Real Estate Agent Job Description

So, what does a real estate agent job description look like? Honestly, it can be hard to generalize because real estate agents are usually independent contractors – the CEO’s of their own small businesses. As the controllers of their own fate, real estate agents have the ability to tailor their job duties according to their own interests or preferences. Which is fabulous!

Let’s say the part of the job a real estate agent loves the most is touring homes – in that case, they could choose to focus their business on working with buyers. Or, perhaps an agent loves staging homes and the marketing aspect of the business – they may choose to focus on working with sellers. Others may choose to prioritize their interests in commercial real estate or property management – you get the picture.

The possibilities are endless! A real estate agent’s duties truly can vary greatly from one to another. They even vary from one day to another. However, here’s an attempt at simplifying things.

Job Summary

A real estate agent helps their customers rent, sell, or purchase properties, generating and growing their business through a variety of techniques. They use their understanding of real estate laws, regulations, best practices, and market trends and conditions to assist customers in purchasing, renting or selling property for the best possible price under the best possible terms.

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Requirements & Qualifications

Working as a real estate agent requires an active state license (agent or broker), being in good standing with the local Realtor board, and completing all required continuing education. While sales experience is not required, it can be helpful. In most locations, a valid driver’s license will also be required.


The skills commonly possessed by successful real estate agents include communication, sales, negotiation, responsiveness, organization, attention to detail, math, understanding of marketing techniques, basic computer skills, the ability to work independently as well as with honesty and integrity.

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Typical Duties

  • Develop business & marketing plans with coordinating budgets
  • Set and consistently achieve business goals
  • Generate leads by a variety of methods including ads, calls, email, print marketing, or word-of-mouth
  • Consult with customers regarding their real estate needs and goals, market conditions, mortgages, legal and ethical issues
  • Assist customers in evaluating mortgage options to help them attain the best rates and terms
  • Develop content for sales presentations, property valuations and other appointments
  • Promote property listings with ads, open houses and other methods
  • Complete comparative market analysis to estimate properties’ market value
  • Advise sellers on how to make homes more appealing to potential buyers
  • Arrange property showings, open houses, inspections, appraisals, and staging as necessary
  • Prepare contracts, offers, agreements, and other documents for each real estate transaction
  • Assist buyers in presenting offers for purchase and present purchase offers to sellers
  • Negotiate prices and other sales terms on behalf of your customer
  • Manage all paperwork to ensure the terms, conditions, and deadlines of purchase agreements and other contracts are met
  • Cooperate with appraisers, home inspectors, title companies, lenders, pest control companies and other vendors as needed
  • Oversee property closings, including signing of documents and disbursement of funds
  • Develop a network of attorneys, mortgage lenders, contractors, and other relevant vendors for customer resources
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Real estate agent work hours

Since real estate agents are their own boss, they have the ability to control the hours they work. There really isn’t a standard schedule. Great, right? If you need flexibility to allow for children’s schedules, family events, or other personal commitments, that’s certainly an option as a real estate agent. Being in control of your own work hours as a real estate agent is definitely a plus, since it isn’t a “timeclock” type of job.

However, it’s also important to consider that as an agent your schedule will somewhat be controlled by your customer’s schedule as well. Most buyers and sellers need to schedule meetings and showings around their own work schedule, meaning that many real estate agents will find themselves doing business in the evening and on weekends.

One well-known side effect of working flexible hours is working more than the standard 40-hour week. For that reason, it’s important for real estate agents to have good time management skills, so their work hours don’t get out of control. Making sure that your time is always used wisely and efficiently helps. One way to do this is to choose a brokerage to partner with who offers support services and time saving systems for you to take advantage of.

Your real estate agent salary

How much do real estate agents make? As a real estate agent in Florida, your salary is up to you. Great, right? It’s true! This is an industry where you have unlimited earning potential. The more you put into your career as a REALTOR®, the more you’ll receive from it.

Your pay as a real estate agent is traditionally based entirely on closed transactions. This means that in a typical brokerage setup you will not be paid hourly wages, instead you are compensated when the sale or purchase of a home is completed. In recent years, some companies have chosen an hourly wage model, however they are uncommon and can limit an agent’s earning potential.

