How Much Does a Real Estate Agent Make in North Carolina

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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How Much Does a Real Estate Agent Make in North Carolina

Are you curious about the earning potential of a real estate career? In this article, we explore the question, “How much does a real estate agent make in North Carolina?” From the state’s thriving urban markets to its serene suburbs, a real estate agent’s salary in North Carolina can vary widely.

Read on to learn about the key factors that determine agent salaries, such as their location and experience as well as market trends. This guide also provides a comprehensive overview of what professionals in this field can expect to earn, including commission structures and other variables.

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Real Estate Agent Salary North Carolina

A variety of factors can impact a real estate agent’s salary, including:

  • Experience: The average salary of real estate agents in North Carolina is around $69,361 per year. Experienced agents can earn more because they often have extensive networks and better negotiation skills, which can lead to more sales and higher-priced properties
  • Specialization: Some areas of real estate are more lucrative than others. Commercial properties often involve higher-value transactions than residential properties, for example, leading to larger commissions
  • Working Hours: While agents typically have a flexible schedule, those willing to work evenings, weekends, and holidays may be able to close more deals and thus earn more
  • Market Conditions: The overall state of the economy and the housing market can significantly impact an agent’s salary. During boom times with rising property prices and brisk sales, agents can make a lot more than during economic downturns
  • Sales Volume: The number of properties an agent can sell also will significantly impact their salary. The more transactions an agent can close, the more commissions they earn
  • Location: The location of the properties an agent deals with can greatly impact their salary as well. Different locations have different property markets with varying prices and demands

Remember, an agent’s income is highly variable and uncertain because it depends heavily on factors like the health of the real estate market and the agent’s individual performance.

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

Understanding Commissions

Real estate commission rates can vary, but they typically are around 5% to 6% of a property’s selling price in North Carolina. The buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent usually split the commission, and then those agents split their share with their respective brokerage firms.

Let’s say you’re an agent in North Carolina who just sold a property for $500,000. If the agreed-upon commission rate for the sale was 6%, the commission for this transaction would total $30,000. The seller’s and buyer’s agents each would have a commission split of $15,000.

However, as noted above, agents often work under a broker and must share their commissions with their brokerage company. If you have a 70-30 split agreement with your broker, you’d keep $10,500 of the $15,000 you earned in the example above before taxes and other business expenses. Your broker would get the remaining $4,500.

An agent’s pay structure can depend on many factors, including the specific arrangement they have with their brokerage company and any agreements between the seller’s and buyer’s agents.

Variable Expenses

Real estate agents are often independent contractors rather than employees, which means they’re responsible for covering a lot of their own business expenses. These expenses can significantly reduce their take-home pay. Here are some of the major costs real estate agents often incur as part of their work:

  • License Fees: An agent must obtain a license to legally conduct property transactions, and this process involves education, examination, and license fees. They also need to renew that license periodically, which may involve additional fees and continuing education costs
  • Marketing and Advertising Costs: This might include professional photography, signage, digital marketing, print advertising, staging, open house costs, and other promotional expenses
  • Professional Membership Dues: Many agents belong to local, state, and national real estate associations, which charge annual dues
  • Office Expenses: This can include everything from office space (if not provided by an agent’s brokerage company) to office supplies, furniture, computers, and software

These are just a few examples of the kinds of expenses an agent may face. The specific costs can vary widely, depending on an agent’s location, how they conduct their business, and the specifics of their arrangement with their brokerage company.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent in North Carolina

In North Carolina, you must directly apply for a real estate provisional broker license in order to conduct property transactions within the state. Here are the key steps you must take:

  1. Complete pre-licensing education. You must complete a 75-hour, pre-licensing course approved by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission (NCREC). You can take this course in person or online.
  2. Apply for your license. After you complete the required pre-licensing coursework, you must submit your provisional broker license application to NCREC and pay the application fee. You’ll need to provide information about your background, including any criminal history.
  3. Pass the real estate exam. After submitting your license application, you’ll need to pass the North Carolina Real Estate Exam. Administered by a testing service called PSI, the exam consists of a national section and a state-specific section — both of which you must pass. You can schedule a time to take this exam on PSI’s website.
  4. Work under a broker-in-charge. In North Carolina, new agents start as provisional brokers and must work under a broker-in-charge. During this time, provisional brokers must participate in a post-licensing education program.
  5. Complete post-licensing education. Provisional brokers must complete a 90-hour, post-licensing education program within 18 months of licensure. This program consists of three 30-hour courses. After completing these courses, agents can shed the “provisional” status from their title and become a full-fledged real estate broker.

When you first obtain your real estate license in North Carolina, you’ll have “provisional broker” status. This means you’re licensed to perform real estate activities, but you must do so under the supervision of a broker-in-charge. This structure allows new agents to gain practical experience in a supervised environment, which helps to ensure they can effectively and ethically serve their clients.

Recommended Course

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

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Real Estate Agent Salary North Carolina FAQ

How do real estate agents get paid in North Carolina?

Agents in North Carolina work directly as real estate brokers. They get paid on a commission basis, meaning they earn a percentage of the sale price of each property. Currently, the average salary in the state is $69,361 per year. For more information, see our How Much Does a Real Estate Agent Make article.

Is real estate a good career in North Carolina?

Real estate can be a rewarding career in North Carolina, offering opportunities for entrepreneurship, flexible work hours, and potentially high earnings. It’s worthwhile to get your real estate license in this state because high-paying cities like Charlotte and Raleigh have a diverse and dynamic property market.

How much do you make as a realtor in North Carolina?

The average annual income for a Realtor in North Carolina varies widely, but could be around $85,884. Exact earnings will depend on factors like commission rates and property prices as well as an agent’s sales volume, experience, and skills. Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and adhere to its code of ethics.

How hard is it to become a real estate agent in North Carolina?

Becoming a real estate broker in North Carolina involves completing a 75-hour, pre-licensing course, passing a licensing exam, and fulfilling post-licensing education requirements. While the process is rigorous and requires commitment, many find it manageable with focused study, determination, and a keen interest in the real estate industry.

How long is a North Carolina real estate license good for?

In North Carolina, licensees must renew their real estate license annually. In addition, licensees also must complete eight hours of continuing education courses every year to keep their license active. It’s important to complete renewal and continuing education requirements on time to avoid license expiration or deactivation.

How much is a real estate license in North Carolina?

The cost to obtain a real estate license in North Carolina includes a $100 application fee, a $17.50 background check fee, and $64 exam fees. In addition, the required pre-licensing education courses can range from $300 to $500. Prices can vary and may change over time, so please check current rates.

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