Google searches for starting a career as a real estate agent are off the charts! The search engine journal reports that “how to become a real estate agent” is the most searched career from January 2021 to January 2022.
Before we discuss in greater detail the responsibilities, roles and tasks of a real estate agent, let’s define real estate. Investopia defines real estate as land, property, or permanent structures such as a home, building, warehouse (any permanent structure). A tent, for instance, which can be mobile and collapsible, made of canvas or other fabric sustained by a pole, column or tree is not considered a permanent structure. Real estate not only includes the permanent structure of the building but improvements that are attached to the property that can be natural or made by man.
Real Estate Agent Job Responsibilities
A real estate agent is a professional that helps sellers sale a piece of property (real estate), assists the seller in listing the details of the property on a real estate platform, helps buyers to search for property based upon buyer preferences and income, and helps buyers to purchase a piece of property.
Rather than use a real estate agent, there are people who try to initiate ‘do it yourself’ transations. Why? To save on commissions.
Real estate agents typically earn their salary through commissions. This means that they can not put food on the table, buy new clothes for themselve or pay their own mortage or rent without first having sold a piece of property. If you are interested in becoming a real estate agent, your income will be strictly earned by closing real estate deals. To close a real estate deal means to have marketed a property to a buy who agrees to purchase the property and has the financing to ultimately sign a purchase a sale agreeement.
See here for a related job: real estate analyst job responsibilities
It may be somewhat easy to become a real estate agent (a four year degree is not required). To become a real estate agent, however, the professional must take classes, pass an exam, and submit an application to the state officials that regulate the ‘buying and selling’ of property to obtain a license. One key reason for the class, exam and licensure requirements is that real estate agents must know about negotiations, property values, and contracts.
Why? Because a real estate agent has the fudiciary duty as a ‘listing agent’ to represent the sellers of that specific property when a transaction for purchase is ultimately made. So don’t forget. If you are in the market to purchase a property, the real estate agent technically represents the seller. This can be interpreted to mean that they are held accountable for selling the property at the best (highest) price possible.
Once there is a commitment to purchasing the property and the financing is in hand, the real estate agent will earn his/her commission which is basically a percentage of the final closing price of the property bought and sold.
Real Estate Agent Job Responsibilities
We discussed broadly that real estate agents help to market, sell and buy real estate. Here are the specific tasks that real estate agents do to increase their chances of closing the deal and earning a commission.
- Conducting research on potential buyers and sellers of real estate properties
- Networking to expand their reach of potential buyers and sellers within a neighborhood or geographical region
- Staging a property for sell
- Scheduling, planning, marketing, and attending open houses of properties for sale
- Determining the preference of potential buyers
- Providing listings that meet the preferential criteria of potential buyers
- Setting up appointments and leading house tours for potential buyers
- Using different services and platforms to find properties for buyers to purchase and to list properties for sellers to sell
- Researching the initial listing price and actual sale price of comparable properties in the neighborhood or region
- Determining the key selling features of each property represented
- Identifying the key reasons for purchasing a particular property.
- Scheduling third party appraisals and inspections
- Arranging for title search, tax assessor valuations, searches for potential lien obligations for the property to be sold or purchased
- Arranging for a notary service to witness the endorsement of official documents
- Completing the paperwork for offers or purchase agreements.
- Sending and receiving financial information to the lender required for obtaining a mortgage
Real Estate Agents and Flipper Job Responsibilities
Why is there a huge interest in being a real estate agent where you can buy, sell and market real estate, houses, rentals, and investment properties? If could be due to the increased awareness of real estate flippers.
Real Estate Flipper Job Responsibilities
Unlike a real estate agent, a real estate flipper is a professional generally considered an investor of real estate who buys a property that needs to be improved or a ‘fixer upper.’ The property is often in a poor state of disrepair. Frequently the property is sold ‘as is.’ The investor tries to purchase the property at the lowest possible price. Once purchased, the investor then takes the property and repairs it. Again, at the lowest possible price. The property is repaired or renovated within the shortest time frame possible. After the property is renovated, the investor quickly sales it (or flips) it to a new buyer to realize a profit.
The profit of a flipped house would be calculated as the purchase price, plus taxes and fees, plus renovation costs, minus the amount for which the new buyer buys the finished property less commissions and fees.
In this instance, the real estate flipper does not represent anyone other than himself. Further the flipper, while he/she may live in the property while the property is being renovated (to bootstrap without having pay rent or mortage on a separate piece of property) doesn’t intend to live at the property permanently. The investor’s ultimate goal is to get the property at a cheap price, renovate it quickly and sale it for a profit.
In 2020, the average salary of a house flipper was more than $115,000. Regardless of whether the house flipper flipped properties in South Carolina ($116,999) or Pennsylvanie ($117,608). Currently ZipRecruiter estimated that the average house flipper salary is about $75,000.