How a Real Estate Agent Works


Real estate agents help people buy, sell and rent homes. They often have their own brokerages, and they usually make a commission from home sales. They also do administrative work and research, and they may have clients in a number of different industries.

How a Real Estate Agent Works

Real estate brokers and agents typically have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in real estate or a related field. They must also pass a state licensing exam and complete coursework on topics such as ethics, contracts, taxes and insurance. In addition, they must pay a broker’s license fee and have a certain amount of experience before they can become licensed.

Buyer’s agent: They represent buyers in real estate transactions, and they have specific tasks to complete such as finding a property, scheduling viewings and helping a client with a mortgage loan application. They may also negotiate with a seller or negotiate an offer on a property, or help a buyer troubleshoot issues in the home inspection or appraisal process. Also read


Listing agent: They represent sellers in real estate transactions and have specific duties to complete such as helping a homeowner price their home, making suggestions for repairs or upgrades, marketing the property on various listing services and providing unbiased valuations of the property. They also do a lot of networking and arranging open houses to attract potential buyers.

They also do a lot of research on the local housing market and neighborhood schools and crime rates. This allows them to advise their clients on the right purchase or sale price, as well as provide helpful tips and information about the area.

Before hiring a realtor, you should find out whether they have a license in your state and check their background by searching the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials database. You should also ask about their communication preferences so you can ensure you get the type of help you need from them.

How a Real Estate Agent Pays Their Commission

In most residential home sales, the total commission paid by the seller is between

5% and 6% of the sale price. This commission is split between the agent representing the seller and the agent representing the buyer. The seller’s agent gets the first 5% to 6%, and the buyer’s agent receives the other 3%.

There are many ways to earn a real estate commission, and some brokerages offer flat fees or an annual salary. Others, such as Redfin, pay their agents a percentage of the home sales price.


Some brokers work under a principal/designated broker, who supervises the agents in the company and makes sure they are working in compliance with local and state laws. This person typically receives a base salary, but they can also be paid on commission as long as they meet the requirements of their state.

Some brokerages are independent, or operate without a franchise affiliation, and they have the freedom to determine their branding and marketing strategies. These companies can be more competitive than those with a larger franchise. They may have less support and resources than a franchise, but they are often easier to work with and can be more flexible.

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