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Georgia Real Estate Commission – Rates and License Requirements

Posted by Sellect Realty on February 8, 2017
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A strong market in Georgia real estate has been followed by a significant shift in new licensees. A huge number of fresh graduates and professionals coming to real estate as second careers are joining daily. To become a realtor, there are specific rules and regulations defined by the Georgia real estate commission.

Here is a complete guide on GA real estate commission rules and regulations and the scope of realtors in the state.

How Do I Get My Georgia Real Estate License?

The first and foremost requirement to becoming a realtor in Georgia is the license. The primary steps involved in getting a real estate license are:

How do i get my real estate license

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  1. Completing the required pre-license education
  2. Completing a background check
  3. Being at least 18 years of age
  4. Taking the Georgia real estate exam
  5. Applying for the state license

Completing The Required Education:

In order to complete the required education and prepare for the exam, the pre-license course must be at least 75 hours and must be approved by the Georgia Real Estate Commission (GREC). There are several Georgia Real Estate Commission approved schools in the state that offer the courses. Many are available in course, or online. Each course requires passing a proctored exam before a candidate is eligible to sit for their licensing exam.

Completing A Background Check:

A criminal history report from Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) is required to complete a background check. Many police departments and/or local sheriffs have the authority to provide this report.

The cost of report is roughly $25 and is only valid for 60 days.

Taking The Georgia Real Estate Exam:

Once the required education hours and the background are complete, you are ready to appear in the exam. However, before appearing in the exam, the candidates must register with the exam provider and bring the Lawful Presence Notarized Affidavit to the exam.

Applying For The License:

The candidates may apply for the license at testing center. But for an active salesperson’s license, they must bring a sponsoring broker statement with them. Obtaining a Sponsoring Broker Statement is easy, but requires interviewing to find a Broker. Once you have found a Broker where you feel comfortable and challenged, then your new Broker will fill out the Sponsoring Broker Form. You will take this form with you to the testing facility and turn it in with your background check and test payment.

If a person does not plan to immediately work for a brokerage, or has not yet chosen a Brokerage, then they can only apply for an inactive license.

 

What Are The Georgia Real Estate Commission Fees For Getting A License?

The GA real estate commission fees for getting a license:

GA real estate commission fees

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  • If a person applies within 3 months from taking the exam, it will be $170.00.
  • If a person applies more than three but less than 12 months from the exam, the fee goes up to $340.00.
  • The examination fee is $115.0.

The Georgia real estate commission fees cover all the charges for the first 4 years of licensure.

Real Estate Commission Georgia – Broker/Associate Broker Requirements:

The requirements of a broker/associate broker’s license in Georgia are in addition to the requirements of getting a real estate salespersons license. The Brokers License requires additional education and more. The requirements are: 

  • Hold an active Salespersons License for three out of the last five years
  • Successfully complete the 60 hour Broker Pre-license course
  • Pass a GCIC background check
  • Successfully pass the state exam for the Brokers License

 

What Are The Fees For A Broker/Associate Broker’s License in GA?

The licensing fees of becoming a real estate broker/associate broker in Georgia includes:

  • $170.00 for a license fee
  • $115.00 examination fee

The fees cover all the charges for the first 4 years of licensure.

 

How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make In GA?

how much does a real estate agent make

Income & Salaries of real estate agent depends on the number of closed sales. The more sales an agent closes, the more commission they make.

The Georgia real estate commission rates are negotiable and range from 2%-7% per sale. 

How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make Per Hour In Georgia?

Real Estate Agents are not paid on a hourly basis, but we can estimate the hourly wage based on real life examples. Since real estate agents don’t have vacation days or holidays off, they work 365 days per year. While agent incomes can vary well into the high six-figure arena, the average annual income for an agent is $39,000. If we presume that an agent is working 40 hours per week the hourly rate would be $18.75. However, working 40 hours in this industry is unlikely and if the number of hours worked goes up to 50 per week then that average hourly wage drops to $15/hour. An important factor to note is that this is all in pre-tax dollars and also before any marketing expenses have been spent. 

The huge variation in wages is due to the varying individual experience. The more experienced agents are, the more income they are likely to generate.

How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make Per Year In Georgia?

The median yearly salary of realtors in Georgia is around $34,900.00. with $18,930 being the lowest and the $76,450 being the highest.

Similar to hourly wages, the variation in the median salary of a realtor also depends on the experience of a realtor.

How much a Realtor makes in GA depends on the number of sales he or she closes per year, the value of the homes, and the commission rate made from each sale. The higher the closed sales, the greater the income.

How Much Does A Realtor Make On A Million Dollar House In Georgia?

