Real estate agents help people buy and sell houses. They must be able to say approximately how much money a house is worth. They need to know what the neighborhoods in their towns are like. They must know the laws that have to do with buying or selling a house. They also can tell home buyers where to get a loan if they need more money to buy a house. In return for selling a house, real estate agents get to keep a small part of the money that the buyer paid for it. Real estate agents work for real estate brokers. Real estate brokers manage real estate offices.
Hours: Agents often work more than a standard 40-hour week.
Opportunities: Self employed or through an agent
Pay: The middle half of all real estate agents earned between $26,790 and $65,270 a year.
Training: Real estate agents must have a license from the State in which they work. To get a license, a person must have graduated from high school. The person must be at least 18 years old and pass a written test. In some States, a person who wants to be a real estate agent must go to a special school for a few months. Sometimes it helps to take some college courses about real estate. This is because the process of selling a house can be hard to understand.
Citation: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition , Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos120.htm (visited July 22, 2009 ).
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