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Who Is A Real Estate Agent? Photo KnowInsiders

Real estate agents are known as someone working with clients to help them buy, sell or rent real estate, including office buildings, houses and land. What else we haven't known about a real estate agent?

Who Is a Real Estate Agent?

A real estate agent, or real estate salesperson, is an experienced and licensed salesperson who facilitates the purchase and sale of real property for their clients. Residential real estate agents represent the property sellers and buyers trading private residences like homes or condos, while commercial real estate agents facilitate the sale of office spaces or other public properties.

Real estate agents may be responsible for negotiating the purchase price of a property, scheduling home inspections, conducting home viewing appointments, and finding real estate attorneys. They primarily work as an intermediary between buyers and sellers, earning a commission on their transactions which is typically a percentage of the building’s sale price.

What does a real estate agent do?

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Photo KnowInsiders

Real estate agents are licensed professionals who typically work under the supervision of a real estate broker. Whether you’re in the market to buy or sell a property, they are trained to guide you through every phase of a sale, from scouting out properties to closing the deal.

Though some of the responsibilities of a real estate agent change based on if they’re working with a buyer or a seller, the general duties of all real estate agents include administrative work, research and marketing.


Answer phone calls and emails

Schedule appointments and showings

Update property listings

Draft and deliver documents

Order supplies


Perform real estate market analysis

Stay current with real estate markets, trends and best practices

Search open listings to find properties


Create and distribute promotional material

Manage their online and social media presence

Network with potential clients and local businesses

Run advertising campaigns

Build a blog or website

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How Real Estate Agents Work With Sellers

Meet with and understand the needs of sellers with new listings.

Demonstrate your market knowledge, marketing abilities, and negotiation skills.

Research the current local market activity and comparable properties to establish an asking price.

List the property with relevant listing services.

Take photos of the property—interior and exterior—to prepare a listing presentation and advertising collateral.

Stage the home properly, so it looks perfect when you conduct open houses.

How Real Estate Agents Work With Buyers

Meet with, interview, understand, and qualify prospective buyers.

Research the listing services for potential properties that fit the needs of your clients.

Plan property showings for buyers, and set up appointments that fit their schedule.

Show properties to buyers and communicate details of the property you learned during your research or while speaking with other experts (home inspectors, appraisers, and other real estate agents).

Demonstrate negotiation skills, making offers of purchase on real estate.

READ MORE: Top 10 Weirdest & Rarest Jobs In The World Today

4 Types of Real Estate Agents

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Photo Getty

Real estate agents facilitate the purchase and sale of real estate, representing different interests within the sale. Properties that do not use a real estate agent are often listed as “for sale by owner” (FSBO), but many property owners choose to work with a real estate agent to market their property and facilitate relationships with buyers. Here are a few examples of the kinds of real estate agents.

Listing agent: Real estate professionals can work exclusively as listing agents, also referred to as seller’s agents, who are responsible for listing property on behalf of clients who are looking to sell a piece of property. Depending on the terms of the listing agreement, listing agents will assist with pricing, staging, and marketing a home or commercial space to potential buyers, as well as arranging open houses.

Buyer’s agent: Agents can also work exclusively as buyer’s agents—also called selling agents—where they represent a client who is looking to buy property. Residential buyer’s agents represent current or aspiring home buyers who are looking for a residence in their price range that has everything they want. Commercial buyers agents do the same thing but for property meant for a business. They will also assist in offer negotiations, real estate inspections, or finding a real estate attorney.

Dual agent: Some agents work as both the buyer and the seller of a property. The legality of this practice varies according to the different real estate laws of each state to avoid conflicts of interest. It is illegal to work as a dual agent in the states of Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas, and Vermont. However, many states get around this predicament by having different agents within the same brokerage represent the buyer and the seller of the property respectively.

Brokers: Agents who pass a broker’s licensing exam can become independent agents and either start their own brokerage firm or work as freelance brokers. There are also different types of real estate brokers. Principal brokers—or designated brokers—usually earn a salary and oversee all the agents’ activities. Managing brokers are involved in hiring, training, and managing the staff of a brokerage. The broker salesperson, also called the associate broker, works beneath the managing broker. They also have a broker’s license, but choose to work as part of a larger firm.

Difference between a real estate agent and broker

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Photo The Balance

A real estate agent is someone who has a professional license to help people buy, sell, or rent all sorts of housing and real estate.

To get that license, states require individuals to have prelicensing training. The required number of training hours can vary significantly by jurisdiction. In Virginia, for example, real estate agents must take 60 hours of prelicensing training, while in California they need 135 hours of license coursework.

Once that training is done, aspiring agents take a written licensing exam. This exam is typically divided into two portions: one on federal real estate laws and general real estate principles, the second on state-specific laws.

Once they pass their exam, they’ve earned a license, the title of a “real estate agent,” and they might join a brokerage where they can begin working with home buyers, sellers, and renters.

A real estate broker is someone who has taken education beyond the agent level as required by state laws and passed a broker’s license exam.

Similar to real estate agent exams, each state sets its own broker education and exam requirements. The extra coursework covers topics such as ethics, contracts, taxes, and insurance—at a more in-depth level than what’s taught in a real estate agent prelicensing course.

Prospective brokers also learn about real estate legal issues and how the law applies to operating a brokerage, real estate investments, construction, and property management.

As a result, “brokers have in-depth knowledge of the real estate business,” says Jennifer Baxter, associate broker at Re/Max Regency in Suwanee, GA.