Again, it comes down to how much a realtor charges for selling a house. Plus the broker splits, the cut of buyer’s Broker, taxes and the office expenses play a huge part too.

The Georgia real estate commission is negotiable and depending on the marketing needs of the house. The commission may be less if the Seller wants to waive some of the marketing, but this can also jeopardize the sale of the home, so the Seller and Agent should be careful to make sure any commission negotiated is significant enough to cover all marketing expenses.

 

Is It Hard To Make Money In Real Estate Right Away?

Starting a real estate career requires significant patience and determination as the early days can be extremely tough. Most the agents manage to make very little as they lack the knowledge of the market and a client base to keep their business up and running.

Another reason why the income for the beginners is low is the huge splits. The Realtors who are new to the industry often have to share large sums of the commission with their brokerages because the training is intensive and the brokerage must be compensated for it.

The split varies and can be anywhere from 50/50. However, as an agent grows in experience, the splits become as high as 95-5 in favor of the agent.

How Does The Commission Work In GA Real Estate?

The real estate commission in GA and all the other states work the same way. It’s a small percentage of the actual price of the house that an agent charges for the services he provides.

The commission rates go from 2%-6%. A commission that is anywhere between these percentages is usually acceptable to both the parties. An example of commission breakdown will make it clearer for you.

A Broker that takes 6% commission on a $250,000.00 house receives an initial payment of $15,000.00 (6% of the home-price).

how does commission work in real estate

Image Source: seesonia

Out of this amount, 50% goes to the buyer’s Broker which the leaves the listing Broker with $7,500.00.

After the split with buyer’s agent comes the cut of listing broker who usually keeps 30% of the remaining amount. $7,500 – $2,250 = $5250.00.

The 6% ($450) of this money goes out in HQ fees.

Now the listing agent is left with $4,800.00. However, this is not the final amount that goes to his pocket. There are further expenses that may include:

  • Taxes: around 30% ($1,440)
  • The cost of videos, photos and advertising on MLS: $650.00.

After all the expenses, the net amount that a realtor takes home on a $250,000.00 house sale with 6% commission is $2,710.

 

What Is A Typical Commission Split Between An Agent And The Broker?

There is no such thing as a typical commission in real estate. Different brokerages keep different splits from the agents working for them.

The ideal Georgia real estate commission split is 70-30. However, it can be 60-40 or 50-50 as well, depending on the experience of an agent.

The more experienced an agent is, the less split he gets to share with the brokerage.

Usually, an experienced agent in Georgia keeps 85% of the commission, giving away only 15% to his brokerage.

On the other hand, an agent who is relatively new in the industry ends up with only a 50% split. Sellect Realty starts our agents out at 80/20 and graduates their commission payout to as high as 95%.

What Is The Fair Commission Split For New Real Estate Agent?

As mentioned earlier, the majority of the realtors get to keep only 50% of the actual commission. Out of this, half the commission goes to the buyer’s agent and other expenses like fuel, marketing of the house, etc.

All of this goes from the commission of a listing agent, leaving him with a tiny amount. The best practice to get higher shares is to negotiate with your brokerage. Any split that is 70-30 or 60-40 may work for an agent. It all depends on what that agent is getting for the high cost. Brokerage firms provide many resources to allow their agents to operate seamlessly.

What Is The Typical Monthly Fee For Agents To Associate With A Brokerage In GA?

Just like the split rates, the monthly fees also vary; based on the experience of an agent. There are some brokerages in Georgia that charge a monthly fee of around $100, and the $500 per each transaction an agent makes.

On the other hand, some brokerages only charge a transaction fee. It all depends on the rules and regulations of a particular firm. Every firm operates differently and they provide different services for their fees. 

 

What Services Are Included In The GA Real Estate Commission Rates?

A real estate agent typically does the marketing and professional photography using different techniques. Postcards, flyers, ads on the renowned websites like Zillow, Trulia, and the local MLS.

Zillow and Trulia and are the leading real estate websites in the US. The virtual tour of the property is covered in the cost.

On the other hand, a simple vanity website will charge around only $100-$200. However, these websites do not provide the virtual tour.

Apart from the posting ads, a Realtor may also provide the seller staging of the property. Depending on the size of the house, the staging cost may go anywhere between $500-$2000.

How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make Per House in GA?

Since the average GA realtor commission rates are anywhere from 2-7%, most agents make around this number.

However, how much does a real estate agent make per house in GA also depends on the experience. An agent who is relatively new in the industry will probably charge less. On the other hand, the experienced agents may charge much more for their experience.

Who Pays The Real Estate Agent Commission In Georgia?

