How a Real Estate Agent Works

Real estate agents facilitate real estate transactions on behalf of their clients. They
can serve as a go-between for buyers and sellers, negotiate pricing and terms and
manage the legal process of real estate deals. They might help clients find home
loans, real estate attorneys and home inspectors. Real estate agents are licensed
professionals who work for brokerage firms or operate as independent contractors.
They’re paid a percentage of the final sale price for their services.

Unlike many other professions, real estate agents can choose to specialize in either
residential or commercial property sales and leases. This allows them to focus on
particular market segments that offer the greatest potential for growth and
profitability. Typically, agents focus on a geographic area that they know well. In a
market like New York City, where neighborhoods and boroughs are highly diverse in
terms of housing types and prices, this is an essential strategy for survival.

In addition to meeting with clients, real estate agents often spend time networking
and marketing themselves. They might host open houses, send listings to other
agents they work with, put up for sale signs and make telephone calls to keep their
name fresh in the minds of potential customers. Many agents also pursue real estate
certifications and designations to improve their skills and marketability.

The first step for any real estate agent is finding clients. This can involve scouting
homes online or in person to locate properties that meet their clients’ needs and
budget. Once an agent has a lead, they may reach out to the person by phone, email
or regular mail to schedule a consultation. At this point, the real estate agent will
take the lead’s information and provide them with details about local housing market
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If the client decides to move forward with a purchase, the real estate agent will help
them get preapproved for a mortgage and set up in-person tours of homes. They
might also help their client vet homebuyers and determine their level of seriousness.
They’ll assist with negotiations and serve as a liaison between the buyer, seller and
mortgage broker until the deal closes.

Selling a home is a complicated affair, and a real estate agent can help a client
navigate each step of the process. They might help their client set a realistic home
selling price by performing research on the local market and comparing comparable
sales. They might post the listing on the MLS and other databases, advertise the
home in print and online and hold open houses to attract potential buyers.

When the home receives an offer, a real estate agent will assist their client in
reviewing it and negotiating terms. They might recommend that their client accept
or reject the offer. They’ll also manage the various legal tasks involved in putting
together and signing a contract, completing the closing process and discharging any
liens on a property.
Considering how complex and time-consuming it is to complete a real estate
transaction, there’s no question that without real estate agents, these deals would
be difficult to pull off. While they’re typically paid on commission, it can be difficult
for agents to balance their administrative duties and income-producing activities. As
a result, they might need to hire an assistant to handle some of their day-to-day
tasks.