My Education: MS, Suffolk University (Boston, MA)
My Prior Experience: I worked as the manager of the student loan department at Providence College.
My Company: selling homes
Job/Career Overview: A real estate agent can be a seller's agent or a buyer's agent. As a seller's agent, you represent the seller; as a buyer's agent, you represent the buyer. Either way, you're honest to everyone involved. The agent will guide both the seller and buyer from the very beginning through closing. This involves showings, negotiations, home inspections, re-negotiations, meetings with attorneys, septic installers, fire and water department and various other companies and agencies to make it work.
A real estate agent can work for months on something and if it does not go to closing, the agent doesn't get paid. For example, regarding a seller's agent, you can have a six month listing agreement, show the property fifty times, spend three hours at a home inspection or six hours after two home inspections, spend more hours with the buyers returning to the home to take measurements, returning to the home with contractors and then, at the last minute, the buyer does not get financing and the deal falls apart, your listing agreement term ends and the seller re-lists with another agent.
More Insights: Liability is a huge concern and an agent must be thoroughly knowledgeable about fair housing, lead paint and his limitations as an agent. He cannot act as an attorney, a home inspector, accountant, and so forth. An agent must be available nights and weekends and any time his listing needs to be shown or a buyer wants to look at a home. It's not an easy job.
I rate this career 6 out of 10.
The best part of being a real estate agent is that you get to help a lot of really nice people find suitable homes. You meet and become friends with a lot of your clients. It is great to get referrals from these contented former clients and to continue to keep in contact with everyone. Another good thing about being a real estate agent is that you're your own boss, can work as little or as much as you like and the potential for earnings is great.
The worst part of being a real estate agent is that you are subject to market conditions, so if there are no buyers and the economy is bad, your business suffers. Another really bad part of the job are the endless hours that can be worked with no monetary gain.
In order to be a successful real estate Agent you must be self-motivated and you can't be unduly bothered by rejection. You must not be concerned by stiff competition. You have to be able to ride out bad real estate markets emotionally and financially. Real estate is not an easy job. A new agent must be prepared to be attached at the hip to an experienced agent. There is so much to learn and things keep changing in addition. Experienced agents still consult with one another from time to time on tough issues. You must be a really good problem solver and negotiator and be able to pay close attention to a myriad of details in order to close a deal.