The current average real estate commission is 5.37%, with 2.72% going to the listing agent and 2.65% going to the buyer's agent.
At this rate, U.S. home sellers pay about $8,055 in realtor fees on a $150,000 home and $37,590 on a $700,000 home.
How do realtor fees work?
When you sell a home, two realtors are typically involved: your listing agent and the buyer's agent. Both agents get paid a real estate commission based on your home's final sale price. These commissions are factored into the listing price of the home, and they're paid from the sale proceeds rather than up front.
While 2.5–3% is the typical fee per agent, what you actually pay will depend on the commission rates you agree to with your listing agent.
Discussions about commission rate usually take place at an initial listing appointment, when you and a realtor talk about working together to sell your home. The rate you decide on is documented in the formal listing agreement you sign with your agent.
You and your realtor will also decide what commission rate to offer a buyer's agent. Offering this commission incentivizes buyer's agents to bring their clients to your home.
Note: realtor commission rates aren't set in stone. They vary by location, brokerage, market conditions, and other factors — and they're negotiable.
Some full-service brokerages negotiate lower commission rates for you, which could save you thousands on your home sale.
For example, Clever Real Estate pre-negotiates 1.5% listing fees with top real estate agents across the country. When you find your realtor through Clever's free service, you get the full service and support of an experienced, local agent for about half the typical listing fee.
» JUMP TO: How realtor commission works | Who pays? | How agents set their rates | How to save on commission | Average real estate commission by state
Who pays realtor fees?
Home sellers pay real estate fees for both their own agent and the buyer's agent. These fees come out of the proceeds of the sale, not out of pocket.
The buyer's agent commission is a marketing cost for your home. Nearly 90% of buyers work with an agent. These agents are more motivated to show your home to their clients when you offer a competitive buyer's agent commission.
And one could argue that the buyer actually pays for the buyer's agent commission. This cost is factored into the home's sale price, so the buyer technically pays for it through their mortgage.
» JUMP TO: How realtors set commission rates
What percentage do realtors make?
Total realtor commission ranges from 4.45% to 6.34%, with an average of 5.37%. The total is usually split evenly between the listing agent and the buyer's agent.
The exact percentage you'll pay a realtor depends on several factors, like the normal rate in your area and which agent you choose to work with. If you find an agent through a low commission real estate company, you can pay a rate well below the industry average.
One of the best-rated companies, Clever Real Estate, makes it easier to save by pre-negotiating lower listing fees with top agents. With Clever, you get a local agent from a trusted brokerage like Berkshire Hathaway or Keller Williams — but for a fraction of the cost.
💰 SAVE: Save thousands on realtor fees, sell with a top local agent!
Average realtor commission for listing agents
Typical commission rates for listing agents nationwide range from 2.26% to 3.17%, with an average of 2.72%.
On a $334,269ⓘ home sale, the listing agent would get $7,554 to $10,596.
Listing commission rates can vary by as much as 40% depending on where you live.
Here's how listing commissions differ in states with the highest and lowest typical costs:
» LEARN: How to save money on listing fees
Average buyer's agent commission rates
Nationwide, buyer's agents typically collect 2.19% to 3.17%, or 2.65% on average.
On a $334,269 home sale, the buyer's agent would get $7,320 to $10,596.
Buyer's agent commission rates can vary by 0.88 percentage points depending on which state you live in. That's a significant cost difference.
Here's a breakdown of how buyer's agent commissions compare across the country:
How do real estate agents set their commission rates?
Realtors tend to set their commission rate based on what other agents in the area are charging. Rather than a fixed percentage, most agents operate within a range, typically 2.5–3%. They'll adjust their rate based on these factors:
Among realtors, home value is one of the biggest factors in determining commission rates. Since commissions are based on a home's final sale price, higher value homes offer a bigger pay off. "If a house is on the higher end for our market ($500,000 or more)," says realtor Ryan Radecki, "I’m more willing to negotiate the listing fee."
Repeat business and seller situation
Realtor Isabela Sarto bases her rates on factors like whether the client is selling more than one property or also looking to buy. She might also offer a lower commission for sellers in difficult situations or those referred by a past client.
How hard the house will be to sell
For realtor Susan Aviles, commission boils down to how hard it will be to sell a house. "I try to find out when I first talk to my client what the overall condition of the home is," she says. Aviles also looks at the level of demand from buyers in the area and what other agents are offering.
Level of service
Minneapolis-based realtor Michael McGivern bases his rate off of the service package his clients choose. “I offer sellers three options with commissions at five, six, and seven percent with different features at each level,” says McGivern. “This allows the sellers to tell me what they value and sets them up for a great experience."
