A real estate agent is a licensed professional that organizes and assists parties involved in a real estate transaction
. All real estate agents work for a brokerage firm or under a licensed real estate broker, and they work on commission. A real estate agent plays one of two roles in a real estate transaction:
Listing agent: A listing agent represents a seller in real estate transactions.
Buyer’s agent: A buyer’s agent represents a buyer in real estate transactions.
But, this simple explanation doesn’t do justice to all the daily work that alicensed real estate agent does. This article will offer greater insight into the role of licensed real estate agents in buying and selling properties. Whether you are considering a career in real estate or thinking of hiring a licensed real estate agent to help you with an upcoming real estate transaction, this article will help you understand what it means to be a real estate agent. Here’s What Real Estate Agents Do Licensed real estate agents do a lot more than help people buy and sell properties and homes. This next section will break down some of the most common roles and responsibilities of being a licensed real est
1. Search for Home Buyers or Home Sellers To be successful, a licensed real estate agent needs to generate leads. That means they need to find clients, whether buyers, sellers, or both. Some of the most common ways that a real estate agent will generate leads are networking, reaching out to friends and family, joining professional organizations, and advertising.
2. Represent Clients to Buy or Sell Their Home The role of a real estate agent is to act in their client’s best interest, regardless of whether they are buying or selling a property. The licensed real estate agent will serve as a liaison between both parties involved in the transaction and be available to the client by answering any questions throughout the process.
3. Coordinate with Third Parties and Other Agents A real estate agent’s job typically entails dealing with many “third parties” involved in the real estate transaction. In simple terms, a third party is an individual or party involved in the transaction that is not the buyer or the seller (or their agent). For example, the real estate agent’s job is to coordinate property appraisals, home inspections, and other similar services from third parties. Over time, real estate agents will build relationships with reputable third parties in the real estate industry, providing these services. Of course, whether the agent is acting as a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent, a critical function will be coordinating with the other agent involved in the transaction.
4. Stage New Homes and Host Open Houses The purpose of staging homes is to prepare it for sale by making it as appealing as possible to the maximum number of prospective buyers. Staging typically involves rearranging furniture, redecorating, cleaning, and employing other strategies to present the property in the best light possible. Staging is usually done in preparation for an open house, which is a scheduled time when the property is available to potential buyers for viewing. The ultimate goal of holding an open house is to find a buyer.
5. Prepare Listing Presentations Preparing a listing takes a lot of research and is essentially the framework for “presenting” the property for sale. Listing preparation will include researching tax and property history, performing a market analysis, and preparing a marketing package. When it comes to preparing a property listing, the devil is in the details.
6. Advise Clients on Real Estate Related Questions and Issues Whether acting as a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent, the licensed real estate agent’s primary concern should be their client, which is why agents need to be prepared to answer any questions that their clients may have about the real estate process. If you don’t know the answer, it is your job to find it on their behalf.
7. Generate New Leads to Work With As we mentioned earlier, agents can generate new leads through networking, reaching out to family and friends, joining professional groups, and advertising. Licensed real estate agents typically work for a brokerage and often, especially early in their career, generate many of their leads through the agency where they work.
8. Network and Build their Sphere of Influence In addition to generating new leads, networking, and building influence around one’s real estate career can mean the difference between success and failure. Networking and building your sphere of influence will also include connecting with others in the industry to provide clients with everything they need for a successful real estate transaction. What is a Day in the Life of a Real Estate Agent Like? With so many hats to wear and roles to play, each day can be like embarking on a new adventure for most real estate agents. Here are just some of the tasks that a licensed real estate agent may perform on any given day: Finding New Clients to Work With When looking for new clients, real estate agents will need to branch out in many directions, that includes reaching out to family and friends, keeping in touch with those in your social circle, exchanging information with people they come in contact with, and partnering with related businesses.
Fulfilling Client Needs The licensed real estate agent is the go-to person for buyers and sellers. In addition to answering industry-related questions for their clients, the real estate agent will set up lockboxes, coordinate open houses, and market listings. If they’re acting as a buyer’s agent, they’ll be focused on helping their client find the home of their dreams, setting up appointments, pulling property records, and scheduling third-party services. Coordinating with Other Parties As we mentioned before, a real estate agent will be the point person coordinating with all of the different parties involved in real estate transactions. Some of these other parties may include:
Escrow Agents: Escrow agents are neutral third parties that hold the funds or assets related to a real estate transaction.
Lenders: A lender (also known as a loan officer) is the individual in charge of the financial aspects of obtaining a mortgage.
Other Real Estate Agents: Whether an agent is working for a buyer or a seller, they will be the one that is in direct contact with the agent representing the other party in the transaction.
Appraisers: Real estate appraisers provide objective and unbiased property estimates and appraisals.
Inspectors: Property inspections allow buyers to identify issues with a home before the deal closes. A real estate agent typically coordinates property inspections.
Creating and Filling out Paperwork Real estate agents have to fill out a lot of paperwork as part of their job. From disclosure forms to sales contracts and everything in between, real estate agents are essential in ensuring that all of the Ts are crossed, and the Is dotted before closing. Some critical paperwork associated with a real estate agent’s job includes:
Residential Purchase Agreement is a basic document that outlines purchase details of a real estate transaction between the buyer and seller.
Residential Lease Agreement also known as a lease agreement or a rental agreement, is a legal contract between the tenant and landlord in renting a residential property.
What is the Workplace of a Real Estate Agent Like? Real estate agents can work from anywhere. However, they typically work out of their home or on-site at the brokerage firm for which they work. Like any job, there are pros and cons to working from home or at the office, and it depends on the real estate agent’s preferences to find the right fit for them. What Do Real Estate Agents Need to Know? To be successful in real estate, the licensed agent needs to possess certain specific knowledge, including a fundamental understating of:
real estate laws
their fiduciary responsibilities
real estate contracts and paperwork
loans and the loan process
How Do You Become a Real Estate Agent? There are four steps to becoming a real estate agent in New Jersey, and the process takes approximately 1-3 months to complete. The steps include:
Enrolling in a real estate school
Completing all real estate courses
Applying for a real estate license and exam
Passing the real estate exam
Do You Need a Real Estate Agent to Buy or Sell a House? When buying or selling a house, no requirement says you need to hire a real estate agent. Depending on your situation, if you are resourceful and savvy, you can undoubtedly buy or sell a home on your own.
However, it takes time, confidence, and know-how to handle the process, which is why most people hire a licensed real estate agent who understands the industry to represent them. In the end, it can pay off.
Can You Become a Real Estate Agent to Buy or Sell Your Own Home? While you can indeed become a real estate agent for the sole purpose of buying or selling your own home, it may be slightly counterproductive, especially if you have no intention of starting a career in real estate. The time and money you expect to save by being your agent will be spent on the front end when you have to spend the time and pay the fees associated with becoming an agent.