Real estate agents make their income from commissions when they represent buyers or sellers on the sales of homes. By law, the amount of commission charged must be negotiable. The industry average is 5% to 6% of the home sale price.
Although the percentages of the split may vary, traditionally, a 6% commission would be divided between the listing broker’s office and the selling broker’s office. The listing agent represents the seller, and despite the name, the selling agent is the one who represents the buyer. Three percent would go to the listing broker’s office, which would be split between the broker of record and the listing agent, per their office agreement. Likewise, the other 3% would be split between the selling agent’s broker of record and the selling agent.
For example, if a seller agrees to pay a 6% commission on a $1,000,000 sale price for their home, the total commission paid at closing would be $50,000. Of that, $25,000 would be disbursed to the listing office, where the agent would be paid $12,500 or more, depending on the agent’s commission agreement with the broker. The other half would be shared between the buyer’s brokerage and agent. Agents also generally pay Errors and Omissions insurance premiums as well as other transaction fees.