How Much Does a Real Estate Broker Make

Written by: Mary Gerardine

Cartoon woman holding real estate broker license currency sign

    Real estate brokers are independent licensed professionals that guide their clients through the process of a real estate transaction, as well as oversee transactions handled by other real estate agents that they supervise.

    While a real estate broker salary can be quite high on average, this will vary considerably from state to state.

    In this How Much Does a Real Estate Broker Make article, we review the average real estate broker salary in each state, break down the differences between a real estate agent and a broker, and outline the steps that you can take in order to pursue a career as a real estate broker.

     

    Real Estate Broker Salary

    According to the most recent data of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary of a real estate broker in the US is $86,490.

    Having said that, real estate broker salaries can vary significantly depending on your state:

    State

    Average Annual Salary 

    Alabama

    $67,060

    Alaska

    $61,290

    Arizona

    $56,717

    Arkansas

    $67,560

    California

    $117,820

    Colorado

    $83,410

    Connecticut

    $58,040

    Delaware

    $112,650

    Florida

    $54,499

    Georgia

    $76,090

    Hawaii

    $116,290

    Idaho

    $52,300

    Illinois

    $60,010

    Indiana

    $50,190

    Iowa

    $52,120

    Kansas

    $83,570

    Kentucky

    $51,770

    Louisiana

    $52,460

    Maine

    $98,068

    Maryland

    $94,980

    Massachusetts

    $79,690

    Michigan

    $57,720

    Minnesota

    $71,190

    Mississippi

    $88,300

    Missouri

    $51,520

    Montana

    $104,030

    Nebraska

    $148,820

    Nevada

    $70,930

    New Hampshire

    $81,530

    New Jersey

    $63,425

    New Mexico

    $73,470

    New York

    $84,760

    North Carolina

    $85,680

    North Dakota

    $81,110

    Ohio

    $61,790

    Oklahoma

    $41,280

    Oregon

    $102,750

    Pennsylvania

    $90,200

    Rhode Island

    $$69,048

    South Carolina

    $87,210

    South Dakota

    $82,930

    Tennessee

    $83,000

    Texas

    $56,333

    Utah

    $56,740

    Vermont

    $94,230

    Virginia

    $75,330

    Washington

    $90,290

    Washington D.C.

    $63,861

    West Virginia

    $49,590

    Wisconsin

    $80,820

    Wyoming

    $50,904

    Tip:

    These are the average salaries of a real estate broker in each state. Depending on your degree of success and experience, however, you may be able to command a significantly higher salary. We recommend having a look at our state-specific How to Become a Real Estate Broker guide for all the information that you will need in order to get started.

     

    How Does a Real Estate Broker Make Money

    Real estate brokers gain their income by collecting commission on each real estate transaction that they or their company accomplishes, as well as by assisting their own clients in the purchasing or selling of real estate.

    If you are planning to work independently as a real estate broker, your entire salary will be made up of commissions. You will, however, also be able to work with your own real estate company in order to supervise and manage other real estate agents.

    In this scenario, your income will be a percentage of the commissions earned by the real estate agents that you are supervising. The exact percentage can range anywhere between 25% and 40%.

    Note: As a real estate broker, you will also be able to make money by charging desk fees to collaborating agents. This is a monthly flat fee that will not relate to commissions or a real-estate agent’s performance in any way.

    We recommend having a look at our What Does a Real Estate Broker Do article for more information.

     

    What is the Difference Between a Real Estate Agent and a Broker

    Real estate agents and brokers work in the same sector and may both guide clients through the process of a real estate transaction.

    There are, however, a few differences between them that you should keep in mind:

    • Real estate brokers are required to have agent experience
    • Real estate brokers are required to obtain additional training
    • Real estate brokers have generally already built a strong professional track record

    If you decide to become a real estate broker, you will be able to work independently – rather than under a real estate agency — and thus receive higher (or the full amount) of commission on any sales that you negotiate.

