Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does the Average Real Estate Agent Make a Year? Unveiling the Numbers

The world of real estate offers an array of opportunities for professional growth and financial gain. One of the most common career choices in this thriving industry is that of a real estate agent. If you’re considering a career as an agent, it’s essential to understand the earning potential that awaits you.

Illustration of a house in a neightborhood

On average, the salary for a real estate agent in the United States is $95,110 per year. Though it varies from state to state, this figure provides a general glimpse into what agents can expect to make annually. It’s important to note that several factors influence an agent’s earnings, such as the location, commission rates, years of experience, and marketing savvy. For instance, in states like Washington, New York, and Maryland, agents can earn significantly above the national average.

A career in real estate is not just about selling properties; it also demands effective marketing, negotiation skills, and a commitment to customer satisfaction. As you gain experience and develop your professional reputation, your income has the potential to grow exponentially, particularly in competitive markets.

Key Takeaways

  • The average salary for a real estate agent is $95,110 per year in the United States.
  • Factors such as location, commission rates, and experience play a significant role in an agent’s earning potential.
  • Marketing skills and customer satisfaction are crucial in enhancing your income as a real estate agent.

National Average Salary of a Real Estate Agent

As you embark on your career as a real estate agent, it’s important to understand the financial aspects of the job. Let’s take a look at the national average salary for real estate agents in the United States to give you an idea of what you can expect.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the average salary of a real estate sales agent in the United States is $44,813 as of January 26, 2023. However, this is just an average, and the actual range typically falls between $43,778 and $57,001. Keep in mind that these figures may vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the current real estate market.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a slightly higher figure. They indicate that the national average annual wage of a real estate sales agent is $65,850. Depending on your perspective, this discrepancy may be due to differences in data collection methods or other factors, but it provides another useful reference point for your consideration.

Furthermore, offers a different perspective. They state that the average base salary of a real estate agent in the United States is around $95,110. It’s important to note, though, that this figure encompasses a broad range, from $47,675 at the low end to a high of $189,741. This wide range can be attributed to factors like commission rates, markets, experience, and job performance, which all contribute to the overall income of a real estate agent.

In conclusion, it’s crucial to understand that the national average salary of a real estate agent varies by source, meaning it’s essential to consider multiple data points to get a better understanding of the potential income in this profession. By staying informed and building your skills, you can set yourself up for success in your real estate career.

Factors Affecting Real Estate Agent Salary


As with many professions, the location has a significant impact on the salary of real estate agents. Agents working in metropolitan areas like New York, California, or Massachusetts tend to have higher average salaries than those in more rural states like Wyoming or Mississippi.


The average income of a real estate agent increases with experience. For example, according to Indeed, the average salary for a first-year full-time agent is just over $94,586, but many agents see their income double after their first year.


The brokerage you join can influence your take-home pay, as different brokerages offer varying commission splits, support, and other benefits. Working for nationally-known realtors may provide better career opportunities and higher commissions but also often require more substantial resources and fees.

Sales and Commission

Real estate agent salaries heavily depend on the sales they make and the commissions they receive. Commissions typically vary between 5% and 6% of the property’s sale price split between the listing and buyer’s agents.

Roles and Responsibilities

Your job title within the real estate industry also affects salary. For instance, having “broker” on your business card is worth $58,210 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is nearly $10,000 more than the median agent earnings.

Training and Licensing

Becoming a licensed real estate agent often requires training, exams, and fees that vary from state to state. Some brokerages offer in-house training and mentorship, whereas others may require you to complete your training and licensing independently.

Work Hours

Working hours and the number of clients you choose to handle can significantly impact your annual income. Full-time agents typically earn more than part-time agents. Balancing work and personal commitments may influence your work hours and, in turn, your overall take-home pay.


Your financial goals, career aspirations, and motivation play crucial roles in determining your overall income. More ambitious agents who aim to close high-volume sales and focus on building a robust clientele base tend to earn more than those who view real estate as a secondary job or a more laid-back profession.

Keep in mind that salaries can fluctuate across different sources and reports. For instance, the National Association of REALTORS® lists the median gross income for real estate agents in 2021 at $54,330, while reports an average of $48,693 in New York as of September 25, 2023. Always consider multiple factors and sources when evaluating potential salary expectations.

Comparison of Real Estate Agent Salary with Other Roles

Real Estate Brokers

Real estate brokers typically have more experience and higher education levels compared to agents. They also hold a broker’s license and oversee agents working under them. This extra responsibility translates into higher salaries. While an average real estate agent earns around $94,031 per year, a broker’s median salary is around $59,720 per year. Remember that these salary figures vary depending on factors like location, experience, and housing markets.

Associate Brokers

An associate broker has earned a broker’s license but still works under another broker or brokerage firm. Although their official role is similar to that of an agent, their additional qualifications often lead to a salary increase. The actual income for associate brokers can vary, as their earnings often depend on the commission splits and agreements with the main broker or brokerage.


Realtors are real estate agents or brokers who are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). They follow a strict code of ethics and receive access to resources and support from the organization. Being a realtor does not directly impact an agent’s income; however, the increased professionalism and resources may help them excel in their career, leading to more commissions and a higher income potential. NAR reports that the average real estate sales agent salary is around $44,813.

