Looking at the quick data on Las Vegas it looks as if the average sale price is close to $160,000.
Where I live the "average agent" is closing just 6 transaction sides per year. But that figure is pulled WAY down because of all the people who hold a license and close just one or two deals that fall in their lap each year from friends or family. It's "fun money" or "vacation money" that just shows up for them.
Real agents who are working this full time are going to close a minimum of 12 deals per year with MOST hitting between 12 and 24. The majority don't do more than 24 for whatever reason.
If you took the average sales price of $160,000 for your area and even factored in a cut commission of 2.5% on one side then that would be $4,0000.
If you are on a split w/your broker until you pay them $10,000 then are on 100% after that it would take 5 deals to pay off the broker and get to 100%. So for the first 5 deals closed you'd make $5,000. If you only closed 12 deals in a year, then you'd have 7 more at 100%.
So (5 closed sides x $2,000) + (7 x $4,000) = $30,000 per year. I'd bet that's what most agents in Vegas who are doing things "full time" are making.
So yes....they probably earn more than $20,000. Someone closing 24 sides per year (just two per month) will more than double that figure and generate about $81,000 worth of income. Oh, and yes...the job is not easy and the hours are long. If you're new and you're closing 24 transactions per month then you are pretty much guaranteed to be working 50 hours per week or more to make that level of business happen.