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Estate agent: Job description

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Estate agents sell or let residential or commercial properties, businesses or land on behalf of their clients. They look at the property's condition and compare it with others in the area to value it and get the best price for the client. They also market the property and negotiate on deals.

Residential estate agents deal with the sale and purchase of houses, flats and land. Many also manage rental properties. Commercial estate agents deal with a wide range of business properties including offices, shops, leisure facilities, hotels and restaurants. Rural estate agents specialise in land and rural businesses.

An increasing number of homes and commercial/industrial lots are sold by auction, so involvement in property auctioning is becoming more widespread, particularly in England and Wales. Increased interest in overseas relocation or second-home purchase abroad is also a growth area during times of economic buoyancy.

Estate agents often have to liaise with banks, building societies, mortgage brokers, surveyors, solicitors and other estate agencies during transactions.

Typical work activities

Property sales are dealt with in different ways in the UK depending on the nation. Property legislation in England and Wales is different to that in Scotland and Northern Ireland. For example, in Scotland, sales are usually handled by solicitors.

The work carried out also varies depending on the specialism of the agency, but there are some common tasks which include:

  • collecting information about a property and arranging for photographs to be taken;
  • visiting and talking to the sellers about their property and its special features;
  • estimating the value of the property;
  • marketing and promoting properties for sale;
  • representing the sellers in negotiation with prospective buyers;
  • monitoring sales as they proceed and liaising with all interested parties including mortgage brokers, solicitors, surveyors and other estate agents;
  • advising clients and helping buyers to decide what they want to buy;
  • making sure that a price is agreed that is acceptable to both buyer and seller;
  • keeping up to date with trends in the local residential property market, as well as the commercial market.

Those who work in the lettings area of estate agency also:

  • vet prospective tenants by collecting references and carrying out credit checks;
  • ensure properties meet legal and health and safety requirements, e.g. gas safety certificates;
  • draw up tenancy agreement contracts;
  • collect or organise rent payments;
  • act as a property manager and resolve any issues that arise with properties.

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AGCAS
Written by AGCAS editors
Date: 
January 2014
 
 

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