Establishing a real estate broker salary is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle. It’s even harder than nailing down an agent’s average salary. But if you’re considering becoming a broker and curious about how much you could take home, we have some great tools and information to break it down. Our proprietary tool also estimates real estate broker salaries for every state. We bet the numbers might surprise you!

What Is a Real Estate Broker Salary?

If you’re wondering, “How much does a real estate broker make?” the answer is it depends. When talking about a broker, we mean someone licensed at a higher level than a real estate salesperson (even though a salesperson is sometimes referred to as a broker in some states). Another point of confusion is that earning a salary is rare in real estate. Most real estate professionals are independent contractors, so when we use the term “salary,” we’re referring to the amount brokers can earn through commissions, splits, brokerage revenue, and fees.

Real estate brokers generally earn their income from the revenue of the real estate brokerage, primarily a portion of each commission from the agents in the office. This revenue is commonly referred to as a “split.” A typical split is 75-25, meaning that for every property bought or sold, the agent keeps 75% and the brokerage gets 25%.

Brokers and brokerages may also earn money from charging agents monthly desk fees—a flat fee that agents pay whether they close sales or not. Though technically an income opportunity for brokers, most offices use those fees for recurring costs like rent, utilities, and technology tools.

Finally, as a real estate broker, you can assist your clients in the buying and selling process and earn the full commission for those transactions. Read on to learn more about the real estate broker’s salary.

The Average Real Estate Broker Salary by State

To create our database and proprietary information on broker salaries, we collect data from numerous sources, including Indeed, ZipRecruiter,, Glassdoor, and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). 

Keep in mind that these are general averages, which regularly change. So much depends on whether the broker is also selling, is a sole brokerage owner, or pays commission splits. As with every real estate professional, the local market and time spent in the business also play a big role. Here is the average salary for a real estate broker in every state:

New Hampshire$84,409.40
New Jersey$100,636.25
New Mexico$86,782.50
New York$99,324.00
North Carolina$94,772.25
North Dakota$89,305.20
Rhode Island$75,608.00
South Carolina$93,062.75
South Dakota$86,711.40
West Virginia$83,735.00

Why Are Broker’s Earnings So High (or Low)?

Are these numbers not what you’re expecting? Here are some reasons why:

  • Data issues: It’s hard to get a true sense of average broker income. Salaries are collected through self-reporting, NAR surveys, and job postings. Throw in the confusion over income versus salaries and the various types of brokers, and it can be a wild statistical ride. So take all this with a grain of salt, and remember that the true test of your potential salary is your local market and your hustle.
  • A volatile housing market: Since real estate brokers’ total compensation is based on commissions, it makes sense that states with higher average sale prices would yield higher average incomes. This also means big cities with high prices can skew state-level data upward.  
  • The demand-to-broker ratio: Real estate markets with high demand for brokers will result in higher average salaries. Let’s say Small Town, USA, has a median real estate broker salary of $100,000. And the median real estate broker salary in New York City is $110,000. If the average sold price for a home in Small Town is just over $175,000, compared to a median sold price for a New York City home of $839,000, why are those two salaries so close? Competition. In Small Town, there may be 30 real estate brokers operating, compared to, say, 1,760 in New York City.
  • Some brokers buy and sell; some don’t: A real estate broker can represent their clients in purchasing or selling real estate, but they aren’t required to. Some brokers choose not to sell so they can focus on running their businesses and managing their teams. However, the ones who continue to represent clients earn more money in direct commissions. NAR’s most recent member profile shows this clearly, as the median income for a selling broker is $105,900 and a broker who does not engage is sales has an income of $91,900.

Should You Get Your Broker’s License?

Working toward a broker’s license makes sense if you’re hoping to increase your take-home pay and have the necessary qualifications in your state. Remember, you don’t have to manage other agents unless you want to. For example, an associate broker (jump to the FAQ section to read about different kinds of brokers) has many benefits of being a broker but without hiring and firing agents. Getting your broker’s license is straightforward and almost always means taking required coursework and passing a state licensing exam. The commitment is serious, but the rewards could be exponential. How much do brokers make? The sky is actually the limit!

Considering getting your broker’s license? Colibri Real Estate is the quickest and most affordable way to pursue your broker’s license. Our top pick offers online classes to meet your course requirements, great test prep options, and all the information you need to set yourself up for success on your broker’s license exam right from your living room. For more information on getting your broker’s license, visit our article How to Become a Real Estate Broker License (Without the Stress).

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Real Estate Broker FAQs

Got more questions? We’ve got answers!

Bringing It All Together

Nailing down the average real estate broker salary can be tricky because, like all things real estate, it depends. But the bottom line is you’ll almost certainly make more than you would as a salesperson. So, if you want to increase your take-home pay and assume more leadership, getting your broker’s license is the perfect next step. 

Have any advice for future brokers or experience to share? Please tell us in the comment section!