Have you ever wondered how much money does a Realtor make? 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the latest data from May of 2019, the average real estate agent makes $45,990. According to some more recent data from salary.com, the average agent makes $42,183. Notice that’s a little bit lower.  

In this video I discuss how much money a Realtor makes, the realities of that and how much long it actually takes to start making money. And why it still costs so much to hire a real estate agent.  

Anyone you know who is planning on selling a house now or any time soon, subscribe to this channel because I’m going to show you how you can save, or make, if you will, thousands of dollars by selling your house yourself.   

Hi, my name is Joel Weihe. I’ve been making money selling real estate since 2009.  

The Money A Realtor Makes

handing over cash for house in front of beautiful new home.

The real estate business is kind of like most other businesses in that it uses the 20/80 rule. 20 percent of the agents make 80 percent of the money. Top producers make an average of $112,000 a year. Then you’ve got your mega agents that can make a half a million or more. Some agents that work with the super-rich. They can make millions of dollars a year. In this article we’re just talking about the average agent with the average price house in the average market in the average America.  

There are plenty of real estate agents out there that make a good living, 40 or 50 grand a year, which is average. The money a Realtor makes varies widely. 10% make less than $23,000 and 10% make more than $110,000

There are also a lot of agents that wash out. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, 80% of real estate agents wash out within the first five years. And there’s other data that says that 80% only last two years. Agents cycle in and they cycle out. 


Right now, at the beginning of 2021, we have a glut of agents. It makes the salaries go down a bit. Plus, the market is so low on inventory. There are a lot more agents and a lot less houses to sell. That mostly means that more agents wash out or the lower agents make less money. Simple supply and demand.  

Most of the top producers and the agents that have been around for a while are going to keep their salary about the same. Of those agents that wash out, you get agents that come in and they sell maybe one to three homes in the first couple of years. It’s just not enough money for them to make it. There are also a lot of bills and expenses, sometimes agents even end up in the hole.  

There are what are called DNA agents. Those are agents that come in, get their license and they sell to their family and friends until those family and friends run out. Once the easy money is gone, their gone.  

We also have part time agents. Some part time agents do really, really well. They have a full time job and a side hustle selling real estate.  

It’s not easy money. The beginnings of a real estate career can be difficult. For those that hang in and survive the first few years it can be very rewarding. 

My Career So Far 

My first year in real estate, I made $12,000. I literally had to borrow money to make ends meet. After my second or third year, I started making a little more money, enough to get by and start paying back that money that I borrowed. By my sixth or seventh year I was making in the lower six figures and that was nice. That was pretty cool. I was getting to travel. I was getting to save some money and do some other things that I wanted to do.  

As time rolled on I didn’t really start selling more real estate. I just started working less hours. Now I work between 20 and 25 hours a week and I still make in the low six figures. That’s what I want, more time. Someone else may want more money, and that’s very possible too. 

Agent Expenses 

To sell a house cost between five and seven percent of the contract price. And out of that five to seven percent, the agent has to pay his broker. That’s generally in the area of around 30 percent. If that broker belongs to or owns a franchise like Keller Williams or Berkshire Hathaway or something like that, they take their cut too.  

And then there’s dues. Real estate agents pay dues on the local level, the state level and the national level. There’s expenses like gas and websites and maybe office space. Some brokers charge you when you print and they charge you for all the little extras that may be used.  

Another big expense these days are so called entrepreneurs using the Internet to steal business that would otherwise go directly to agents. These “entrepreneurs” start a company,  go online and they advertise for to consumers looking for  realtors. It works like, if you need a realtor click here, you click on that button and then they sell your information to a real estate agent. A real estate agent pays for those leads, is what we call them. That can get costly.  

Most new agents must buy those leads to survive. After you’ve been a real estate awhile you develop a database from all your past clients and you try to work mostly on referrals. But those early years can get expensive. Sometimes real estate agents actually end up in the hole. Those are the ones that are more likely to wash out.  

Realtors Are Expensive 

That’s why it still costs you so much money to sell a house. I mean, even with the advent of internet sites like Zillow, Realtor.com and all these websites that make real estate so much easier these days. Despite the money a realtor makes the buyer is actually doing a lot of the work by finding houses on their own on Zillow and sites like that. Still, that five to seven percent commission is cut up into many smaller pieces keeping prices high to satisfy all that greed. That pie now has a lot more pieces than it used to.  

Some agents are barely making any money at all. And on top of that, you have real estate teams, which is a new phenomenon. That’s an agent, not a broker, just an agent that has less experienced agents working underneath them. They also take a cut of those agents pay and plus they take credit for all the homes that those agents sell.  

On average a real estate agent can make about 50 grand a year, the ones that have been around for a while. Agents can work their way up to six figures, but it’s still going to take time. 

Whatever a Realtor does make it comes out of your pocket. To avoid that expense considering selling your house yourself. You’ll save thousands of dollars and be happy you did. 

I’ll show you how

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