Do Real Estate Agents Make Enough Money?

Dec 30, 2023 By Triston Martin

The amount of money that real estate agents earn in a given year is determined by various variables, including the number of deals they complete and their commissions. Then the split the agent receives from their sponsoring broker.

Real Estate Agent Commission

The majority of real estate brokers get their money via commissions. Real estate agents get direct fees for services done during the sale or purchase. A commission is often calculated as a % of the property's sale price, although it may alternatively be calculated as a flat fee.

Realtor vs. Real Estate Agent vs. Broker

The interaction between real estate agents and brokers provides insight into how real estate professionals are compensated.

  • In the real estate industry, agents are salespeople licensed to operate under the supervision of an authorized broker. Agents are not permitted to operate independently and are not permitted to get a commission from their customers directly.
  • While brokers operate individually, they may also engage real estate agents to work for them as part of their team. The commission is then shared between the broker and any other agents engaged in the transaction.
  • Realtors may be both real estate agents and brokers in the same company.

How Real Estate Commissions Are Calculated

The listing agreement, which is a contract between a seller and a listing broker that contains the terms and circumstances of the listing specifies the remuneration that the listing broker will get. The broker's commission is flexible in terms of its rate. On the contrary, members of the profession who seek, even insinuated, to enforce standard commission rates are breaking the law, according to federal antitrust regulations.

While commissions are normally between 4 percent and 6 percent throughout the nation, other markets may charge higher or lower rates depending on the market conditions. Unless the buyer and seller agree on a commission split, the seller pays the commission. Sellers usually include the commission in the asking price.

The Distribution of Commissions

Real estate commissions are often split among several individuals. When it comes to a normal real estate transaction, the commission is divided into four categories:

  • The agent who obtained the listing from the seller is referred to as the listing agent.
  • The listing broker is the broker who hires the listing agent to work for them.
  • The agent who represents the buyer is referred to as the buyer's agent.

Methods of Realtors Use to Get Paid

Whether or not they are licensed Realtors, real estate agents are normally compensated as a percentage of the commission earned by the listing broker on the transaction. It comes out to a total commission of $12,000 in this case. If the home sells for the asking price, both brokers receive half of the money or $6,000 apiece. The commissions are then shared between the brokers and their representatives.

Although a usual commission split offers 60 percent to the agent and 40 percent to the broker, the split might be 50/50, 60/40, 70/30, or any other ratio that the agent and the broker agree upon. It is customary for more experienced and top-producing agents to get a bigger proportion of the commission than less experienced and lower-producing agents. As with any other career, an agent's profits are diminished by taxes and business expenditures, which are unavoidable.


Commissions are often paid only after a transaction has been completed. Even if the transaction is not completed.

Other Compensation Structures

Real estate agents hired by a broker are often compensated with a portion of the commission; however, there are also instances in which they are paid on a salary basis instead. For example, Redfin, an online property search engine that employs a team of full-service real estate agents who are paid a salary plus bonuses following client satisfaction ratings collected by the firm, is one example.

Short Sales

Many homeowners have difficulty selling their properties because they get insufficient bids to cover the outstanding balance on their bank loans. Homeowners might engage with their listing agents to persuade the bank to accept a lower loan amount from the bank. Once a settlement sum has been reached, the agent will relist the property as a short sale on the market. Short sale decisions from banks might take weeks or months as the agent works to complete the legal formalities required by the short sale process.

Work as a Broker Price Opinion

Completing extra documentation, such as the BPO report, is an additional source of income for licensed agents. It compares numerous property prices with pertinent data and other information for sellers, and professional appraisers produce it to evaluate properties.

Related Articles