Posted On: October 27, 2021

Real Estate Broker Salary: How Much Does a Broker Make? (2021)

It's common knowledge that you can make a lot of money in real estate, but…how much money, really?

The answer is a little complicated and depends on many factors, including where you live.

Below, we'll break down how much real estate agents and real estate brokers make in each state, as well as what affects your potential salary.

What Makes a Realtor's Salary?

Most real estate agents don't actually make a regular salary, technically speaking.

Real estate licensees usually work as independent contractors within a real estate brokerage. Their income comes entirely from commissions on the real estate they sell.

So, what we're calling a real estate agent's salary here is actually "yearly income." Salary is just shorthand.

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Lies, Darn Lies, and Statistics

Semantics aside, there are a lot of ways to slice salary stats.

Since real estate is commission-based, different professionals can make wildly different amounts. There are extreme outliers. As a result, the mathematical average (the mean) is misleadingly high in many cases. The guy that makes $2 billion a year, for example, really wrecks the curve.

An average is still useful so we're including it, but we're going to give you two other pieces of information that paint a more realistic picture.

There's what we're calling:

  • The "typical" salary, which represents the "middle half" of salaries
    • The lower bound is the 25th percentile
    • The upper bound is the 75th percentile
  • What "most" agents or brokers make, which throws out the highest and lowest 10%
    • The lower bound is the 10th percentile
    • The upper bound is the 90th percentile

Realtor vs Real Estate Agent vs Real Estate Broker

"Realtor" may be the quickest way to identify the profession, but it's actually a registered trademark for a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The generic term is "real estate agent," but some REALTORS® are "real estate brokers," instead.

What's the difference?

In most states, the starter level of real estate license is called real estate agent or sales agent. Agents can handle real estate transactions but need to work under the supervision of a broker. The broker-level license gives the licensee additional roles and responsibilities, like handling the money.

To make matters more confusing, though, some people use "real estate broker" as an umbrella term, because what they do is broker real estate. Plus, a few states (like Washington) call their entry-level license Broker and their next-level license Supervising Broker.

In this article, we're using the "most states" definitions of these terms.

Real Estate Agent Salary

The local real estate market, the type of real estate, and productivity all impact a real estate agent's salary

What Affects a Real Estate Agent's Salary?

A sales agent's annual income is a percentage of the total value of what they sell. There are a lot of things that influence that number, but the main factors in a real estate agent's salary are the commission percentage, the number of transactions, and the value of each transaction.

Contract Terms

For each real estate transaction, the property seller has to enter into an agreement with the real estate agent, and in theory, each of these agreements can have its own unique commission percentage. In reality, it's usually 5-6%.

However, the seller's agent doesn't get the entire commission. Their brokerage handles the transaction, takes their cut, and then pays out the agent's cut. This is called a commission split, and the exact portion varies based on an agent's broker contract.

There are three main types of commission splits. According to the 2021 NAR member profile:

  • 37% of REALTORS® make their living under a fixed commission split. In other words, the brokerage and agent get the same percentage of the commission for each transaction.
  • 23% get a graduated commission split, in which the agent's percentage increases the more money they bring to the firm.
  • 15% have a capped commission split, where they get a certain percentage until they hit their limit. After the cap, the firm takes 100%.

Buyer's agents and desk fees complicate matters further. You can learn more in our article about how commission splits work.

Your Niche

If the real estate you're selling is more expensive, you'll make more money per transaction. That's why your niche as a real estate agent directly affects your income.

The biggest split is commercial versus residential property. Commercial real estate agents make a lot more dough but need a lot more education to get started.

Within each of those categories, though, there are many ways to specialize. You can target specific types of property, specific types of clients, or some combination of both. "Niching down" makes it easier to become an expert and recruit clientele, so choosing a niche can be more lucrative than being a generalist. However, some niches have more potential for income than others.

Your Hustle

Effort and skill make a big difference in how many transactions you handle and close. The more transactions you close, the more you'll earn. You'll close more transactions with more hours, more efficiency, and more experience.

We can see in the 2021 NAR member profile that how much REALTORS® make increases with their years of experience. NAR members' self-reported median gross income is:

  • $43,330 for all members (who have an average experience level of 8 years)
  • $75,000 with 16 years of experience or more

How Much Does The Average Real Estate Agent Make in the US?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual income for real estate sales agents in the US is $62,990.

