Real Estate Agents

How Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid?

If you are new in the real estate business or still thinking about getting involved and don’t know what benefits this business has, then the article is for you. Here, I will discuss how real estate professionals get paid and what advantages they have. 

But before we move to the real estate salary, let me define the difference between real estate agent, broker and Realtor, as they have different means of payment. Briefly, a real estate agent is a person who passed the necessary courses and licensing exams that are required by the state in which he/she is going to work. A real estate agent can represent buyers or sellers or work with both. 

A real estate broker is the next stage for the agent. Brokers, after getting a broker’s licence, can work independently or hire other agents. They also can work under another broker. Such brokers are called associate brokers and they generally receive higher compensation than agents.

On the other hand, Realtors are members of the NAR. They are part of the National Association of Realtors and defend the NAR’s ethics. 

If you want to know more details about the difference between real estate agent, broker and Realtor, see the article: Real Estate Professionals: Real Estate Agents, Brokers, and Realtors

Let’s Move On to Payment

Most real estate professionals get paid through commissions based on a home’s selling price, and it is split between buyer and seller’s agents and their brokers. The split depends on the agreement between the agent and the broker. Moreover, the commission also can be negotiated and it can range from 2 to 10 percent of the house price. The commission is paid by the person who sells the house.


The Commission Directly Expressed in Numbers

Imagine the house was sold for $100,000. If the agreement says that the commission the agent gets is 6 percent, then in cash it will be $6,000. This $6,000 will be split in half. The buyer’s agent gets $3,000 and the seller’s agent also gets $3,000. Then each of them give half of their commission to their brokers (but this also depends on the negotiation, sometimes it can be more or less). 

As a result, the agent gets $1,500 from one house that costs $100,000 if the negotiation is for 6 percent commission. Of course this varies and depends on the price, negotiations with the client about the commission and also the broker.  

Realtors also generally receive 6 percent commission, but it can still be negotiated between the client and agent.

Do Agents Still Get Paid if the House doesn’t Sell?

This depends on the contracts between the real estate broker and agent and the agent and client. Mostly, the seller only pays if the listing is cancelled before the end of the contract.


As you see, real estate professionals’ salaries totally depend on the professional. A real estate agent’s job stands out because of its competitive advantages. Here, you can decide for yourself how much you need to make and work accordingly. This is a profession where hard work and intelligence pays off. 

Good luck!

If you want to know how to become an influential agent, see the blog What You Need To Know To Become an Influential Person in the Real Estate Industry

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The opinions or information expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views, policy, or position of Realtyna. The information on Realtyna’s Website is general, for informational purposes only, and is not to be relied upon or interpreted as real estate, legal, accounting, or other professional advice or a substitute. Please discuss anything related to the certification process, professional advice or legal procedures with your MLS providers.

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