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 Kentucky realtor fees | How Kentucky agents set rates | How to save on commission in Kentucky | FAQ | Our research
The average total real estate commission in Kentucky is 5.44%. This includes a 2.72% listing agent commission and a 2.72% buyer’s agent commission. In Kentucky, sellers typically cover the real estate commission fees for both agents out of their sale proceeds at closing.
Kentucky sellers pay an average of $10,039 in realtor fees, based on the average Kentucky home price of $184,542.
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 Kentucky. We’ll also explain why Kentucky commissions are what they are (and offer up some tips that could help you save).
Kentucky 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 $184,542.
|Listing agent commission||2.72%||$5,020|
|Buyer’s agent commission||2.72%||$5,020|
|Total realtor fees||5.44%||$10,039|
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How much are realtor fees in Kentucky?
The average real estate commission in Kentucky is 5.44%, which is just slightly higher than the national average of 5.37%. As the seller, you’ll pay this from the sale proceeds.
Fees are negotiable and can vary from one city to the next. They also change over time depending on market conditions. In fact, realtor fees in Kentucky have dropped from 5.8% in 2021.
This drop could be the result of increased competition for business among Kentucky realtors, or it could be due to the unusually hot seller’s market we experienced the past few years. But, it already looks like that hot market is behind us.
Some experts estimate housing sales could decline anywhere from 7–16% nationally in 2023, but Kentucky may manage to avoid the pullback. Louisville could actually experience a combined sales and price growth of 14% in 2023. If this happens, it’s likely Kentucky real estate commission percentages will remain unchanged.
Always talk to a local realtor — or a few of them — to find out what is a reasonable fee for your area.
How real Kentucky agents and brokers set commission rates
Kentucky realtors set their rates based on a variety of factors, including:
- What’s competitive in the area
- How much work it takes to sell the home
- If it’s a seller’s or buyer’s market
- If you’re a repeat customer
Most agents won’t come out and tell you their rate is negotiable, but most of the agents we have talked to acknowledge that their rates are flexible — to a point.
Although there is some wiggle room, realtors use their fees to pay for several necessary expenses, so they can only go so low. Their initial investment involves not only time and effort, but they’re also responsible for:
- Taxes: Real estate agents must pay a self-employment tax of 15.3% on all commission earned
- Association dues and MLS fees: $250–650 annually
- State license fees: $120–130 annually
- Administrative staff: Assistants can help with bookkeeping, scheduling, and other day-to-day operations
- Marketing costs: Professional photos, advertising, open houses, and staging
In exchange for all that upfront work and financial investment, they charge what they consider a fair commission.
And don’t forget: the listing agent doesn’t get the whole commission. They have to split it with the buyer’s agent as well as their broker, meaning they’ll likely only collect around 1.36%.
How can I save on realtor fees in Kentucky?
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
Kentucky agents may agree to a lower commission if less effort is required on their part or if they can depend on you for repeat business.
If you shop around with different agents, you’ll get an idea of how much real estate agents make in your area, and you can use that to negotiate for the lowest price possible.
Ways to negotiate lower realtor fees
- Minimize effort for the agent. If you’re willing to stage the house yourself, take professional photos, or work with minimal advertising, agents may give you a discount.
- Offer repeat business. If you’re an investor who buys homes in the area, offering repeat business could incentivize your agent. Even if you just agree to use the agent to sell your home and buy your next one, you could get a discount for offering two commissions at once.
- Capitalize on the value of your home. Agent fees are a percentage of the home sale, so realtors may offer a lower commission for that’ll sell for more. Even with a lower rate, they’ll still make enough to make it worth their while.
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 Kentucky, so you don’t have to. Find a Kentucky 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 Kentucky 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 Kentucky.
Other FAQs about Kentucky real estate commissions
How much do real estate agents make in Kentucky?
The average real estate commission in Kentucky is 5.44%, but that's usually split between the listing agent, the buyer’s agent, and both brokerages. The average annual salary of a realtor can vary widely depending on the number of homes an agent sells and their average sale prices. Learn more about how much a realtor makes.
Are real estate commissions negotiable in Kentucky?
Yes, real estate commissions are negotiable in Kentucky. That doesn’t mean every agent is willing to lower their commission, but you're allowed to ask. Learn more about how to save on realtor fees in Kentucky.
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 7 agents across Kentucky.
- Zillow Home Value Data
- Clever Real Estate Commission Survey Data
- Ky. county makes top 10 housing markets expected to grow significantly in 2023, Fox56
- Internal Revenue Service
- Dues Overview, Northern Kentucky Association of Realtors
- Fee Schedule, Kentucky Real Estate Commission
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