Profile picture for CharlestonCookies

How much money do real estate agents make?

How much money does the average real estate agent make per year?  What is the average per agent sales volume and from that, how much does that average agent take home clear of fees and expenses?
  • March 11 2013 - US
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Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (33)

Profile picture for Carole Tyne
Being a successful Realtor is alike to be a successful actor --- there are so many out there yet only a few actors/ agents can eat off what they bring home.   And some eat better than others.
  • September 03
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Zillllllons.....
  • September 03
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Yearly income, percentages, broker/agent cuts, median sales prices for areas, and population density for the area the agent is working aside, the reality is that the question you pose is relative to how well the agent keeps up with his clients. An agent who follows up with his clients religiously, advertises, and listens to his clients needs will make $40,000 easily. Fact is that maybe 10% of licensed agents actually do all of those things for various reasons and they won't make that amount of money. This is not because they are unlucky it's because when people are making the largest purchase of their life they want to feel as though the person working for them is actually working for them, and if they aren't doing the things I mentioned earlier then their client will not feel like the agent is working for them, and for good reason. Real Estate income is the effect and hard work is the cause of high income, in turn lack of hard work would be the cause for low income. 
  • September 03
  • 0Yes

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Profile picture for Dunes ..
Actually just for giggles (And I ain't actually gonna do the math ;)
Using the NARs questionable statistics/numbers

Around 10% of the successful sales were FSBO so subtract around 500,000 sales
Around 20% were Flat Fee ..around 1,000,000 sales
So Flat Fee Price on one side of the transaction ...What% offered for other side?..Agency/Agent split?

That leaves 70% 2 side transactions...3,500,000
At what %..how many rebates? ect.
Brokerage Fee/Split?
Then of course in the split %...how many referral splits ;)

As I said...just for giggles
  • September 03
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
Just for giggles...

Did the math at 5M transactions/year, average (mean) salary of 40K/year, and using the 80/20 rule. It works out to 20% of the REAs make 160K/year, the other 80% make 10K/year.

Do the numbers make "sense"? Don't know. Then again, an essential missing element of the overall picture is "where?" $40K in some parts of the US is "scraping by", others it's "living large".

Editorial Note: The #-transactions doesn't come into play, so it can be ignored.
  • September 03
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
This question when I see it always makes me smile and this time I'm gonna share why...
It always gets the happy..well the average is $39,000..$44,000..$38,000

Well if the question was..
What % of RE Agents make $39,000 to $44,000 the honest answer probably isn't high or majority.
Visit any RE site including this one and it's Agents constantly tossing out the  "20% of Agents do 80% of the transactions"...which if ya ain't good at math means/suggests 80% of the Agents have to compete for 20% of the transactions or business/paychecks ;)

Point is that "Average" is just that..an Average. It does not mean most agents make, it just means if you take all the money made and divide it by the # of Agents it works out to $$39,000-$44,000
Do the math...around 5,000,000 residential sales....around 1 to 2 million Agents

Anyway...
I'd be much more interested and I think it would shine a much more realistic picture if the % of those who made that amount was shared..the % of how many make $39,000 or $20,000 or $10,000 or nothing

The "average" Agent makes..The "Typical" Agent makes
Yeah sure they do ;)
  • September 03
  • 0Yes

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This past Sunday in our Local Paper in New Jersey there was an article describing some top jobs that don't require a college degree. One of them was Realtor. It mentioned that the average income was around 44,000. Of course, you still need a license and now we require ongoing education. I like the continuing education. There are so many changes to the Real Estate Industry so the more we know, the better we can serve our public. Income can be limitless. Work hard, get paid good.
  • September 03
  • 0Yes

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Profile picture for D will127
A few PP have posted the average (it hovers around 39-40K per year) but you can ultimately make a good amount more depending on your area and clientele.

