Real estate sales agents help clients buy, sell, and negotiate the sale of homes and other properties. These agents must work through a broker, unless they themselves are licensed as a real estate broker. They are also responsible for obtaining clients and advising them on pricing, mortgages, and changing real estate market conditions.
Agents are also tasked with preparing/advertising listings and showing properties to potential buyers or renters; they then negotiate offers between buyers and sellers. Once a contract has been developed, it is up to the agent to ensure that all terms are met. They must also prepare the escrow documents associated with the terms of sale or rent.
Most real estate agents are affiliated with brokerage offices, and work either out of the corporate office or from their own home. An agent’s day varies greatly between showing homes and communicating with potential clients. They will also spend time on the computer preparing and advertising listings through various databases.
Real estate agents must possess strong communication skills in order to properly disseminate facts and information to clients in a timely manner. The job also requires agents to have superior customer service skills to meet the demands of clients with multiple needs. Strong organization and computer skills will allow them to juggle multiple listings and tasks simultaneously. Successful agents will often be self-starters who are able to garner clients and listings through connections.
All real estate agents must be over the age of 18, hold a high school diploma, and become licensed in their respective state; licensing occurs after the prospective agent takes courses and passes an exam. Individual states may have additional licensing requirements, such as background checks. Some states have reciprocity agreements in which licenses carry over state lines.
Real Estate Sales Agent Tasks
Interview potential buyers to determine the type of properties they are looking for.
Determine property market prices through comparisons with other, similar properties that have sold.
Select and recommend purchase offers to sellers.
Accompany buyers on property visits or inspections and offer insight on its value.