How Much Does a Realtor Get for Selling My House?

February 7, 2024 - 6 min read

When you enlist a real estate agent or Realtor to sell your home, you’re trusting them to effectively list, market, show, and sell your property. This person’s skills and experience can hopefully help your residence find a buyer quickly and sell for a desired price. In exchange for these services and expertise, a seller’s agent is paid an agreed-upon commission, which is usually split with the buyer’s agent.

Curious what the rate of real estate agent commission for selling a house is today? Read on to learn more about real estate commissions, if and how they are negotiable, why this commission is deserving, and what sellers should consider before partnering with an agent and agreeing on a commission.

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How do real estate commissions work?

Real estate agents earn their money via real estate commissions, which equate to a percentage of a home’s final sale price. This commission fee is paid equally to the listing agent (who represents the seller) and the buyer’s agent.

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The seller actually fully pays the combined commission amount (deducted from the sale proceeds) at closing, while the buyer pays nothing. However, the buyer’s agent’s cut of the commission is typically built into the listing price of the home, which means the home buyer usually ends up paying their share of the commission indirectly.

The real estate commission is further split between the agent/Realtor and that professional’s real estate brokerage. Let’s say a listing agent pockets $10,000 as their 50% cut of the commission. In this case, the listing agent’s brokerage will typically get 30% of that money, equating to about $3,000. The same 70%/30% commission split commonly applies to the buyer’s agent commission.

“Real estate commission rates can be influenced by various factors, including housing market conditions, local economies, and industry dynamics,” explains Deba Douglas, team leader of Deba Douglas Realty Group in Dallas.

Average real estate commissions

The national average real estate agent commission rate is currently 5.8% of the home sale price, based on HomeLight data.

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If your home sold for $387,600 – the current national median existing home sale price, per the most recent (November 2023) National Association of Realtors’ data – that means the total commission paid would likely be around $22,480, which would be split evenly between the listing agent and buyer’s agent.

“The standard agent commission structure across the country today is typically around 5% to 6% of a property’s selling price. While there is no fixed national rate, the percentage is commonly negotiated between the seller and their chosen real estate agent,” adds Douglas.

Are real estate commission rates negotiable?

Thinking about selling your home and curious if the agent’s real estate commission for selling a house is negotiable? The good news is that commission rates are usually negotiable. Sellers can request a lower rate, and the listing agent can agree or stick to their original rate.

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“Factors influencing negotiation include market conditions, home value, and the agent’s services. Home sellers can discuss their expectations, and some may successfully negotiate a lower commission rate – especially in competitive markets,” Douglas continues. “It’s essential for sellers to communicate openly with potential agents and reach mutually agreeable terms on commission before entering into a listing agreement.”

Suzanne Hollander, an attorney and real estate broker who teaches real estate law at Florida International University in Miami, points out that commission for selling a house negotiations must occur before you sign on the dotted line.

“According to National Association of Realtors rules, a home seller may not negotiate a lower rate once they enter into a listing agreement with the listing agent that sets the commission structure,” she says. “All parties should be upfront and transparent about commission from the beginning of the relationship.”

Nick Narodny, CEO/founder of Aalto, says that while commissions are always negotiable, you can run into challenges when you try to bargain rates.

“Many agents say they will not work for less real estate commission and will not take your business. And buyer’s agents say the commission is set by the seller so it’s not up to them,” he notes. “Agents also need permission from their brokerage to lower their rate below a certain point, and sometimes the brokerage won’t approve a lower commission unless the agent pays the brokerage the difference out of their own pocket.”

Consider that only about one in four (27%) of agents are open to negotiating their commission rate, per a Consumer Federation of America report.

“Additionally, sellers that pay less than a normal commission to buyer’s agents will likely see reduced showing activity because buyer’s agents will favor the homes they stand to make the most money on,” Narodny cautions.

Is hiring a real estate agent to sell a house worth it?

The prospect of paying tens of thousands to an agent for a commission for selling a house may give you pause. But ponder what you’re getting for these agent fees.