There's no one answer.
  • September 03
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Profile picture for dcreia dcreia
  1. Many people want to become real estate agents because of the freedom and possible income you can make. Real estate agents can make a lot of money, but the average income for a real estate agent is only $39,000 a year.
  • September 03
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[deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]
Hope this helps!
  • December 24 2013
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Thanks, and yes Mack, I did reference Vince with my comment

 that's what happens when someone doesn't bother to read a post in its entirety
  • November 01 2013
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Profile picture for HighDesertAgent
In 2009-2010 I grossed over $240k.  It has been going down hill from there.
  • November 01 2013
  • 2Yes

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Profile picture for Donna Knowles
ToD W, "davwooley"
I find it hard to believe you a loan officer (because I have never had a loan officer feel this way)and lead your clients in the way of not representation of a Major investment. As a Buyers Agent I look out for my clients and spend about average of 60 hours per client. We work hand and hand with lenders, title company, owners, buyers, tax assessors, home inspectors, warranty companies and many more vendors for our Clients. I'm replying to this post for Buyers and Sellers know they are represented by there Realtor. Same as dependent and Plaintiff or represented by there lawyer. This post is no disrespect to anyone but I want the clients to understand they are represented by us ( Realtors).
  • November 01 2013
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It's probably quite a bit less then you would imagine. The average Realtor makes $39,140 in the United States according to the bureau of labor statistics.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a good place to get answers to these types of questions.
  • November 01 2013
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I think Debbie just said that to take a swipe at Vince.
  • November 01 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
@DW:  I'm not an agent, but am astonished at your comments.  In fact, I'm astonished at the comments of several folks in this thread (yeah, I know it is old). 

"RE agents make 3% or more for getting the contract signed."   This comment is so far off base I think you should take two or three of your favorite real estate agents (if you have any) out to lunch (on your dime) and discuss a) the commission structure and what they really get paid   b)   The work they really do to earn that commission.
  • November 01 2013
  • 3Yes

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Thumbs up Dave

I know this is an old thread, but Ive just read it. I normally have high respect for Debbie Rose's opinion, but she is way off base with her LO commentary. Having done both, I'd say they're close to equally as grueling. That said, the propensity to occasionally earn easy money is definitely on the REA's side.
  • November 01 2013
  • 1Yes

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I am in shock that someone would say that being a loan officer is "easy money". Debbie, it is clear that you have never been a loan officer. The way I look at RE agents is they negotiate the contract, get signatures and you are done. The Loan Officer is the HUB of the transaction. We work with the RE agents, the title company, the appraiser, the client, the investor/servicer, we have to have current knowledge of multiple loan products and guidelines. Loan Officers now make commissions based on the DODD FRANK laws. We make, at best, 1% of the loan amount. Most make .5% of the loan amount. RE agents make 3% or more for getting the contract signed. This is why I recommend to my clients to do a For Sale by Owner or look for homes that are FSBO. RE agents are in fact not even needed in a loan transaction. RE agents have zero respect for loan officers and in reality when you find a good one I know you stick with them. Do you tell your LO that they make "EASY MONEY"? You have a very disappointing view point.
  • November 01 2013
  • 4Yes

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Profile picture for user8321140
My location is Northern VA/ DMV so every 100,000 of a houses price the realtor makes 3k or in this case 3% of the houses price therefore if the house is 1m then you make 30k because my parents sell million dollar homes and can cake in around 300k a house times around 10 a year that's already 3m made.  I'm actually planning to become one as I start college. Yes I understnd i'm only in 7th grade but my parents only have the location of the perfect of the house price in our area.

Sourcees- My parents, experienced realtors and I come from Los Angeles where my parents have sold numerous amounts of homes whereas you get 10k which is 5% of the profit if the house is say 400,000
  • June 23 2013
  • 1Yes

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Profile picture for Rushel Reed
Vince, are you kidding?  You suggest that a listing broker sits back and collects a commission.  You can thank a listing broker for making that home visible and available to buyers and their brokers.

I have no doubt that you know the ins/outs of appraisal in California.  Were you a real estate agent before becoming an appraiser?
  • March 12 2013
  • 4Yes

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There are so many factors to this.... Area, price point, success of agent.... and most importantly, how much does one transaction cost the agent,,,?  Sometimes we get a lucky one.... but most of the time, there is thousands spent on marketing, 1k-2k on desk fees and so much more like education, license maintenance etc....  

Now,  I am truly blessed...  I cannot complain about the money that i make.  I actually just live off of my Army Retirement mostly...  so everything else is a bonus...  Point being... there are all types of agents out there... some will work hard and someone just wiat for the call.

Bottom line... 20% of the agents do 80% of the work... it is up to the individual agent if they want to be part of the 20 or the remainder.   

