Real estate agents help their clients buy, sell, and rent commercial and residential properties. There are also real estate agents that sell industrial and agricultural real estate, but the majority sell residential properties. To become a real estate agent, you must be at least 18 years old, successfully complete real estate courses, and pass a real estate exam. Be sure to check for any required licensing, too. Often real estate agents will earn 5 percent to 6 percent of the total home sale price for their work in representing their client. Typically this commission is split equally between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. Here is an overview of what a real estate agent does, according to the United States Department of Labor:
- Represent clients who are looking to buy, sell and rent properties.
- Stay knowledgeable about regional real estate prices, mortgages, market conditions and related information, and advise clients accordingly.
- Determine competitive market prices by comparing properties.
- Create and publicize lists of properties for sale, including details such as location and features.
- Market properties through advertisements, open houses and listing services.
- Show prospective buyers or renters properties.
- Present purchase offers to sellers for consideration.
- Mediate negotiations between buyer and seller.
- Ensure that all terms of purchase contracts are met.
- Prepare documents, such as loyalty contracts, purchase agreements and deeds.
Hiring a professional house cleaning service is a helpful way to have a healthy home even when your work and personal schedule is packed. House cleaning prices vary based on how many square feet your home is, how dirty your house gets, and how often the cleaning service comes. Some companies charge a set amount — such as 5 cents — per square foot, with a minimum amount, such as $100. The national average cost for house cleaning ranges between $110 and $150. Prices can be lower in areas with a lower cost of living, higher in big cities or affluent regions. You may save money by increasing the frequency of your house cleaning visits. Often a company will charge you less per cleaning when you schedule more cleanings per month. The cost advantage rewards your loyalty, and also reflects the fact that more frequent cleanings make it easier to maintain a high level of cleanliness in your home. A housecleaning service may charge more for the first visit or for one-time services than for recurring cleanings.
Real estate agents typically don’t charge a set rate to their clients, but rather earn a commission on the price of the final home sale. In traditional real estate, there is a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent. The two agents receive 5 percent to 6 percent of the final home sale price and split it evenly, meaning they each earn roughly 2.5 percent to 3 percent of the total home sale. If you are a home seller, you may have fees associated with the sale that are above and beyond the commission the agents earn. The real estate agent may have you pay marketing fees, MLS fees, early cancellation fees, or more. Always ask pricing details before signing a contract so you clearly understand your financial obligations. Here are some of the average (and common) costs that can arise when selling a home:
- Home inspection: $200-$350 or more, depending on region.
- Home appraisal: $250-$400 or more, depending on region.
- Professional real estate photography: $275-$550 or more, depending on photographer, square footage of house, and special requests like sunset shots.
- Closing costs: Often split between the seller and buyer. An average range for the buyer to pay is between 3 percent and 4 percent, with the seller paying a lower fee at 1 percent to 3 percent of the home’s price.
Moving is hard enough work even before you have to clean the empty home to perfection. Instead of scrubbing your tile grout with a toothbrush, hire a professional cleaning company to provide move-out cleaning services for you. For moving out of an apartment, cleaning prices can range from $110 to $150. When scheduling a move-out cleaning, talk with the pro and confirm all the key points they will clean to ensure you receive your deposit back.
Important areas to have cleaned include the fridge interior, the oven interior, bathroom tile, the shower and tub, all blinds, and sometimes the walls. Some cleaning companies do not quote a flat rate for a move-out cleaning, as the number of hours it may take to clean structurally identical apartments could vary greatly depending on how clean or dirty the inhabitants were. For example, move-out house cleaning prices may range from $150 to $180 for one- or two-bedroom apartments.
Deep cleaning a house goes beyond the surface level to clear out the dust, grime and gunk that’s collecting on the fan blades, hiding in the blinds, and built up inside the refrigerator drawers. Deep cleaning of a home or apartment costs more than regular house cleaning because it takes more time, effort, and cleaning products. You may choose to have a deep cleaning once or several times a year in addition to your standard cleaning services. You may have a one-time deep cleaning to prepare for company or to clean after a house party. Companies may charge an hourly rate or a price per square foot, or may offer you a flat rate after they have visited your home and estimated work time. The national average house cleaning price is $110-$150, with rates ranging higher for deep-cleaning services. Here are some examples of how a company may calculate their deep-cleaning prices:
- 10 cents per square foot (compared with 5 cents per square foot for standard house cleaning).
- $300 for a 3,000-square-foot home.
- $25 per hour per worker for deep-cleaning services.