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“Real estate agents justify their commissions by providing valuable services throughout the home buying or selling process. For sellers, agents assist in pricing the property, marketing it effectively, negotiating with potential buyers, and handling the financial and legal complexities of the transaction. They also offer market insights, guidance on property preparation, and access to a network of potential buyers,” says Douglas.

Narodny echoes those thoughts.

“Agents can reduce the chance of problems for a seller after the close by providing well-prepared paperwork and detailed disclosures. Agents have the ability to network and market the home to potentially generate a higher sales price than an owner could achieve on their own, and many agents offer to arrange and contribute to staging and prep costs to win the business and justify higher Realtor fees,” says Narodny.

A listing agent can prove particularly valuable in helping you set the right price for your home based on research they conduct on comparable sold properties in your area and experience in your neighborhood. Homes that aren’t priced appropriately based on local market conditions and demand tend to sit longer, leading to asking price drops.

Buyers, meanwhile, benefit from an real estate agent’s expertise in navigating the market, identifying suitable properties, negotiating offers, and guiding them through the closing process. Their agent saves them time otherwise spent scouring for the right home for sale and arranging for showings.

“Ultimately, the commission paid reflects both agents’ skills, time, and efforts in facilitating a successful real estate transaction,” she adds.

Commission advice to those selling a house

Eager to partner with a listing agent? Prepare for some due diligence first, the experts agree.

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“It’s advisable to discuss commissions early in the agent selection process,” recommends Douglas. “When interviewing potential agents, inquire about their services and commission structure so that you know exactly what they charge. Focus on finding a real estate agent who offers a good balance of services, experience, and a commission rate that aligns with your local market and your expectations. And remember that, while real estate commissions are negotiable, it’s essential to consider the value an experienced real estate agent brings to the transaction.”

If the commission is a deal-breaker

Still think agent commissions are too high and not worth the price? You can always opt to sell your home without an agent, in which case your choices would be:

  • Pursue an FSBO (“for sale by owner”) strategy, wherein you do all the work an agent would, including prepping your property for sale, listing/advertising the property, marketing it, showing it to prospective buyers, and negotiating directly with home shoppers.
  • Sell to a cash buyer who doesn’t need financing, such as a private party who can pay 100% of the purchase price out of pocket, an investor, an iBuyer company, or a house-buying enterprise.

The bottom line

Avoid sticker shock that can happen at closing by learning upfront what your agent will charge in commission to sell your home. If you feel that rate is higher than you can afford or are comfortable with, ask if there’s any wiggle room on the commission. But keep in mind that the lower the real estate commission, the less incentive agents have to give your home priority. Respect that real estate agents fairly earn their commission based on their training, experience, skills, and overall value they bring to the transaction.


What percentage do most Realtors charge?

Typically, a listing agent (representing the seller) charges 5% to 6% as a commission rate. This amount is paid by the seller only and paid out at closing. The buyer’s agent earns half that money. Usually, the home’s list price is set to cover the buyer’s agent’s cut of the commission.

Why use a Realtor versus sell a home yourself?

Entrusting a listing agent to sell your home is a smart move that will probably result in a higher sold price than if you attempted to sell your home by owner. Agents have the know-how and expertise to set the ideal price for a quicker sale, prep, list, and market your home properly, represent your best interest in negotiations with the buyer, and handle the legal matters and fine print involved with a real estate contract and completed transaction.

How do you calculate commission on the sale of a property?

Most agent commissions for selling a house tally around 5.8% of a property’s final sale price nowadays, on average. For example, if you sell your home for $400,000, you multiply that amount by 0.058, which equates to $23,200.

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Erik J. Martin
Authored By: Erik J. Martin
The Mortgage Reports contributor
Erik J. Martin has written on real estate, business, tech and other topics for Reader's Digest, AARP The Magazine, and The Chicago Tribune.
Aleksandra Kadzielawski
Reviewed By: Aleksandra Kadzielawski
The Mortgage Reports Editor
Aleksandra is the Senior Editor at The Mortgage Reports, where she brings 10 years of experience in mortgage and real estate to help consumers discover the right path to homeownership. Aleksandra received a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University. She is also a licensed real estate agent and a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR).