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Agent for Change
Negotiations over the sales commission that sellers pay real estate agents tend to start at 6 percent. The national average is 5.4 percent, says Steve Murray, editor of RealTrends. “Low inventory can help sellers negotiate, since agents are competing for a small pool of potential listings,” he says. That works out to about a $10,000 commission a seller will pay to unload a $193,000 home. (The national median sale price for existing homes is $193,000, according to the National Association of Realtors.) It’s split between the agents on both ends of the deal. The median income for a realtor last year was $43,500; one in five earned six figures, according to the NAR. The all-time peak median annual income for realtors was $52,000 in 2002.