What Percentage Of Sales Do Realtors Make?

When you decide to sell a home in San Diego the traditional route, be prepared to write out several checks throughout the process. From title insurance to city transfer taxes, these can be just a fraction of the fees before we add in a host of other miscellaneous costs along the way.

However, the fee that stings the most for many homeowners looking to sell their properties has to be the real estate commission. In fact, it’s the highest cost you need to pay when selling your home, which makes it an unpopular fee among home sellers. 

That leaves most home sellers asking; exactly what percentage of sales do realtors make? The realtor’s commission differs from one state to the next. In California, the percentage currently averages 5%-6% which stands right about at the national average. 

Whether that’s a good or bad thing in a home seller’s opinion is a topic for another day; most still consider it daylight robbery. Working directly with a trusted house buyer like us let’s us skip the commissions and cover all fees throughout the process. Having a better understanding of how a typical realtor’s commission works might shift your perspective.

How Much Do Realtors Charge And Is There A Way Around It?

If you reside in San Diego and are looking to sell your home, you’ll likely need to cut the realtor a 6% check of the sales price. To put things into perspective, you’ll need to pay the real estate agent $42,000 for a home selling for $700 000. In their defense, real estate agents charge this percentage for marketing your home. 

That includes conducting a comparative market analysis to help you establish the best purchase price. After that, the realtor needs to arrange photoshoots of your home, provide staging guidance, yard signage, coordinate open houses, manage buyer visits, and so on. Admittedly, that’s a lot of work, but those usually come with additional fees that you pay at the end of the day anyway

The realtor’s commission goes to both your and the buyer’s real estate agents, and the seller pays the bill. Is there a way to dodge the dreaded commissions? You can decide to sell your house alone and pay between $100 and $300 to list your property. But the trade-off is you must be prepared for all the work that comes with selling your home. You will have to handle the entire selling process on your own. 

That can be pretty daunting if it’s your first rodeo. A working alternative is to work with a real estate company that foregoes agent commissions and covers other costs to provide you the highest cash offer possible, like we offer here at Trusted House Buyers.

How Do You Look For The Best Realtor?

When selling your home, the realtor you select also becomes your business partner and financial advisor. That’s why it’s important to look for a company you can trust and are comfortable with. You may need to conduct several real estate agent comparisons before selecting one. 

The ideal realtor is licensed by the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors (SDAR). Also, pick a realtor who is knowledgeable and familiar with the area in which you’re selling the house. Expertise regarding market housing trends and selling property in San Diego is paramount. 

Finally, look for a real estate company that doesn’t hesitate to roll up its sleeves and get the job done efficiently and within a reasonable time frame.

When Do You Pay Your Realtor?

Expect to pay the realtor’s commission only when the sale closes. As such, the real estate commission falls under closing costs along with other legal fees. You pay your realtor in full, and they proceed to split the fees with the buyer’s agent.

But to avoid any surprises when it’s time to conclude the sale, make sure you’re on the same page with your realtor from the word go. That means you must know the exact percentage you’re expected to pay before proceeding with the deal. 


When selling a home, realtors want in on the action—and rightly so. Real estate is a competitive arena, and selling a house isn’t very easy. The agent needs to help structure a competitive purchase price, arrange open houses, and market the property, among other duties. 

For these efforts, San Diego realtors ask for 5%-6% of the purchase price, which is right around the national average. Home sellers can, however, find real estate companies that buy houses via a quicker, stress-free process, without agent commissions, like we offer here at Trusted House Buyers.

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Next Article: Average property tax in California

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