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Real Estate Agent Job Description

Although a real estate agent’s main goal on the job is to sell properties, there are many other duties that real estate agents undertake in the field. These may include:

Real Estate Agent Duties

  • Show properties
  • Rent properties
  • Contact potential sellers and buyers
  • Negotiate between buyers and sellers
  • Draw up contracts
  • List properties on the internet and in real estate magazines
  • Compare listings to get an idea of the appropriate buying or selling price

How To Become A Real Estate Agent

Becoming a real estate agent involves attending an accredited real estate program, passing a state licensing exam, and then finding employment with a real estate agency. The job market is competitive, so it is important that graduates are realistic about the amount of time it will take to sell that first house or property.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Real Estate Agent?

It generally takes about 1 – 3 months to become a real estate agent depending on the laws in the state where the student wishes to work. Since the programs are accelerated, they are intensive and require a substantial time commitment involving classes and studying. After completing a program, a state licensing exam must be passed, and then the licensed real estate agent must find employment. Employment can be relatively simple to obtain; however, it may take some time for a new agent to sell his or her first property.

Education Requirements

The completion of areal estate program from an accredited real estate school must be accomplished before a prospective realtor can apply for licensure in his or her state. There are hundreds of real estate schools across the United States, and the various programs can be completed in person or online. Some community or state colleges, trade schools, and professional schools also offer associate or bachelor’s degree programs in real estate. Most real estate programs require that students take such classes as real estate law, real estate mathematics, and real estate procedures. After completing a program, students then qualify to take a state licensing exam.


All 50 states and the District of Colombia require that real estate agents be licensed. The requirements vary by state, so it is best to check the rules and regulations in the state where you wish to become employed. Generally, prospective real estate agents can expect to take a lengthy exam testing the knowledge of the real estate industry. In order to pass, a 70 percent or higher is usually needed. In addition to the exam, applicants are required to be fingerprinted and pass a background check to obtain a state license.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for real estate agents is average. It is expected that job growth from 2010* 2020 will be about 11%, and 52,500 new jobs will be created during that ten year period. The economy often dictates the amount of jobs available for agents. A slow market will decrease the number of properties sold and lower the demand for new real estate agents, while a boom in the economy will see a greater demand and more jobs available.

States With Highest Employment Levels

State Hourly mean Wage Annual mean salary # Employed Employment/1000 jobs
Florida $19.61 $40,800 26,300 3.62
Texas $23.16 $48,180 17,010 1.61
New York $40.22 $83,660 16,480 1.93
California $25.13 $52,280 14,010 0.98
Virginia $24.01 $49,930 9,760 2.71


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