Real Estate
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Real Estate

colleges offer programs related to this career near San Jose, CA

Career Overview

Buying or selling, or even simply moving from one property to another can be a very complicated, nerve-racking process. Luckily, there are many trained professionals in the real estate field to ease the burden on individuals and help them find the best match. The profession of real estate includes buying, selling, or renting land, buildings, or residential houses. Individuals seeking a job in the real estate agency must have a background in business principles as well as many legal regulations of the housing market because there are many intricacies involved in the real estate business.

Salaries and Job Outlook*

2013 Median Annual Pay
Number of Jobs in 2013
Projected Growth Rate
5.4 %

Education and Training

Degrees Required:
High-School Diploma Associate's Degree Bachelor's Degree

Some jobs, such as real estate brokers, only need a high-school diploma to begin work, but many jobs, especially in high property value scenarios, require a bachelor's degree. There are certain licenses that are required for real estate workers, and entire procedures to go through. For example, to become a licensed real estate broker, there are classroom training programs that must be taken as well as an exam. For appraisers there are many different certificates that can be obtained, such as for the particular type of property they are appraising, and to obtain those certificates a considerable amount of work experience, classroom classes, and passing an exam. To obtain most of these real estate licenses, minimum a couple years will be required.

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Valued Traits & Abilities

Analytical Skills
Time-Management Skills
Problem-Solving Skills
Communication Skills

Career Opportunities

Real estate is a large industry, so there are many different aspects in which you can work. Some of the most popular or common options are below.

Real Estate Broker

Real estate brokers have the important job of helping individuals to make the tough decisions of buying, selling, or renting properties. The primary difference between a real estate broker and real estate agent is that brokers are officially licensed to manage their own businesses, while real estate agents must work with real agent brokers to do business. Most real estate brokers tend to work in the residential property market, but there are some that will sell commercial, industrial, or other forms of real estate. Real estate brokers can choose to work for a buyer or seller of a property. Real estate brokers working for a client looking to buy a property will discuss and understand what the client's goal or vision is, while also considering how much they can afford and then go out to make that a reality. Real estate brokers working on the seller's side must try to find a buyer for their property and help them decide what to set the asking price at.It is highly beneficial for real estate brokers to have complete knowledge of the real estates near their area including valuable information about the crime rates, school districts, the local communities, or anything that they might deem suitable for the client. Another huge task for real estate brokers is to be aware of financial option for their endeavors, such as prices market trends, different government programs and mortgage options. Also, real estate brokers must inform the clients about the intricate legalities that are involved in this process including housing laws, purchase agreements, and loyalty contracts.

Real Estate Appraisal

Real estate appraisers play a key role in the real estate market by estimating the value of a certain piece of land and any property on the land before it is sold, mortgaged, taxed, insured or developed. Real estate appraisers can be broken down to two main categories: commercial appraisers and residential appraisers. Commercial appraisers deal with commercial properties such as stores and office buildings, while residential appraisers estimate prices of residential homes where individuals will actually be living in. It is very advantageous for appraisers to have an extensive background of the area they work in to have knowledge in any local concerns such as environmental issues that could affect a certain property. Real estate appraisers must have a careful process to estimating the price of houses and must include things such as the surrounding area, condition of the building and ground it stands upon, any renovations that have occurred. Based on these and many other pieces of information, then, they must estimate the value of the property using comparable home sales, previous appraisals, location, lease records, and other material. Throughout this process, they must carefully record all their steps used to create the appraisal for the property.

Work Environment

Many times, individuals in the real estate industry will be self-employed, allowing more freedom to operate how they want to. However, there are many who are employed with real estate firms that can range from small offices to very large businesses. Much of the time will be spent out of the office setting to show houses to clients or find different properties, but there will be considerable desk work in office settings.

* Source: BLS Data - 2013