How to Become a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent negotiates the sale of land and buildings between a vendor and a purchaser.

If you are interested in property, have good communication skills, and are a hard worker, then you might like to become a real estate agent.

The role of the real estate agent is to first list a property for sale, and then to find a buyer for it.

While this may seem simple on the outset, in reality it can be a lot more complicated.

Buying and selling a home is one of the most stressful situations a person goes through in life.

Real estate agents need to be strong communicators and smooth talkers.

You will often need to answer difficult questions and be able to think on your feet.

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When you become a real estate agent you’ll also need to become familiar with laws surrounding property, and keep up to date with any changes throughout the course of your career.

Education Requirements to Become a Real Estate Agent

In each state there are different requirements to become a real estate agent, but you do need to be licensed to negotiate the sale of a home.

In most places this involves completing a short course and sitting for a state exam.

To work as a self-employed broker in your own agency you will need to have a few years experience and apply for a license (this can vary by location).

More information about state specific licensing you can visit

Professional development is important before and during your career.

Having good marketing and sales skills is important.

You’ll also need to have strong drive.

Taking short courses to improve these skills is recommended.

When you become a real estate agent you’ll also need strong computer literacy skills.

You will often be using a customer database, marketing properties on the internet, and communicating with clients over email.

Real Estate Agent Job Description

When you become a real estate agent, you will list, manage and sell properties.

They could be residential homes, commercial offices, or large farms.

You will meet with vendors and market their property, take people on inspections, and complete complicated paperwork that makes a sale legal.

Agents also provide after sales service, which might involve letting inspectors through a home or delivering keys on settlement day.

Some of duties of a real estate agent include:

  • Listing properties
  • Meeting with vendors
  • Completing legal paperwork
  • Property inspections
  • Negotiating a sale

You can be faced with working long hours, as well as weekends and holidays when you become a broker.

Often you will need to fit your work around your clients other commitments.

With this in mind, real estate agents don’t really need to spend a lot of time in the office, and will sometimes take time off during the day and work into the evening.

Real Estate Agent Salary and Career Path

Some real estate agents will start their career by completing an apprenticeship and learn the trade that way.

This is more common for people entering this career path young.

Others may start as an agent right away.

It takes quite some time to build up a good reputation as an agent, the first 12 months in the industry can be quite tough.

Over time though, you will build up a good base of clients.

After a few years experience, some agents will get their broker’s license and open their own agencies.

Some may go on to similar roles within the industry.

These could include:

  • Property Manager
  • Real estate appraiser
  • Insurance broker
  • Community association manager
  • Sales representative: wholesale and manufacturing

The average salary for a real estate agent just starting out is about $40,000 a year, however with experience, since real estate is commissions-based, annual salary can well exceed six figures.

For those with talent in this field that are prepared to work hard, salary is pretty much unlimited.

If you’re a natural salesperson who has charisma as well as a strong work ethic, then you may be well suited to a career as a real estate agent.

You don’t need a lot of schooling to become a real estate agent, but you will need sales skills and hard work.

An excellent salary is available for those who can succeed in this career.

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