Whenever we discuss our commissions we often find that people have no idea how a REALTOR® gets paid and all the work behind getting those paychecks. While each real estate company has different way of compensating their agents, certain aspects remain consistent no matter which brokerage they represent.
The first confusion is that REALTOR®s work for a broker as an employee and are compensated for any or all of the broker’s sales. The truth is that agents are actually self-employed as independent contractors. Indiana’s real estate license dictates that agents affiliate with a brokerage unless they choose to start their own company (there are other requirements before an agent can do so). As independent contractors we are only compensated on our own sales and not any other brokerage sales. So if a REALTOR® doesn’t sell any of their properties, they don’t make a cent. In some cases with larger teams, they all might get a cut of the team’s sales but that is really determined by the team leader.
The next part that is fairly consistent is with the brokerages’ compensation to the agent for the agent’s own sales. With each sale the commission is paid to the brokerage. Then the brokerage pays the agent based on predetermined percentages and other expenses. The part that varies with each brokerage is how they pass on expenses to the agents. In some cases it’s up front charges and others it’s taken out of the agents commission as a percentage of the sale. In either case understand that when you see the commission figures on closing documents, your agent is only getting a portion of that amount.
Now that you know we are self-employed you also have to understand that an agent is responsible for all their own taxes, professional fees, ongoing education requirements, transportation costs, and a lot of their business expenses. Some brokers provide a lot for their agents while others provide little if anything at all which often determines the commission percentages. But no matter how much the brokerage provides all agents will have to cover a lot of their own expenses if they want to be a successful agent. As you look at the chart to the right you’ll see in the end an agent gets a small profit from each sale and only after a successful closing.
So to summarize agents only get a percentage of the commission and only when they list and sell your home or help a buyer purchase a home. Up until a successful closing real estate agents assume all the expenses involved and receive absolutely no commission if there is no sale. As you can see a successful REALTOR® will do everything they can to help sell their listings, as there is no payday until they do.
Dennis & Connie Derrick (The Derrick Team) are a husband / wife team and are associated with Carpenter Realtors because they provide the best marketing to their agents. Then The Derrick Team goes the extra step to present your home in the best possible way to buyers, as this is what we know helps sell your home. You only get the extra marketing by selecting The Derrick Team. We are also unique in that we enjoy what we do so helping our clients in any way we can is part of the experience you have with us. We like to help people with their real estate needs, but we do have bills to pay as well. Give us a call to discuss your needs today at 317-563-1110 or shoot us an email at DerrickTeam@DerrickTeam.com.