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Agent Commissions Drop, Licenses are Revoked Across U.S.

Big changes in 2009

house graphAs you may have already guessed, 2009 was the year of dropping commissions and a great number of agents actually lost their licenses. The past year has been rough not only on homeowners losing their homes, politicians who have tasked themselves with repairing the housing crisis, but for the agents on the ground who have taken a massive hit with dropped sales and having to navigate nearly impossible lending waters.

According to Stefan Swanepoel, “In 2009 the Department of Real Estate revoked the license of 775 real estate agents.” And this is just in the state of California alone.

Carrie Bay of reports that, “the downturn in the real estate market is a big reason disciplinary actions are up, with foreclosure prevention cons a large contributing factor, the state department said.”

Commissions dropping

Predictably, the dollar value of agents’ commissions fell in 2009 “to its lowest level in seven years,” reports The Baltimore Sun, noting that sales commissions dropped 6.2% to $40.6 billion.

Real Estate Blogger Tom Royce said, “Let’s hope 2010 shows some more velocity in the higher ends of the markets so agents will be able to earn a better living.”

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As loan rates and demand for loans drop and with 18.9 million homes vacant, along with political blunders like HAMP, 2010 will likely still be a rough year but perhaps the upside is that the strongest in the industry (or those married to those earning a salary) will survive. What silver lining do you see?

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Susie Blackmon

    February 17, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Silver lining? [Nevermind. My comments were way too snarky.]

  2. Yvonne Bondanza-Whittaker

    February 17, 2010 at 9:38 am

    No commission is worth losing your license! Thanks for the article. It’s a tough time out there! I don’t see a silver lining…Yet. I am just taking one day at a time!

  3. Grant Hammond

    February 18, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I am guessing that the 6.2% drop in commission is probably less than the percentage drop in number of agents leaving the business in Cali.

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