What does a New York state REALTOR® look like?

A recent New York State Association of REALTOR® report indicates a typical New York State REALTOR® is a 57 year old female, working a 40 hour work week, with real estate as their only occupation.  She makes $35,200 gross, before taxes and expenses, and has about 10 transactions per year. In addition, her business expenses are about $3,600 per year with the greatest expense relating to her vehicle.

pigSo what this means is that in New York, a typical real estate agent makes $35,200, less than the nationwide median real estate income of $47,700.   Using standard tax rates, federal taxes on that income are around $4,600 and state taxes are around $1,700.  Using the average business expenses provided by NYSAR of $3,600, the net salary of the median New York state agent is right around $25K.  I’ll bet most people reading this would be very surprised at that data point; after all, HGTV would have us think the typical agent shows three houses and makes $100K commission checks.  I’m here to say the NY statistics in the NYSAR report are probably not that far off the mark.  While the median home value in Manhattan might be somewhere around $1.3M, the median home value in, say, Rochester, NY might be somewhere south of $100K.  So the “typical” agent is not making hundreds of thousands of dollars on a sale, but is someone working full-time and making a modest income (not that far over the poverty level).  Obviously, this data is very dependent on location, but most New York agents are not wealthy.

The other data point I found to be of interest was the age of the typical New York REALTOR.  I’m 54 years old, but I am one of the older agents in my office of 44.  I would estimate that perhaps 15% in my office (at the most) are older than me, and only by a few years.  Almost all of the office is closer to the 25-45 age bucket, so I really would have expected the average or median age of NY agents to be closer to the 35-40 number.

So bottom line, the NYSAR report (click on link for the magazine article) makes it sounds as though the New York state agents are older, busy, and broke.  Good thing we like our career choice!  Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here.


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