Hope this helps... Off to bed...!  Best of luck!
  • March 11 2013
  • 4Yes

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Profile picture for Dunes ..
If you're wishing a number based on how many have RE Licenses and actual number of sales (Nationally or Locally) then the number/average would be pretty low I would think

I think most do not do as much (sales) as they wished people to believe and the rest do less, Most the places I've been,,and here in pretty Corvallis Or., it seems like a few out of many actually make sales/transactions and the rest/majority are window dressing/people looking for a place to be
 (Boss Players;)
The above is just my opinion ;)

  • March 11 2013
  • 1Yes

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See, here is where numbers can be misleading..

"In the So Cal area, the median home price is $400,000, so the average commission is around $10K".

(if it is a 6 % listing, half of that would be12,000.......a 5 % lisitng would result in one side/company earning 10,000)

That may be the total commission the listing side (or selling side) receives............more than likely that 10,000, or whatever the figure is,  is being split with the Broker in some way........what the split is, is a function of the company's policy and the agent's productivity.

So....................the agent, since you asked what agents make - may make as little as $5000 of that total 10,000 if on a 50/50 split, or as much as 7-9,000 if they work in a traditional company with a higher split.

If they work in a 100% commission business model company, they may keep that 10,000, but they will be paying desk fees and other fees that will reduce that 10,000 in no time at all.


and. Vince...."Easy money"??
Really?

"easy money", imo,  is taking a mortgage app. from the comfort of your desk....letting the appraisers and underwriters do their thing...and then collecting your commission following the closing.
  • March 11 2013
  • 5Yes

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In the So Cal area, the median home price is $400,000, so the average commission is around $10K.

EASY money - ff you are the sellers agent, but a tough road if you are a buyers agent, as most buyers agents report 5-10 offers given before one is accepted.
  • March 11 2013
  • 1Yes

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thanks Mack, thanks!

:)
  • March 11 2013
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Yes, Debbie, yes.

  • March 11 2013
  • 2Yes

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So, I just have to ask why you're asking this question.

Just curious what some agents can make?

Thinking of  going into the real estate industry yourself?

Need to add to your income with a side job?

Asking about "average" incomes makes little sense, imo,  as this number can really vary depending on where you are in the country.
 
Are you asking what the average is for an unsuccessful agent? a successful agent? full or part time agent?

A 500,000 dollar sale may be considered a big thing in some areas/states....where I am it's  just another deal, and not a huge one, either......in fact, it's almost entry level in many towns.
All of this factors into that "average" income.

 I am sure average incomes in my area, and other high end sections of the country will look a whole lot more impressive than in other places.

What can agents make? 35,000..............75,000.............100,000........250,000....500,000+
Yes, all of the above.........

What I suggest is.....if you're interested in going into the business, make an appointment with a local Broker from a respected office/company.
Sit down and ask all your questions.....this way you will get the specific answers you need.
Bring a legal pad and take notes!

Best wishes....
  • March 11 2013
  • 7Yes

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We don't know.

There are about a million licensees, but they aren't all agents in the way we're talking about. Some are licensed assistants, some are office staff, some are commercial or industrial brokers, some are property managers.

There are several million transactions a year that involve real estate agents, which doesn't really help us calculate.

Realistically, a successful agent makes more money brokering real estate than they can make doing anything else. Some agents supplement their income brokering real estate transactions, but they usually have other real estate-related income; they manage their investment properties, for example.

I think a better question is this: what is the investment required to become a licensee and maintain the necessary privileges - MLS, et cetera? Once you know that, then you can think about how you can "cover your nut" and earn enough to pay for food, gas, and the mortgage.

Lastly, it's important to realize that you don't just join the field and become "average." The "average" licensee is one of a few hundred thousand, and there are hundreds of thousands of "below average" licensees that you have to climb over to get to "average."

All the best,
  • March 11 2013
  • 6Yes

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Profile picture for CharlestonCookies
So Vince, In your market where the homes sale before they hit the market, how much money does the average agent make?
  • March 11 2013
  • 2Yes

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Noticed quite a few 'Hey I want to be a Realtor" questions lately..... guess because - at least in my area - listings are sold before they go on the market........

  • March 11 2013
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