Real estate agent salary in Massachusetts ‐ CareerExplorer

Agency Disclosure

A real estate broker or salesperson must tell you who he or she represents in a prospective transaction. This disclosure of the relationship the agent has with you or another party must be made in writing at the time of your first personal meeting to discuss a specific property or properties.


Licensed Brokers and Salespersons

Only licensed real estate brokers and salespersons can assist you with the purchase, sale, lease or exchange of real property. The license must be current and in an Active status. This assistance includes a number of services, such as examining property for basic valuations (not to be confused with the services of a licensed appraiser), negotiating purchase, sale or lease agreements, maintaining escrow accounts, and advertising.

To become licensed, an applicant must satisfactorily complete the agent curriculum in real estate approved by the Board and pass a written examination conducted by the Board’s testing service.

A real estate broker negotiates agreements to sell, exchange, purchase, rent or lease interests in real property for a fee, commission or other valuable consideration for another person. A broker is responsible for accepting and escrowing all funds, such as a deposit placed on the purchase of a home, and for finalizing transactions. A real estate broker must supervise any transactions conducted by a salesperson.

A real estate salesperson engages in the same activities as a broker, except completing the negotiation of any agreement or transaction. A salesperson also has no authority or control over escrow funds.

A salesperson must be affiliated with a broker, either as an employee or as an independent contractor, and work under the supervision of the broker. A salesperson can not operate his own real estate business.

How much commission do realtors make in Massachusetts?

When you sell a home with a realtor in Massachusetts, your listing agent will typically take home 1.34% of the total sale price.

» MORE: What is a listing agent?

Less than you thought right? Even though the typical realtor fee in Massachusetts is 4.97%, that money is actually split between your agent, the buyer’s agent, and each of their brokers.

Here’s and example of how commission is often spit on a sale in Massachusetts:

Seller’s agent take home1.34%
Seller’s agent’s broker split1.34% (~50% of the seller’s agent’s commission )
Buyer’s agent take home1.15%
Buyer’s agent’s broker split1.15% (~50% of the buyer’s agent’s commission )
Total commission4.97%

» MORE: How commission splits work

How much realtors make on a typical sale in Massachusetts: $7,700

On a typical home sale in Massachusetts, the real estate agent that lists the home will take home around $7,700, assuming they split half of their commission with their broker.

Put another way, Massachusetts realtors take home about $1,300 for every $100,000 in sale price.

Realtor earnings in Massachusetts per year: $94,170

Real estate agents in Massachusetts make $94,170 per year on average according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is $31,180 more than the national average.

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Who Pays Massachusetts Realtor Fees?

When considering the Realtor fees for selling a house in Massachusetts, keep in mind that the total real estate commission rate is decided upon before a home is placed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). A total amount of compensation is decided upon between the property owner and the real estate agent representing them, the listing agent or broker.

Most oftentimes the total compensation is a percentage of the sale price when listing a property for sale, and oftentimes one month’s rent when listing a property for rent.

In effect, property owners pay all Realtor fees when selling.

That total compensation or real estate commission rate is then split between the listing agent and the agent or broker that brings the buyer to the transaction (sometimes referred to as the cooperating broker). The split between the two is at the discretion of the listing agent, and agreed upon in writing with a seller before a property hits the MLS. The property owner can influence how the compensation is split, but rarely does in practice.

As an example for illustration purposes, a property owner and listing agent come to an established agreement that the total compensation, or real estate agent commission rate, for the listing of a property for sale will be 6%. It is then at the discretion of the listing agent to offer the cooperating broker, if there is one, part of that commission rate, for example, splitting it in half and providing 3% to the buyer’s agent.

Rarely discussed, there is an additional set of “splits” that take place, between the individual agents and the brokerage firms for which they work – individual agents, or real estate salespersons as they are called in Massachusetts, do not retain the entire gross real estate commission on a transaction. In the above example, the 3% each that the listing agent, and separately, the buyer’s agent receive is actually given to their brokerage firm and the firm takes a percentage and passes on the rest directly to the agent.

Highest paying cities for Real Estate Agents in Massachusetts

  1. Cambridge, MA $121,226 per year 35 salaries reported

  2. Boston, MA $118,764 per year 290 salaries reported

  3. Marlborough, MA $110,819 per year 7 salaries reported

  1. Quincy, MA $108,604 per year 35 salaries reported

  2. Westwood, MA $107,269 per year 10 salaries reported

  3. Concord, MA $107,269 per year 12 salaries reported

  1. Natick, MA $105,644 per year 6 salaries reported

  2. Wakefield, MA $105,575 per year 20 salaries reported

  3. Worcester, MA $104,144 per year 34 salaries reported

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