Last edited 08 Oct 2015

Estate agent

An estate agent will either be involved in the sale or rental of properties, businesses or land for clients. The estate agent acts as the negotiator between the buyer and seller, however, they are appointed by the seller, they represent the seller’s interests and it is their role to ensure that the best deal is achieved for the seller. This can make negotiations one-sided, as generally, residential purchasers will not have any professional representation.

Residential estate agents are involved with selling houses, flats and land and may also manage rental properties. Commercial estate agents deal with business properties such as offices, hotels, restaurants and shops. Rural estate agents specialise in land and rural businesses.

The typical activities of an estate agent working in the residential sales sector might include:

  • Viewing properties, recording details and measurements and taking photographs.
  • Undertaking valuations of properties.
  • Marketing and advertising properties for sale.
  • Showing potential buyers around properties.
  • Providing advice to buyers and sellers about the process of buying and selling.
  • Liaising with surveyors to arrange building surveys.
  • Acting as negotiator for seller.

There are no formal entry requirements for the profession and employers will typically consider skills and experience over qualifications. People skills and sales skills are required and customer services experience can also be helpful.

A background in the following can assist with entry into the profession:

  • Surveying.
  • Business-related studies.
  • Civil and structural engineering.
  • Estate management.
  • Property management or development.

Individuals generally begin as trainee sales or lettings negotiators, gaining experience and training from other employees. Careers will generally progress to the a more senior negotiator as more experience is gained. The next promotional level can be to branch manager which will involve managing a small area office, acting as a senior sales negotiator and as a mentor to junior staff. From branch manager, progression options can include self-employment or becoming a partner.

It is possible to complete professional qualifications through the National Federation of Property Professionals.

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