📊The data: We surveyed 915 agents and found that the average real estate commission in Illinois is 5.20%, which is less than the national average of 5.49%. Our methodology explains how we crunched the numbers.
So how much is 5.20%, really? You’d pay about $13,500 to sell a home worth roughly $259,900 (the typical Illinois home value as of April 2022).
The good news is you may not have to pay that much: Few homes for sale and rising housing values puts Illinois sellers in a stronger position to negotiate commission rates with agents.
It’s also worth looking into low-commission real estate brokerages, who can often provide the same general services as a conventional agent for less.
Here's what you need to know about Illinois real estate commission, including how rates are determined, tips to save money, and next steps if you are thinking of selling.
How Illinois real estate commission works
Realtor commission is the biggest expense of selling a home in Illinois, taking 5.20% off your proceeds from the sale.
Key takeaways about realtor commission in Illinois
Most Illinois agents work 100% on commission and only get paid when the home sells. Commission is taken out of the proceeds upon a successful sale.
Rates are not set in stone, they’re negotiable. You’ll typically hash out your commission rate with your listing agent before signing an agreement.
Illinois sellers are in a good position to negotiate right now. Inventory across Illinois is down 27.4% — and home values are up 14.2% — over the past year. That means more competition among agents for new listings, which gives you a better chance of securing a lower rate.
Price impacts your ability to negotiate. You may have more success negotiating a lower rate if you’re in a higher-priced city like Chicago ($337,000 average sales price) than a smaller, low-priced city like Canton ($69,000), since the agent would net more commission despite the lower rate.
A faster potential sale is desirable for agents and gives you more leverage in negotiations. Sellers may have more luck negotiating rates in Chicago (35 days to sale) compared to smaller cities like Bloomington (68 days).
Commission covers a wide range of services, including completing real estate listing paperwork, professional photography, marketing expenses, hosting open houses, and negotiating contracts.
» MORE: What is realtor commission?
📊 Breaking down commission fees in Illinois
How to save on Illinois real estate commission
Here are strategies that can help you get a lower realtor commission rate than the Illinois state average of 5.20%.
Shop around for the best value
We recommend interviewing multiple agents to find the best balance of “right fit” (experience, service, personality) versus price. Selling your house will likely be the largest financial transaction of your life, and knocking even a fraction of a percentage off your rate could save you thousands.
But remember, the most important thing is finding the right fit for the job. Choosing an agent because they offer 1% less than the other guy could end up costing you a lot more than you save, in terms of the final sale price.
⚡Quick tip: Most agents would rather take a slight hit on their fee than lose your business entirely. If they know you’re interviewing multiple candidates, they may offer a lower rate upfront to be more competitive — or match a competitor’s price if you have a quote in hand.
Sell your house with a discount real estate broker
If savings are your top priority, consider hiring a discount real estate brokerage. Discount brokerages offer built-in savings, with no negotiating required. The rates are usually significantly lower than the average 2.70% listing fee in Illinois — and the best provide the same “full-service” experience as conventional realtors.
Top discount real estate brokerages in Illinois in 2022
Negotiate with an agent
Current market conditions in Illinois are favorable for negotiating a lower rate with a local realtor. The time to negotiate commission is at your initial meeting, before a listing agreement is signed.
You have a better chance of securing a lower rate if you meet one or more of the following criteria:
Homes in your neighborhood sell fast: A faster sale means a quicker paycheck for your agent and a higher return on their time and money invested. Illinois homes typically sell in 39 days — but varies by local market.
For example, homes in the small city of Lincoln sell in 63 days, while homes in the larger city of Peoria sell in 52 days. Your agent will be able to tell you how fast homes are selling in your area.
The home is in great shape: Agents love to list homes that are well-maintained, as it attracts more buyers and reduces the risk of a buyer backing out of a contract due to a poor home inspection.
Key signs of a kept-up home include: a roof with no leaks or missing shingles; clean gutters; properly working appliances; and no moisture issues or funny odors in the basement or crawl space.
It's a high-priced property: The higher the home sale price, the more commission in your agent's pocket – even with a lower rate. Agents usually care more about their total money earned than the actual percent commission on paper.
You're also buying a home: A list-buy deal means double the commission for your agent, who may offer you a discount on one of the transactions (if you ask for it).
You can provide referrals: You can add value to a realtor's business by referring friends, family, or acquaintances. It's less time and money the agent has to spend on marketing to find new clients.
» MORE: How to negotiate realtor commission
Sell the house yourself
Listing your home for sale by owner (FSBO) means you avoid a real estate agent entirely. You'll do all of the heavy-lifting, from marketing and showing the home, to negotiating with buyers.
While you can potentially save thousands by not working with a realtor, it's only a viable option if you meet the following criteria:
- The home will be easy to market and sell: It’s fairly priced, in good condition, and in a location with high demand — or you already have a buyer lined up.
- You are knowledgeable and comfortable with the home-selling process: You've done all of the research, or have some past real estate experience.
- You can take on a full-time job with odd hours: You don't mind answering phone calls past normal working hours and working on weekends.
- You can handle your emotions well: You’re comfortable in negotiations and can deal with potential setbacks, like if your home doesn't sell right away or falls through while under contract (which is rare, but happens sometimes).
- You understand the legal risks: The legal aspects of selling a home are complex and high-stakes. You’ll need to understand Illinois’ disclosure laws and be comfortable filling out the required legal paperwork (or have a good real estate attorney to help you).
Thinking of selling your home but don't know where to start? Here are some next steps.
Start interviewing local agents: If you want to figure out how much the commission will be when you sell, reach out to a few local agents and set up some listing presentations.
During a listing presentation, the agent will typically come to your home and give you a free comparative market analysis (home valuation), layout their marketing strategy, and provide a quote for their fee.
Interviewing agents is free with no obligation, so there’s no risk. We recommend talking to several agents to compare pricing and get the best fit and value.
To get started, check out our guide on the best ways to find real estate agents — or you can sign up for Clever’s free agent matching service below to connect with top realtors in your area right now (and save on commission).
Read more about selling your home: If you’re still learning about the process and weighing your options, check out these additional guides for home sellers in Illinois.
- 8 Steps to Selling a House in Illinois
- How Much it Costs to Sell in Illinois
- Learn About Illinois Real Estate Transfer Taxes
Explore realtor alternatives: There are other ways to sell your house besides listing with an agent. Learn more below.
Our data on commission rates is based on a survey of 915 of our partner agents from across the country, in which we asked for typical rates for both buyer's and seller's agents in their area.
Additionally, we utilized the following data from Zillow and Realtor.com:
- Home values: Based on Zillow data as of April 2022
- Months of inventory, list prices, and time on market: Based on Realtor.com data as of March 2022
We last surveyed Illinois real estate agents in May 2021, and we're in the process of updating our data.
Illinois realtor commission FAQs
Illinois real estate agents earn an average of 5.20% per sale, which is often split between the listing agent and buyer's agent. The fee covers every expense of selling a home, including professional photography, marketing the property online, and hosting open houses.
Each realtor earns an average commission of $6,750 on a $259,900 home sale, assuming a commission rate of 5.20% that is split evenly between the listing agent and buyer's agent. Agents don't keep all of that – part of the commission goes toward marketing the property, and part of it may be split with the agent's brokerage.
In most cases, the commission is split down the middle between the listing agent and the buyer's agent, although the actual percentages are determined by the seller prior to listing the home. In Illinois, the average commission split sees 2.70% going to the listing agent and 2.50% going to the buyer's agent.