How Much Money do Real Estate Agents Make

Generally, real estate agents work for real estate brokers, who act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers of real estate. Real estate, that includes land and all permanent fixtures on the land, can be classified as residential or commercial. The classification depends on whether or not the property generates income. Commercial properties are income generating properties, while residential ones are meant for occupation by the owner as his primary residence. In order to become a real estate agent, a person needs to be at least 18 years of age and should have graduated from high school. Moreover, he needs to complete 75-80 hours of course work and obtain a license. He can act as buyer’s or seller’s agent.

Monetary Earning

Agents Dealing in Residential Properties

The price of real estate is affected by both local and economic factors. When the market is booming, an agent can make oodles of money. A seller’s agent makes money through commissions, which are determined as a percentage of the sales price. So when the prices appreciate, the seller’s agent stands to gain in the form of huge commissions. Since the current market is not a sellers market, it would behoove us to take a look at the payment structure for a buyer’s agent.

A buyer’s agent is entrusted with the task of scouting for suitable properties, either residential or commercial, and getting a good deal for the buyer. A good deal would mean a low purchase price. The current market is a buyers market, since property prices are at an all time low. A buyer’s agent is generally paid a percentage of the purchase price or listed price as commission. Sometimes in addition to receiving a percentage of the purchase price, he is also entitled to a percentage of the difference between the listed price and the purchase price. In addition to this, he is paid an hourly fee and promotional expenses. It’s evident that a seller’s agent earns much more than a buyer’s agent, since the latter will stand to lose in the event of the buyer getting a good deal.

Agents Dealing in Commercial Properties

These agents earn commission on the sale and purchase of land and commercial real estate. The commissions, for both residential and commercial real estate, are negotiated in a similar manner. In case of rental apartments, the agent is paid a rental commission by the real estate company responsible for renting out homes and apartments.

Broker Price Opinion (BPO)

Agents can also earn money by offering their opinion on the worth of the property to lending institutions. A fixed fee is paid for it.

Other Ways of Earning

Some states allow agents to appraise properties. In this case, they earn an appraisal fee. Experienced professionals can also earn by conducting seminars and training sessions.

When times are good, average salaries can be as high as $65,270. In fact, a really good agent can earn more than $100,000 a year. However, the median pay for these professionals in 2012 was $41,990 only.

Basis on Which They Make Money

In case of residential properties, an oversupply has resulted in pulling down the prices of homes. Many people are preferring renting to owning, since they are unable to afford the mortgage payments. In this situation, commercial real estate agents can earn commissions by bringing together landlords and tenants. It is a good time for business owners to invest in commercial properties, since they can acquire property at a really cheaper price. However, buying a commercial property is much more complicated than investing in a residential property. This is because, unlike residential deals, commercial ones do not require mandatory disclosures. Hence, a commercial real estate agent’s services are indispensable. Thus, a commercial type agent can hope to earn much more than an agent specializing in residential properties. However, the deals are generally complicated and time-consuming and involve huge sums of money. Consequently, a commercial type agent is paid more, but at less frequent intervals.

Requirements to Become a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is an individual who helps one, either to buy a home or stay as a tenant. He even assists people who need to lease their apartment or house, for other people to live in. Estate agents have knowledge about residential areas which are always in demand for residency, and the cost of living in those areas too.

A person needs to have some prerequisites before entering into the field. He needs to be strong in general knowledge, well aware of the market situations, acquainted with the real estate field and have strong convincing skills to win the deal. He also needs to be business-minded, as there is a very tough competition between other experienced agents in the same sector.

The invention of telecommunications and the Internet technology has proven to be very beneficial to the real estate field. It enables the agents to easily obtain information about estates and properties, to contribute to their businesses. They have a large database of information about houses, flats, bungalows, land, properties, etc. which are to be rented out or sold.

If a client wants to buy or sell a property, he approaches the agent, who then with the knowledge and information helps him to choose the right property or choose the right customer, according to his requirements. The responsibilities include showing properties, providing information about estates, sorting out properties for sale, meeting potential customers, or studying the real estate market. They may be required to work for more than 40 hours per week, either in office or on the field.

A potential candidate would need to have friendly behavior, problem-solving capabilities, a confident personality, and organizational skills. However, only these requirements are not sufficient to become a realtor. One obligatorily needs to be licensed from the respective state, where he would be working.

Preparing and submitting attractive resumes won’t do much to show your skills. Each state in the US has different requirements for one to become a licensed realty agent. First of all, you need to own a high school diploma, and be over 18 years of age. If there are any criminal records and reports against you, it can be very hard for you to get a license.

You need to undertake a pre-licensing course from any real estate school, which would lead you to obtain a license. In a majority of the states, it is compulsory to attend classes first, one just can’t skip them and take the exams directly. The coursework will teach you about several sections of the real estate field; such as legal, financial, property appraisals, and real estate moral philosophy. After thorough preparation, you can take the exam. You would need to utilize your ‘math’ and ‘stats’ skills for the financial, and property appraisals section, and creative and logical thinking for the legal and ethics section. The course fees may depend upon the school and state which you’re taking the course from.

In a majority of states, you are required to have an agreement with a broker, before you take the exam. After you successfully complete the test and obtain the license, you are supposed to send your license to the broker and complete all the contract formalities, as you are not allowed to start your work independently. A ‘broker’ is an entity, whom you’d be working under, so you need to find one whom you are fine in working with. It’s recommended that you at least consult with three brokers from different companies for the contract.

These are the steps that will help you become a real estate agent. But if you truly need to be strong and well-known in the realty market, you need to have a state license, know all legal rules, regulation and formalities; and also have the much-needed experience in the same field.