How Much do Real Estate Agents Make? 2022 Report

Each year, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases a report detailing how much real estate agents make. Or in Oregon’s case, how much Realtors make. Not sure about the different between a real estate agent, Realtor, or Broker? Read our article, REALTOR, Agent, Broker – What’s the difference?

The 2021 reported median gross income for Realtors was $43,330, a decrease from $49,700 reported in 2020.

This decrease while not unusual, as we can see from the graph below, was likely due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. While there was surprisingly still a demand for homes during the pandemic, the market saw a notable slump in real estate inventory in 2021, the lowest in 40 years, according to NAR.


Why Hasn’t Realtor Income Changed Much?

It would be reasonable to assume that because home prices keep increasing, so would Realtors’ incomes, based on commission. There are a couple of factors that affect average income calculations in the world of real estate, though.

Falling Commission Rates. Real estate commission rates have gone down over the last few years. Not by a ton, but significant enough to impact Realtor’s income. The average Realtor commission rate just dropped below 5% in 2021.

Increasing Number of Realtors. The number of Realtors has dramatically increased right alongside home prices, and this has had a leveling effect on real estate agent incomes. See our 2022 update on the record number of real estate agents in the U.S.

What is the Average Real Estate Agent Demographic?

According to the 2021 NAR report, the typical Realtor is a 54-year-old, white, college educated, female homeowner. In fact, 65% of all full-time realtors were female, and 70% of part-time realtors were also female.

The report also shows that the typical realtor worked 35 hours per week in 2021. This is mixing full time Realtors with part-time.

Increasing Diversity. In terms of race, 78% of REALTORS® in 2021 were white, a slight drop from 80% last year. Others represented in the report were Hispanics/Latinos (9%), Black/African Americans (7%), and Asian/ Pacific Islanders (6%). More diversity was evident in new members, and among those with two years or less of experience, 34% were minorities.

How Much Does Experience Affect Realtor Income?

Unlike many fields that allow you to complete schooling or training and immediately start to work at a competitive income, real estate is one that typically requires the commitment of time and patience. For example, the 2021 NAR reports that Realtors with 16+ years of experience earned $75,000. Those with 6-15 years earned $66,700, those with 3-5 years earned $41,300, and those with 2 years or less earned $8,500.

Being a real estate agent can feel like a waiting game, especially in the beginning for those fresh out of training with no experience or referrals, but there are ways to get started with some help.

Want to Become a Real Estate Agent?

Realtor membership is at an all-time high, and competition is fierce. Considering these factors and that the average income levels are on the low side, it’s fair to say that a career in real estate is not for the faint of heart.

However, if you are excited and determined to become a real estate agent, we highly recommend joining a real estate team as a paid intern to learn the ropes when you’re starting out. Launching into the work as a 100% commission sales agent is a tough road and only a few make it.

The bottom line is this: the majority of real estate agents do okay, plenty do not do well at all, and only a few do exceptionally well.

Work with a Top 1% Realtor in the U.S.

The Stephen FitzMaurice Team has sold over 2,000 homes. We are a small team and have done well due to our customer service focus and our “pay less / get more” model. In 2020, our list-price-to-sold-price average was 100%, and 138 of our homes sold in less than 30 days on market and 84 in the first weekend

We charge a reasonable 4% commission to sell in Portland and SW Washington, 4.25% in Salem and Bend areas, but pay more to market our homes so they sell faster and at higher prices. We also recruit the very best real estate agents in the city to make sure our home buyers are well-represented.

Real estate agents are not all the same. That’s why we would never recommend working with a Realtor based on a referral from one or two people. Our small team has over 400 positive verified online reviews and a successful track record that started 18 years ago.

December 3, 2021

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.25% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.