Estate agents sell or let residential or commercial properties, businesses or land for their clients. The role generally involves valuing properties, which includes looking at the property's conditions and comparing it with others in the area to get the best price for the client. They also market the property and negotiate deals on behalf of their clients.
Residential estate agents deal with the sale and purchase of houses, flats and land. Many also manage rental properties, which has been a growth area. 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.
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.
There are also differences in the types of work carried out depending on the specialism of the agency. Despite this, there are common tasks involved and typical work activities tend to include:
Those who work in the lettings area of estate agency also:
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