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The Essential Duties of a Real Estate Agent

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Table of Contents

What is a typical day for a real estate agent? This is a difficult question because every day brings new challenges, tasks, and people. One day, you might negotiate a contract with international buyers via Zoom, and another day, you might have to hide a litter box hurriedly before potential buyers tour a property.

So, what do real estate agents do all day? To put it simply, they play many different roles. An agent must learn to balance various tasks while serving as an all-in-one sole proprietor, marketer, knowledgeable agent, buyer’s rep, seller’s rep, and lead generator.

The Nigerian real estate market is diversified, reflecting the country’s economic and cultural variety. It encompasses anything from luxury residences in affluent communities to affordable housing projects targeted for the middle and lower income levels. Major cities including  Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt are magnets for real estate investments in Nigeria.

Key Takeaways: 

  • A real estate agent is a licensed professional representing buyers or sellers in real estate transactions.
  • A real estate agent usually works for commission, a set percentage of the final sale price.
  • In most states, a real estate agent must work with a real estate broker, firm, or fellow professional with more experience and a specialized license.

Types of Real Estate Agents

While many agents fulfill multiple roles throughout their careers, or even their days, they tend to fit under specific headings. The following real estate job descriptions should help narrow the type of agent you are looking to hire.

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Seller’s Agent

A real estate agent who helps owners sell a property may also be referred to as a seller’s agent or listing agent. 

When a seller wants to put their property up for sale, they’ll generally contact a real estate agent to act on their behalf. With the seller’s best interests in mind, the real estate agent uses their knowledge of the market to accurately price the property, list it and market it to potential buyers.

In working with sellers, a real estate agent may perform the following key roles and duties: 

  • Prepare comparative market research analysis to establish a realistic asking price (beyond what an online estimator can do)
  • Identify which assets are a property’s top selling points for that neighborhood
  • Pinpoint the best places to invest money in improvements
  • Stage the property to make it appealing to buyers
  • Photograph the property, inside and out
  • List the property on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
  • Advertise the property to gain the attention of prospective buyers
  • Supervise and/or schedule property showings and open house events
  • Draft and prepare documents, such as offers, contracts and closing statements
  • Communicate with appraisers, escrow companies, lenders and home inspectors

Buyer’s Agent

A real estate agent who helps clients buy a property is sometimes called a buyer’s agent or selling agent. 

Buyers often turn to real estate agents when they’re in the market to buy a property, such as a new office space. Because real estate agents typically know the ins and outs of the real estate market, they can use their expertise to match the buyer with a property best suited for their needs and wants.

Here are some of the key roles and responsibilities of a real estate agent when working with buyers:

  • Coordinate and oversee open houses
  • Arrange meetings with prospective buyers
  • Interview buyers to understand what they’re looking for in a new property
  • Schedule property showings
  • Coordinate appraisals and inspections
  • Negotiate property repair requests and offers on behalf of the buyer
  • Draft and review documents and contracts
  • Guide the buyer through the closing process

Dual Agent

When one real estate agent is representing both the seller and the buyer in a transaction, they’re called dual agents. A dual agent fulfills all the above duties of a real estate agent for a given transaction. However, this can sometimes create a conflict of interest.

Client Representation

Real estate agents act as trusted representatives for both buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. Their primary responsibilities include:

Buyer Representation

Real estate agents assist buyers in finding suitable properties, arranging property viewings, and negotiating purchase agreements. They advocate for buyers’ interests throughout the transaction process, helping them secure favorable terms and navigate potential pitfalls.

Seller Representation

On the seller’s side, real estate agents undertake the task of marketing and promoting properties, attracting potential buyers, and facilitating the sales process. They leverage their market knowledge and networking skills to showcase properties effectively and achieve optimal sale prices.

Dual Agency Considerations

In some cases, real estate agents may represent both buyers and sellers in a transaction, known as dual agency. While permissible in certain jurisdictions, dual agency requires agents to maintain impartiality and transparency, ensuring fair treatment for all parties involved.

Compliance With Local And Federal Regulations

Complying with local and federal regulations is crucial for real estate agents in Nigeria. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

Licensing and Registration

State Level: Real estate agents in Nigeria typically operate under the regulatory purview of their state. This means you’ll need to obtain a real estate license from the relevant agency in your state.

National Body: The Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON) is the national body overseeing real estate practice. Registration with ESVARBON is often required.

Resources for Regulations

State Agencies: Each state has its own real estate regulatory body. Investigate the agency in your state to find details on licensing requirements, courses, and relevant regulations.

National Associations: The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) is a professional body that can provide guidance on ethical codes and best practices, which often align with legal requirements.

Compliance with Specific Regulations

Fair Housing Practices: Federal and state laws likely prohibit discrimination in real estate transactions. This means avoiding discriminatory practices based on race, religion, ethnicity, or other protected characteristics.

Consumer Protection: Regulations may exist to ensure fair treatment of clients in areas like disclosure of property details, handling of client funds, and adherence to contractual agreements.

Anti-Money Laundering (AML): Real estate agents may be obligated to report suspicious financial activity to comply with AML laws.

