How Much do Real Estate Agents Make?

February 17, 2014

If you’ve been considering entering the real estate industry, one of the things you’re likely curious about is how much real estate agents make. As you probably know, real estate agents’ salaries are based on commissions from the sales they close. The commission percentages and the number of yearly sales agents make can vary greatly from region to region or individual to individual, but let’s take a look at some data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to help you get an idea…

According to the BLS, in 2012, real estate sales agents and brokers in the U.S. earned a median salary of $41,990. That works out to a little more than $20 per hour. But to give you an idea of just how wide the pendulum can swing when it comes to salaries in the real estate world, the highest-paid brokers earned more than $85.07 per hour while the lowest paid earned less than $12.32 per hour. That’s quite a gap, but it isn’t surprising, considering the fact that real estate itself can vary widely in price. If an agent or broker is closing high-dollar luxury homes in a robust market, naturally they’re going to make more than an agent working in a small town with limited inventory and low demand.

How Commissions Work

Real estate brokers and agents typically earn most of their income through commissions on sales. The amount of the commission can vary depending on the type of property being sold and its current value. Usually, commissions are split among the buyer’s agent, the seller’s agent, brokers and firms. Because an agent’s pay is directly based on the amount of sales they make, their income is greatly affected by the housing market and overall economy. When the economy is good and home sales are high, agents who are top of their game are likely to do very well.

Other Resources

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a real estate agent, check out some of these great resources:

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