Home Sellers

Home sellers are not real estate professionals, but rather, individuals selling their own property. They may choose to hire an agent or broker to assist them, but they ultimately receive the proceeds from the sale of their home. The money they make from the sale is not a salary or income but rather considered a return on their investment in the property. Keep in mind that home sellers usually pay a commission to the agents and brokers involved in the transaction, as a percentage of the sale price, which gets split between the buyer’s and seller’s agents.

Significance of Marketing in Earning Potential

As a real estate agent, your potential income largely depends on your ability to market yourself and your clients’ properties effectively. Marketing plays a crucial role in expanding your client base and ultimately increasing your earnings.

First, let’s talk about brand exposure. As a real estate agent, you need to differentiate yourself from the competition and showcase your unique value. This can be achieved through various marketing strategies, such as creating a professional online presence, leveraging social media platforms, and sharing valuable content to keep your audience engaged.

Second, client acquisition is essential for generating a steady income. By using targeted marketing strategies, you’ll be able to reach out to potential buyers and sellers, capture their attention, and convert them into loyal clients. Some effective tactics include search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, and online advertising to specifically target your ideal clientele.

Lastly, marketing enhances the perceived value of the properties you represent. High-quality photos, virtual tours, and captivating property descriptions are just a few examples of how you can showcase the unique attributes of your listings and attract more potential buyers.

Here’s a quick breakdown of average marketing expenses for real estate agents:

  • Less than $5,000 annually: Most agents
  • $5,000 to $10,000 annually: Some agents
  • Over $80,000 annually: Top 3% of agents

Remember, the key to boosting your earning potential as a real estate agent is to invest in effective marketing strategies. With continuous learning, adaptation, and strategic implementation, you can skyrocket your income and enjoy a thriving career in real estate.

Methodology of Calculating Average Salary

When determining the average salary of a real estate agent, several factors come into play. To paint a clear picture for you, let’s break down the methodology for calculating this income.

First, it’s essential to understand that real estate agents often work with a commission-based pay structure. This means that their income is directly tied to the number of properties they sell and the commissions they receive. These commissions are typically between 5% and 6% of a home’s sale price.

To calculate the average real estate agent salary, commissions are often split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. Each agent typically receives 2.5% to 3% of the total commission. As a result, your income will depend on your ability to close deals and negotiate favorable commission rates.

Next, take-home pay and base salary come into account. Many real estate agents are self-employed or work as independent contractors, which means they must cover their expenses such as marketing, licensing, and insurance fees. This can impact the net income you see at the end of the year.

To find the mean annual salary for real estate agents, look to trustworthy data sources like the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the National Association of REALTORS®. These organizations provide up-to-date salary information, with the BLS citing an average real estate agent salary at $61,720 in May 2018, while the National Association of REALTORS® reports a 2023 average of $44,813.

It’s important to keep in mind that these figures are averages and don’t always reflect the potential income for agents in specific markets or experience levels. As a real estate agent, your earning potential can fluctuate depending on your tactics, the number of properties you sell, and the economic conditions in your area.

In summary, calculating the average salary of a real estate agent involves considering commissions, splits, take-home pay, base salary, and the most recent data from trusted organizations. Keep in mind that your individual income will depend on your skills, market conditions, and the number of deals you close throughout the year.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the annual income for real estate agents?

The average annual salary for a real estate agent in the United States is $94,031. As a real estate agent, your monthly income would be around $6,658 on average. Keep in mind that this is just an average, and your individual earnings may vary based on factors such as location, experience, and the number of sales you make.

What is the average commission for a real estate agent?

When you sell a home, your commission rate as a real estate agent usually falls between 5% and 6% of the home’s sale price. This commission is then split evenly between the listing and buyer’s agents, making your average commission around 2.5% to 3% of the home’s sale price.

How does a real estate agent’s salary vary by location?

As a real estate agent, your earnings can vary depending on your location. Depending on the state and city you work in, the average salary may be higher or lower than the national average. Additionally, the cost of living in your area can impact the overall earning potential.

What factors affect a real estate agent’s yearly income?

Your income as a real estate agent can be influenced by several factors, such as years of experience, the number of sales you make, and the average price of homes you sell. Typically, agents with more experience earn higher incomes. For example, agents with one to three years of experience can see their earnings increase to an average of $38,141 per year.

Do part-time and full-time agents have a significant difference in earnings?

Yes, there is often a significant difference in earnings between part-time and full-time real estate agents. Full-time agents usually have more time to dedicate to their clients and sales efforts, leading to increased sales and higher overall earnings. Part-time agents may have limited availability, which can affect the number of deals they close, resulting in lower income.

Are there any highest-earning real estate agents?

While most real estate agents earn an average income, a select few can achieve exceptional earnings. High-earning real estate agents typically have excellent marketing and negotiation skills, an extensive network of contacts, and a deep understanding of their local market. These agents often exceed the average commission rate and successfully close high-priced home sales, leading to substantial yearly earnings.

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