Local market conditions are particularly important when determining the buyer's agent commission (BAC), says Aviles. "When it’s a seller’s market, we can offer a lower buyer’s agent commission. If there are a lot of actives, we might offer higher to attract more buyers.”
How to save on realtor fees
Work with a brokerage that offers built-in savings
For most sellers, the best way to save is by working with a low commission real estate brokerage. The top discount companies, like Clever, provide the same agent and service quality you'd get from a traditional brokerage — but charge a LOT less.
Clever matches you with top local agents from well-known brokerages like Century 21 and Keller Williams. It also pre-negotiates 1.5% listing fees, which is half the rate most realtors charge.
You can interview as many realtors as you want to find the best fit — or walk away at any time. The service is free, with no strings attached.
Negotiate the commission rate directly with your realtor
Realtor commissions are negotiable, and you can always ask your agent for a discount. However, some agents may be more open to adjusting their rates than others — and it may be up to you to start the conversation.
In the following scenarios, an agent might be willing to lower their rate to secure your business:
Why an agent would lower their rate
Your home will be easy to sell
If, for example, demand in your area is high or you already have a buyer lined up, your agent will get a faster paycheck for less work.
Your home value is high
Your agent will make more money on your higher-priced home at a lower rate than they could get on a lower-priced home at their traditional rate.
You can offer the agent repeat business or referrals
Your agent will make more money overall if you give them more business.
» MORE: How to negotiate realtor commission
Sell your home for sale by owner (FSBO)
You can also save by selling your home DIY instead of working with a listing agent. However, we don't recommend this route for most sellers.
Most FSBO sellers end up selling their homes for less than market value, which can limit or even negate the savings on realtor fees. And FSBO sales are time-consuming, with legal and financial risks.
» MORE: How to sell your house for sale by owner
Average real estate commission by state
Across the country, real estate commissions are typically 5–6%, with realtors charging higher or lower based on factors like local norms and market conditions.
Use this table to find the average real estate commission in your state:
Average commission rate
* Due to insufficient data, commission rates in these states were inferred from regional averages.
No matter where you live, paying average realtor fees will take a HUGE bite out of your profits when you sell your home. Thankfully, you can save on realtor commission without sacrificing the support of an agent.
» SAVE: Get a 1.5% listing fee with a top local agent
How much do real estate agents make per sale?
How much a realtor makes per sale depends on the final home sale price and the commission rate. The standard total commission rate is 5–6%.
Generally, the realtor commission is split evenly between your listing agent and the buyer's agent. And each agent usually splits their commission 50/50 with their brokerage.
On a $400,000 home sale with a 6% total commission rate, each agent would walk away with approximately $6,000.
Here's how much you can expect to pay in realtor fees based on different home sale prices and common realtor commission rates:
Home sale price
On a $100,000 home sale, a 5.5% total realtor commission would be $5,500. But each realtor would walk away with only $1,375 — assuming a 50/50 split between the seller's and buyer's agents and a 50/50 split between each agent and their brokerage.
On a $500,000 home sale, a 5.5% realtor commission would be $27,500. But each realtor would walk away with only $6,875 — assuming a 50/50 split between the seller's and buyer's agents and a 50/50 split between each agent and their brokerage.
Why are real estate agent commissions so expensive?
Realtor fees are expensive for a few justifiable reasons:
- Studies show that homes sold by real estate agents net 5.82% more than comparable homes sold without an agent.
- Listing agents don't get to keep all of the commission they earn from a home sale — they split it with the buyer's agent and their brokerage.
- Realtors take on risk by covering home-marking costs up front, without any guarantee they'll be compensated.
» MORE: What does a real estate agent do?
Some low commission companies help realtors reduce their risk and up-front costs. This allows the agents to charge lower rates while providing the same level of service. Learn more about how to save on realtor fees.
FAQ about realtor commission
A fair real estate commission depends on a number of factors, including your home price, how quickly you expect your house to sell, and what services your agent will provide. You can sometimes negotiate a lower listing fee, especially if you're willing to do more of the work yourself. But most sellers find the most overall value with a low cost realtor who offers full service for a discounted rate. Find the best low commission companies!
Real estate commission costs an average of 5.37% nationwide, but varies by state from 4.45% to 6.34%. Find average commission rates in your state.
Data on commission rates is based on a survey of 630 of our partner agents, in which we asked them to indicate the typical rates for both buyer's and seller's agents in their area.
The data featured on this page is not meant to imply that commission rates are fixed. Commissions rates are always negotiable. These figures represent ballpark estimates of what home sellers can expect to pay in real estate agent fees when they sell their home.
In addition to data from our survey, we also used home value data from Zillow, which was current as of March 2023.
National Association of Realtors. "Quick Real Estate Statistics."
Collateral Analytics. "Saving Real Estate Commissions At Any Price."
Zillow. "United States Home Values."