Markets & Economy

Realtors earned less, closed fewer transactions in 2014

A decline in existing-home sales and an increase in the number of Realtors were partly to blame, said NAR

Realtors closed one less transaction in 2014 on average and made nearly $2,000 less when compared to 2013. According to a National Association of Realtors Member Profile, a typical Realtor closed 11 transactions last year and achieved a median gross income of $45,800.

A decline in 2014 existing-home sales coupled with an increase in the number of Realtors are two reasons for these declines, said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, in a statement.

It’s worth noting these results are based on 6,750 responses. NAR’s membership currently totals 1.1 million.

The survey found median gross income and number of transactions closed are directly to experience. On average, Realtors with more than 16 years of experience earned $68,200 and closed 13 transactions. For these members, repeat business accounted for 40 percent of their activity and referrals for an additional 24 percent.

In contrast, Realtors with three to five years of experience earned $37,400 and closed 10 deals.

Income also varied by license type, with members licensed as brokers earning the most, $65,300. In 2013, this figure stood at $66,300. Median earnings for sales agents decreased $1,100 from 2013 to $33,900.

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Experience aside, Realtors concurred that several factors limited potential clients’ ability to complete transactions in 2014 — the inability to find the “right property” or obtain a mortgage.

“Inventory shortages were prevalent in many parts of the country, all-cash purchases were elevated for most of the year and significant lender overlays and loan processing delays were repeatedly reported by members,” Yun said.

A majority of NAR’s members, 80 percent, focus on residential sales with 71 percent having secondary specialties. Residential brokerage is the largest secondary focus for Realtors at 34 percent. Both relocation and commercial brokerage were next at 17 percent, followed by residential property management at 16 percent.

Compensation structures remained the same for Realtors, with 69 percent of respondents receiving compensation through a split commission arrangement. Seventeen percent receive all of the commission, and another 4 percent receive a commission plus a share of profits.

Email Erik Pisor.