The typical yearly income falls between $33,370 and $76,720, and most agents make more than $25,100 but less than $112,410.

How Much Does A Real Estate Agent Make In Each State?

 

Typical Real Estate Agent Salary is Between

Most Real Estate Agents Make Between

Average (Mean) Agent Salary

 

 

 

 

National

$33,370

$76,720

$25,100

$112,410

$62,990

Alabama

$36,660

$63,620

$19,470

$85,100

$52,990

Alaska

$61,860

$90,680

$46,820

$105,420

$75,860

Arizona

$28,900

$73,000

$25,380

$101,040

$55,580

California

$40,660

$89,280

$30,610

$134,370

$76,750

Colorado

$40,940

$110,210

$28,520

$138,250

$81,210

Connecticut

$37,820

$84,050

$33,660

$181,280

$78,540

Delaware

$31,110

$60,680

$27,770

$83,410

$49,490

D.C.

$39,200

$90,570

$35,660

$116,350

$64,420

Florida

$29,430

$70,660

$19,990

$119,840

$61,120

Georgia

$32,420

$70,490

$24,230

$104,720

$69,150

Hawaii

$55,220

$100,210

$34,990

$115,580

$74,820

Illinois

$20,280

$51,040

$19,560

$89,230

$44,840

Indiana

$30,070

$55,120

$25,450

$92,590

$47,410

Iowa

$32,400

$68,150

$19,640

$96,090

$54,880

Kansas

$24,320

$73,710

$18,940

$109,610

$57,500

Kentucky

$31,290

$78,410

$19,130

$104,390

$53,030

Louisiana

$23,860

$51,660

$19,790

$81,620

$50,760

Maine

$37,340

$97,320

$29,470

$125,340

$65,180

Maryland

$33,670

$63,510

$27,610

$94,960

$54,250

Massachusetts

$51,780

$100,100

$35,800

$185,330

$94,170

Michigan

$33,860

$83,490

$27,760

$104,380

$62,500

Minnesota

$29,100

$60,560

$22,990

$79,220

$46,760

Missouri

$31,850

$75,430

$19,720

$89,850

$60,330

Nebraska

$29,130

$72,250

$19,860

$100,250

$52,650

Nevada

$38,330

$80,350

$29,150

$101,460

$65,180

New Hampshire

$36,170

$61,320

$20,850

$73,890

$52,450

New Jersey

$43,350

$66,880

$35,810

$143,230

$69,660

New Mexico

$41,580

$76,340

$27,040

$84,150

$58,870

New York

$52,930

$130,220

$39,740

$190,550

$102,200

North Carolina

$32,420

$63,770

$24,550

$92,090

$52,800

North Dakota

$55,100

$78,900

$37,900

$92,070

$66,270

Ohio

$30,090

$61,410

$22,370

$89,320

$49,120

Oklahoma

$31,040

$81,650

$22,580

$130,500

$66,400

Oregon

$33,170

$64,260

$27,390

$106,700

$54,790

Pennsylvania

$40,030

$66,730

$32,040

$93,790

$57,420

Rhode Island

$43,810

$62,670

$31,860

$143,740

$67,020

South Carolina

$29,260

$51,280

$19,840

$69,080

$45,550

Tennessee

$29,150

$58,600

$25,650

$81,850

$48,840

Texas

$35,680

$82,250

$28,270

$112,900

$63,780

Utah

$30,440

$79,000

$21,180

$147,710

$72,280

Vermont

$55,070

$64,280

$47,790

$74,320

$59,780

Virginia

$37,610

$79,540

$24,010

$111,040

$66,980

Washington

$42,490

$84,010

$35,750

$121,420

$69,700

West Virginia

$35,030

$95,060

$26,470

$106,860

$66,280

Wisconsin

$30,800

$53,230

$24,810

$76,070

$47,990

Wyoming

$29,760

$83,510

$18,200

$126,330

$65,190

Ready to Start Your Real Estate Career?

Now that you know what you stand to make, are you in?

In many states, you can be licensed as a real estate agent within 6 months. You can minimize your costs and speed up the process by taking quality pre-license courses online.

We offer online, state-approved pre-license packages with exam prep – start learning today!

Already an agent and looking to level up your license and your income? We offer broker pre-license education in Texas and broker exam prep in many other states.

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