How a Real Estate Agent Works


Real estate agents are licensed professionals who help buyers and sellers connect to facilitate the sale of homes, buildings or offices. To earn a real estate license, industry pros must complete extensive coursework and pass a state exam. Real estate agents typically work under the supervision of a broker, firm or fellow professional with a broader range of experience.

A broker oversees a real estate agent’s activities, determining which transactions they are eligible to handle and how much commission the agent will receive. A broker can also assign the real estate agent a specialty, such as commercial property or residential sales. Read more

While there’s no typical day in the life of a real estate agent, they often balance administrative tasks with income-producing activities like setting up home tours and negotiating on behalf of their clients. They may also provide recommendations for service providers, such as home inspectors, title companies and attorneys, depending on the needs of their clients.

Generally speaking, a buyer’s agent helps their clients find properties that meet their price range and wish list by searching online listings and scouring neighborhoods with their own eyes. Once they’ve landed on potential homes, an agent will arrange a tour to showcase the property and answer questions from interested parties. A good real estate agent is also a knowledgeable resource for area history, market conditions and local amenities.

Once a buyer has made an offer on a property, the real estate agent acts as go-between for their client and the seller to convey offers, counteroffers and other questions back and forth until a final deal is reached. The real estate agent is also responsible for preparing, submitting and filing legal documents, including contracts and disclosures, in accordance with state regulations.

Seller’s agents do similar work for their clients, though they often advise on how to prepare a property for the market and set an attractive listing price. They may also supply tips on last-minute renovations that can boost a property’s appeal and encourage quicker offers.

Regardless of whether they’re working with buyers or sellers, a good real estate agent is a master at negotiation. They can often find ways to meet the needs of both parties to reach a compromise, helping their clients avoid costly mistakes along the way.

When dealing with an emotional purchase, such as a new home, the role of real estate agent is especially important. In addition to navigating the complex legal aspects of a transaction, real estate agents must be able to handle the stress and challenges that can arise throughout the process. This requires strong interpersonal skills to effectively communicate and manage expectations, even in challenging circumstances.


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