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How Do Real Estate Agents Make Their Money?

How Do Real Estate Agents Make Their Money?If you are planning to buy or sell a home, you will want to enlist the services of a real estate agent. But sometimes homebuyers and homeowners worry about paying for the services of a real estate agent.

After all real estate agents put an enormous amount of time and energy working for clients. They deserve to be compensated, but where does the money come from?

When You Buy A Home

When you contract with a real estate agent to buy a home, you do not pay the agent anything at all. In fact, they do not make a dime unless you actually end up buying a home. The buyer’s real estate agent makes money from the seller’s agent.

The idea behind this setup is that the buyer’s agent is bringing a deal to the seller. For that service, the buyer’s agent receives a percentage of the money that is paid to the selling agent. 

When You Sell A Home

When you hire a real estate agent to sell your home, the agent gets paid by commission on the selling price. No money actually comes out of your pocket ahead of time. When they do get paid, it is all through the paperwork at closing. Your final check from the sale will be less their commission.

Real estate agents charge varying commissions that range from 2% all the way to 6%, depending on the brokerage firm, the region and other factors. You should ask your real estate agent when you interview them what their rate is. 

Where The Money Goes

When your real estate agent does get paid, they do not get to keep all of it. Their brokerage firm gets a percentage and the seller agent gets a percentage. On top of that, many agents around the country choose to donate a small percentage of all their commissions to a favorite charity.

What Real Estate Agents Do not Charge For

Real estate agents do a lot to earn their pay, plus extras that they do not charge extra for, like:

  • hosting open houses
  • providing food and drinks during open houses
  • driving you around in your car to view homes
  • marketing your home online and in print advertisements

When it comes to hiring a real estate agent, you do not need to worry about paying for services. It is a system that works well for everyone involved in the home buying and selling process.



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