To sit for the broker’s exam and obtain licensure, real estate agents must already have a certain level of experience under their belt—typically, three years as a licensed real estate agent.

Benefits of hiring a real estate agent

-Whether you’re looking to rent or buy an office for your business, sell a piece of property or build up your real estate staff, there are several benefits to hiring a real estate agent:

-Real estate agents are qualified and licensed. Though requirements vary by state, becoming a professionally licensed agent involves taking courses and passing a state exam.

-They have connections with others in the industry and community, such as title companies, appraisers, inspectors, landscapers and contractors. Because of this, real estate agents know who might be your best bet for your needs, and can get you in touch with the right contact.

-Real estate agents understand the market and current trends, including property prices and the community. This insight can help you make the right decisions without extensive research on your part.

Should I become a real estate agent?

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Photo The Balance

Reason #1: Owning a Business Gives You Freedom

When you become a real estate agent, you’re your own boss. Not only that, but you also become a small business owner. You have complete control over how your business operates. Becoming a real estate agent gives you access to the American Dream, i.e. the freedom to pursue success and prosperity.

As a small business owner, you have:

A flexible daily schedule - You decide what you’ll do and when you’ll do it

A flexible vacation schedule - You can go on vacation and return whenever you chose

Location independence - You can work from anywhere, including your home, your car, your office, or on vacation

No dress code - You dress the way you want and can decide what to wear for yourself

No boss - Although you will have a broker who oversees your transactions and paperwork, you serve as your own boss because no one else can tell you what to do

Reason #2: You Don't Need a College Degree to Sell Real Estate

Not everyone is meant to attend college, and that's not a bad thing. College attendance does not determine your future success.

Reason #3: Selling Real Estate is Fun

Do you love all things home-related? Do you pop into open houses for fun? Do you enjoy watching HGTV? Real estate is a natural extension of that. When you become a real estate agent, you’ll spend a lot of your time in beautiful homes, especially if you’re in the luxury market. You’ll get a chance to tour different architectural styles on a regular basis and have the opportunity to turn your pastime into your paycheck.

Reason #4: Real Estate Demands Creativity

The most successful real estate agents are creative. You’re selling property, but the way that you sell it is what will determine your success.

This is why real estate demands creativity. You can be creative through how you:

Design your direct mail postcards, social media ads, and brochures

Write your listings, blog posts, and emails

Advise your clients on staging their homes

If you want to be creative, you’ll have plenty of opportunities as a real estate salesperson.

Reason #5: Real Estate Agents Are Always Learning

Even after you graduate from real estate classes, you’ll continue to learn about the industry. In fact, you’ll never stop learning about real estate because there will always be new technologies, trends, and market data to discover. The most successful real estate agents are committed to continual self-improvement. If you love the idea of learning and constantly evolving into a better version of yourself, you’ll soar in real estate.

Real estate agents don’t need to have a college degree. You need to be 18 years old, have a social security number, and meet a few other basic requirements.

Instead of going into debt that will take you years or even decades to climb out of, you can pursue a career in real estate for a fraction of the cost. Your education will be thorough but not time-consuming and give you what you need to satisfy the state's requirements for real estate salespeople.

You Can Take Real Estate Classes Online

According to bostonrealestateclass, the state of Massachusetts requires that, to become a licensed real estate agent, you must first take a 40-hour real estate course.

The good news is that these courses can be done at home.

Freedom Trail Realty School is the first board certified online real estate school for the state of Massachusetts. Our online courses are led by live instructors but can be streamed on demand so that you can take them at your convenience. While you can also take the course in person, we offer the online option if you need to complete the course on your own schedule.

You can take our real estate course on your desktop, phone, or tablet (without needing to download or install special software). There's never been an easier or more convenient way to become a licensed real estate agent.

Celebrities you didn't know are real estate agents

Josh and Matt Altman

Having found fame on the hit reality show, Million Dollar Listing, Josh and Matt Altman have had a cavalcade of famous clientele seek their help. For instance, they have helped Reba McEntire sell her Beverly Park Home for an estimated $22.25 million!

Always professional and with smiles on their faces, the brothers are always hustling to find their next big deal and ready to share some secrets of the trade. They are one of the most famous celebrity real estate agents in media today.

Santiago Arana

The Bolivian, who moved to the United States for a short period of time to learn English but decided to stay when he found his call in real estate, was part of the team that sold writer and screenwriter Victoria Foyt’s Santa Monica house and director Henry Jaglom’s house in E 609. Channel road, featured in Beverly Hills Cop, for $23 million, one of the main sales to date in Santa Monica. He also represented the buyer of Michael Strahan’s Brentwood house for $21.5 million and sold Dan Romanelli’s Malibu property to Lady Gaga for $23 million.

Josh Flagg

The Million Dollar Listing star says he has sold more than 20 houses to more than $5 million each in 2015. Among them was a Beverly Hills house in Tower Lane that sold for $6 million. It was then sold again a month later for a million more dollars. Flagg, who remembers the beginning of his career by bringing together multi-billion-dollar agreements in his math class in high school, is always ready for a new challenge in the battlefield that is the real estate game.

Drew Fenton

Fenton, who has represented clients like Christina Aguilera and the Osbournes, sold Calvin Klein a 9,350-square-foot view house in the Hollywood Hills for $25 million. He also represented Nile Niami in his $9.5 million purchase from Scooter Braun’s house in Hollywood Hills.

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