So, a real estate agent’s salary is paid in a commission-only setup. While it can vary based on the details of each transaction, the most common commission when a home is bought or sold is 6%. The 6% is most often divided evenly between the listing agent, who represents the seller, and the selling agent, who represents the buyer. The total amount of the commission which will be paid at the point of sale is based on the amount listed in the contract between a seller and their listing agent. If you represent both the buyer and the seller in a single transaction, you have the opportunity to earn the entire 6% if the listing contract allows.

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As a real estate agent in Florida, you will negotiate a commission split with your brokerage. A commission split determines how much of your commission on each sale is divided between your personal income and fees to be paid to your broker. A brokerage collects their portion of the split in order to pay operating expenses such as office space, insurance, legal costs, staff salaries, systems, technologies, utilities, and more – all those great benefits you’re receiving!

Depending on your broker’s policies, and the type of transaction (sale or purchase), there may be other fees applied to commissions as well. Some examples would include an MLS fee or a referral fee, which you may be required to pay if your broker has provided you with a lead which results in a closed deal. When researching brokerages, it’s important to ask questions regarding all fee structures and commission splits so you have a clear picture of your income.

Let’s break this down into some figures. For this example, you’re the selling agent on a property which closes for $1,000,000. The listing agreement states that you will receive 3% commission, and you have a commission split agreement of 80/20 with your broker.

3% of $1,000,000 = $30,000

80% of $30,000 = $24,000

On that deal your earnings would be $24,000, minus any additional fees which may apply. In addition, you should subtract any expenses you incurred prior to the sale, such as marketing fees and fuel costs to get an accurate picture of your actual earning. Sell just 5 of those million-dollar homes in one year, and your gross income would likely clear $100,000 even after expenses! Great, right?

Just remember to take into account the time spent working with each customer before they’re under contract and that it takes, on average, 30 days from contract to close (“payday”).

However, it’s important to keep in mind that as a small business owner, you will be required to pay taxes on that income just like any other job. But instead of your employer taking those taxes automatically out of each paycheck, you will be responsible for paying them later. While that check is going to look amazing, remember that you’ll still owe Uncle Sam a portion of it.

Another important thing to keep in mind is the reality of running a business and managing expenses which will come into play before you’re paid on a deal. You’ll have everyday expenses to pay – like gas when you’re driving around with a buyer touring potential homes, or marketing expenses to pay for that great home you just listed for a seller. All which will have to be paid by you, before you receive a paycheck. As a real estate agent, money management is extremely important.

If you have a slow month in real estate with no closings, you will need to have budgeted and planned well in the months prior to ensure that you have the resources not only to live, but also to effectively run your business ensuring future income. Creating and maintaining a savings fund can assist you with that.

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woman with curly dark hair smiling sitting on edge of desk talking with a male and female agent sitting on yellow couch in office

So remember – as a real estate agent, income is something you have the ability to control but you’ll need to manage your money well to ensure your financial health and freedom.

At the end of the day, becoming a real estate agent is an amazing and rewarding career choice. It allows you to be your own boss, to have flexibility and freedom, and the incredible opportunity of unlimited earning potential. All while being a part of some of life’s biggest moments – helping people’s dreams come true.

But just like any potential career, there are pros and cons. It’s important to do your research, consider things from every angle, and evaluate what’s right for YOU. If you need to talk things through, we’re here to help.

Interested in learning more?

If you’re looking for more information about working in the real estate industry, we’ve got plenty for you to review. Here’s a few pieces we recommend to review.

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Lead Me To The Money

Generating leads is a large portion of your real estate business, and something that we help with! Between our local, dedicated Business Development and Relocation team and the national Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network, we are constantly cultivating relationships with hundreds of lead sources, brokerages and agents internationally. You also hold the power to generate your own leads through a multitude of methods while using the tools and resources we provide you!

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Position Yourself For Success

You may hold the title of REALTOR®, but we all know there are so many more titles that you also carry. Being a real estate agent isn’t just selling homes, you have a business to run! Let us help you with that part… the business-running part. We have all of the internal operational efficiencies in place, the tools to help you do your job, the automation and synergy needed to make your job easier, and finally a global brand with local roots to support you every step of the way. Let us show you what we’re talking about. We can talk the talk AND walk the walk.

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Here For You

When we say we are full service we mean it. We take an immense amount of pride in serving our agents and customers completely. We provide a full education department, accounting department, marketing department, in-person coaching and business consultation. All of these departments, people and resources are simply to support you and your small business. In addition to that we have CORE Services to help you deliver everything your customers need under one roof.

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