A property agent, also widely referred to as a real estate agent, markets and sells property to a diverse client base. She traditionally deals in the sales of private homes but may also market commercial properties, such as retail business structures, office buildings, factories or apartment complexes. A significant number of property agents are self-employed and the remainder work for real estate agencies.
The success of a property agent often depends largely upon her ability to accurately assess her clients’ needs and present them with viable choices. This generally requires outstanding listening skills coupled with the ability to read between the lines and determine needs not clearly stated. She is normally required to be friendly while maintaining a professional relationship with her customers.
Since this is often one of the most important and financially significant events in people’s lives, they are often nervous and sometimes reluctant to reveal what they are looking for in a home. A thriving property agent is normally adept at quickly gaining the trust of her clients and motivating them to honestly share their hopes and goals with her. Gently appealing to the emotional side of people making a purchase important to their family’s security and happiness is an important character trait for a property agent.
At the initial meeting with the proposed buyers, a property agent typically takes meticulous notes on the buyers’ needs. Her observations normally reflect the size of the family, the ages of the family members and what their daily needs include. She also makes sure she clearly understands the buyer preferences concerning square footage of the home, lot size and local amenities. Based on this information, along with the amount of down payment offered, preferred pricing and desired mortgage terms, an agent can adequately research what she can offer her clients.
Once she has narrowed her search to the best properties to meet their needs, which usually takes a day or two, she takes her clients to view the properties. The clients traditionally prefer to discuss their options in private and generally contact the property agent with their choices and questions in less than a week. Offers and counteroffers ensue with the seller and if amicable terms are reached, the sale is finalized.
There are normally no formal educational requirements to become a property agent. Most areas require agents to obtain a license to sell real estate. This process typically involves testing the applicant on knowledge of real estate practices and lending laws. Some regions require separate licenses to sell residential and commercial properties.