As mentioned before, there are two main ways that real estate agents get paid for their services- commission per sale or agent fees.

Agent fees typically include a monthly membership fee to use the broker’s software, a one time setup cost, and a percentage of the selling price owned by the seller.

The other way that most realtors make money is through commission per sale, also known as earnings potential. This depends on who you sell your home to and how much they pay you!

The more wealthy people you sell to, the higher your income can be. Conversely, if you only work with individuals whose salary barely stretches to buying a gallon of milk, then your earning potential may be limited.

In this article, we will discuss the different types of brokers and what kind earn the highest commissions in the industry.

Full commission

As mentioned before, when you as a real estate agent get into a listing contract, your agency gets a percentage of the sale, or what’s called a full commission. This is typically 2% for each agent that represents their client in the transaction.

If the seller chooses to represent themselves, then they do not need an agent and will usually take out a loan directly from a lender to make up the difference.

This can be tricky because most agents have a limited amount of loans that are guaranteed by major lenders. If this happens, then the agent may lose money due to them being paid both principal AND interest!

Agents must also factor in how much it costs to list the home properly, such as putting in showings, photography, advertising, etc. Plus, there are fees for recording documents with the county and transferring the property. All of these things add up so Agent Fees Must Be Considered.

There are some cases where agents don’t receive a full commission, but this is very rare.

Flat fee

how are real estate commissions split

A flat fees structure is one where there are no additional costs or commission percentages for the agents involved. This can be done either by having the seller choose which agent they want to work with, or through negotiated agreements between the sellers and agents.

In this case, the seller will pay a fixed amount to agree upon an agent that will do the job for them. The buyer’s broker then gets a percentage of that agent’s commission as compensation for bringing in their client.

This removes any incentive for the buyers’ brokers to represent both parties because it directly competes with their own commissions. As a result, quality representation may not exist unless the seller chooses to go through more than one agent.

Furthermore, if one Agent does not put enough effort into representing the Seller, the seller could end up being completely dissatisfied with the sale and walk away from the transaction. If this happens, the buying broker would lose out on their commission since they broke their contract with the seller!

Flat-fee sales take away some of the incentives that real estate professionals have at play when negotiating a deal. Because there are no extra rewards for doing well, people may be incentivized to give lower quality services so as to make more money quickly.

Selling agent gets a commission, but the buyer’ll pay a fee

how are real estate commissions split

As I mentioned earlier, as a seller you get a %commission when your house is sold, however, if you are working with a buying broker or direct purchaser, they usually take care of the seller’s commissions!

That means you will not receive any additional money from the sale, despite putting in all this effort to promote the property. It is important to be aware of these fees so you aren’t left out financially.

This can really hurt your profit margin because most agents say that they make around $1,000 per transaction on average!

So instead of earning a 1% commission, the seller may only earn 0.5%.

Selling agent gets a commission, and the buyer will pay a fee to the buying agent

how are real estate commissions split

As mentioned before, when you list your house for sale, there is a listing agent and a selling agent. The listing agent’s job is to bring in potential buyers by putting up signs, running advertisements, etc. They are paid an advertising fee per advertisement run.

The selling agent is hired once a close match is made between the seller and buyer. This can sometimes take weeks or even months! During this time, the selling agent works with both parties to negotiate a deal that is good for everyone involved.

A portion of the sales commission goes towards paying the selling agent, and then the other half goes to the buying agent.

The buying agent represents the person who makes the highest offer. This person may be you as the seller, or it could be someone else trying to buy your home.

Commission split

how are real estate commissions split

As we mentioned before, most real estate agents are not paid in a straight commission model. Rather than getting a set fee for each transaction they close, their pay is based on how much profit they make in the form of a sales agent commission or as an associate broker commission.

As you can imagine, this can get very confusing for new agents. Luckily, it’s easy to understand where all that money goes!

Here’s what you need to know about brokers’ commissions.

Real estate agents get a percentage of the sale price

how are real estate commissions split

As mentioned before, as a real estate agent you are paid in two main ways- your sales commission and what is called the listing fee. Your sales commission comes directly from the sale of the property, and typically ranges anywhere from 2% to 6%. This depends on how large or small the house sold is!

The listing fee is usually paid at the beginning when an agent signs up for their own personal brokerage (or “broker”) agency. This is where they represent both sellers and buyers, and it costs around $500–$1,000 per agent per year.

This is how most residential Realtors make their living — by selling homes and receiving a percent of the sale price as compensation. Business owners know that business profits come down to marketing, advertising, and finding new clients, so this approach makes sense. But as we noted earlier, being a realtor isn’t necessarily the best career path for everyone.

If you’re interested in making money investing in real estate, there are other routes to take. And while these may cost you some initial investment capital, you won’t be paying any monthly fees! We have gathered several tips here for you to consider.

Real estate agents get a percentage of the purchase price

how are real estate commissions split

As I mentioned earlier, as a seller’s agent you are paid an agency fee by the buyer’s broker. This is usually done through their brokers office but can be done directly via phone or chat apps like WhatsApp.

The agency fee is typically between 6% and 10% of the sale price which is also how much of your commission is dependent on how big the house is. The bigger the property the higher proportion of the sale price it represents meaning higher payouts for real estate professionals.

As a seller’s agent, you will also receive a separate commission from the buyers agent. This is known as a listing agent commission and is based on what stage the home is in at when they find it suitable to list it with another company called a sales firm.

If the seller decides to go ahead without a selling firm, then both the sellers agent and themselves would get payment but only once the contract has been signed and the money transferred.

The broker gets a commission

how are real estate commissions split

As mentioned earlier, as a listing agent you get a percentage of the sale price that your efforts create a close on. This is called your sales commission or seller’s agency fee. It varies depending on what type of property you are representing for a company and how well you represent it to potential buyers.

The buyer’s agents salary is typically fixed per hour worked, so their commissions tend to be more consistent than those sellers’ agents who can make much more money if a good seller calls them often.

Real estate professionals refer to these extra fees paid to you by the seller as your seller’s agency. You can also call this compensation production related income (PERI) because it consists of both producing an asset and paying yourself a dividend – in other words, investing in yourself!

There are several ways brokers are compensated for services they provide including: owning part of the business, receiving rewards such as free home supplies or entry into referral programs, and getting additional revenue through other sources.


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