How Many realtors in the US (by state in 2024)

If you’re looking for a real estate agent in the USA, to sell your home or because you’re seeking out a new property to buy or to rent then you might be interested in finding out how many real estate agents there are in the USA.

 

Perhaps you want to know the differences between a real estate agent and a Realtor? It can be confusing, especially for someone who’s new to the property ladder or the industry in general.

 

In this piece, we’ll discuss the number of real estate agents and Realtors in the USA, we’ll also give you some thought-provoking US housing statistics and list the differences between real estate agents and Realtors so you’re familiar with both. We’ll go on to query whether there are too many real estate agents in the USA?

 

After all – if you’re inundated with choice, it’s often hard to make the best decision! Let’s dive in.

Interesting USA Housing Statistics

We’ll begin by giving you an overview of some of the most interesting USA housing statistics from NAR.

 

  • In January 2024, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of existing-home sales grew by 3.1%, reaching 4.00 million. However, sales experienced a 1.7% decline compared to the previous year.

  • The median sales price of existing homes rose by 5.1% from January 2023 to $379,100, marking the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.

  • The unsold inventory of existing homes saw a 2.0% increase from the previous month, reaching 1.01 million by the end of January. This amount represents a 3.0 months’ supply at the present monthly sales pace.

  • In December, pending home sales saw a notable 8.3% increase.

  • On a monthly basis, contract signings rose in the Midwest, South, and West, while experiencing a decline in the Northeast.

  • When compared to the same period last year, pending home sales declined in the Northeast but showed improvement in the Midwest, South, and West.

  • The Housing Affordability Index decreased from 148.2 in 2021 to 98.1 in 2023, indicating a significant decline in housing affordability.

  • During the fourth quarter, prices for single-family existing-home sales increased in 86% of measured metro areas, a notable rise from 82% in the preceding quarter, encompassing 189 out of 221 areas. The national median single-family existing-home price also recorded a 3.5% year-over-year increase, reaching $391,700.

  • The monthly mortgage payment for a typical existing single-family home, with a 20% down payment, stood at $2,163 – reflecting a 10% surge from the previous year.

  • Notably, 34 markets (15%) witnessed double-digit annual price appreciation, marking an increase from 11% in the prior quarter.

  • The counties that held the highest median home values during the third quarter of 2023 were as follows:
  1. Santa Clara County, CA: $1,583,130
  2. San Mateo County, CA: $1,573,470
  3. Marin County, CA: $1,454,450
  4. San Francisco County, CA: $1,332,660
  5. Nantucket County, MA: $1,313,450

  • Eight of the top 10 most expensive markets in the United States during the specified period were located in California. The markets, along with their respective median home values and percentage changes, are as follows:
  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California: $1,750,300 (11%)
  2. Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, California: $1,299,500 (14.8%)
  3. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California: $1,251,000 (4.3%)
  4. Urban Honolulu, Hawaii: $1,069,400 (-1.9%)
  5. Salinas, California: $993,900 (17.1%)
  6. San Diego-Carlsbad, California: $931,600 (8.7%)
  7. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California: $916,800 (7.9%)
  8. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, California: $912,100 (5.7%)
  9. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, California: $884,400 (6.7%)
  10. Boulder, Colorado: $849,400 (11.8%)

Real Estate Agents vs Realtors – What’s the Difference?

You are not alone if you are unsure what the difference is between a real estate agent and a Realtor – is there even a difference between the two?  The main difference between real estate agents and realtors is that Realtors are members of NAR, whereas real estate agents are not.

Realtors are Real Estate Agents, but not all Agents are Realtors

It’s important to note that Realtors are also real estate agents – the difference between the two is that Realtors are members of NAR, which is the National Association of Realtors (the largest national trade organization in the country), whereas real estate agents are not members.


Being a member of NAR means Realtors must adhere to certain criteria, and pay an annual fee, and lots of people buying and selling property may prefer to use a Realtor because of their adherence to a specific code of ethics.

The NAR is also a huge directory where members can find local offices, or other information, including MLSs, member counts, staff specialists, realtor email lists, and more.


Approximately half of all real estate agents in the USA are certified as Realtors. However, both real estate agents and Realtors must hold licenses, be educated and pass license exams to sell or rent out property on behalf of others. A real estate agent must also enroll in education courses and undergo pre-licensing training (approximately 60 hours of classroom time from an accredited college). They must also take a real estate license exam and meet the minimum score.

The NAR Code of Ethics

The code of ethics consists of 17 different points that make up the standards of professional practice that Realtors must abide by. For example, they must agree to only promote their clients’ interests before their own, always use honesty and never exaggerate or misrepresent information about a property. They must also remain truthful when advertising a property and refrain from sexual discrimination or any discrimination based on race, color or religion.
One other small, yet still interesting difference between Realtors and real estate agents in the USA is that the word Realtor is always capitalized as it is a registered name. The words real estate agents do not need to be capitalized.

How Many Realtors are There in the USA?

