PHOTO: “If we’re not selling, why would they employ us?” Josh Sammut enjoys the competitiveness of real estate. 

If you think being a real estate agent is a road to riches, think again.

“Everyone thinks real estate agents are earning big money – but unless you’re selling that’s not the case,” says Josh Sammut, who works for Professionals Chambers Fleming in Padstow.

Most agents work under a ”debit-credit” system, where they are paid a monthly wage and if the amount they earn on commissions exceeds that base wage, the difference is added to their pay.

“If you’re selling one property a month you’re basically earning that minimum wage,” he said.

However, any negative balance rolls over into the next month – meaning if you failed to sell anything, you would have to make twice your monthly wage in commissions the following month to earn any extra money.

Among real estate agents, the mean income of $82,045 is 50 per cent higher than the median income of $54,539. This suggests that the average is being elevated by those earning very large sums.