📊 The data: We surveyed 915 local real estate agents and found the average real estate commission in North Carolina is higher than the national average of 5.37%. Our methodology explains how we crunched the numbers.
Commission has a huge impact on your bottom line: You'd pay $17,700 in fees to sell a home worth roughly $315,300 (the typical North Carolina home value as of October 2021.)
But you might not have to pay that much: Home values in the Tar Heel state are up 27.8% over the past year and sell five days faster than the national average. The hot market puts sellers in a stronger position to negotiate commission rates with agents.
It's also worth considering North Carolina discount-commission real estate brokerages. Many can provide the same general services of a conventional realtor at a fraction of the cost.
Here's what to know about North Carolina real estate commission, including tips for negotiating rates and next steps if you are thinking of selling your home.
How North Carolina real estate commission works
The average total cost to sell a home in North Carolina is more than 6% of the sales price – 5.60% towards realtor commission and .80% in closing costs, to cover expenses like title insurance and transfer taxes.
Realtor commission in North Carolina: Key takeaways
Most North Carolina agents work solely on commission and only get paid when your home sells. Commission is deducted from the sales proceeds at closing.
Commission rates are not fixed, they're negotiable. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss commission rates with your agent before signing a listing agreement.
North Carolina sellers are in a strong position to negotiate right now. A strong seller's market increases the competition for new listings among agents. Here's why the North Carolina market currently favors sellers:
- Buyers have fewer homes to choose from. Active listings are down (8.8% over the past year, falling the most in Raleigh (41.6% drop) and (-7.1%).
- North Carolina home values have risen by 27.8%, led by the cities of Raleigh (37.25%), Durham (34.72%), and Burlington (32.22%).
- North Carolina homes sell in an average of (27 days), or 11% faster than the national average. Homes sell the fastest in Raleigh (9 days) and Burlington (13 days).
Breaking down North Carolina commission rates
Here's a quick explanation of how North Carolina real estate commission works.
- Your realtor splits the 5.60% commission with the buyer's agent, who is paid for bringing a financially-capable buyer to the table.
- The average commission split in North Carolina has 2.86% going to the listing agent and 2.74% going to the buyer's agent, according to our research.
- Commission covers a wide range of services, including photography, online marketing, hosting open houses, showing the home to prospective buyers, and negotiating offers.
- Commission does not include closing costs, which average 0.8% of the home sale in North Carolina and includes costs like title service and transfer tax.
- The average annual pay for a realtor in North Carolina is $61,087 a year, lower than the national average of $82,898, according to ZipRecruiter.
» MORE: What is realtor commission?
How to save on North Carolina realtor fees
Here are strategies that can help you get a lower commission rate than the North Carolina state average of 5.60%.
Shop around for the best value
Selling your house is likely the largest financial transaction of your life, so it's smart to interview a few agents from different brokerages. The key is to find the best balance of “right fit” (experience, service, personality) versus price.
Knocking even a fraction of a percentage off your rate could save you thousands. But price isn't everything: choosing an agent solely because they charge less could end up costing you a lot more than you save, in terms of the final sale price.
Sell your house with a discount real estate broker
A discount real estate brokerage may be a good fit if savings are your top priority.
Discount brokerages offer built-in savings, with no negotiating required. Rates are significantly lower than the typical 2.86% listing fee in North Carolina – and the best ones provide the same general services and support as conventional realtors.
Top discount real estate brokerages in 2022
Negotiate with an agent
Realtors are more likely to negotiate their commission rate if they're confident they can sell your home fast and at a high price.
Statewide market conditions are favorable for negotiating rates, but no two houses or neighborhoods are the same. You have a better chance of securing a lower rate if you meet one or more of the following criteria:
The home carries a high value: A $1 million listing at a 1.5% commission rate earns your agent much more than a $300,000 listing at a 3% rate – for roughly the same amount of work.
These North Carolina markets currently have the highest median list prices in the state:
Median list price
Kill Devil Hills
Homes are selling fast in your area: If houses on your street are selling in a matter of days, an agent might be willing to accept a lower rate because they won’t have to put in as much time and energy to sell your house.
These North Carolina markets currently have the fastest median sale timelines:
Time to sale
The home is in good condition: Well-maintained homes make for desirable listings that attract lots of interest and sell quickly, with fewer issues or complications.
Signs of a well-kept home include:
- A roof with no leaks or damaged shingles.
- Quality flooring with no cracks, dings, or missing tiles.
- Properly-working appliances.
- No funny odors or signs of mold, especially in bathrooms.
You'll be a repeat customer: Realtors are more likely to offer you a discount if you also use them to purchase a new home – a "list-buy" deal is double the commission for your agent.
You can send more business their way: Referrals are super valuable to real estate agents, as it's less time and money the agent has to spend on marketing and prospecting to find new clients. Referring friends, family, or acquaintances helps your realtor and gives you leverage in negotiations.
⚡Quick tip: Listing agents may be more willing to offer a lower rate if they know you’re shopping around. Most would prefer taking a slight hit on their fee than losing your business entirely. Let them know you are interviewing multiple candidates – they might just offer a lower rate upfront to be more competitive.
Thinking of selling your home but don't know where to start? Here are some next steps.
Start interviewing local agents: Reach out to a few local agents and set up some listing presentations, which will help you compare commission rates, learn more about your local market, and better understand the home sales process.
During a listing presentation, an agent may visit your home to discuss your home's estimated value, layout their marketing strategy, and provide a quote for their fee.
Interviewing agents is completely free, with no obligation or risk on your end. We recommend talking to several agents to compare pricing and value, and to get the best fit for your specific needs.
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: Still learning about the process and weighing your options? Check out these additional guides for home sellers in North Carolina.
- 8 Steps to Selling a House in North Carolina
- How Much it Costs to Sell in North Carolina
- North Carolina Real Estate Transfer Taxes
Explore realtor alternatives: There are other ways to sell your house besides listing with an agent. Learn more below.
- Companies That Buy Houses for Cash in North Carolina
- North Carolina Flat-Fee MLS Services
- iBuyer Companies
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 May 2022
- Months of inventory, list prices, and time on market: Based on Realtor.com data as of May 2022
We last surveyed North Carolina real estate agents in May 2021, and we're in the process of updating our data.
North Carolina realtor commission FAQs
The seller is usually responsible for paying realtor fees, which are deducted from the sales price of the home at closing. In most cases, the seller covers the buyer's agent fee as compensation for bringing a "ready, willing, and able" client to the table.
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