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Real Estate agents earn their living off of commissions. This means that, unlike most employees, agents do not get paid until the home is sold, it is only then the agent receives their commission. The Real Estate Commission is typically calculated as a percentage of the final sales price of the home. In the vast majority of situations, the seller pays the commission for both agents, each broker getting half of the amount.

Once the home closes, the fee that the agent earns from the sale of the home typically does not immediately go to the agent. In fact, it goes to the company where the agent hangs his/her license. For example, if I were to be paid as an agent in the sale of your home, that commission would actually go to Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties. Since the agent has entered into a contract with the brokerage, they split the commission in a pre-agreed split before remitting the balance to the agent.


To put some hard numbers to all this, let’s look at how agents would be paid on a typical transaction of a $200,000 home with a 6% commission:

The total commission would be $12,000. That’s $200,000 times 0.06.

The listing broker and buyer’s broker would often split that equally. So, each would get $6,000.

Then the brokers would pay their agents. Assuming their deals call for 50-50 splits, each agent would get $3,000.


  • Negotiating prowess

It’s tough to sit across the table from a seasoned professional in an industry that you have limited experience in. While you may be a savvy negotiator, the value of understanding how negotiations operate within the industry is valuable.

  • Contract Expertise

Understanding contracts is paramount and can be difficult without having seem them many, many times before. This limits the possibility of costly mistakes by not understanding the contract and its ramifications.

  • MLS access

The MLS is the best source of accurate information on homes. It is a valuable tool to find the best home for you as quickly as possible. It is also very valuable to be able to syndicate out to the digital world.

  • Local Knowledge

Local codes, permits, strange HOA’s. A well qualified agent understands these and can give you a heads up before signing a contract without full knowledge.

  • Accurate Pricing

Without understanding the local market inside and out, accurate pricing of a home is very difficult. There are many intangibles and seemingly small items that can affect the value of a home.

  • Marketing Value

The quality of marketing content can sell your home faster, and for more money. Real estate agents can give that marketing content.

  • Time Saver

Time is money, and real estate agents can save you time and effort in a myriad of ways both in the amount of time a home is on the market and the duration from an offer to a closing for buyers and sellers.

  • A helpful 3rd party to give advice and context.

Buying or selling a home can be difficult. Having a steady 3rd party who has seen it all before can provide guidance and advice to get the job done.


As with everything, there is a range of value you can receive with different agents. There can be differences in expertise professionalism, communication and a number of other factors that can make your decision to sign on with a real estate agent an important one. Stu Van Anderson has a 5-star rating and is immensely qualified to be your guide to the Breckenridge market. Give him a call to discuss your options. 

How Does a Realtor Get Paid?