How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make in Virginia?

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How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make in Virginia?

If you’re thinking about getting your Virginia real estate license, you probably have one big question: How much money do real estate agents make in Virginia?

The short answer is that the average full-time Virginia real estate agent makes $66,230 a year, or $31.84 an hour. Need more detail? Let's take a deeper look!

Virginia Is Above Average

According to May 2018 data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal agency tasked with tracking how much we’re all making, the average salary for a Virginia real estate agent was $66,230 annually.

That’s a cool five grand above the national average for real estate agents, which clocked in at $61,720.

What’s the Range?

So sure, you may be thinking, that’s the average, but I’m not an average person. I’ve got a hustle. I’ve got moxie. What do the best of the best Virginia real estate agents make? Great question!

The 90th percentile of Virginia real estate agents make $115,510 a year, while the 10th percentile make $28,760.

Those numbers show that there’s a lot of room for growth for agents with great contacts, strong work ethics, or who work in particularly high-value areas.

How Do Real Estate Agents Compare to Other Virginia Workers?

Real estate agents make more than $10,000 a year more than the average worker in Virginia: $66,230 a year, compared to the overall Virginia average of $55,310 a year.

In fact, the average Virginia real estate agent makes almost as much as the median household income in Virginia: $68,766 in 2017, according to census.gov. A real estate license can give you the earning power of median two-income households. Not too shabby!

A Lot Depends on Where You Are

While the hustle and hard work (and of course, whether or not you work full-time schedule) will greatly impact your earnings as a real estate agent, where you are is a huge factor too.

Since real estate agents are paid a percentage commission (usually as a new agent you’ll be splitting 3% of the purchase price with your broker, and that split will depend what you agreed on when you were hired), the higher home prices are where you are working, the more you will get paid per sale.

Pay averages reflects that difference: The average agent makes $81,710 in Virginia Beach but only $35,220 in Kingsport.

How Commission Splits Work

Confused about commission splits? Here’s a quick tutorial, since it’s one of the biggest variables that determine how much you will make as a real estate agent.

When you sign on to work with a supervising broker (which you are required to do, unless you are a broker yourself), you and your broker will decide how to split your commission. That’s right: Your boss gets a cut of every dollar you make. That’s just how it works in the real estate world.

Commission Split Example

Let’s say you have a 50/50 commission split with your broker and you sold a house for $500,000. Typically, an agent is paid 6% of the purchase price of the home by the seller. In this case, that comes out to $30,000.

First, you’ll generally have to split that amount with the cooperating broker, or the person who was representing the buyer in the transaction. That means your brokerage gets $15,000.

Then, you split that amount with your broker, in this case, 50/50. So your pre-tax income from the $500,000 sale is $7,500.

How Taxes Affect Take Home Pay

Virginia is one of the U.S. states that has a state income tax. Workers pay this tax on top of their federal taxes.

State income tax in Virginia ranges from 2% (for annual salaries under $3,000) to 5.75% (for annual salaries over $17,000).

If you made the average Virginia real estate agent salary of $66,230, your take-home pay for the year would be $49,170.

Want to know more about being a real estate agent in Virginia? Check out our career center.