If you’re considering a career in real estate, or simply curious, you may wonder – what is the average pay for real estate agents in Illinois? How much income can you reasonably expect as a realtor across different parts of the state?
In Illinois, real estate agents most commonly work as independent contractors paid primarily on commission basis rather than a fixed salary. Actual incomes vary widely based on factors like sales volume, experience level, and geographic location.
What is the Average Salary for a Realtor in Illinois?
The average salary for a realtor in Illinois varies depending on location and experience, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage is $62,620. Top earners can make over $208,000, while those in the bottom 10% make less than $23,130. Major cities like Chicago generally offer higher average salaries due to higher home prices.
Pay Structure for Illinois Realtors
Most real estate agents in Illinois work as independent contractors, meaning their primary pay comes from commissions earned on home sales rather than a set salary. The typical commission structure is:
- Around 5-6% total commission on the home sale price, paid by the seller at closing
- Split between the seller’s listing agent (often 2.5-3%) and the buyer’s agent (also 2.5-3%)
For example, on a $300,000 home sale with a 5% commission, the total commission would be $15,000. This gets evenly split between the two agents, with each earning $7,500.
So in terms of base pay, realtor salaries align directly with sales volumes and commission rates earned. Some brokerages also supplement with salaries allowing top producers to earn well into the six figures.
Average Earnings for Illinois Realtors
Given the cyclical nature of real estate transactions and variance in commission structures, income for Illinois realtors also fluctuates substantially. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average annual earnings for real estate agents in Illinois are:
- Mean annual wage – $62,620
- Top 10% earn more than – $208,000
- Bottom 10% earn less than – $23,130
The huge gap between top and bottom earners reflects that realtor incomes depend heavily on sales volumes in addition to experience levels and brokerage factors.
Geographic Differences in Illinois
Not surprisingly, real estate agent salaries also differ across regions within Illinois:
- Chicago Metro – $67,790 average
- Springfield – $47,720
- Peoria – $62,460
- Champaign/Urbana – $60,200
- St. Louis Metro East – $54,010
Major metro areas like Chicago where home prices run higher allow realtors to earn larger commissions, boosting the average salaries substantially.
Pay Differences Based on Experience & Brokerages
Within the same market, real estate agent salaries can still vary based on:
- Years in Business – Newer agents earn less while veterans command higher commission splits.
- Brokerage Pay Structures – Some firms pay salaries allowing top producers to exceed $100k+
- Team Affiliation – Joining an established team provides mentorship but may require splitting a higher percentage of commissions.
The Bottom Line
In most cases, Illinois realtor earnings equate directly to commissions generated based on sales volumes and home prices. This leads to large gaps between top producers and weak or average agents. Factors like experience, location, and brokerage affiliation also impact average salaries, which can far exceed $100,000 for successful realtors in markets like Chicago.