What Does A Real Estate Agent Do?

About Being A Real Estate Agent

Defining A 'Real Estate Agent'

Real Estate Agents are licensed professionals that help clients to purchase, rent, or sell property. This includes finding buyers and sellers, providing advice and helping to negotiate on price, and referring home inspectors or mortgage professionals - all within federal and state rules and regulations. Further, they must pass their state's real estate licensing exam, and are required to represent the best interests of their clients, whether they be buyers or sellers.

Responsibilities Of A 'Real Estate Agent'

Generally speaking, agents are responsible for:
  • Communicating with buyers and sellers
  • Abiding by state and federal laws re advertising and communications
  • Staying involved to ensure any loan or financing requirements are met
  • Communicating with the other agent and attorney's throughout the process
  • Keeping an open line of communication with clients
  • Help to close the transaction
Additionally, if on the selling end of the transaction:
  • Recommending an appropriate selling price
  • Marketing the property
  • Negotiating offers when they are received
  • Attending and/or reviewing the home inspection and appraisal
And if on the buying end of the transaction:
  • Helping buyers find properties
  • Providing feedback on comparable sales and develop an offer price
  • Recommending a home inspector
  • Attending and/or reviewing the home inspection
  • Reviewing and providing feedback and/or new requirements, repair requests, or a new price offer based upon the home inspection
Agents often decide to represent buyers only, sellers only, or both. Regardless, the job is not just showing houses; there is lots of paperwork, planning, and phoning, and not just in a 9-5 time frame.

What Hours Do Real Estate Agents Work?

Since many buyers work 9-5, they typically look for properties "after hours". This means that a lot of a real estate agent's time is spent on nights and weekends showing properties.

That said, business time when not working with clients involves previewing properties, keeping up with paperwork, working on marketing or other business activities, and taking additional educational classes.

How Are Real Estate Agents Paid?

Most real estate agents are paid on commission when a property sells. A typical arrangement is that the selling agency and the buying agency split the real estate commission equally.

For example, if the real estate commission was 6%, each agency would receive 3% of the selling price. The buying and selling agent then typically split their 3% equally, though high-producing agents normally negotiate and receive a higher split.

What Is The Difference Between A Real Estate Broker And A Real Estate Agent?

Real estate agents primarily work with buyers and sellers, but work for the agency with which they are affiliated.

While Real Estate Brokers also work with buyers and sellers, they also are responsible for overseeing their agents. This includes not just training, but overseeing forms and other paperwork.

Additionally, Real Estate Brokers has to take additional education and earn a separate real estate broker license.
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