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Estate agent

  • Hours

    35-40 per week

  • Starting salary

    £12,000 + per year

Estate agents market commercial and residential property, acting as negotiators between buyers and sellers. You'd use your knowledge of the local property market to get the best price for the seller. If you are interested in the property market and you enjoy meeting different people, this job could be perfect for you.

To be an estate agent, you should have good organisational and time-keeping skills. You should also be trustworthy.

Employers are usually more interested in your skills and experience than your formal qualifications.


Work activities

You'd normally work for an independent or chain of estate agents. As well as residential sales, you could also be looking after land sales, commercial property, lets, property management and auction sales.

  • viewing properties and taking photos and measurements
  • advising clients about the buying and selling process
  • arranging surveys and valuing properties
  • marketing and advertising properties for sale
  • using online media to market properties and communicate with clients
  • showing potential buyers and tenants around properties
  • helping negotiate a price acceptable to the buyer and the seller
  • arranging the legal side of property buying and selling (conveyancing)
  • carrying out energy performance assessments
  • managing rented properties and collecting rent

Working hours and conditions

You're likely to work on Saturdays as well as week days.

You'd be based at an office or high street agency but would spend a lot of your time visiting properties, showing people around and making valuations.


Starter: £12,000 to £16,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £35,000

You can also earn commission on sales.

Figures are a guideline.

Entry requirements

Your skills and experience are likely to be as important as your formal qualifications. However, you must be trustworthy and:

  • good with people
  • confident about selling
  • competent with figures
  • well organised

Previous experience of customer service work will be helpful. You may need to be able to drive and have a current full driving licence.

You might start as an administrator in an estate agency and progress to become an estate agent as your experience grows. Knowledge of the building and construction sector can be useful. Some estate agents are qualified building surveyors, but it isn't essential.

It's also possible to begin your career as an estate agent through a property services apprenticeship. Check for schemes available in your area. (Opens new window)

Training and development

Normally you'd start as a trainee sales negotiator and learn a lot from the experienced staff around you. You might also take the opportunity to get industry-recognised qualifications (Opens new window)through the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFoPP) qualifications by distance learning or part-time study.


As a new or experienced estate agent you can study NFoPP Level 3 Technical Awards for:

  • Sale of Residential Property
  • Residential Letting and Property Management
  • Commercial Property Agency
  • Real Property Auctioneering

With further experience, you could progress to NFoPP Level 4 Certificates in:

  • Sale of Residential Property
  • Residential Letting and Property Management
  • Commercial Property Agency

Level 4 Certificates cover the legal side of property sales and lettings, market appraisal and valuations and building design and defects.

Other training and development courses

The National Association of Estate Agents also offers a range of short courses for professional development. (Opens new window)

Skills, interests and qualities

To be an estate agent, you'll need:

  • excellent spoken and written communication skills
  • strong negotiation and sales skills
  • the ability to deal with people from all backgrounds
  • good business sense
  • an interest in property and the housing market
  • good organisational and time-keeping skills
  • a friendly, trustworthy and professional attitude
  • good computer skills
  • the ability to work under pressure and meet sales targets.

More information

National Federation of Property Professionals (Opens new window)
Tel: 08452 506 008

National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) (Opens new window)

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) (Opens new window)
Tel: 0207 334 3875



Opportunities for employment as an estate agent depend on the state of the property market in any region at any particular time.

With experience and a good sales record, you could be promoted from sales negotiator to senior negotiator and then to branch manager.

Larger chains of estate agents may offer more opportunities for promotion than smaller companies.

You could also become self-employed as a partner in a firm, or set up your own agency online.

Jobs may be advertised in the local press, on employers' own websites, by specialist recruitment agencies and in trade magazines like Estate Agency News and The Negotiator.

Job market information

This section gives you an overview of the job area that this profile belongs to. You can use it to work out your next career move. It can help if you’re looking for a job now or want to do some further training.

The 'Market statistics' charts are based on figures from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The list of job vacancies under 'Apply for jobs' is from the Universal Jobmatch database. The vacancies are not from the National Careers Service.

Median income: Business
Avg Inc
UK Sector
27017 32327
Gender: Business
Female Male
44 56
Working pattern: Business
Part-time Full-time Self-employed
16 74 10
Gaps in sector due to skills shortages: Business
This sector All vacancies
30 23
Employment forecast: Business
Forecast Employment Figures
Year Predicted nos. employed
2014 2059000
2015 2084000
2016 2111000
2017 2145000
2018 2180000
2019 2216000
2020 2252000

Jobs available on Universal Jobmatch

DateJob TitleCompany NameLocation
29/08/2016Trainee Estate Agent- No Experience Needed - LondonAllthetopbananas.comLondon
27/08/2016Trainee Estate Agent CheltenhamAllthetopbananas.comCheltenham
17/08/2016Estate Agent - Sales / Lettings Negotiator - Uncapped OTEAllthetopbananas.comChester-le-Street
15/08/2016Apprentice estate AgentGetMyFirstJobStockport
06/08/2016Sales Manager Estate Agent- Banbury 70k OTEAllthetopbananas.comBanbury

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