How a Real Estate Agent Works


Real estate agents facilitate real estate transactions on behalf of their clients. They

can serve as a go-between for buyers and sellers, negotiate pricing and terms and

manage the legal process of real estate deals. They might help clients find home

loans, real estate attorneys and home inspectors. Real estate agents are licensed

professionals who work for brokerage firms or operate as independent contractors.

They’re paid a percentage of the final sale price for their services.

Unlike many other professions, real estate agents can choose to specialize in either

residential or commercial property sales and leases. This allows them to focus on

particular market segments that offer the greatest potential for growth and

profitability. Typically, agents focus on a geographic area that they know well. In a

market like New York City, where neighborhoods and boroughs are highly diverse in

terms of housing types and prices, this is an essential strategy for survival.


In addition to meeting with clients, real estate agents often spend time networking

and marketing themselves. They might host open houses, send listings to other

agents they work with, put up for sale signs and make telephone calls to keep their

name fresh in the minds of potential customers. Many agents also pursue real estate

certifications and designations to improve their skills and marketability.


The first step for any real estate agent is finding clients. This can involve scouting

homes online or in person to locate properties that meet their clients’ needs and

budget. Once an agent has a lead, they may reach out to the person by phone, email

or regular mail to schedule a consultation. At this point, the real estate agent will

take the lead’s information and provide them with details about local housing market

conditions. Also read


If the client decides to move forward with a purchase, the real estate agent will help

them get preapproved for a mortgage and set up in-person tours of homes. They

might also help their client vet homebuyers and determine their level of seriousness.

They’ll assist with negotiations and serve as a liaison between the buyer, seller and

mortgage broker until the deal closes.


Selling a home is a complicated affair, and a real estate agent can help a client

navigate each step of the process. They might help their client set a realistic home

selling price by performing research on the local market and comparing comparable

sales. They might post the listing on the MLS and other databases, advertise the

home in print and online and hold open houses to attract potential buyers.


When the home receives an offer, a real estate agent will assist their client in

reviewing it and negotiating terms. They might recommend that their client accept

or reject the offer. They’ll also manage the various legal tasks involved in putting

together and signing a contract, completing the closing process and discharging any

liens on a property.

Considering how complex and time-consuming it is to complete a real estate

transaction, there’s no question that without real estate agents, these deals would

be difficult to pull off. While they’re typically paid on commission, it can be difficult

for agents to balance their administrative duties and income-producing activities. As

a result, they might need to hire an assistant to handle some of their day-to-day