Real Estate Agents


Compare real estate agents in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. Professionals, Property Brokers, Bayleys, Harcourts, LJ Hooker, Barfoot & Thompson and Ray White were compared on communication and advice, contract handling, problem resolution, financial paperwork and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Professionals

Professionals rated number one for customer satisfaction

Customers rate Professionals for overall satisfaction

The housing market is big business in New Zealand. Whether you’re a buyer, seller, landlord or renter, the usual route most of us take into property is via a real estate agent but, with so much choice, how do you know which agent is the one for you?

Real estate agents are equipped with the knowledge and experience to help you find the right home, or to help maximise the return on your asset. Regardless of whether you’re a home owner or tenant, dealing with property involves mammoth financial decisions – so making the right choice can have a huge impact on your wallet as well as your sanity!

Canstar Blue recently asked 865 Kiwis who had used a real estate agent (within the last three years) how they rated the services they had received.

This year, Professionals have taken home Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers Award – Real Estate Agents. Rating a maximum five stars for all categories in all their applicable categories, Professionals delivered a strong performance. 

What to expect from your Real Estate Agent

When we asked people about real estate agents’ fees and what they do, 53% said they thought that they charged a lot for what they do. So, what can you expect and how much is it going to cost you?

Firstly, there can be a lot of costs involved, especially if you are 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 – According to figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, in November 2019 auctions were used in 17% of sales across the country, up from 15% a year earlier. If you do decide to sell your property through auction, you’ll expect to pay around $500 for the services of a qualified auctioneer, regardless of whether your property sells or not. 

So those are the costs, but what can you expect in return?

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. 

NZ real estate agents


Professionals is a group of independent New Zealand-owned businesses operating under the same recognised name. As well as being rated five stars for overall satisfaction, Professionals was also rated five stars in communication and advice, contract handling, problem resolution and financial paperwork.

Property Brokers

Established with a single office in Palmerston North in 1986, Kiwi company Property Brokers now has a network of branches stretching from North Otago to Waikato. Property Brokers scored five stars for contract handling and four stars for all other categories.


Bayleys began in Pakuranga, Auckland as a small family firm and has expanded into a business with over 90 offices, both domestically and internationally. Winners of the 2016 Customer Satisfaction Award, in our 2019 survey Bayleys rated four stars for communication and advice, problem resolution and overall satisfaction. They received three stars for contract handling and financial paperwork.

LJ Hooker

LJ Hooker is one of the largest property managers in the Asia-Pacific region, with over 700 offices and 8000 staff across Australia, New Zealand and seven other countries in the region. Winners of the Overall Customer Satisfaction award in 2017, this year LJ Hooker was awarded four stars for communication and advice, contract handling and financial paperwork and overall satisfaction. They were rated three stars for problem resolution.


Harcourts began in 1888 and has expanded to become the largest real estate group in New Zealand, with over 10,000 staff working across nine countries. Harcourts was awarded four stars for all categories other than problem resolution, where it picked up three stars.

Barfoot & Thompson

Founded in 1923, Barfoot & Thompson is the country’s largest privately owned, non-franchised real estate company. Barfoot and Thompson were rated four stars in financial paperwork and three stars across all other categories.

Ray White

Ray White was founded in 1902 in Queensland, and is now a global enterprise with over 1000 individually owned and operated offices. Three stars were awarded to Ray White in all categories.

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue surveyed 2500 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 have had the services of a real estate agent in the past three years – in this case, 865 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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