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What is Real Estate?
Real estate is the area of study and practice that is involved with the sale and resale of land and properties for the purposes of residential or commercial development or ownership. Individuals in this field are responsible for providing customers with a variety of options in regards to their purchase as well as listing homes for sale on behalf of sellers. Individuals in this field will typically earn a commission based on the sale of a property. Individuals may be sales agents or brokers. Becoming a broker requires sales experience that varies by state and confers the ability to manage one's own business.
A degree in real estate prepares individuals for a career by elaborating on the laws and practices necessary to sell and purchase property. Degrees in real estate are generally offered at the associate and bachelor level, though some programs are available at the master degree level. Many career schools and community colleges also offer certificate programs in real estate. In general studying real estate requires the student to learn about business, and then how business relates to real estate within the modern market. Courses designed to understand how to market and sell property are taught alongside economics and accounting courses.
A curriculum in real estate may include:
- Real Estate Transactions
- Mediation and Negotiation
- Land Use
- Administrative Law
- Income Tax and Real Estate
Individuals interested in a career in real estate do not need to pursue a degree in order to become a broker or agent; although an education in real estate or business with a focus in real estate can be quite beneficial. Real estate brokers and agents must be licensed by the state, requiring the passing of a state issued examination; this requirement may be waived in some states with an education in real estate through a post secondary institution. Additionally, as laws and transaction become more complicated, having a practical amount of knowledge in business and real estate laws through the courses provided in such a program are proving to be more and more valuable.
Individuals interested in becoming real estate brokers must first work between 1 and 3 years as a sales agent, the exact number of which is dependent on the individual's state of operation's laws. Brokers are licensed to manage their own business, assisting others in the sale or purchase of homes as well as maintaining properties, such as apartment buildings, if needed by a client.
Job Growth, Salary and Related Fields
Currently the job market for real estate is expected to grow steadily, though unlike some other professions, real estate is highly dependent on the market. In times of boon, plenty of job opportunities are to be had as people are more prone to purchasing properties. During recessions or stagnation, people are less likely to look for and purchase properties leading to limited job opportunities. That said, real estate is a relatively easy profession to enter, and more often than not, job opportunities are available.
The average salary for a real estate agent is approximately $40,000 per year. The average salary for a real estate broker is approximately $55,000 per year.