What is meant by Real Estate

Although most often referred to, especially by financial institutions, as the real estate market usually refers to residential property prices, actual real estate includes any piece of land complete with any buildings, natural resources or crops on it.

The property market, or cost of housing, can be a factor into how good or bad a country’s economy is doing and so that is what is always quoted but that price may or may not reflect the cost of farm land or just potential farm land.

Real estate is actually divided into three categories residential real estate, commercial real estate and industrial real estate. The first, residential real estate obviously applies to housing units and may include houses, detached, semi-detached or row housing, it also applies to duplexes, blocks of flats and condominiums. Commercial real estate refers to properties which are used as shops, offices or similar purposes whilst industrial real estate refers to factories, mines or farms.

Although an estate agency may deal with any and all of these types of real estate, often they have agents that specialize in one or other of these three, in order to provide a better and more experienced service.

If they have someone that specializes in residential real estate, that person will probably be expected to work many weekends and holidays as those are often the only times potential home buyers can get free to look at the different properties available.

If however, they specialize in commercial or industrial real estate, as they are commercial venture, they will probably be viewed sometime during regular working hours. It is perhaps up to each individual estate agency as to whether or not they have agents that specialize in any particular type of real estate as, most agents will have been taught on the job and not be previously qualified for any real estate matters prior to joining the agency.

Although no formal qualifications are needed to become an estate agent, most agencies will ensure that the people they hire are honest, good with customers, perhaps with a customer service background and are competent with numbers. Having become hired by an agency, an agent will start to learn their job from the other agents but may also opt to take on of the distance learning courses offered by either the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFoPP) or the National Association of Estate Agents.

Some of these courses may specialize in certain aspects of the real estate business and so having perhaps become somewhat of an expert in one of the different categories by successfully completing a relevant course, they could consider specializing, if their agency approves. As an estate agent has to know all the laws pertaining to the buying and selling of any real estate they have dealings with, it is often easier to keep up to date with any changes, if you are able to specialize in just one category and possibly be able to give clients better advice.

Empty Nesters Going Small the Right Way

When you become an empty nester, you first thoughts will be to toss all your possessions and to sell your home and move into a studio apartment. You might want to stop first, and evaluate what your needs really might be and then make a housing plan for the future. There will be many things to consider, and at this emotional time when your last child has left home, you need to be as practical as you possibly can. Consider the following thoughts as you develop that plan:


  • Do you really want to give away or throw away your family heirlooms: you may be inclined to begin cleaning all the closets and cupboards, but should you really throw away the family heirlooms? You may not like the idea of having a silver setting for 12, but one of your children may love the idea. You need to consider the long-term feelings you may have once you toss the good family china and Aunt Betsy’s armoire. Go slowly and carefully as you clean.


  • Your child will still come home if he or she is in college: delay the plans to make your child’s room the wrapping or craft room. You child will come home for holidays. He or she may also come home after college, but before the first job opportunity. And if you are like me, you child may come home after college for a prolonged stay in order to save money and be surrounded by love. Hold off on making his or her room a frivolous themed room.


  • Do you really want to move into an apartment: if you have lived in a five-bedroom home in the suburbs, you may not enjoy a studio apartment in the city. The space reduction and the sound increase may not be what you really are looking for at this time. Do you want to leave the neighbors you have known for a while? While the idea seems appealing, you may one day have grandchildren who will love the backyard with a pool and swing set. If you think that you are truly set on moving to the city, try out a few overnight apartment stays in the area that most interests you. You can use something like airbnb to rent the space and check out the size, neighborhood, and noise in the area. Be smart before you place the “For Sale” sign in the front lawn.


  • Talk to and listen to your financial planner: if you think you will save and bank a lot of money by selling your large home, go talk to your financial planner and see what the numbers really say. The fact is that many of the maintenance fees for condos in big magnetic cities such as London, Paris, and New York, can exceed the monthly mortgage for a five-bedroom home. If you are moving strictly for financial reasons, you better make sure the finances will fall in your favor.

The Real Estate Business

Real estate is being bought and sold all over the country all of the time and the people that ensure that all these transactions are carried out in a legal manner, are the estate agencies. Obviously as estate agencies deal with the purchases and sales of real estate all across the country, a real estate agency can be found in all cities and most towns.

Although many people may think that a real estate agent merely shows people around a property and answers any questions they may have about the property or the area in which is situated, there is more to their job than just that.

The real estate agent is the one that will make sure all the paperwork is correct to ensure all government and local authority’s requirements are met, making the sale legal. If the estate agent has not valued the property themselves, they will have ensured that it is evaluated correctly, taking into account not just what the property consists of but also the current economy of the country and property values in that area.

The agent will usually either take any relevant display photos themselves or arrange for a professional photographer to take them. It is the agent that writes the write up on the property and ensures that it and the photos are distributed in order for people to know it is available to buy.

As many potential buyers are only available to view properties on their days off, most agents find that they have to work many weekends and holidays in order to accompany them on their visits. They often spend their weekends learning the ins and outs to process seo for estate agents also. This allows them to find more work by attracting clients online.

All these tasks equally apply to any properties that become available for sale, both residential and commercial. A real estate agent’s responsibilities do not end there though as they may also be asked to be the property managers for properties.

If an investor buys some housing in order to rent it out, unless it is just a single family home, it is likely that the owner will ask the estate agent to look after the property for them, by becoming that property’s manager.

As the manager for the property, the agent will be responsible for collecting of rents and the overseeing of any maintenance that the property may need from time to time.

This of course means that an estate agent must also be fully aware of any local and national laws regarding rental properties. Surprisingly, with all this knowledge and responsibility that an agent has, there is no formal qualifications needed to become an agent, as rather, the agencies prefer to train their own agents ‘on the job’.

However, if an agent does not want to only rely on any on the job training they may or may not receive, both the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFoPP) and the National Association of Estate Agents offer agents distance learning courses so that an agent may advance their own career to at least some degree.

Often, once an agent is fully qualified, they may be allowed to specialize in either residential or commercial properties or even property management.