What Percent Commission Do Realtors Make: Understanding the Basics

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As you embark on the journey of buying or selling a property, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the commission structure realtors operate on. The commission they earn is a crucial aspect to consider, as it directly impacts the overall cost of your real estate transaction. In this article, we will delve into the world of realtor commissions and shed light on the percentage they typically make. So, let’s get started!

Understanding Realtor Commissions

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s define what a realtor commission actually is. In the real estate industry, a commission is the fee charged by a real estate agent or broker for their services in facilitating the buying or selling of a property. Typically, this commission is a percentage of the final sale price.

The percentage of commission can vary depending on various factors. Market conditions, location, and the complexity of the transaction all play a role in determining the commission rate. It is important to note that realtor commissions are not fixed and can be negotiated in certain situations.

Average Commission Rates for Realtors

Now that we understand the concept of realtor commissions, let’s take a look at the average commission rates you can expect. While the rates may differ from region to region, the national average commission hovers around 5-6% of the final sale price. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this percentage can vary based on the type and price of the property.

For instance, luxury properties often involve higher commission rates due to the increased complexity and specialized marketing required. On the other hand, lower-priced properties may have a higher commission percentage to ensure the realtor’s efforts are adequately compensated.

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Factors Affecting Realtor Commissions

Now, let’s explore the factors that influence the percentage of commission realtors make. The complexity of the transaction is one of the primary factors. If a property sale involves multiple parties, negotiations, or legal intricacies, it may require more time and effort from the realtor. Consequently, they may charge a higher commission percentage to account for the additional workload.

Moreover, the level of competition among realtors in a particular market can also impact commission rates. In highly competitive markets, realtors may be willing to negotiate their commission percentages to secure clients. Conversely, in areas with limited real estate professionals, commission rates may be relatively higher.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let’s address some common questions related to realtor commissions:

What is the average commission rate for real estate agents?

The average commission rate for real estate agents typically ranges from 5-6% of the final sale price. However, it’s important to remember that this is an average, and rates can vary based on factors such as property type, location, and market conditions.

Are commission rates negotiable?

Yes, commission rates are often negotiable. When entering into a contract with a realtor, it’s worth discussing the commission percentage to see if there is room for negotiation. Some realtors may be willing to adjust their rates based on the specific circumstances of the transaction.

How is the commission divided between buyer and seller agents?

The commission is typically split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. The specific breakdown may vary, but it is common for each agent to receive an equal portion of the commission. However, this can be negotiated and may depend on the agreement between the agents involved.

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Do realtors always earn a fixed percentage of the sale price?

No, realtors do not always earn a fixed percentage of the sale price. The commission percentage can vary depending on the factors we discussed earlier. Realtors assess the complexity of a transaction, market conditions, and other relevant factors to determine an appropriate commission rate.


In conclusion, understanding the percentage of commission realtors make is vital when buying or selling a property. The average commission rates typically range from 5-6% of the final sale price, but this can vary based on various factors, such as property type, location, and competition. Remember that commission rates are negotiable, and it’s worth discussing them with your realtor to ensure a fair agreement. By having a clear understanding of realtor commissions, you can make informed decisions and navigate the real estate market more confidently.

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