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How Do Real Estate Agents Earn Money In New York?

How Do Agents Earn Money?
In this article

Amid the busy world of New York’s property market, real estate agents perform a crucial function in navigating clients through one of their biggest transactions: purchasing or selling property. The primary income for real estate agents comes from commissions, which is a proportion of the property’s selling price. If you’re mulling over joining the real estate sector in New York, or are just interested in how agents earn their income, gaining knowledge about the complexities of this commission-based pay system is vital.

A real estate agent in New York earns money through commissions from property sales and rentals, as well as through referral fees from connecting buyers and sellers

The commission that a New York real estate agent earns is the result of a successful transaction, where the agent has connected a seller with a buyer, culminating in the sale of a property. This commission is typically split between the selling and buying agents’ brokers, and the agents themselves then receive a share based on an agreed-upon rate. Commission rates can be negotiable and vary depending on various factors, such as market conditions, type of property, and the details of the employment agreement between an agent and their broker. Licensed real estate professionals operate within a highly regulated state framework, ensuring adherence to both ethical standards and legal practices.

Entrance into the real estate profession in New York requires a state-recognized education, such as the one provided by Corofy, a leader in real estate education through a fully online platform. Upon satisfying education prerequisites and passing a licensing examination, agents then affiliate themselves with a brokerage to start practicing. As such, new agents have the opportunity to leverage industry insights and modern educational tools to maximize their potential for earning and growth in the field.

Key Takeaways

  • Real estate agents in New York earn through commissions from property sales.
  • Commission rates are negotiable and are shared between brokers and their agents.
  • Proper education and licensure are critical for agents to navigate the commission-based income structure.

How Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid?

A real estate agent receives payment through commission from property sales in New York. This can be depicted with a house, money, and a contract

In New York, real estate agents earn their income through commission—a portion of the property’s sales price when they help buyers and sellers complete a transaction.

What Commission Do Agents Get Paid On?

Real estate agents typically receive a commission based on the property’s final sale price. This commission is negotiable but generally falls between 5-6%. For example, if a home sells for $500,000, the total commission at a 6% rate would be $30,000.

Who Pays a Real Estate Agent’s Commission?

Though the seller of the property agrees to pay the commission fee, technically, the payment is made to the listing agent’s broker. The broker is responsible for distributing the proper share to the buyer’s agent’s broker, which in turn pays the buyer’s agent after retaining a pre-agreed commission split.

What Percentage Does a Broker Get from an Agent?

Upon closing a sale, a broker might retain a cut from the agent’s earned commission. This commission split could range from 50/50 to a more favorable split for more experienced agents or those who achieve higher sales volumes. For instance, on a $300,000 sale with a 5% commission, each brokerage would get $7,500, but after a 50/50 split, an agent would receive $3,750. As an agent’s sales increase, the split could shift in their favor, potentially up to 70/30 or more.

How Does Commission Pay Work?

In New York, real estate agents earn their pay through commissions that are derived from the sales price of properties. When a property is sold, agents receive a percentage as their income, which is dependent on the agreed-upon commission rates and splits with their brokerages.

Real Estate Commission and Taxes

The commission received from real estate transactions is not subject to automatic taxation by your brokerage. As an independent contractor in New York, you are required to manage your own taxes. Prepare to withhold and pay estimated taxes quarterly to the IRS, as real estate agents are classified as self-employed.

Your net income, or take-home commission, is the amount that remains after your brokerage has deducted its share based on the agreed split. For instance, if you have a 50/50 split with your brokerage and you complete a sale of a $300,000 property with a 5% commission, this would mean:

  • Total commission generated: $15,000
    • Listing broker’s half: $7,500
    • Your half before taxes and deductions: $3,750

Remember that the percentage your brokerage takes can vary. While it often starts at 50/50 for new agents, more seasoned agents with higher sales volumes can negotiate splits favoring them, such as 70/30 or even 90/10, in some cases highlighting the benefits of increased sales and experience.

Your bonus, income, and additional benefits come in the form of this calculated commission after each sale, rather than a fixed salary. The lump sum payment is processed only after the transaction closes and the funds are distributed first to the brokerages involved, then to you.

Maintaining meticulous records of your commissions and business expenses is crucial for accurately reporting your income to the IRS. By doing so, you will be able to determine your true take-home commission after taxes and other business expenses are accounted for.

What Is a Good Commission Rate for Sales?

In New York, real estate agents make money primarily through commissions—a percentage of the property’s sales price.

Typical Commission Rates:

  • The average commission rate ranges from 5% to 6%, which is divided between the listing and buyer’s agents.
  • A fairly standard split with a brokerage is 50/50, but this can vary dependent on sales volume and brokerage services, ranging from 30/70 to 90/10 in favor of the agent.

Negotiation and Market Conditions:

  • Commission rates are often negotiable and can fluctuate based on market conditions.
  • Properties with higher values may command lower commission rates, while the opposite may hold for lower-priced properties.

