Choosing a career in real estate does not necessarily mean choosing to become a real estate agent. While real estate agents are the most visible, many other people work behind the scenes to close real estate deals. The real estate industry is far-reaching and encompasses everything from buying and selling homes to securing financing to inspections and appraisals. Here are a variety of careers within the real estate industry.
When thinking about real estate careers, real estate agents tend to be the first to come to mind. In the simplest sense, real estate agents work to help clients buy and sell homes. Real estate agents must pass rigorous education and examination requirements to earn a license and must be knowledgeable in real estate law, rules and regulations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To be successful, real estate agents must be able to work well with people, have a good work ethic and be willing to put in long hours, including evenings and weekends.
Somewhat similar to a real estate agent, real estate brokers undergo much of the same training as agents but with additional requirements. Generally, real estate brokers can legally perform more duties than an agent, including owning real estate franchises and firms and employing agents, states the National Association of Independent Real Estate Brokers website. Independent brokers do not own or work for a real estate franchise like Coldwell Banker or RE/MAX, rather own their own real estate companies. While many brokers stay busy running a real estate business, some still act as agents, helping buyers and sellers as well.
Determining the real value of a home is an important aspect of the real estate process, not only for the buyer and seller, but also for the mortgage lender and agent. Appraisers act as a disinterested third-party to determine the value of the home, using comparable properties, historical statistics and current market conditions, states the Appraiser Loft website. Generally, mortgage lenders will hire appraisers to be sure that the amount of the mortgage does not exceed the value of the home. Sometimes sellers will use an appraiser to help them determine at what price to list the home.
Because buying a home involves large investments of money and time, many buyers hire an inspector to assess the property before purchasing. Inspectors visually examine different aspects of a home, looking for possible flaws or problems. According to the website houseinspector.info, inspectors abide by common industry standards approved by inspection professional societies. Typically, inspectors look at the exterior, roof, structure, basements, mechanics, electrical systems and appliances. After the inspection, the inspector writes up a report for the buyer or agent who requested the inspection. The inspection report helps buyers negotiate any repairs with the sellers.
Mortgage Broker/Mortgage Lender
When purchasing a home, most people must take out a home loan and go through a mortgage broker or lender to secure the loan. Mortgage lenders work directly for a mortgage company or bank, while a mortgage broker represents several mortgage companies, states the website move.com. The mortgage broker or lender helps a buyer fill out all the loan paperwork and tracks the process until the loan is approved and the deal closes.