When it comes the time for you to buy your home the chances are that you understand very little about buying real estate and so you have to depend greatly on a real estate agent. Considering the responsibility that places on an agent, it is perhaps surprising that real estate agents need no set formal qualifications to become one. Usually a real estate agency will hire people that have no knowledge of real estate and then teach whilst they are on the job.
Of course in some instances, an agency may need an experienced agent but even then are more likely to employ someone due to their experience rather than any formal qualifications they may have. That isn’t to say though that there are not courses for real estate agents, as there are but these courses are usually taken by existing agents in order to further their knowledge.
These courses are usually organized by either the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFoPP) or the National Association of Estate Agents and as they are aimed at existing agents, are usually distance learning courses which allow them to study and take the courses outside of their regular working hours.
Once an agent has established themselves with their agency and is considered capable of looking after a property sale on their own, they will be expected to work unusual hours, often over the weekends and holidays. The reason for this is that with residential properties at least, those are popular times for potential buyers to view houses.
Any commercial properties that the agency may deal with, with more than likely be viewed during working hours. For a person to be employed by an estate agency, although they may not need formal qualifications, the agency will expect them to demonstrate that they are good with numbers and can interact with people in a polite and appropriate manner.
Obviously whilst an agent is learning their trade, they will spend most of their time in the office with occasionally accompanying a more experienced agent on property viewings.
At this time an agent can reasonably expect an annual salary of about £12,000 for a 35 to 40 hour week. That salary will of course increase as they gain experience and can facilitate property sales on their own, unaided.
A lot of an agent’s work is done in the office as they have to ensure all legal documentations and rules are closely adhered to but they also have to either evaluate a property themselves or have it evaluated by an appropriate professional in order to advise their client as to a reasonable asking price for their property.
They must also familiarize themselves with the locations of all the properties on their books so they can answer any questions posed by potential buyers. Just try to imagine what stress this would put each of us through if these agents didn’t exist, as all of these things we would have to do on our own when either buying or selling a property.