Table: Commission Distribution for a $300,000 Sale at 5%

Total CommissionListing BrokerageBuyer BrokerageYour Split (If 50/50)


  • After a transaction closes, commissions are paid from the seller’s proceeds—direct to the brokerages involved, not directly to agents.
  • As an agent in New York, you’re responsible for your own taxes, as brokerages will not withhold taxes from your earnings.

Assessing Deals:

  • Higher commission rates and more favorable broker splits often result in better overall compensation.
  • For example, a 6% commission with a 65/35 split is more profitable than a 5.5% commission with a 60/40 split, given the same sale price.

Lastly, remember that consistent sales activity is crucial to ensure a favorable commission split with your brokerage and manage financial stability due to the lump-sum nature of commission payments.

What Is the Highest Salary for an Agent?

Real estate agents in New York have the potential to earn substantial incomes. Data obtained from indicates that high-earning real estate agents in New York can command significant salaries. To illustrate, consider the table below:

50th$104,000 (average)
75thHigher than average
90thTop earnings

These figures are reflective of the dynamic New York real estate market and compare favorably to the national average salary for real estate agents. The upper echelons, such as the 90th percentile, often include agents who have established reputations and strong networks.

Moreover, salaries reported show a variance that aligns with experience, specialization, and the size of the transactions managed. It is important for you to note that a real estate agent’s income often comes from commissions—percentages of the sales they handle—which means earnings increase with more or higher-valued transactions.

To maximize your earning potential, you may consider enhancing your expertise through specialized real estate courses. With the ongoing evolution of the real estate industry, you have the flexibility of taking these courses from leaders in real estate education, like Corofy, which offers a fully online experience.

It is critical to recognize that immediate high earnings are not typical for everyone entering the field. Commitment, skill, market conditions, and a robust network define your monetary success in the competitive New York real estate landscape.

Who Is Corofy?

Corofy is an innovative online platform that specializes in real estate education, paving the way for your flourishing career in the highly competitive New York real estate market. The platform encourages you to obtain your real estate license efficiently and affordably.

Benefits of Corofy:

  • Cost-effective Pricing: Join the community for only $179 and receive a comprehensive real estate education.
  • Flexible Learning: Study at your convenience, on any device, and at your own pace, suitable for your busy lifestyle.
  • State Examination Preparation: Access various preparation resources, including quizzes and chapter exams, to ensure you pass the New York Real Estate State Exam with confidence.

With a user-friendly interface, Corofy ensures a smooth educational journey. Their course is laden with interactive content, making learning engaging and enjoyable. You won’t find yourself mired in dull reading material; instead, you’ll benefit from memory aids and lively course content.

Upon completing the course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion, enabling you to choose a sponsoring broker, clear the mandatory exam, and apply for your Real Estate Salesperson License.

Embracing a holistic approach, Corofy extends beyond pre-licensing education by equipping you with job placement assistance and dedicated customer support. This support system is pivotal in helping you connect with brokers aligned with your career objectives, thus setting the stage for a successful career in real estate.

Corofy stands out by focusing on providing a seamless and well-structured online educational experience, centered around the essentials of real estate practice in New York. Through Corofy, you can step into the real estate realm with a robust foundation and the knowledge needed to thrive in this dynamic industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

When exploring the earnings of real estate agents in New York, it’s important to understand the various factors at play. From commission percentages to the influence of market conditions and experience levels, these FAQ’s aim to address the primary concerns you might have.

What is the average commission for a real estate agent on a property sale in New York?

The average commission for a real estate agent after a property sale in New York is typically between 5% and 6% of the sale price. This commission is often split between the buyer’s and seller’s agents.

What are the typical earnings for a first-year real estate agent in New York City?

A first-year real estate agent in New York City can expect to earn between $30,000 and $50,000, though this can vary greatly due to differing commission rates, market conditions, and the number of successful transactions.

Can a real estate agent in New York City make a substantial income?

Yes, a real estate agent in New York City can make a substantial income, especially with experience, a strong network, and a good track record. Top performing agents in high-value markets like NYC can earn significantly high annual incomes.

What factors influence a real estate agent’s income in New York?

A real estate agent’s income in New York is influenced by factors like market conditions, the agent’s experience and work ethic, the price range of properties they deal with, and their negotiation skills. The commission split with their brokerage also affects earnings.

How does a real estate agent’s commission structure work in New York?

In New York, a real estate agent’s commission is typically a percentage of the property’s sale price and is split amongst the listing and buyer’s agents. The split varies based on agreement with their respective brokerages, which can also differ.

What income can a real estate agent expect from a sale of a $500,000 property in New York?

From a $500,000 property sale in New York, an agent could expect a commission before brokerage fees of $25,000 to $30,000 based on the average 5% to 6% commission rate. The take-home amount is less once the brokerage split and other fees are subtracted.

Who is Corofy?

Before being a school, Corofy is a community. Our founder, Eddy Boccara, started his real estate career as a real estate salesperson looking for a side hustle.

Since then, he’s had a passion for New York real estate and specifically the talented individuals that take the leap to get their real estate license and help this industry progress.

Eddy created Corofy with one goal in mind: to provide people with quality real estate education that actually helps them build a career they can be proud of.

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