What does a real estate agent do?

Thumbtack Editors
Answered

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.

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