Real Estate Agent Job Description

Real estate agents help their clients buy, sell, or rent homes and other properties for clients. They differ from real estate brokers, in that brokers possess the licenses necessary to run their own businesses. Without that license, agents are required to work for a broker.

Because buying or selling a piece of property can be a difficult and time consuming process for an individual or family to manage on their own, many people enlist a real estate agent to help them with the process.

For home buyers, real estate agents are very helpful because they are very knowledgeable about their local area, and can recommend neighborhoods that match their needs. Agents are also able to rule out a lot of options that may be less than desirable, which saves the buyers time.

Sellers enlist real estate agents because they typically have access to the marketing tools required for giving the home a lot of exposure. In return, real estate agents take a percentage of the selling price when the home is sold.

Responsibilities for real estate agent jobs include:

  • Using advertisements to promote the sale of a property.
  • Working with appraisers and the client to determine a fair and competitive market price.
  • Working as an intermediary between the buyers and the sellers. It's very uncommon for the two sides to communicate directly while working with a real estate agent.
  • Advising sellers on things they can do to make their home more appealing to buyers.
  • Generating lists of potential properties that compatible with a buyer's needs.

Work Environment and Schedule

Real estate agents spend a lot of time in their office doing research for clients and managing contracts, but they also spend a lot of their time showing properties to customers, meeting with clients, and visiting new homes for sale.

Many real estate agents work far more than 40 hours a week. Since many of their clients are employed full-time, it's often necessary for agents to work on evenings and weekends to accommodate their client's needs.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent

In most states, real estate agents must have a license to practice their trade. The exact licensing requirements vary by state, but all require a high school diploma and the successful completion of an exam and course work. In some states, a background check is required.

Becoming a successful real estate agent requires a lot of networking and contacts. Eventually, word of mouth begins to spread and a lot of work can be done on a referral basis.

Required Skills

Real estate agents must be able to work independently. Knowing what needs to be done and having the drive to do it without being told is necessary for all real estate agent jobs.

As you would probably guess, interpersonal skills are also very important. Clients prefer to work with agents who are pleasant, easy to get along with, and trustworthy.

Strong sales skills are also required for jobs in this occupation. Ultimately, the success of a real estate agent comes down to persuading customers to buy properties and convincing clients to let them handle their listings.

Related Occupations

Employment Outlook

There are currently 367,500 real estate agents in the United States, with 12,760 new real estate agent job openings created each year.

Real Estate Agent jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Real Estate Agent Salaries

Salaries by State

Hover over your state to get an idea of what Real Estate Agents make in your area.

How to use this salary data.

Job seekers can use it while negotiating a salary.

Employers can use it to help set appropriate wage levels while writing job descriptions.

Overall Salaries

Real Estate Agent salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most real estate agents make between $27,200 - $62,000 per year, or $13.08 - $29.79 per hour.

Real Estate Agent Video Job Description

Salary and statistical data provided by the BLS.