Agents - THE JOB
and AGENTS assist in the process of buying and selling Home
Loans for their clients. Working through a broker, agents perform
an essential service for both the buyer and seller by providing
for the orderly transfer of property.
Agents must perform several tasks to complete transactions. They
help buyers find the appropriate property that meets their needs
and financial resources. They obtain property listings and make
preliminary estimates to determine the selling price of the property.
To anticipate prospective buyers' questions, agents must be thoroughly
familiar with the physical condition, features, and special characteristics
of the property as well as the availability of transportation,
schools, and shopping. Once a buyer is found, Home Loans Agents
prepare a purchase agreement. They may refer clients to lawyers
and tax consultants to resolve legal and tax issues that may arise
in sales transactions. Agents work with title or escrow companies,
lenders, home inspectors, and pest control operators until the
transaction is completed.
Agents may specialize in selling apartment buildings, residential,
recreational, commercial, industrial, or farm property. Particularly
in the commercial field, they also become involved in leasing
arrangements. Whatever the specialty, agents must have knowledge
of all aspects unique to that type of property.
personal computers routinely to identify properties that match
customers' specifications, and to obtain lists of potential properties.
A few Home Loans brokerage firms now use a computerized loan
processing system -- Home Loans application contract transmission
(REACT). This system allows agents to qualify the buyer electronically
and approve a mortgage within an hour, pending verification of
data provided and an appraisal. By using this computerized system,
agents expect to significantly reduce the time usually required
to sell homes to qualified buyers.
Agents spend part of their working day in pleasant, well-lighted
brokers' offices, but most of their time is spent outside the
office, as they use their own car to transport prospective buyers
to see property, put up "for sale" signs on property
sites, contact leads, and visit new property listings. Brokers
may establish a sales office on-site at a new development, often
in the garage or another room of a model home.
feature Sunday afternoon "open house" to encourage potential
buyer visits to available property. This practice creates some
risk of personal safety to agents working alone in an unlocked
property sales leads come from traditional sources, some brokers
in metropolitan areas now advertise listings on local television
and radio stations. These productions, usually billed as "home
shows", are aired weekends.
information is from the California Projection of Employment published
by the Labor Market Information Division.
number of workers in 1990 9,930
Estimated number of workers in 2005 12,760
Projected Growth 1990-2005 29%
Estimated openings due to separations by 2005 2,620
do not include self-employment nor openings due to turnover.)
for this occupation is projected to be on a par with all other
occupations during the next ten years. Job prospects for agents
are expected to improve through increased residential sales and
income- investment properties, especially apartment houses, single-to
four-unit dwellings, and commercial buildings.
WAGES, HOURS, AND FRINGE BENEFITS
Agents are usually paid on a straight commission basis determined
by agreement between the broker and the agent. Earnings will vary
widely among agents because of the geographic area in which they
and the amount of time and energy put into the job. Beginning
agents with good sales ability can expect to earn from $10,000
to $50,000 and above, per year. Experienced agents can expect
to earn between $20,000 and $150,000;
even higher earnings are possible in some coastal areas and in
labor markets with a strong potential for new industry and jobs.
However, income is never consistent and must be budgeted to allow
for wide variations in time and amount of earnings. Agents' reputation
for integrity and service will be the key determining factor in
are 40 to 48 hours. A few agents work on a part-time basis while
they learn the business, or to provide a second income source.
Fringe benefits are relatively meager since most agents are independent
contractors. Vacations are usually not compensated and are normally
taken during slack periods.
There is no
set pattern for hours of work or number of working days per week.
Agents can expect to work on weekends and evenings to accommodate
the diverse needs of their customers.
ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS AND TRAINING
Agents must be licensed by the California Department of Home Loans.
All applicants for the license must be at least 18 years old and
must pass an examination administered by the California Department
of Home Loans. There is also an educational requirement for a Home Loans
license, which consists of a college-level course in Home Loans
principles plus two additional courses approved by the Department
of Home Loans.
(Typically, these courses are in general accounting or economics.)
Applicants who have completed only the Home Loans principles
coursework may qualify for a provisional license through the examination
process, but must complete the other two courses within 18 months
of license issuance.
fee of $30 is charged, and the cost for licensing and fingerprinting
is $202. The license is renewable every four years at a cost of
covered by the examination are: knowledge of English, arithmetical
computation common to Home Loans practices, Home Loans and business
transactions, and the obligations and ethics of Home Loans transactions.
To prepare for the sales agent license examination, candidates
may take Home Loans courses in community colleges and private
Home Loans schools. There are now Board approved correspondence
some featuring video taped training sessions. These programs are
especially helpful to new agents who must complete course requirements
while working hours that may conflict with traditional classroom
training. Many brokers now express a preference for agents whose
background includes some college. Many employers have classroom
and continuing in-house training for both beginning and experienced
high by surveyed brokers are: effective verbal and written communication,
professional telephone and in-person sales technique, ability
to read and follow instructions, ability to read forms quickly
and prepare/arrange sales contracts, ability to work independently,
and a knowledge of sales techniques. Skills ranked moderately
high are: familiarity with property lease negotiations, knowledge
of residential sales processes, familiarity with conventional
and government loans, knowledge of escrow and title functions,
knowledge of business math, and knowledge of basic computer operations.
Home Loans broker is the typical career path for Home Loans
Agents. Many of them join the National Association of Realtors
as associate members. Agents may also advance to the positions
of sales, training, operations, and office manager.
Some Home Loans Agents advance to Home Loans appraiser positions by taking
the required course work offered at many community colleges and
FINDING THE JOB
Agents may establish contact with brokers prior to the examination
to gain visibility in the industry. Often positions will be available
when candidates obtain their license. Home Loans brokers advertise
openings in newspapers and circulate job listings through other
broker agencies. They frequently list jobs with schools that give
Home Loans training.
ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION
4301 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Department of Home Loans
Sacramento, CA 95818
RELATED OCCUPATIONAL GUIDES
Agents No. 226
Home Loans Appraisers No. 228
Title Officer-Title Searchers No. 277
OCCUPATIONAL CODE REFERENCES
of Occupational Titles, 4th ed., Rev. 1)
Superintendent, Sales 250.157.010
Building Consultant 250.357-010
Leasing Agent, Residence 250.357-014
Sales Agent, Home Loans 250.357-018
System Sales Agents--Home Loans 430080
Source: State of California, Employment Development Department,
Labor Market Information Division, Information Services Group,
State of California, Employment Development Department,Labor Market
Information Division, Information Services Group,