Before you consider pursuing any new career path you’ve probably got one key factor in mind: how much am I gonna get paid?  So if you’re looking into the real estate game, whether as a full time profession or a profitable side hustle, you need to know about real estate agent salary.

What do agents earn? How do they make money?
How can you get the best real estate agent salary? These questions and more will be answered in this post.

How Real Estate Agent Salary Is Determined

For starters, you need to understand exactly how real estate agents get paid. While there are some brokerages out there that pay a base salary, most of your earnings will be based solely on commission.
This means that unlike a traditional career, the money you take home is going to be a direct reflection of your performance.
The better you do, the more you earn.

 Average Real Estate Agent Commission Split

Real estate agents typically get paid a share of the seller’s profits. The usual real estate commission is 6%. So, a home that sells for $400,000 will net $24,000 for the agents. This commission usually gets split evenly between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent.

However, if an agent is working for a real estate brokerage, a portion of the commission will go to the broker. This can vary widely from firm to firm, and you may be able to negotiate a bigger share of the profits as you gain more experience.

 Average Real Estate Agent Earnings

Now that you understand that your earnings are a direct result of your performance, we can take a look at what the average real estate agent salary is. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for real estate agents in 2017 was $47,880. That number is nationwide, and the average earnings vary greatly from state to state:

Keep in mind that these are averages.

There are plenty of agents who earn more and plenty who earn less. In the next section, we’ll look at what determines where you fall on the spectrum.

Factors That Influence Real Estate Agent Salary

Unlike almost any other profession, you have a lot of control over how much money you make as a real estate agent. Here are some of the top factors that contribute to your earnings.

The Time You Put In

If an average salary just shy of $48,000 makes you think twice about getting into real estate, keep in mind that plenty of agents work part time, which brings those numbers down significantly. A survey from Real Estate Express revealed thatthe more time agents put in to their work, the more money they brought home every year.

On average, agents who worked less than 20 hours per week earned a little over $31,000. Those who worked up to 40 hours per week earned more than the average, at around $56,000. The best salaries went to the agents who put in more than 60 hours per week, who averaged $123,024 according to the survey.
So take the job seriously and work hard and you can easily surpass the average real estate agent salary.


Since your earning potential is directly correlated to your ability to perform well, it makes sense that you are likely to increase in salary as your experience in the field grows. An entry-level agent can expect to make around $44,000, while this average increases by more than $30,000 by the time you’ve reached twenty years in real estate.

Obviously, years alone aren’t going to grow your salary. This isn’t a cushy government job in which you get a de facto pay bump every year. The idea is that as you gain more experience in your market, you learn better strategies, build strong customer bases, and find ways to make more efficient use of your time.


Not all property is created equal. As such, some real estate niches are just more profitable than others for agents. This could be due to volume of sales, higher price tags, or other factors. Commercial real estate has the highest average earnings (around $91,000 annually). Other top earning markets to consider include green properties, investments (especially international), and buyers who are relocating.Of course, niche values will vary from location to location. So your best bet is to research your area closely to find opportunities that are both lucrative and available. The more you can become an expert in your niche and establish yourself as the go-to agent in your area, the higher your real estate salary will grow.

Get Your Best Chance At Boosting
Your Real Estate Agent Salary From The Start

The agents who earn the most are the ones who
know what they are doing and take action on that knowledge. Check out the full suite of Real Estate Exam Ninja’s learning materials to up your real estate game and get your career started on the right foot.

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