Average Real Estate Agent Commissions Drop Under 5% in 2021

real estate commission cost

Thinking of selling your home? The average real estate commission in the U.S. in 2021 is just under 5%. Most of the time this commission includes both the seller’s and buyer’s agent costs combined and paid by the homeowner. All real estate commissions in the U.S. are fully negotiable.

Valid real estate commission information is hard to come by. There is only one legitimate research firm that reports on commission rates across the country, Real Trends. Also Realogy, the largest corporate group of various Realty brands in the U.S., occasionally publishes nationwide real estate commission reports. Other articles you will find online about real estate commission rates are conducted by biased real estate websites conducting their own surveys, but they do not provide any of the data or criteria they used, nor is their information verified by an independent party.

Realogy is a publically traded company and so their reports have a lot of accountability behind them. Recent Realogy reports have more or less confirmed Real Trends research. From Realogy, “As of December 31, 2019, approximately 710 company owned brokerage offices and approximately 52,200 independent sales agents working with these company owned offices.” They report that their average commission per side was 2.41%, which would typically equal a 4.82% commission rate for the seller.

While the average national real estate commission rate in 2021 is 4.94%, commission averages vary from state to state and even within geographic boundaries inside the same state. One rule of thumb for local commission averages is that they will be lower in large metro areas with higher real estate prices and higher in rural areas with lower prices or a smaller inventory pool.

Average Real Estate Commission in 2021


All numbers are from Real Trends.

What determines real estate commission rates?

Supply vs. demand is the simple answer to this question. Right now, in 2021, there is a record number of Realtors in the U.S. Additionally, real estate inventory (homes for sale) across the country has been down and so Realtors are fighting to obtain listings. There are also more alternative ways to sell a home than ever before. Ibuyers, like Zillow, have entered the market in force, offering cash to purchase your home (usually for a heavy discount, charging tons of fees).

Real Estate Commission Practices are Under DOJ Scrutiny

This is not to say the practice of earning commission to sell a home or help a buyer purchase a home is under scrutiny. It’s not. What the DOJ is investigating is more complicated than that. The DOJ wants to make sure that all real estate commissions are negotiable and are not set by trade groups or associations of any kind.

Portland Seller’s Agent Commission Information is Not Publically Available But …

We do write and publish reports here on average Portland buyer’s agent commission rates annually. See Portland’s 2021 average buyer’s agent commission rate (the rate the seller is offering the buyer’s agent to bring an offer).

Our Team never charges more than 4.5% total commission in Portland, Vancouver, Salem, and Bend.

We charge 4% max. in Portland and SW Washington and 4.5% max. in Bend and Salem. We pay for professional photography, 3D home tours, staging consultation, pay extra to feature our client’s homes on the top real estate websites, and pay extra to list our client’s homes on multiple MLS systems. See what we can do for you here.

July 28, 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.
4.5% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.