Real estate agents help people buy and sell homes, other buildings or land.
If their client is buying a property, an agent helps them find one that they want. This might involve giving them advice about market conditions and neighborhoods, and almost always involves showing them various options in person. Then, once their client has found something they like, they prepare and present an offer, and help negotiate the final purchase.
If they’re representing someone who is selling a property, an agent might start by helping that client determine a fair market price. Next, they might help get the property ready for sale. Then, they will advertise and show it to prospective clients. Finally, when the agent gets an offer the client finds attractive, they’ll help negotiate a closing deal.
One or more real estate agents will make a commission on almost every real estate sale—not just homes, but also commercial, agricultural and industrial properties.
So, as an agent, you can work almost anywhere you want to live, as long as you get licensed in that state. And, because agents work on commission, your income would be tied to the cost-of-living wherever you go.
For a better idea of what real estate jobs are like, including how much you’d make and whether the job market is growing or shrinking, check out the Real Estate Sales Agents page of our online Career Coach.
You can also use that to find out more about a career as a Real Estate Broker. Brokers are more experienced agents who are licensed to operate their own business. (All agents have to work under brokers.)
But keep in mind that it’s a very competitive field, and pretty sensitive to economic conditions. A serious, practical education can be vital to your real-world success.
You need to complete three classes before you can take the California licensing exam:
- Real Estate Principles, where you study the fundamentals of real estate ownership, management and sales.
- Real Estate Practice, where you learn all about the day-to-day operation of a real estate office.
- And one elective, like Legal Aspects of Real Estate, Real Estate Finance, Property Management, Principles of Accounting I or Business Law. (Principles of Accounting and Business Law are listed under the Business department in our catalog.)
At CCC, you can take all three in just one semester of evening classes–but that isn’t the real reason our program is such a great idea.
The truth is that there is much more to success than just taking the classes and passing the exam.
That’s why, in our classrooms, you get more than test preparation.
You also get:
- Direct interaction with instructors who have decades of experience in the field, and can bring academic and legal points across in personal, practical ways.
- Participation in classroom discussions that raise questions you might not have considered, otherwise.
- To network with fellow future agents.
- Practical insights about how to acquire a listing, be an effective advocate for your client and avoid any legal or ethical missteps along the way.
- To show employers that you’re disciplined, serious and have the background you’ll need to succeed.
Sound like a great way to start a new career?