This guide outlines what are real estate agent responsibilities, both from a career and consumer angle.
You might wonder about the specific real estate agent responsibilities if you’re someone who’s considering a career in this field. It’s also relevant from the perspective of a consumer, like a buyer or a seller.
You may not realize that it can be fairly difficult to be licensed as a real estate agent. You have to take a pre-licensing class, study and do real estate practice exam tests, and finally, pass the exam itself. This all prepares you for the tasks you’ll be doing as part of your work.
Real estate agent responsibilities
The following are some of the many real estate agent responsibilities.
Overview of role
An agent is a licensed professional who works on facilitating transactions between buyers and sellers. There are buyer’s agents and seller’s agents. There are also commercial real estate agents.
On both sides of a transaction, a real estate agent earns money which is a commission, typically paid by a seller. A commission is a percentage of the total sales price.
A real estate agent is required to be licensed by the state. Continuing education is usually required to maintain your license and keep it in an active state.
Agents sometimes also get other accreditations or certifications, helping them specialize in certain areas.
A real estate agent isn’t the same as a broker. A broker is an agent, but they’ve gone through additional training, and they’re licensed as such. Agents are required to work under a broker. Brokers can work on their own, however, or they might decide they want to supervise other agents in a brokerage. When a broker is within a brokerage model, they get a portion of their agents’ commissions who are under them.
Working with Buyers
Sometimes the real estate agent responsibilities and duties can vary depending on if the professional is working on behalf of a buyer or seller. When a real estate agent is working for a buyer, they’re working with clients who want to buy a property.
When working with buyers, a real estate agent might:
- Coordinate open houses
- Arrange meetings
- Interview buyers to figure out what they’re looking for, and schedule showings on their behalf
- A buyer’s agent will learn more about the must-haves of their clients versus what could be negotiable
- When someone works with a buyer’s agent, they can look for properties in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and see information not available to the public, like conditions of the sale or possible problems with the property
- The buyer’s agent reaches out to listing agents to get answers to any questions their clients have
- Buyer’s agents can provide referrals to professionals they are familiar with and have worked with, like inspectors as one example
- They’ll generate and then submit offers when a buyer finds a home they’re interested in
- Coordinate inspections and appraisals
- Negotiate things like repairs and offers for their buyer
- Draft and then go over documents and contracts
- Help the buyer as they’re going through the closing process
What Do Seller’s Agents Do?
Also known as a listing agent, a seller’s agent is working on behalf of someone who is trying to sell their home or property.
Specific real estate agent responsibilities and aspects of their job include:
- They help clients price their homes. They’ll go over the details of the home, talk about upgrades and repairs, and comparable research properties to come up with a price.
- To get the best price for a home, a seller’s agent might recommend that the homeowner make certain changes, like taking care of repairs or decluttering.
- Listing agents are responsible for marketing properties. This can mean creating a compelling listing for the MLS and getting professional photos. They might also advertise the home and hold open houses, as well as reach out and network with other agents.
- A key responsibility of a seller’s agent is to vet possible buyers. They might want to see preapproval or proof of funds to make sure their client’s time isn’t being wasted.
- If a seller gets multiple offers on their home, a real estate agent can help them weigh the best one for them.
Listing agents also help their clients as they’re dealing with negotiations, and they’ll go through all the paperwork that’s part of the process. They’ll double-check everything and maintain communication with the buyer’s agent, as well as any other parties who might be involved in the sale, through to the closing day.
General real estate agent responsibilities and things all types of real estate agents do include answering questions, understanding what complex processes can be like, taking care of the paperwork, and having a comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the area.