realtors

Buying and selling houses is something of a national obsession. If we’re not actually involved in the process, we’re talking about the housing market. It’s an emotive subject that affects all our lives.

And whether you are a home owner, an investor or a renter, if you’re involved in a property transaction, you’re certain to deal with one particular industry professional: a real estate agent.

While it’s the job of real estate companies to facilitate the best deal for all parties, with the minimum stress, they often get a bad rap. Indeed, our latest research reveals that just:

  • 20% of people trust real estate agents
  • 4% feel the home-selling costs are justified

However, it’s not all bad news for real estate agents, for most people in our survey (56.4%) said they were happy with the real estate agent they’d worked with.

So how do you find the right realtor – one that you can trust to sell or rent out your home and achieve the best result? Look for Canstar Blue’s 5-Star Satisfaction rating, that’s how!

As part of our mission to inform consumers of the best NZ has to offer, Canstar Blue canvassed the opinions of 1166 New Zealanders who had used the services of a real estate agent to purchase, sell or rent a home in the last 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

This year, two real estate companies share top place. Both First National and Tall Poppy have earned our prestigious 5-Star award for Overall Satisfaction.

Against strong competition, and some of the biggest names in the business, they were the only two real estate agencies to earn 5 Stars in any category.

First National earned top marks for: Communication & Advice, Contract Handling, Problem Resolution and Financial Paperwork.

Tall Poppy earned top marks for: Value for Money, Contract Handling, Marketing and Financial Paperwork.


What We Want From Our Realtors

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 and Value for Money.

Interestingly just 13% cited Marketing as a major concern – even though that often adds up to a considerable expense when selling a home.

Overall, the main drivers of satisfaction:

Drivers of satisfaction %
Communication & Advice 21%
Value for Money 21%
Contract Handling 19%
Problem Resolution 16%
Marketing 13%
Financial Paperwork 11%

How to Choose A Good Real Estate Agent

When looking for real estate agent, what do you look for? Or are you not even planning to use one?

While half of the people in our survey (49%) plan to use a real estate agency to sell their home, a third (31%) say they are planning a DIY approach, while 19% claim they’d like to attempt a private sale, but lack the confidence.

Ultimately, though, you get what you pay for. And when it comes to selling homes, it’s best to trust a professional. One with the local knowledge and the expert tactics to extract the best price for your home.

So when it comes time for you to sell or rent out your property, call on a tried and true property expert from one of the winners of Canstar Blue’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Real Estate Agents 2021: First National and Tall Poppy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Key statistics

I receive better service and more attention from a smaller real estate agency: 24.7%

As a seller, I think real estate agents charge too much for what they do: 13.4%

As a renter, I think real estate agents/landlords charge too much for what they do: 15.1%

I think I pay too much rent for what I get in return: 18.1%

I bought a house outside my preferred area because it was cheaper: 9.2%

I generally trust real estate agents: 20.5%

I was happy with the real estate agent I worked with: 56.4%

I feel the costs involved with selling a home are justified: 3.7%


Rent increased or decreased over last year %
Decreased 2.9%
Stayed the same 49.6%
Risen more than $10 p/w 17.8%
Risen more than $20 p/w 29.8%


Reason renting %
Can’t afford to buy 23%
Only in area short-term 6.9%
No point in buying 2.4%
Never will be able to buy 6.9%


Are FHBs bring priced out of market? %
Yes 66.8%
No, never been easy 23.3%
Don’t know 9.9%


In my area house prices have: %
Increased 93.5%
Dropped 1.6%
Stayed the same 4.9%


Next time I sell a home I plan to: %
Do it myself 31.5%
I’d like to try DIY sale, but not confident 19.4%
Use an estate agent 49%


My choice of realtor is based on? %
Personal reference 9.9%
Reputation 10%
Price 3.7%
Local knowledge 11.4%


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 5138 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 customers who had used the services of a real estate agent to purchase, sell or rent a home in the last three years. In this case, 1166 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 criteria.










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