Real Estate

Incomes are rising for experienced Realtors but falling for younger ones

In a difficult housing market for Realtors, experience matters — a lot.

That’s the conclusion of the 2024 Member Profile poll from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which shows a sharp divergence in income when comparing more experienced agents to their less experienced colleagues.

The median gross income for Realtors with at least 16 years of experience rose from $80,700 in 2022 to $92,500 in 2023. But for Realtors as a whole, the median gross income fell from $56,400 in 2022 to $55,800 in 2023.

“2023 was a difficult year for Realtors due to high mortgage rates and low housing inventory, which significantly impacted home sales volume,” Jessica Lautz, NAR’s deputy chief economist and vice president of research, said in a statement. “Realtors faced competition at all angles, not only to represent clients, but also to ensure their buyers’ offers were accepted amid tough real estate market conditions.”

More experienced agents benefit from repeat clients. The typical Realtor earned 20% of their business from repeat clients in 2023, down from 27% in 2022. But agents with at least 16 years of experience got 42% of their business from repeat clients in 2023.

NAR’s report shows that brokerages reported significant declines in sales volumes, from $3.4 million per agent in 2022 to $2.5 million in 2023, while the typical number of transactions for an agent fell from 12 to 10. Despite the tough market, 73% of members said they were ”very certain” they will remain in the industry for at least two more years. 

The demographic profiles of Realtors are diversifying due to a younger cohort of agents. The number of white agents fell by 2 percentage points to 79% in 2023. Among agents with two years of experience or less, 40% were non-white.

Unfortunately for buyers, sellers and agents alike, inventory and affordability problems have continued into 2024. NAR’s existing-home sales report for May showed that sales volume fell 2.8% year over year, median prices increased by 5.8% and inventory — while rising — is still historically low.

Realtors probably didn’t need to be polled to know why they think 2023 existing-home sales fell to their lowest levels since 1995. It’s tied to low inventory levels and a lack of affordability.

But NAR’s 2024 Member Profile sheds light on how much it has affected the market, as 26% of Realtors said these two factors prevented their clients from buying homes in 2023.

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