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Career and Job Search Guide
  

Real Estate Sales Agent and Broker

A home or an investment property is an important and complicated purchase or sell. Since it is so significant, individuals usually hire a sales agent or a real estate broker when selling or buying property.

Real estate brokers or sales agents understand the housing market in the communities where they work. These professionals understand which areas will best suit a customer's wishes and budget since they understand tax and zoning laws.

Sometimes these professionals help those buyers and sellers negotiate deals.

After deals have been made, real estate brokers and sales agents initiate title searches to confirm ownership and arrange meetings between those selling and buying the property to finalize the deal. They sometimes make arranges so buyers can receive financing, which sometimes determine whether a property is sold. Sometimes agents and brokers are responsible for closing.

Real estate brokers and sales agents spend a lot of time finding real estate to sell. They primarily do this by finding properties to list, an agreement between a real estate company and a property owner to sell a property. Brokers and agents determine property prices by comparing properties recently placed on the market to those just sold. After a property is sold, the brokers or agents who listed and sold the property receive a commission.

Agents arrange meetings with buyers to discuss what they are looking for before showing any properties. During this meeting, the agent finds out what type of property the buyer can afford. Usually the real estate agent and buyer agree to a loyalty contract, an agreement where only the agent will show the buyer properties. After this phase, agents prepare a list of properties to show and make arrangements for financing. Computers can be used to show customers real estate. Several meetings can take place before a real estate transaction is made. During these meetings, real estate agents stress the points that will convince a buyer to close the deal. For example, a family with young children may look for an area with good schools and little crime. During price negotiations, real estate agents usually must make counteroffers. After a contract is signed, the real estate agent must ensure the contract provisions are followed before the property closes. The real estate agent must also ensure all necessary inspections and repairs are completed prior to closing. Sometimes real estate agents must make sure the property meets any necessary environmental regulations before closing. Although many professionals, such as attorneys and bankers may participate during a property deal, real estate agents are responsible to make sure the deal is completed.

The majority of agents sell residential real estate, but some sell commercial, agricultural, or industrial real estate. Agents that specialize must understand the customers they serve and regulations pertaining to the property they specialize in. For example, agents that lease commercial property should understand how a lease works. Those selling industrial property should be familiar with the surrounding area's transportation infrastructure.

Real estate brokers and agents have similar job responsibilities, except brokers are licensed to run their own firms. Real estate agents usually find properties to list, and after a property is sold, brokers pay agents a commission. Brokers sell property owned by other people, and some have property management responsibilities.

Work environment. Improvements in technology have permitted brokers and agents to telecommunicate from home. However, agents spend a lot of time inspecting properties and meeting clients onsite.

Real estate professionals usually work more than 40 hours a week and often work nights and weekends. Most real estate professionals set their own schedules, so they can plan their days off. The real estate market slows down during winter.
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