Tight inventory causes decline in REALTOR® income

With inventory across the state and especially in Seattle at historic lows, REALTORS® are facing a business problem: there just aren’t enough homes to sell. The recently released National Association of REALTORS® 2018 Member Profile takes a random sampling of REALTORS® from across the country to find out who REALTORS® are and what’s going on with their business year over year. For the fifth year in a row, respondents said the biggest barrier in tapping potential clients was finding the right property.

Fewer homes to sell means fewer transactions, which in turn means less income for REALTORS®. The typical number of transactions for REALTORS® nationally fell from 12 in 2016 to 11 in 2017, and the median broker/agent sales volume decreased to $1.8 million in 2017 from $1.9 million in 2016. For individual REALTORS® sampled, median gross income fell to $39,800 in 2017 from $42,500 the previous year.

Despite the overall decline in sales, the old standby “practice makes perfect” holds true: REALTORS® with more years of experience tend to make more than those with less. Sixty percent of members who have two years of experience or less made less than $10,000 last year, while 40 percent of members with more than 16 years of experience made more than $100,000 in the same time period. Note that all Member Profile numbers represent national REALTOR® averages and are not specific to King County.

It’s no secret that in one of the priciest housing markets in the country, REALTORS® are feeling the supply squeeze. That’s why Seattle King County REALTORS® is working on solutions that will get more homes built so that REALTORS® in our market can be as successful in their business as possible. Look out for more information later this year and into 2019 about our efforts to bring condos back as an affordable homeownership option.

For more highlights from the 2018 Member Profile, visit NAR’s website.