New Research: Real Estate Agents Find Best Opportunities in Detroit, Face Biggest Challenges in San Francisco

Mid-size metros dominate the rankings of top cities for real estate agents in 2024, offering unparalleled opportunities.

ST. LOUIS, June 25, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Detroit is the best city for real estate agents in America, while San Francisco is the worst, according to new research from Clever Real Estate, a St. Louis-based real estate company.

The study ranked the 50 most-populous U.S. metros on metrics such as affordability, salary, number of agents, annual home sales, home values, commission rates, and more.

Detroit emerged on top, with nearly 5x as many sales per agent as the median market, the lowest competition from fellow agents, and some of the highest commission rates in the country. 

The 10 best cities for real estate agents are:

  1. Detroit, MI
  2. Buffalo, NY
  3. Kansas City, MO
  4. Tampa, FL
  5. Richmond, VA
  6. Columbus, OH
  7. Jacksonville, FL
  8. Atlanta, GA
  9. Pittsburgh, PA
  10. Hartford, CT

Regionally, seven of the top 15 cities for real estate agents are in the Midwest, while the Northeast and South each have four. No top-ranked cities are in the West, although six of the 10 worst-performing cities are in that region.

The 10 worst cities for real estate agents are:

  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. Austin, TX
  3. San Jose, CA
  4. Dallas, TX
  5. Milwaukee, WI
  6. New Orleans, LA
  7. Las Vegas, NV
  8. Phoenix, AZ
  9. Los Angeles, CA
  10. Riverside, CA

San Francisco ranks as the worst city due to high competition, the fewest sales per agent, and the second-longest amount of time needed to afford a home on an agent’s salary. Notably, four of the 10 worst cities for agents are located in California.

Agents in New York City earn the highest median salary at $103,960 per year, making it the only U.S. market with a six-figure median income. Conversely, agents in Riverside, CA, earn the lowest median income at $33,510 annually.

Listing agent commission rates are highest in Boston at 3.1%, followed by the major Ohio cities — Columbus Cleveland and Cincinnati — each at 3.08%.

However, San Jose listing agents earn the highest dollar value per commission, averaging $43,930 per property sold. It is also the highest-earning city for buyer’s agents, who earn an average of $39,358 per deal.

Buyer’s agent commission rates are highest in Louisville, KY, averaging 3%. The No.1 overall city, Detroit, trails closely with an average rate of 2.96%.

Read the full report at:

About Clever Real Estate

Clever Real Estate is a technology company that produces educational real estate content reaching over 10 million readers annually, and its nationwide agent matching service has a 5.0-star Trustpilot rating across 2,300+ customer reviews. Since launching in 2017, Clever has reached $8.5 billion in real estate sold, matched 100,000+ customers with realtors, and saved consumers over $160 million on commission fees. Clever’s network spans 19,000 agents across all 50 states.

Please contact Alyssa Evans at
with any questions or to arrange an interview.

Alyssa Evans
Clever Real Estate

SOURCE Clever Real Estate