Why Do Realtors Make Such High Commission?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX CAPITAL VA #0225210305

This REALTOR stated so well the nature of our business I just had to share it. Well said! As real estate agents, we are expected to be available early, late, 7 days a week and holidays and most of us full-time REALTORS are. There is not a holiday that I have not been asked to show property on, including Christmas and I have always put the client first. This is fine and goes with the territory, but it would be nice if all consumers understood the sacrifices we make to do what we do. Yes, we get paid well, but we take all the risk for possible rewards with no guarantees. 

Original content by Cathy Criado 0548772

I was interviewed yesterday for a unique investor project by Mr. Builder. We talked about the viewpoint each of us have toward the other in terms of typical Realtor or Builder behavior. It was fun and funny. One of the things that came out of the conversation for me was an aha moment about why Realtors are commissioned based and why we get paid as much as we do per transaction. 

There are 2 kinds of people in this world. Those that hunt and kill, and those that prepare the table.  It's hard for the food preparers to understand why a hunter gets paid $5,000, $10,000, or more for a single transaction. Mr. Builder told me, "Cathy, when I had a team of marketing people I heard them complain that Realtors make too much money and that they missed something on a contract. They would get pretty darn upset over a small oversight. One day I told my marketing staff, no more complaining. You wouldn't have a job if those Realtors didn't bring you any contracts to review. Any of you are welcome to cross over into the sales side, but you need to understand my expectations."

  • Work 6 days a week, and be on call for the 7th.
  • If you are off, dress nice anyway because you may get called into work.
  • No salary. Straight commission. Eat what you kill.
  • If you go on vacation, check in once a day on pending contracts.
  • You may work 50 hours this week and not make a penny.
  • We're only closed on Christmas Day. If you get a call during your Thanksgiving meal to see a house, even if you are the host, drop what you're doing to show the house.
  • If you don't make any sales in 60 days go look for another job.

Are there any takers?

What many consumers don't understand about Realtors is that we take on a huge risk of not getting paid, even if the buyer buys a house. We can list a house and then something terrible happens at the end that is out of our control, so we don't get paid. Sometimes it looks easy, but most times isn't. There is the law of averages that makes the difficult easier to absorb; so we appreciate the easy. We aren't employees - we are at the whim of the consumer for the most part. Sometimes we make tough choices that we don't tell our clients about - giving up our kids' baseball games, missing out on family parties and celebrations. Its part of the job as a fiduciary to our clients.  It's not just about putting a sign in the yard or entering data into MLS. It's about risk and reward.  Thanks Mr. Builder for understanding the difficult nature of our job. It's not all fun and games.

Risk = Reward






SunAgent CertifiedCathy Bureau, NAR GREEN, EcoBroker, recently obtained the SunAgent certification being test marketed out of New Jersey for real estate solar education. As the founder of Green Home Realty, Cathy Bureau is an entrepreneur recognized in the industry by builders and colleagues for her expertise in green real estate. She is a member of Build San Antonio Green and the Texas Green Network-SA. You can find her via website: GreenHomeRealtySA.com, blogs:  SanAntonioHomesBlog.info, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Natural Awakenings SA Magazine Please contact her directly to schedule her as a guest speaker or for media interviews for your company events.


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Posted by

Tia Stanley - RE/MAX CAPITAL


"Simply the best home marketing you can get!"


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Comments (3)

Kate Conover
RE/MAX Properties - Franklin Lakes, NJ

This is an excellent post!  I've shared it with my office mates, and they all agree.  Thanks for sharing!

Best of luck.


May 01, 2012 11:31 PM
Beth and Richard Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Center Moriches, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

Tia very insightful post... after 33 years I have learned one thing for sure... everyone has their own agenda and that is what they care about... no one cares how hard our job is and it is our choice to do it... therefore I think we should make as much money as we can at all times and walk away from anyone that has a problem with our earnings... I love what I do and I've made a ton of money doing it and I'm proud of it... God Bless You!

May 01, 2012 11:58 PM
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

Kate - Wow, thank you!

Richard - Thank you for the kind words.

Tia - Thank you for the reblog!

May 02, 2012 01:21 AM

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