How Much Does a Real Estate Agent Make in Pennsylvania

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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How Much Does a Real Estate Agent Make in Pennsylvania

If you plan to pursue a career in real estate in the “Keystone State,” one question that undoubtedly comes to mind is, “How much does a real estate agent make in Pennsylvania?”.

Learning about your earning potential will enable you to make informed career decisions and set realistic financial expectations.

This article explores the main factors that can influence a real estate agent’s salary in Pennsylvania, such as market conditions, commission structures, and experience levels. Read on to get a better understanding of what to expect in terms of compensation from Pennsylvania’s real estate market.

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Real Estate Agent Salary Pennsylvania

Many factors can influence a real estate agent’s earnings in Pennsylvania, including:

  • Experience: An agent’s average salary in Pennsylvania is $78,601 per year. Experienced agents with a strong track record tend to earn more than those who’re new to the field
  • Transaction Volume: Agents who close a higher volume of sales within a given period likely will earn more than those who complete fewer transactions
  • Location: Agents working in high-demand areas with higher property values generally have greater earning potential than agents in less active or lower-priced markets
  • Specialization: Agents who specialize in a particular type of property (e.g., luxury homes, commercial real estate, or rentals) may earn higher incomes due to the unique demands and higher price points associated with those properties
  • Market Conditions: During a seller’s market with high demand and low inventory, agents may have more opportunities to close sales and earn higher commissions. In contrast, a buyer’s market with low demand and high inventory may lead to fewer transactions and lower earnings

While each of these factors can significantly influence an agent’s earnings, they may evolve over time and cause an agent’s salary to fluctuate from year to year.

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

Understanding Commissions

The commission structure for real estate agents typically involves a percentage of a property’s sale price. The usual commission rate is 5% to 6%, which the listing agent (also called the seller’s agent) and buyer’s agent divide between themselves.

If a property sells for $500,000 with a commission rate of 6%, for example, the commission would total $30,000. If the agents split this evenly, the listing agent would receive $15,000 while the buyer’s agent would get the remaining $15,000.

Agents also may have to pay broker fees that can further affect their net earnings. These fees can vary, depending on an agent’s split agreement with their brokerage company.

For instance, a broker and an agent might have a 70-30 commission split agreement in which the agent keeps 70% of their commissions and pays the broker the other 30% as a fee. If an agent in the example above has a 70-30 split agreement, their net earnings after the brokerage fee would total $10,500.

Note that commission structures and broker fees depend on the various brokerage companies, local market practices, and individual agreements between agents and their brokers.

Variable Expenses

In addition to splitting their commission earnings with their brokers, real estate agents typically incur several business-related expenses. Some common expenses associated with a real estate agent’s job include:

  • Licensing Fees: Agents must complete continuing education (CE) courses in order to maintain their licenses. These courses may involve fees for enrollment and materials
  • Marketing and Advertising Costs: Agents often invest in marketing materials, online advertising, and staging to promote their listings and sell properties to clients. These expenses also can include website maintenance, print materials, social media advertising, and professional photography services
  • Professional Membership Fees: Real estate agents may have to pay for professional memberships, such as when they join a local real estate board or multiple listing service (MLS). These memberships provide access to property listing databases, educational resources, and networking opportunities
  • Office Expenses: Agents may incur office-related expenses, including rent, utilities, office supplies, computer equipment, and internet access
  • Technology Costs: Agents also may invest in technology tools and software to help streamline their business operations, which often come with subscription or licensing fees. Examples include customer relationship management (CRM) systems, virtual tour software, and project management tools

The expenses listed above can vary significantly, depending on an agent’s business model, location, and individual choices. Agents should carefully track and manage their expenses to ensure they align with their income and overall financial goals.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Pennsylvania

To work as a real estate agent in Pennsylvania, you must first meet some basic requirements and take the following steps to obtain your real estate license:

  1. Complete pre-licensing education. The state of Pennsylvania requires aspiring agents to take and pass a 75-hour, pre-licensing education course from an accredited real estate education provider. The course will cover fundamental real estate principles and practices.
  2. Get a fingerprint-based background check. Pennsylvania’s State Real Estate Commission requires all applicants to undergo a background check. You also must provide a certified criminal history report issued by the Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (PATCH) unit.
  3. Pass the state licensing exam. Next, you must pass the Pennsylvania real estate salesperson exam. PSI, an authorized testing provider, administers this exam on behalf of the state.
  4. Find a sponsoring broker. Pennsylvania requires new agents to work under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker. Find a reputable brokerage firm with which you’d like to start your new career.
  5. Submit your license application. After you pass the licensing exam and find a sponsoring broker, you can complete and submit your license application to Pennsylvania’s State Real Estate Commission. Your application should include the required documents, including your education certificate, exam results, and criminal background check.
  6. Obtain errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. Pennsylvania requires real estate agents to have E&O insurance coverage. Purchase a policy from an insurance provider approved by Pennsylvania’s State Real Estate Commission.
  7. Complete post-licensing education. Newly licensed real estate agents or salespersons must complete the state’s 14-hour “Salesperson Post-License” course within one year of licensure.

Holding a valid real estate license in Pennsylvania enables you to engage in real estate activities, such as representing buyers or sellers, negotiating transactions, and earning commissions within the state.

Recommended Course

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

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Real Estate Agent Salary Pennsylvania FAQ

How much does a real estate agent make in Pennsylvania?

The average income of a real estate agent in Pennsylvania is $78,601 per year. This can vary, though, depending on factors like an agent’s experience, sales volume, and commission rate. For an overview of real estate salaries, visit our Real Estate Agent Salary page.

How much do beginner real estate agents make in Pennsylvania?

On average, entry-level agents in Pennsylvania may earn as much as $80,113 annually. Initially, agents may have a lower income as they establish their client base and gain experience — often starting around $39 per hour. New real estate agents can increase their chances of success by focusing on building their network, investing in marketing, and providing excellent customer service.

How much do realtors make in Pennsylvania?

A realtor’s earnings in Pennsylvania can vary, depending on factors like their experience level, sales volume, and commission rate as well as local market conditions. Currently, the annual wage for real estate sales agents in Pennsylvania is $68,305. Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and adhere to its code of ethics.

Is Pennsylvania a good real estate market?

Pennsylvania can provide a good real estate market, but it varies based on specific locations within the state. Areas like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and the suburbs surrounding major cities generally have active and competitive markets while rural areas may have different market dynamics. For more information, learn How to Get your Pennsylvania Real Estate License.

Can real estate agents in Pennsylvania work a part-time schedule or is it a full-time commitment?

Real estate agents in Pennsylvania have the flexibility to work a part-time or full-time schedule, depending on their personal circumstances and career goals. Some agents choose to work on a part-time basis while maintaining another job or other commitments. Many agents, however, opt to make a full-time commitment to focus on building their real estate business.

How long does it take to get a real estate license in Pennsylvania?

The time it takes to obtain a real estate license in Pennsylvania will depend on your schedule and availability to complete pre-licensing education courses, pass the licensing exam, and submit your license application. The process can take several weeks to a few months.

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