Why trust us: Our data is based on a survey of 650 real estate agents and brokers across the U.S. Learn how we researched.
In this guide: How much you’ll pay | Average Iowa realtor fees | How Iowa agents set rates | How to save on commission in Iowa | FAQ | Our research
The average total real estate commission in Iowa is 5.66%. This includes a 2.96% listing agent commission and a 2.70% buyer’s agent commission. In Iowa, sellers typically cover the real estate commission fees for both agents out of their sale proceeds at closing.
Iowa sellers pay an average of $10,985 in realtor fees, based on the average Iowa home price of $194,074.
Realtor commission rates vary considerably by region, city, or even neighborhood. The agent and brokerage you choose, as well as the specifics of your sale — like your home’s value, location, and condition — are also factors.
This guide breaks down how much commission sellers can expect to pay in Iowa. We’ll also explain why Iowa commissions are what they are (and offer up some tips that could help you save).
Iowa real estate commission: How much will you pay?
Here’s what you can expect to pay in realtor commission based on the average home price of $194,074.
|Listing agent commission||2.96%||$5,745|
|Buyer’s agent commission||2.70%||$5,240|
|Total realtor fees||5.66%||$10,985|
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How much are realtor fees in Iowa?
The average real estate commission in Iowa is 5.66%, which is a bit higher than the national average of 5.37%. These fees are paid by the seller from the proceeds of the sale.
With that said, realtor commissions in Iowa can vary based on your home’s list price, the state of the market, the location of your home, and if you’re a repeat customer, to name a few factors.
Iowa realtor fees can also change over time. As an example, the average realtor commission in Iowa is down from 5.90% in 2019. There are many possible explanations for this, but the slowing of the seller’s market of the past couple years probably influenced the lower rate. According to Redfin, the number of homes sold in Iowa in January 2023 was down 24.1% year-over-year.
Because of all of the various factors that can impact realtor fees, talk with local Iowa realtors to get a feel for what’s common and fair in your area before deciding who to work with.
How real Iowa agents and brokers set commission rates
Outside of market conditions, Iowa realtors set their commission rates based on how badly they need customers, if they expect more business from you, and how much they expect the home to sell for.
Most agents we’ve spoken to agree that real estate commissions are flexible to a point, but what they earn still needs to be worth the time and effort they’re putting in.
Keep in mind that realtor commissions in Iowa are split between the listing agent, buyer’s agent, and both brokerages. Your agent isn’t getting the full cut of the commission, which is why fees can seem so high.
When Iowa realtors set their fees, they’re also making sure they can pay for the following expenses out of their proceeds:
- Taxes: Real estate agents must pay a self-employment tax of 15.3% on all commission earned
- Association dues: Up to $195 annually
- MLS fees: $35 monthly
- State license fees: $125 annually
- Administrative staff: Assistants can help with bookkeeping, scheduling, and other day-to-day operations
- Marketing costs: Professional photos, advertising, open houses, and staging
The real estate commission not only pays for the services agents provide, but also compensates them for the upfront investment and risk they have to accept to successfully sell your home.
How can I save on realtor fees in Iowa?
While it may take some outside-the-box thinking, there are a few ways you can save on realtor fees:
- Negotiate with a traditional real estate agent or broker
- Work with a discount real estate broker
- Sell without a realtor
Negotiate with a traditional realtor
For most realtors, volume is the key to success. The more Iowa homes they sell, the more commission checks they take home. They can bridge the gap a little by selling higher-priced homes, but most realtors don’t have much control over the sale price.
Below are some ideas for what you can do to encourage your realtor to lower their fee.
Ways to negotiate lower realtor fees
- Minimize the burden. Selling a home that’s clean, up-to-date, and well-staged is much easier than selling one in disrepair with terrible curb appeal. Getting your house in order before negotiating your fee will help convince your agent this home will be easy to sell.
- Encourage competition. Shopping around and talking to multiple realtors in your area will help you determine who’s offering the best rate and the best service.
- Double-dip. Since volume is the key to success for an Iowa realtor, promising to bring them more business is a good way to incentivize giving you a discount. Offer to sell this home and buy your next one with them.
Negotiating can be awkward and uncomfortable. If you’d rather avoid it, you can find an agent through Clever Real Estate. They’ve already pre-negotiated a 1.5% listing fee with experienced agents in Iowa, so you don’t have to. Find an Iowa agent for less.
Work with a discount real estate broker
Some brokerages offer discounted realtor fees up front. These companies can help you save money, but some come with risks or worse-than-average customer service. Do your research to understand what you’ll get for the discounted fee. See how we ranked discount real estate brokers in your area based on savings, customer reviews, and our experience mystery shopping with each company.
To save an average of $7,000 on your listing fee without sacrificing service, Clever Real Estate is your best option.
Sell without a realtor
The ultimate way to save on realtor fees is to sell without a realtor — though we don’t recommend this to most Iowa sellers.
You’ll avoid paying a listing commission, but you’ll have to do all of the work of a listing agent on your own. Plus, you’ll still want to pay a full buyer’s agent commission to incentivize other agents to show your home to their buyers.
Learn more about how to sell a house without a realtor in Iowa.
Other FAQs about Iowa real estate commissions
How much do real estate agents make in Iowa?
Indeed.com estimates Iowa real estate agents make between $40,000–180,000, with an average annual salary of nearly $86,000. Learn more about how much real estate agents make.
What percentage do most realtors take?
The average total commission in Iowa is 5.66%. That’s split into an average listing fee of 2.96% and an average buyer’s agent commission of 2.70%. Those agents also have to split that commission with their broker, so they may only walk away with about half that. Learn more about how realtor commission works in Iowa.
We regularly survey our pool of 14,000 partner agents nationwide on the commission rates they use for buying and selling. These data points are averages based on responses we’ve received from six agents across Iowa.
- Redfin – Iowa Housing Market
- Clever Real Estate Commission Survey Data
- Internal Revenue Service
- Des Moines Area Association of Realtors
- Iowa Real Estate Commission
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