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Career profile Real Estate Agent

Also known as Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Salesperson, Realtor, Realtor Associate, Sales Agent

Real Estate Agent

Also known as Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Salesperson, Realtor

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
  • Social
Pay Range
$25,100 - $112,410 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Negotiation
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Law and Government
Core tasks
  • Present purchase offers to sellers for consideration.
  • Prepare documents such as representation contracts, purchase agreements, closing statements, deeds, and leases.
  • Act as an intermediary in negotiations between buyers and sellers, generally representing one or the other.
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What does a Real Estate Agent do?

Real Estate Agents rent, buy, or sell property for clients.

In addition, Real Estate Agents

  • perform duties such as study property listings, interview prospective clients, accompany clients to property site, discuss conditions of sale, and draw up real estate contracts,
  • includes agents who represent buyer.

What kind of tasks does a Real Estate Agent perform regularly?

Real Estate Agents are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Present purchase offers to sellers for consideration.
  • Prepare documents such as representation contracts, purchase agreements, closing statements, deeds, and leases.
  • Act as an intermediary in negotiations between buyers and sellers, generally representing one or the other.
  • Generate lists of properties that are compatible with buyers' needs and financial resources.
  • Confer with escrow companies, lenders, home inspectors, and pest control operators to ensure that terms and conditions of purchase agreements are met before closing dates.
  • Promote sales of properties through advertisements, open houses, and participation in multiple listing services.
  • Compare a property with similar properties that have recently sold to determine its competitive market price.
  • Coordinate property closings, overseeing signing of documents and disbursement of funds.
  • Interview clients to determine what kinds of properties they are seeking.
  • Contact previous clients for prospecting of referral business.
  • Review property listings, trade journals, and relevant literature, and attend conventions, seminars, and staff and association meetings, to remain knowledgeable about real estate markets.
  • Answer clients' questions regarding construction work, financing, maintenance, repairs, and appraisals.
  • Coordinate appointments to show homes to prospective buyers.
  • Advise sellers on how to make homes more appealing to potential buyers.
  • Contact property owners and advertise services to solicit property sales listings.
  • Advise clients on market conditions, prices, mortgages, legal requirements, and related matters.
  • Display commercial, industrial, agricultural, and residential properties to clients and explain their features.
  • Accompany buyers during visits to and inspections of property, advising them on the suitability and value of the homes they are visiting.
  • Arrange for title searches to determine whether clients have clear property titles.
  • Develop networks of attorneys, mortgage lenders, and contractors to whom clients may be referred.
  • Review plans for new construction with clients, enumerating and recommending available options and features.
  • Inspect condition of premises, and arrange for necessary maintenance or notify owners of maintenance needs.
  • Visit properties to assess them before showing them to clients.

The above responsibilities are specific to Real Estate Agents. More generally, Real Estate Agents are involved in several broader types of activities:

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

What is a Real Estate Agent salary?

The median salary for a Real Estate Agent is $49,040, and the average salary is $62,990. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Real Estate Agent salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Real Estate Agents earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Real Estate Agents earn less than $25,100 per year, 25% earn less than $33,370, 75% earn less than $76,720, and 90% earn less than $112,410.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Real Estate Agents is expected to change by 4.1%, and there should be roughly 37,400 open positions for Real Estate Agents every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$25,100 - $112,410
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Real Estate Agents?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Real Estate Agent are usually higher in their Enterprising and Conventional interests.

Real Estate Agents typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Real Estate Agents typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Real Estate Agent tend to value Achievement, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Real Estate Agents strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Real Estate Agents strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Real Estate Agents strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Real Estate Agents must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, stress tolerance, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Real Estate Agents, ranked by importance:

Job requires being honest and ethical.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

What education and training do Real Estate Agents need?

Real Estate Agents often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Real Estate Agents usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Real Estate Agents

  • 1.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 12.2% completed high school or secondary school
  • 25.7% completed some college coursework
  • 10.1% earned a Associate's degree
  • 38.5% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 10.0% earned a Master's degree
  • 2.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Real Estate Agents

Real Estate Agents may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, sales and marketing, or law and government knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Real Estate Agents might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Real Estate Agents

Real Estate Agents must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Real Estate Agents need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Real Estate Agents, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Critical Skills needed by Real Estate Agents

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Real Estate Agents frequently use skills like active listening, speaking, and negotiation to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Real Estate Agents, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.