As a real estate agent, your job is to help people buy and sell homes. You do this by marketing properties, scheduling open houses, helping with home inspections and appraisals and negotiating deals with buyers and sellers. In the end, you are paid a commission on the sale of a property. This payment is typically a percentage of the sales price of the property.

How much you get is based on a number of factors, including your type of license, experience and the market. In addition, you are a contractor rather than an employee, so you must pay taxes on your commissions. If you are an independent contractor and the sale of a property is your only source of income, you may need to file quarterly estimated taxes on your earnings.

In New York City, most real estate agents are independent contractors. As such, the amount they earn depends on a variety of factors, including their market, the type of property and its location. Commissions are one of the biggest sources of income for most agents. However, there are many other ways to generate a stream of income. Some agents have multiple listings or work in a niche market and are able to command high commissions. Others work for real estate brokerages and are able to negotiate a salary instead of working on a commission basis. Read more

For most residential sales, a homeowner or seller pays the real estate commission from the proceeds of the sale. A typical sale in New York City produces a commission payment of about 6 percent of the selling price of the property. This payment is typically divided between the listing and buyer’s agent.

The agent’s broker may also take a cut of the total commission. For example, if the property sells for $200,000, the agent’s company will keep $6,000. This leaves the listing agent with $5,000.

In some cases, the agent may also owe a referral fee to an out-of-state agent who referred a buyer. This fee is usually paid out of the overall commission and will reduce the amount that the buyer’s agent receives.

If you are a home seller, you negotiate the amount of your real estate commission with your agent before you list the property for sale. You must also agree to a buyer’s agent commission with the agent you hire to represent your buyers.

While you can negotiate the amount of your commission, most home sellers will go along with the agreed-upon commission rate. However, as a seller, you can ask to have a portion of the commission payment applied towards the purchase costs at closing. This is not a common request, but it can be beneficial in certain situations. For instance, if you feel that your agent did not do an effective job of representing you during the sales process, then asking for some of the commission to be credited toward your purchasing expenses at closing can make sense.