How Much Does a Real Estate Agent Make in Massachusetts

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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How Much Does a Real Estate Agent Make in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts real estate market offers promising career opportunities, attracting individuals who seek a dynamic and potentially lucrative profession.

Among the many factors that entice aspiring agents is the potential income they can earn. Understanding the average real estate agent salary in Massachusetts is crucial for those considering a career in the industry.

In this How Much Does a Real Estate Agent Make in Massachusetts guide, we will delve into the average salary data, commission structures, and key factors that can influence the income of real estate agents in Massachusetts.

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Real Estate Agent Salary Massachusetts

A number of factors can influence a real estate agent’s income, including:

  • Experience: In general, experienced agents with a solid track record tend to earn higher salaries. The average salary of an agent in Massachusetts is around $91,150 per year
  • Location: Agents who operate in high-demand areas or popular cities with robust real estate markets often have the potential to earn larger incomes due to higher property values and transaction volumes
  • Market Conditions: During a seller’s market (when demand exceeds supply), real estate agents may see higher commissions due to increased property prices and faster sales. In a buyer’s market (when supply exceeds demand), however, agents may find it more challenging to generate a high income
  • Sales Performance: Agents who consistently excel in selling properties and closing deals are more likely to earn higher commissions and bonuses
  • Work Ethic and Availability: In the highly competitive real estate industry, an agent’s willingness to work hard and make themselves available to clients can contribute to their success. Agents who are proactive and responsive in meeting their clients’ needs often build positive reputations and earn higher incomes

While each of these factors can influence an agent’s salary, individual results may vary. The real estate market can be unpredictable, and success in this industry often requires a combination of skill, market knowledge, and perseverance.

Interested in becoming a real estate agent? Check out our How to Get Your Massachusetts Real Estate License guide.

Understanding Commissions

Real estate agents earn their income through commissions. The typical commission rate for real estate transactions in Massachusetts falls between 5% and 6% of a property’s sale price.

If a home sells for $500,000 and the agreed-upon commission rate is 6%, for example, the total commission would be $30,000. The buyer’s and seller’s agents usually split the commission so, assuming an equal split, each would receive $15,000. But remember, real estate agents typically work under a broker and must share a portion of their commission with their brokerage firm.

The exact split with broker companies can vary widely. For example, an experienced agent might keep 85% of their commissions while their broker gets 15%. On the other hand, a less experienced agent might have a 50-50 split with their broker. Using an 85-15 split in the scenario outlined above, the agent would keep $12,750 and the broker would get paid $2,250. 

Note that commission rates can be negotiable and can vary based on factors like local market conditions, property type, and the specifics of the real estate agency or agent-client agreement.

Variable Expenses

As a real estate agent, a variety of business-related expenses can impact your net income. Some common examples include:

  • Licensing Fees: Real estate agents must pay fees to renew their license, take continuing education (CE) courses, and cover other regulatory expenses. These costs can vary, depending on the fee schedule set by the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons
  • Transaction-related Costs: Agents may have to cover certain transaction-related expenses, such as title searches, escrow fees, document preparation, or courier services 
  • Professional Fees: Agents may need to pay for various professional services, such as photography, videography, staging, or home inspections. The fees for these services can fluctuate based on a property’s specific requirements
  • Office Costs: Renting office space, purchasing office supplies, and covering administrative expenses (e.g., software subscriptions, printing, and postage) can all affect an agent’s overall salary
  • Association Memberships and Listing Service Fees: Agents often join professional associations and multiple listing services (MLS). Membership fees and MLS subscription costs represent additional ongoing expenses
  • Marketing Fees: Most real estate agents need to invest in marketing materials, such as brochures, flyers, business cards, and online advertisements. These expenses can vary, depending on the scale and reach of an agent’s marketing efforts

It’s essential for real estate agents to budget and plan for these variable expenses in order to ensure they can effectively manage their finances and maximize their income.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Massachusetts

To become a real estate agent in Massachusetts, you must take several steps. Here are the key steps in this process:

  1. Complete a pre-licensing course. To get started, you need to take a state-approved, 40-hour, pre-licensing course from a recognized real estate school in Massachusetts. This course will cover essential topics like real estate law, contracts, financing, and ethics.
  2. Pass the licensing exam. After completing the pre-licensing course, you must pass the Massachusetts real estate licensing exam. Administered by PSI, the exam includes both national and state-specific questions.
  3. Find a sponsoring broker. Once you pass the licensing exam, you need to associate yourself with a sponsoring broker. Research and contact real estate brokerage firms in Massachusetts to find one that aligns with your career goals and values.
  4. Complete a background check. Massachusetts requires all applicants to undergo a criminal background check as part of the licensing process. This includes submitting your fingerprints and paying the required fee.
  5. Submit your license application. You can complete the license application via the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Licensure (DOL) website. Along with your application, you’ll need to provide proof that you completed the required pre-licensing course and passed the licensing exam.
  6. Obtain errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. Massachusetts requires real estate agents to carry E&O insurance so you must obtain an E&O insurance policy that meets the state’s requirements.
  7. Attend a new agent orientation. After obtaining your license, you must attend a mandatory new agent orientation provided by the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons. This orientation covers important regulations, ethical guidelines, and industry practices.

Once you successfully complete these seven steps and receive your real estate license, you can begin working as an agent in Massachusetts. Work closely with your sponsoring broker to gain experience, build your network, and start assisting clients with their real estate needs.

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For Massachusetts real estate pre-licensing education classes, StateRequirement recommends:

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Real Estate Agent Salary Massachusetts FAQ

How much money do real estate agents make in Massachusetts?

Real estate agents’ earnings in Massachusetts can vary widely based on factors like their experience, location, market conditions, and sales performance. The average real estate agent salary in Massachusetts is $91,150. For more information, take a look at our How Much Does a Real Estate Agent Make article.

How much can you make as a realtor in Massachusetts?

The average salary for realtors in Massachusetts falls between $77,936 and $105,782 per year. A realtor is a licensed real estate professional who’s a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and adheres to a strict code of ethics. Working as a realtor requires undergoing the real estate licensing process.

How much does a first-year real estate agent earn in Massachusetts?

First-year agents in Massachusetts typically earn an average of $77,166 annually, but it can vary based on factors like market conditions, sales performance, and individual effort. It’s not uncommon for new real estate agents to earn a modest income during their initial year in the industry.

Is it difficult to get a real estate license in Massachusetts?

Obtaining a real estate license in Massachusetts requires completing pre-licensing education, passing a licensing exam, and meeting other requirements. While the process may involve dedication and study, it’s attainable for individuals willing to meet the necessary criteria. Learn more about working as a real estate agent with the Best Real Estate Classes.

Is Massachusetts a good state for a real estate career?

Massachusetts can offer a promising environment for real estate professionals given its robust and diverse housing market, high property values, strong economy, and urban centers like Boston. Getting a real estate license in Massachusetts can prove worthwhile for dedicated and motivated individuals committed to the real estate industry.

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