As the majority of the home buyers and sellers work with a real estate agent, there is common uncertainty over the fact of who pays the real estate agent commission in Georgia.

Overwhelmingly, it’s the Seller who pays the commission. 

Who Pays The Real Estate Agent Commission

Image Source: Hermann London

While talking about the payment, there is a huge misconception that agents are paid directly once the sale is closed, but this is not the case. It’s the Broker who directly gets the commission.

According to the Georgia real estate law, an agent cannot work independently. He must associate with a brokerage to operate as a real estate professional.

During a property transaction, both the buyer’s agent and the listing agent are involved, and the commission they receive is usually paid to the Listing Broker who then shares that with the Buyer’s Broker through a cooperative agreement. 

The brokers set the limits on the commission to begin with. The total Georgia real estate commission rate is commonly between around 4-6%. This rate may be higher or lower, but the brokers usually keep a portion of that fee and pay the remaining split to the agents.

How Is The Seller’s Agent’s Commission Is Determined?

Generally, the brokerages demand exclusive rights to sell a property within a specific number of months. If they are successful in doing so, they earn the commission at closing.

how to negotiate with a realtor commission

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How Is The Buyer’s Agent’s Commission Is Determined?

The buyer’s agent works with home seekers. Once the deal is closed, they have earned whatever rate they charge the Buyer. Often times, a commission is offered by the Listing Broker. If the commission is substantial enough to cover the Buyer Broker’s rate then the Buyer does not have to pay because the Listing Broker shares the commission with the buyer’s brokerage. However, the split is not always 50/50.

If we take an example of a real estate commission in Georgia at 6%, the split can range from 1.5/4.5 to 3/3 or anywhere on the spectrum. 

There are no hard and fast rules on commission splits. If the same brokerage represents both the seller and the buyer, the whole commission goes to that brokerage. Then a certain cut from that commission goes to the agents of a seller and a buyer.

In case the seller and the buyer choose to work with two different brokerages, the commission splits are advertised to the MLS members when they see the listings. 

Why Is There A Huge Difference Over The Commission Splits Of Real Estate Agent And Brokers?

When a new realtor steps into the market, he is lacking the skillset and the training required to attract the clients and make any sales.

So the US law requires new realtors to work for a brokerage and kick start their career. One might think that taking pre-licensing courses is enough to succeed. But this is not how things work in real estate. The pre-licensing courses do not teach:

  • How to motivate the clients
  • Preparation of a listing agreement
  • Writing and presenting a contract
  • Showing properties to the clients
  • Making offer/counter offers
  • Marketing strategies

All these are the key ingredients for building a large client base and closing a greater number of sales. When an agent hangs his license in a brokerage, it’s for his own good. A brokerage will provide him all the essential training and help him build a client base.

The brokerage splits are the fees for the platform they provide to initiate a career in real estate.

Usually these splits are 50/50 for new agents. But if an agent possesses great negotiation skills, they may come down to 60-40 or 70-30.

 

How Do Real Estate Brokerages In GA Make Money?

Although the commission splits cover a huge portion of their earnings, this is not the only way to make money for a real estate brokerage.

Some other ways that a brokerage can make money are:

  • Offering training resources
  • Helping people rent out a property
  • Providing office space to the agents
  • Helping sellers with finding a buyer
  • Helping buyers with a finding a seller

These services plan a major in determining the income of a brokerage in GA, and every other part of the US. The more efficient they are with the services, the more money they are likely to generate.

 

Are Real Estate Agents In Georgia Rich?

The Georgia real estate is at its peak. A rapid growth in local housing has seen the local realtors generate larger sums. Since the real estate commission in Georgia is significantly higher than the other market, the realtors there enjoy larger profits

 real estate commission in Georgia

image source: selling your property

However, this is not the case with everyone. How rich is a real estate agent depends hugely on the experience and the skill set.

Below is the average salary of realtors in Georgia with respect to their states:

Georgia Real Estate Salaries In Major States:

  • The average realtor salary in Marietta, GA: $38,621.00
  • The average realtor salary in Atlanta, GA: $39,497.00
  • In Albany, GA its $36,886.00
  • In Athens, GA, the average realtor salary is: $37,108.00
  • The average realtor salary in Roswell, GA is: $38,225.00
  • In Savannah, GA, its: $37,115.00
  • In Valdosta, GA, the average realtor salary is: $34,525.00

 

Conclusion:

These are some of the stats and facts about GA real estate license requirements and the average Georgia real estate commission. Putting it in a nutshell, getting a license is simple, easy and starting a career in Georgia real estate can be a springboard to leading a life by design.

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