If you’re looking for the real estate agent definition, you’re in the right place. So, in the following paragraphs, we will try to examine the complex job of a real estate professional with a fine-tooth comb. When you reach the last line, you’ll have a complete picture of what real estate agent means. In broad lines, a real estate agent is a person specialized in assisting home buyers, home sellers and renters, walking them every step of the buying, selling and renting process. But this definition of real estate agent is way too simplified, so keep reading to find out what a real estate agent does for his/her principals. But before we dive deeper into the real estate agent definition, a little bit of history won’t hurt.
Real estate agents are quite new to the job market. This occupation is only a little over a century old. At the beginning of the XXth century, real estate agents used to place more plates in front of a house for sale and let the homeowner pick one. This profession was very little regulated at that time, but everyone was in favor of a unitary practice. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) was founded in 1908. That was a turning point in the history of real estate agents. Since then, the term REALTOR® has borrowed the definition of real estate agent and to this day, the two terms have been used interchangeably. However, not all REALTORS® are real estate agents, since among the members of the NAR are many real estate professionals who tackle different aspects of the home selling process, such as appraisers, property managers, and lenders. The profession has survived The Great Depression and the number of agents grew considerably in the post-World War II America. The benefits of the real estate career had been quickly acknowledged by women who embraced this job in good numbers. This job allowed them to work flexible hours, provided good earning potential and almost no barriers to entry. Even in 2018, 67% of all REALTORS® were female.
The Internet has had a key role in the history of real estate agents, as well. The NAR started to control the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) in every state and many real estate agents who wanted to gain access to listings had to join the National Association of REALTORS®. The MLS allows agents to collaborate on selling each other’s inventory. And so far, this platform has been working smoothly.
If the history of real estate agents is so fascinating, their future is equally promising.
Prior to entering the profession, real estate agents undergo training and education. In order to receive their real estate license, they have to pass the real estate exam in their state. Moreover, REALTORS® also abide by a very strict Code of Ethics.
The low number of For Sale By Owner transactions - which was only 7% of all home sales in 2018 - suggests that home sellers seem to trust real estate professionals more than ever before. They rely on their assistance and the main reason why they do so is that real estate agents are able to fight for their best interest and in most cases, home sellers received more than the asking price. Buyers and renters should also find a real estate agent before looking for the perfect place to live. There are so many aspects involved that, without an advisor by their side, many questions may remain without an answer.
With so many listing websites and mobile apps that allow home buyers to search for a home themselves, the question of whether a buyer’s agent is still necessary or not demands an honest answer. In short, yes, all buyers should hire an agent to cover their back. Don’t underestimate what a real estate agent does for a buyer!
There are at least three categories of buyers who may benefit from hiring an agent: first-time homebuyers, out-of-state buyers and seniors with no Internet literacy.
One interesting fact about the buyers who hire a real estate agent to represent them is that they don’t have to pay the agent. The seller’s agent is going to split the commission with the buyer’s agent. So, in the end, the home seller ends up paying for the services provided by the buyer’s agent. Why not look for a real estate agent to represent you right now?
REALTORS® earn a commission on every sale, so they are very motivated to help home sellers find the right buyer as soon as possible. While in the US there is a short supply of affordable housing, some regions are a seller’s market while others are a buyer’s market. Real estate agents base their sales approach depending on the temperature of the local market.
In most people’s lives, renting is a temporary stage. Sooner or later, most renters decide to buy a property. However, hiring a REALTOR® is not the first thing that crosses their mind when looking for a new place to rent. Real estate agents can help renters the same way they help buyers. So nothing should hold renters back from collaborating with an agent.
Well, the definition of a real estate agent wouldn’t be complete if we omitted commercial properties. Major real estate brokers who deal with commercial properties work with many experienced real estate agents. They do exactly what a residential real estate agent does. A major drawback is that it usually takes a lot more time to sell an office building or a fast-food restaurant than a single-family home. However, commercial real estate agents may choose to work in brokerage, development or property management.
The daily schedule of a real estate agent can be very hectic and chaotic. Flexibility takes its toll on their lives, and many agents find themselves working in the evening or during the weekend. So, time management is a huge responsibility for all agents as long as they pursue this career. It’s good to know what are the real estate agent responsibilities because in this way you can evaluate him/her yourself.
Finding what are the real estate agent’s responsibilities before signing any agreement allows homebuyers and sellers to better understand the agency relationship they are about to enter.
Most REALTORS® don’t know how much money they’ll take home at the end of the month. Their incomes are fluctuating with the market. There are peaks and valleys. However, the average commission was 5.08% last year and half of the real estate professionals have closed 11 or less residential transactions, according to the NAR. But the most thrilling part of the business is exactly the unlimited earning potential. A salary doesn’t provide enough financial stimulus and stamina. The average salary of REALTORS® is currently $41,736, according to salary[dot]com. Incomes vary greatly, though, depending on their seniority, experience, and, nonetheless, their attitude. According to Forbes, real estate agents in New York, Texas and Hawaii make the most money, while the least fortunate seem to be those in Ohio, Arkansas, and Montana.
So, no matter what is the type of property that you intend to sell, buy or rent, don’t think twice and find a REALTOR® in your area. Spare yourself of many doubts and fears!