Real Estate

How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make? A Guide to Real Estate Agent Salary

Real estate agents are professionals who help clients buy, sell, or rent properties. They have a deep knowledge of the market and the communities in their area, and they can advise their clients on matters such as pricing, timing, and negotiation. Real estate agents also generate leads, market properties, show homes, prepare contracts, and handle paperwork. Real estate agents work under the supervision of real estate brokers, who are licensed to manage their own businesses.

Real estate agents earn income from commissions, which are a percentage of the sales price of a property. The commission rate varies depending on the type of property, the location, the agreement between the agent and the broker, and the market conditions. Typically, the commission is split between the listing agent (who represents the seller) and the buyer’s agent (who represents the buyer). The average commission rate in the United States is 5.8%, according to HomeLight, a real estate referral company.

Factors Affecting Real Estate Agent Salary

The salary of a real estate agent depends on many factors, such as:

  • Experience: As real estate agents gain more experience, they can build a larger network of clients and referrals, close more deals, and earn higher commissions. According to Indeed, a job search website, the average salary for a real estate agent with less than one year of experience is $87,212 per year, while the average salary for a real estate agent with more than 10 years of experience is $114,427 per year.
  • Effort: Real estate agents have to work hard to generate leads, market properties, show homes, negotiate contracts, and close deals. The more effort they put into their work, the more income they can earn. According to The Close, a real estate news and education website, the top 10% of real estate agents in the United States earn more than $100,000 per year, while the bottom 10% earn less than $25,000 per year.
  • Time: Real estate agents have to work flexible hours to accommodate their clients’ schedules and preferences. They may have to work on weekends, evenings, and holidays. The more time they dedicate to their profession, the more opportunities they have to earn income. According to The Balance Careers, a career advice website, the average real estate agent works 40 hours per week, but some may work up to 60 hours or more per week.
  • Location: Real estate agents earn different salaries depending on where they work. The location affects the demand and supply of properties, the average sales price of properties, the competition among agents, and the cost of living. According to [US News], a news and information website, the highest paying states for real estate agents are New York ($116,460), Hawaii ($109,230), Massachusetts ($85,180), Connecticut ($84,280), and Alaska ($79,360). The lowest paying states are South Dakota ($41,590), Kansas ($42,060), Iowa ($43,020), Nebraska ($43,040), and Arkansas ($43,170).
  • Specialization: Real estate agents can specialize in different types of properties or markets, such as residential or commercial properties; luxury or affordable properties; urban or rural properties; or buyers or sellers markets. Specialization can help agents gain more expertise and credibility in their niche and attract more clients who are looking for their specific services. However, specialization can also limit their exposure and opportunities in other segments of the market.


Real estate agents make money from commissions that are based on the sales price of a property. The average salary for a real estate agent in the United States is $96,735 per year. However, this salary can vary significantly depending on factors such as experience, effort, time, location, and specialization. Real estate agents can increase their income by gaining more skills and knowledge; expanding their network and reputation; working harder and longer; choosing a profitable market; and finding a niche that suits their interests and abilities.

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