A South Auckland estate agent has been censured after a client complained that she was charged too much commission on the sale of her house.

Lawrence Lalit Naidu of Sega Realty in Lambie Drive, Manukau was found to have engaged in unsatisfactory conduct by charging more than was agreed.

The Real Estate Agents Authority said a complaint was laid in December after there was a discrepancy between the commission fee Naidu told a vendor would be charged on sale and what was ultimately charged.

The final commission was $5287 more than the vendor was led to believe from an oral agreement made with him when she signed up her house listing, the authority said.

An offer of $390,000 was accepted on the house sale and Sega charged commission of $16,087.50. But the complainant said she had calculated she would be charged $10,800 and she was "considerably upset" by the situation.

Sega was recommended to her as cheaper than any other agents in the area because it did not have offices and operated solely via the internet.

Naidu disputed the complainant's version of events and said he told her that if there was a problem with the commission, his boss would get it sorted. He told the complainant he could not handle the dispute over the commission, the authority said.

Authority chairwoman Kristy McDonald, QC, said the agent had clearly erred.

A complaints assessment committee was satisfied that his failure to adequately and accurately explain the commission charged to the complainant and her husband fell short of the standard that a reasonable member of the public was entitled to expect from a reasonably competent licensee, she said.

But a time glitch meant no penalty could be awarded.

The problem occurred before November 17 when the new Real Estate Agents Act came into force.

In its first five months, the authority has fielded 320 complaints. It has ruled on 11.