The Real Estate industry is all about selling and buying property, lands, and buildings. A Real Estate Agent is the person in charge of actually doing the sales. Most of them work in Real Estate agencies, although some work independently.
When the owner of a property wishes to sell, they have two options: finding a buyer and negotiating the whole deal by themselves, including doing all the necessary paperwork; or hiring a Real Estate agency and letting them take care of the entire process. When a Real Estate Agent closes a deal with a property, they charge a percentage of the final amount of the sale to the original owner. This percentage may vary from one agency to another, and it also depends on the type of building or property being sold, its location, as well as the laws and taxation regulations regarding the sale.
When selling a property, a Real Estate Agent has to first get familiarized with all the relevant information regarding the building in question, including year of construction, square footage, repairs and renovations that have been performed, location, and information regarding the previous owner.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Real Estate Agents are required to complete.
- Acting as an intermediary between buyers and sellers of a property:
- Receiving sales offers from owners of lands or property;
- inspecting and appraising the state of the property, often liaising with a Real Estate Appraiser;
- determining the value of the land and negotiating a price with the seller, using previous sales of similar properties as references;
- providing buyers with a preliminary contract establishing fees;
- promoting property sales via advertisements, open house showings, and liaising with the general public;
- receiving and interviewing possible buyers to determine the type of property they need (e.g. residential, industrial, commercial, or farming properties);
- presenting potential buyers with a list of properties that may suit their needs, as well as arranging accompanied visits;
- showing properties on sale to prospective buyers and explaining to them all the details and characteristics of the property; and
- receiving buying offers and negotiating amounts with buyers and sellers until they later decide on an price.
- Drafting and preparing all the necessary paperwork in order to formalize a purchase:
- Assisting buyers in documenting the deeds of property, applying for mortgages, and understanding leasing contracts;
- running credit and background checks on potential buyers in accordance to applicable laws and regulations;
- providing buyers and sellers with the finalized contracts; and
- charging buyers the pre-established fee for their services.
- Adhering to full disclosure laws and regulations regarding property sales (e.g. informing buyers of any extraordinary or unusual events that may have taken place in the property).
- Doing agency related paperwork:
- Preparing reports on sales and goals achieved;
- keeping records of current and past clients;
- submitting regular reports on activities, showings, property appraisals, and open houses; and
- keeping records of all sales, including buyer information, closing price, and commissions.
- Meeting with potential buyers and investigating their needs.
- Maintaining an updated list of all properties available for sale.
- Showing properties on sale to prospective buyers and explaining all relevant details.
- Keeping records of all visits to properties, open houses, and showings.
- Answering all buyers and sellers’ questions and inquiries.
- Assisting both parties with the necessary paperwork.
The average Real Estate Agent salary in Canada is $37,909 per year or $19 per hour. This is around 1.2 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $27,000 while most experienced workers make up to $53,000. These results are based on 11 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Customer service oriented and exceptional selling skills:
- Being aware of customer activity and responding with a sense of urgency, prioritizing assisting customers over other tasks;
- providing high levels of customer service to buyers and sellers, as well as to potential customers;
- being persuasive enough to be able to convince potential buyers; and
- exercising sound judgement while effectively addressing customer concerns.
- Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills:
- Communicating clearly, especially verbally, in order to create a clear and communicative environment with customers, coworkers, and supervisors;
- having a friendly and engaging personality in order to create positive interactions with buyers and sellers;
- listening carefully and understanding customers’ questions and complaints in order to be able to resolve any issues promptly; and
- contributing to creating a team atmosphere that is flexible and enjoyable.
- Being resourceful, energetic, driven, structured, and displaying a strong desire to take initiative.
- Demonstrated time management and organizational skills:
- Multitasking; being able to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment;
- being proactive; and
- being able to work both independently and as part of a team.
- Problem-solving and decision-making skills:
- Identifying issues and resolving problems in a timely manner; and
- being polite and patient while dealing with difficult clients.
- Physical stamina:
- Being able to travel to properties on sale for appraisals and showings, stand for extended periods of time, as well as climbing staircases.
A Real Estate Agent must possess all the necessary qualities of a Salesperson, meaning they have to be friendly, engaging, and empathic, but they also must have strong customer service and negotiation skills, along with a good understanding of all legal procedures regarding property sales. Aspiring Real Estate Agents are often required to have completed secondary school education and a special training that can be done in vocational and specialized schools and colleges. Most employers place a lot of importance on previous experience and will often require applicants to possess 3 to 5 years of proven work practise in any area related to Sales.
Licensing is required in all provinces and territories of Canada. The specific qualifications and requirements to obtain a Real Estate Agent Licence may vary from one province or territory to another. A full list of the governing bodies and their requirements is available here.
Like with many other positions in Sales, Real Estate Agents are often paid on a commission basis. The most common arrangement is that they receive a pre-established salary plus a commission based on a percentage of the sales they make every month. This arrangement is not necessarily standard and some agencies may have their own policies regarding their employees’ salaries.
It is quite common for Real Estate Agents to travel between property locations. Many agencies provide their employees with a company vehicle for this purpose, whereas others require aspirants to possess their own vehicle. Needless to say, they are required to own a valid driver’s licence.