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Boston Real Estate Commissions: Updated Summer 2020

Boston’s real estate commission stats are hard to come by. One of my goals as a real estate agent in downtown Boston is to educate the public and provide transparency within the real estate industry on a number of topics – including commissions. Most of the information you can find online is dated or summary in nature, many without proper references.

Realogy Real Estate Data

Realogy Brokerage Group has, “As of December 31, 2019, approximately 710 company-owned brokerage offices and approximately 52,200 independent sales agents working with these company-owned offices.” They report that their average commission per side was 2.41%, which would equal a 4.82% commission rate for the seller (since the seller typically pays both sides of the commission and the buyer does not pay a commission). This is not perfect real estate commission sales data as Realogy is including a commission from home rentals (different rates, often lower than 5%) in the below total figures.

Our company owned real estate brokerage business derives revenue primarily from gross commission income received serving as the broker at the closing of real estate transactions. For the year ended December 31, 2019, our average homesale broker commission rate was 2.41% which represents the average commission rate earned on either the “buy” side or the “sell” side of a homesale transaction. Gross commission income is also earned on non-sale transactions such as home rentals.

The above information (two quotes) is coming from Realogy Holdings Corp. FORM 10-K for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31st, 2019.

Real Trends in the meanwhile is one of the only research firms in the country reporting on national real estate commission rates, and it is hit or miss to find their yearly report.

real estate commission average
All numbers are from Real Trends research company based in Colorado.
Chart made by

Real Estate Commissions Haven’t Changed Much in the Last 14 Years

With an average real estate commission rate of 5.02 in 2005 and 4.96 in 2019, there is almost no movement. It is really hard to suggest a trend with such a small difference over the last 14 years of reporting (a mere .06% difference).

6% Commissions are Unusual

While commission rates haven’t changed much in the last 14 years, they have changed a lot since the 1990s. 6% is not in the cards for most real estate agents, 5% is the new average commission rate.

How Will COVD-19 Impact Boston Real Estate Commissions

The above study was conducted before COV-19, thus no data so far on this, but once it’s published we ‘ll share it with you.


Orginal Real Estate Blog Post Oct 1, 2019

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