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Real Estate Agent

What is this job like?

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 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 seller got 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 discuss the type 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 the condition of the house, as well as the neighborhood. They must also figure out what people would be willing to pay for the house so that it will sell easily.

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 choose to work from home. In either case, however, much of their time is spent outside the office showing houses to buyers. 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 work evenings or weekends. This is because most buyers and sellers are free only at those times.


How do you get ready?

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.

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 many jobs are there?

Real estate agents and brokers held about 517,800 jobs in 2008. 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.What about the future?

The number of jobs for real estate agents is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2018. But as more information about real estate is available on the Internet, fewer agents will be needed to conduct business.

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 estate agents.


How much does this job pay?

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.

In May 2008, real estate sales agents had average yearly wages of $54,410. Over the same period, real estate brokers had average yearly wages of $77,240.

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

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