    You will also be able to create your own real estate firm and employ real estate agents to work under your supervision. This is beneficial, as it can mean that you will earn commission on all the sales and/or purchases that are negotiated by them.

    As you can see, a real estate broker has a wider range of opportunities to earn money in comparison to a real estate agent.

     

    How to Become a Real Estate Broker

    If you want to become a real estate broker, you will need to complete the following steps:

    • Complete a Broker Pre-Licensing Course
    • Submit a License Application
    • Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check
    • Pass the Real Estate Broker Exam
    • Wait for Your Application to be Reviewed

     

    Complete a Real Estate Education Course

    You will need to successfully complete a broker pre-licensing education course in order to become licensed. This is a requirement in every single state, and can help you:

    • Obtain a deep knowledge of contracts You will become comfortable with both: explaining contracts to clients, and discussing contract terms with real estate companies
    • Develop great negotiation techniques – A real-estate education course can teach you how to negotiate strategically in order to bring in agreements that are beneficial to both yourself and your clients 
    • Pass your real estate broker exam – You will be able to review condensed study materials and take several practice exams through a real estate education course. Of course, different benefits are available depending on the education course that you pick

    Note: During your course, you will have the opportunity to dive into a plethora of interesting topics, including: professional conduct, real estate insurance, appraisal, and management.

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    Submit a License Application

    The next step is to submit your license application. There can be different requirements and fees depending on your state. You will need to check your state’s Real Estate Commission before filing your application.

    Note: Finding your state’s specific information can be quite a headache. We recommend reading our state-specific How to Become a Real Estate Broker guide instead.

    You will be able to direct yourself to your state’s real estate broker licensing page, which will guide you through all of the steps that you will need to take in order to qualify as a real estate broker in your state.

     

    Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check

    Depending on your state, you may be required to get a fingerprint and/or background check and submit it to your state’s licensing body.

    This is not always a requirement. Some states only require background checks, and some choose to skip this requirement entirely and replace it with a Honesty or Good Character form.

     

    Pass the Real Estate Broker Exam

    In order to qualify as a real estate broker, you will need to take and pass your state’s real estate broker exam.

    This is usually administered through a third-party testing service, such as PSI or Pearson VUE.

    The minimum percentage needed to pass, exam structure, and required fees can all vary from state to state.

     

    Wait for Your Application to be Reviewed

    Once you have submitted your application, you will need to wait for your exam results, fingerprint and background checks – if applicable – and education course certificate of completion to be reviewed and verified.




    Real Estate Broker Salary FAQ

    How to make money as a real estate broker?

    Real estate brokers gain their income mainly by collecting commission on each real estate transaction they or their company accomplishes. In case they employ real estate agents, they can also get a part of the commission earned on any real estate transactions that they handle.

     

    What is a real estate broker?

    real estate broker is a real estate agent who has had additional training and is now qualified to work independently.

    This means that a real estate broker is not required to work under another real estate agency, and can choose to negotiate their own deals, or hire and supervise other real estate agents.

     

    How do I get a real estate broker license?

    In order to become a real estate broker, you will need to qualify as a real estate agent first.

    After you are successfully licensed as a real estate agent, you will need to accumulate experience and then complete a real estate education course.

    Finally, you will need to take and pass your state’s real estate broker exam and file your licensing application with your state’s Real Estate Commission or similar authority.

     

    How many years of experience do I need to have to become a real estate broker?

    This will depend on your state and personal attributes. You need to have at least one year experience as a real estate agent in order to become a real estate broker. Having said that, agents can often work for up to three years before taking their real estate broker exam.

     

    How much does a commercial real estate broker make?

    According to the most recent national level BLS data, the average annual salary for a real estate broker is $86490.

    The lowest paid 10 percent of brokers earn less than $30470 per annum, and the highest paid 10 percent can earn more than $176080 per annum.




    Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated in November 2022.

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