According to the National Association of REALTORS® there are 1,515,837 licensed realtors in the USA, as of February 2024 (lower by 32,221 or 2.1% from 12 months ago).

As we’ve already mentioned in the statistics section above, there are approximately 3 million real estate agents in the USA that hold licenses. Within that number, approximately 1.5 million are Realtors (and therefore members of NAR). The state of Florida has the most registered Realtors (220,309 members), followed by California which has just over 194,000 Realtors.

Number of Realtors by state

Bar chart showing the number of realtors in the United States by state
Heatmap showing the number of realtors by state
State   Count  
Florida 220,309
California 194,964
Texas 147,549
New York 61,323
New Jersey 58,472
Arizona 52,848
North Carolina 52,571
Illinois 48,812
Georgia 45,125
Pennsylvania 38,174
Ohio 35,755
Tennessee 34,714
Michigan 34,684
Virginia 34,228
Colorado 26,365
Missouri 25,399
Maryland 25,355
South Carolina 25,145
Massachusetts 24,637
Minnesota 21,473
Indiana 20,548
Washington 20,375
Utah 19,281
Nevada 18,902
Connecticut 18,847
Alabama 18,162
Oregon 17,524
Wisconsin 16,170
Louisiana 15,753
Oklahoma 13,407
Kentucky 12,755
Idaho 11,292
Arkansas 11,003
Hawaii 10,089
Kansas 10,035
Iowa 7,940
Mississippi 7,462
New Mexico 7,345
New Hampshire 6,414
Montana 5,625
Maine 5,607
Nebraska 5,394
Rhode Island 5,263
Delaware 4,220
West Virginia 3,346
District Of Columbia 2,584
Wyoming 2,550
South Dakota 2,216
North Dakota 2,008
Alaska 1,882
Vermont 1,749
Puerto Rico 1,237
Guam 570
Virgin Islands 380

Real Estate Career – Does it Worth It?

Is Being a Real Estate Agent / Realtor a Good Career?

So, we can safely say that there are plenty of real estate agents and Realtors in the country, and it comes as no surprise because the role has a lot of perks! For example, it’s a flexible role, it gives people the independence they want and there’s plenty of opportunity to make lots of money. It’s also relatively easy to obtain a Realtor and real estate license although don’t be fooled – just because it’s easier to obtain a license, it doesn’t mean that the role doesn’t entail hard work!
To be successful, a good Realtor or real estate agent must be dedicated and diligent. Additionally, a lot of people choose a career in real estate because of that flexibility mentioned earlier – it’s the type of job that’s ideal for someone who wants to work part-time. In fact, it’s interesting to learn that the typical Realtor is a 54 year old white female who owns their own home and went to college. Even more interesting is that more females are Realtors than men (65/45%). As for income, the median gross income of Realtors in 2021 was $43,330. The average salary for a first year full-time real estate agent is around $84,000 (according to Indeed).

The Best Cities to be a Real Estate Agent in the USA

According to the Real Estate Training Institute, the following are the best cities to be a real estate agent – as the housing market is strong, the commissions are excellent and the overall quality of life is high:


• Los Angeles
• New York City
• Seattle
• Austin
• Ft. Lauderdale
• Tampa
• Denver
• Washington DC

Are There Too Many Real Estate Agents in the USA?

Many readers might be surprised to hear that there are 3 million real estate agents and Realtors in the USA (and potentially there are more unlicensed real estate agents making that an even greater number)! Perhaps that means there are too many real estate agents in the USA? After all, it’s an attractive career as we’ve pointed out – so it is a popular choice.
It could be argued that there are too many real estate agents in the USA – there are more real estate agents than homes on the market! On average, there are around 500,000 houses for sale at any one time – yet as we know, there are far more agents operating across the country, making stiff competition between them.

Too Many Agents Can Pose a Problem

The bigger problem is that when there are too many real estate agents, any downturns can get worse which means big impact for the housing market. Here’s what happens in this type of situation:
• House prices begin to rise.
• More and more people decide to opt for a career in real estate because of the potential to make money.
• The housing market eventually takes a downturn.
• All the “new” real estate agents, who have little experience, are unable to shift sellers’ properties.
• Those unsold houses end up in a foreclosure situation.
• House prices continue to plummet.
• The situation gets worse.
So buoyant real estate agent numbers could potentially be disastrous – keep an eye on the market to avoid problems if you are planning to sell your home. Of course, for buyers with plenty of cash and small or zero housing loans, a downturn can be advantageous.

Conclusion

If you’re considering a career in real estate, there is the potential to earn $thousands in commission, in addition to a good base salary. However, beware of the competition because there seem to be too many real estate agents and Realtors in the USA and there’s a risk when the market takes a downturn. Do keep an eye on the facts and if you do decide on a career in the sector, you might want to consider becoming a member of NAR. The NAR code of ethics also gives potential buyers, sellers and renters added peace of mind. If you’re a buyer or a seller looking to use a real estate agent or a Realtor, really the choice is yours, but it is wise to do some extra research before pulling the trigger.

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