Each year millions of people enter into one of the most important financial decisions they will ever make, which is purchasing a home. Purchasing a home can be a very grueling and confusing experience, which could end up being financially disastrous if not handled properly. To help ease the process of buying and selling a home, real estate brokers and agents are often hired.
Most real estate careers are greatly enhanced by a degree or certificate in real estate or a related field. This training can lead to higher pay, better job opportunities, and increased client trust. Check out these programs which offer free information:
Real estate agents and brokers handle a wide variety of tasks for the real estate process. Someone looking to purchase a home will hire a real estate broker to find potential homes that fit their desires and within their budget. They will also organize home visits for the purchaser, help out in the negotiation of the purchase, and help organize appraisal, home inspections, and home closings.
Someone looking to sell their home will also hire a real estate agent. In this situation, the seller of the home will hire the real estate agent to help determine the proper sales price, stage the home for sale, market it to the general public, and negotiate with potential buyers.
Training and Education Requirements
Real estate brokers and sales agents in all 50 states required formal training and licensing. Brokers and agents first need to go through a formal educational program that ranges anywhere from 30 to 60 hours of classroom education. Those looking to become real estate brokers will have to take up to an additional 60 hours of classroom education.
Following completion of the required classroom education, almost all jurisdictions will require agents and brokers to pass a written test. All agents and brokers will be tested on their basic real estate knowledge including real estate law, different types of assets, how to formalize a transaction, and proper marketing techniques. Following successful completion of the test, the broker or agent will be fully certified. However, to keep up with changing laws and best practices, most brokers and agents will need update their license every 2 years.
Beyond the job specific educational requirements, education and training necessary is to become an agent or broker is minimal. In most states, agents are only required to be 18 years old and to have graduated from high school. However, specific agencies may want their agents or brokers to have further formal education in either real estate, business, marketing, or sales.
Salary and Wages
Real estate agents and brokers are paid purely on commission. Because of this the disparity in salary and wages from one broker to the next can vary significantly. In most real estate transactions, the average seller of the home is forced to pay a total commission of 4% to 6% of the sales price. Normally, half the commission is paid to the seller’s real estate agent and half is paid to the buyer’s agent. Most realtors work for large real estate broker houses who split the commission with the realtor. Therefore, in most situation, the real estate agent or broker will earn a commission of 1 to 1.5% of the sale of the home.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
The median salary for a real estate agent and broker is about $35,000 per year. However, this includes a large amount of agents and brokers who use this as a part time profession. As mentioned earlier, the disparity between the most and least successful real estate agents and brokers is much more significant than most professions. The median 50 percent or real estate agents and brokers ranged from $25,000 to almost $85,000. The top 10 percent of all real estate agents and brokers earned well over $100,000 per year, and in some situations, over $500,000 per year.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
As mentioned earlier, real estate agents and brokers are only allowed to practice if they are certified. Certification requires successfully completing both classroom training as well as a written test. Depending on the state in which the real estate agent practices, the certification will have to be renewed every 2 or 3 years.
Beyond the standard certification which is required to perform the job, there are various other certifications available to educate an agent and advance their career. Through more formal training, agents and brokers can receive a variety of certifications including selling commercial assets, specializing in assets utilizing green technology, or specializing in foreclosed and short sold real estate transactions.
Due to the vast amount of real estate agents and brokers in the industry, there are plenty of professional organizations which are designed for networking and educational enhancement. One of the most popular professional organizations is OREP, which is the Organization of Real Estate Professionals. This organization has thousands of members nationwide, which include agents and brokers, home inspectors, appraisers, and mortgage professionals.
Beyond OREP and other large national organizations, many real estate agents and brokers would benefit by joining local organizations. These organizations bring in thousands of professionals from local markets and provide many benefits along with a person’s membership.