|What does a real estate agent do?
Real estate agents help people buy and sell houses. They must
be able to say approximately how much money a house is worth.
They need to know what the neighborhoods in their towns are like.
They must know the laws that have to do with buying or selling
a house. They also can tell home buyers where to get a loan if
they need more money to buy a house. In return for selling a house,
real estate agents get to keep a small part of the money that
the buyer paid for it. Real estate agents work for real estate
brokers. Real estate brokers manage real estate offices.
People who want to buy a house often ask a real estate agent
to help them. They meet with the agent to tell him or her what
kind of house they want. They must also discuss how much money
they can afford to spend. The agent then takes them to see houses
for sale. Buying a house is a very important decision because
houses cost a lot of money. This means that buyers often want
to look at many houses before they decide to buy one.
Real estate agents also sell houses for people. They help the
seller set the price for the house. To do this, they must know
what the house is like. They must also figure out what people
would be willing to pay for the house so that it will sell quickly.
They make sure that people see ads for the house so that they
can think about buying it.
Once a person agrees to buy a house, real estate agents still
have work to do. They must fill out special forms that let everyone
know that the house has a new owner. Both the buyer and the seller
of the house must sign these forms for the sale of the house to
be legal. Often, the agents must help the buyer to get a loan
from the bank to pay for the house.
Real estate agents generally work in offices. Since much information
about properties is available over the Internet, some agents can
work out of their own homes. In either case, however, much of
their time is spent outside the office showing houses to buyers.
Sometimes they must leave the office to meet with people who have
houses to sell. Good real estate agents also spend time away from
the office finding out more about the houses in their town that
might one day be up for sale.
Agents often work more than 40 hours a week. They often must
work in the evening or on weekends. This is because most buyers
and sellers are free only at those times.
|How do you get read to become a real estate agent?
Real estate agents must have a license from the State in which
they work. To get a license, a person must have graduated from
high school. The person must be at least 18 years old and pass
a written test. In some States, a person who wants to be a real
estate agent must go to a special school for a few months. Sometimes
it helps to take some college courses about real estate. This
is because the process of selling a house can be hard to understand.
Good real estate agents must get along well with buyers and sellers.
It helps if real estate agents are pleasant and dress neatly.
They should be well organized and be able to remember people's
names. They should deal honestly with people and have good manners.
They must also be very eager to sell houses, which is sometimes
a lot of hard work.
|How much does a real estate agent make?
Most real estate agents do not get a regular paycheck. Instead,
they get part of the money that the home buyer pays to the home
seller when a house is sold. This means that agents who sell more
houses earn more money. It also means that agents who sell more
expensive houses earn more.
The middle half of all real estate agents earned between $21,010
and $52,860 a year in 2002. The lowest-paid 10 percent earned
less than $15,480. The highest-paid 10 percent earned more than
$83,780 a year.
The middle half of all real estate brokers earned between $29,240
and $90,170 a year in 2002. The lowest-paid 10 percent earned
less than $17,290. The highest-paid 10 percent earned more than
$145,600 a year.
Real estate agents and brokers held about 407,000 jobs in 2002.
Many work part time, and have other jobs as well.
Most real estate agents work in large cities. Many also work
in smaller cities that are growing quickly. This is because there
are more houses being bought and sold in such places.
The number of jobs for real estate agents is expected to grow
more slowly than the average for all occupations through the year
2012. This is partly because more information about real estate
is available on the Internet. This allows agents to conduct more
business in less time, so fewer agents are needed.
It should be rather easy to find a job as a real estate agent.
This is because many agents find that they cannot sell enough
houses to be successful, so they quit their jobs. Only people
who enjoy selling, and are good at it, should try to become real
|Are there other jobs like this?
- Insurance sales agents
- Retail salespersons (car salespersons, etc.)
- Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing
- Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents
- Travel agents
|Where can you find more information?
More information about real estate brokers and sales agents can
be found in the Careers Database.
Occupational Outlook Handbook -- U.S. Department of Labor Bureau
of Labor Statistics