Real Estate Agent Careers

Real Estate Agent Careers Transcript

Real estate agents are salespeople who help others buy and sell houses. Real estate agents work closely with real estate brokers, appraisers and assessors. Real estate brokers are licensed to negotiate and arrange real estate transactions, manage real estate offices and hire real estate agents. Real estate appraisers and assessors are qualified to estimate the value of real property to determine a sales price or mortgage amount or to assess property taxes.


Buying or selling a home or investment property is a complicated legal transaction involving a large amount of money. Most people seek the help of a real estate agent to guide them through the process.


Real estate agents are salespeople who promote and facilitate the sales of homes and real estate properties. They work under the supervision of real estate brokers, who are the individuals licensed to actually negotiate and arrange the real estate transactions. In all U.S. states, real estate agents must complete classroom instruction and pass a written examination to become licensed.

Job Skills and Duties

Successful real estate agents are typically very enthusiastic and friendly people who present a neat and respectable appearance and have a good memory for faces and names. To build confidence in potential customers agents must be organized, pay attention to buyer and seller needs, and be very eager to meet with potential buyers to show them various properties. Real estate agents usually choose to specialize in residential, commercial, industrial or agricultural properties and become knowledgeable about the real estate laws, zoning and taxes that apply to their field.

Residential real estate agents are experts on their local housing markets and familiar with the different neighborhoods in their community. This knowledge will help them guide customers to houses that are likely to meet their needs and be within their budget. They also help potential home sellers find buyers who are interested in their properties. Agents use computer databases to locate potential properties and to list properties that are for sale.

When both the buyer and seller have signed a contract on a home the agent and broker act as intermediaries between the buyers and the sellers, making sure that all legal and procedural details are in order before the closing date. Agents and brokers also work with real estate appraisers and assessors, individuals who are licensed to make estimates of the value of real property. Appraisals can be used to justify a sales price, determine the amount of mortgage needed, set a liquidation value, or to assess property taxes. In return for selling a house, both the agent for the buyer and the agent for the seller get to keep a small negotiated percentage of the purchase price, called the commission.

Training Required

Real estate agents and real estate brokers must be licensed to work in each state. Both must attend a classroom training program, usually between 30 and 90 hours of instruction for agents and 60 and 90 hours for brokers, and pass a written examination. Brokers must also have several years of work experience. Many larger real estate offices offer agent training programs, as do community colleges and some universities. Associate's and bachelor's degree in Real Estate are available at some colleges, but are not required for agent or broker licensing.

Training requirements for real estate appraisers vary by state, type of property and amount of loan. Several options for licensing are available. All states require a combination of classroom instruction, written examination and on-the-job training.


Real estate agents, brokers and appraisers play important roles in home and real property transactions. Their knowledge, experience and advice continue to be valuable to both buyers and sellers.


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