Market Analysis and Pricing

One of the core responsibilities of real estate agents is to provide clients with accurate market analysis and pricing guidance. This involves:

Conducting Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)

Real estate agents perform thorough comparative market analysis to determine the fair market value of properties. By analyzing recent sales data, current listings, and market trends, they assess the value of properties accurately.

Determining Property Values

Based on the findings of the comparative market analysis, real estate agents help sellers establish realistic listing prices for their properties. They take into account various factors such as location, property condition, amenities, and market demand to arrive at competitive pricing strategies.

Setting Competitive Listing Prices

Real estate agents strive to position properties competitively in the market to attract potential buyers. They leverage their market knowledge and pricing expertise to recommend listing prices that maximize seller profitability while remaining attractive to prospective buyers.

Marketing and Promotion

Effective marketing and promotion are essential components of a successful real estate transaction. Real estate agents employ various strategies to showcase properties and attract potential buyers, including:

Creating Listing Presentations

Real estate agents craft compelling listing presentations that highlight the unique features and selling points of properties. These presentations include professional photography, detailed property descriptions, and virtual tours to capture buyers’ attention and generate interest.

Advertising Properties

Real estate agents leverage diverse marketing channels to advertise properties to a wide audience. This may include online listings on multiple real estate websites, print advertisements in newspapers and magazines, direct mail campaigns, and social media marketing efforts.

Utilizing Digital Marketing Channels

In today’s digital age, real estate agents harness the power of digital marketing to reach potential buyers effectively. They utilize social media platforms, email marketing campaigns, and targeted online advertisements to showcase properties and engage with prospective clients.

Cultural Sensitivity and Communication for Nigerian Real Estate Agents

Nigeria boasts a rich cultural tapestry, and real estate agents who understand this diversity can build trust and achieve success. Here’s a quick guide:

Cultural Sensitivity:

  • Respect religious beliefs: Be mindful of prayer times and cultural practices that might affect property showings.
  • Acknowledge ethnic customs: Greetings and communication styles can vary by ethnicity. Research common practices in your area.
  • Dress professionally: Project a professional image that aligns with local expectations.
  • Embrace family involvement: Decisions often involve extended families. Be prepared to interact with multiple people.

Effective Communication:

  • Active listening: Pay close attention to clients’ needs and concerns. Don’t interrupt.
  • Clear and concise language: Avoid jargon and complex terms. Speak at a moderate pace.
  • Non-verbal communication: Maintain eye contact, use respectful gestures, and avoid crossing your arms.
  • Patience and understanding: Decision-making can involve a different pace than you’re used to. Be patient and answer questions thoroughly.
  • Embrace multiple languages: If possible, learn basic greetings in common local languages.

Property Showings and Tours

Real estate agents play a crucial role in facilitating property showings and tours, providing valuable guidance and information to potential buyers:

Scheduling and Conducting Showings

Agents coordinate with both buyers and sellers to schedule property showings at mutually convenient times. They accompany buyers during tours, offering insights into the property’s features, amenities, and neighborhood characteristics.

Providing Property Information and Details

During property showings, real estate agents provide detailed information about the property, including its history, specifications, and potential for customization or renovation. They address buyers’ questions and concerns, helping them make informed decisions about the property’s suitability.

Facilitating Open Houses

Real estate agents may organize and host open houses to showcase properties to a broader audience. Open houses provide prospective buyers with an opportunity to explore the property firsthand and envision themselves living in the space.

Negotiation and Contract Management

Negotiation is a critical aspect of real estate transactions, and real estate agents serve as skilled negotiators on behalf of their clients:

Negotiating Purchase Offers

Real estate agents negotiate purchase offers between buyers and sellers, striving to achieve mutually agreeable terms and conditions. They advocate for their clients’ interests, leveraging market insights and negotiation strategies to secure favorable outcomes.

Drafting and Reviewing Contracts

Once an offer is accepted, real estate agents draft and review purchase agreements and other contract documents. They ensure that contract terms are clearly defined, legally sound, and aligned with their clients’ preferences and objectives.

Facilitating Counteroffers and Amendments

Throughout the negotiation process, real estate agents facilitate communication between buyers and sellers, presenting counteroffers and negotiating amendments as needed. They help navigate complexities and resolve disputes to keep transactions moving forward smoothly.

Transaction Coordination

Real estate agents oversee the coordination of transactions, ensuring that all aspects of the process progress smoothly and efficiently:

Coordinating Inspections and Appraisals

Agents schedule and facilitate property inspections and appraisals as required by the terms of the purchase agreement. They coordinate with inspectors, appraisers, and relevant parties to ensure timely completion of assessments and resolution of any issues identified.

Managing Contingencies and Deadlines

Throughout the transaction, real estate agents monitor contract contingencies and deadlines to ensure compliance and mitigate risks. They keep clients informed about key milestones and guide them through the process of fulfilling contractual obligations.

Liaising with Lenders and Title Companies:

Agents liaise with lenders and title companies to facilitate financing and title transfer processes. They provide necessary documentation, address lender requirements, and coordinate the closing process to expedite the transfer of ownership smoothly.

Closing Process

The closing process represents the culmination of the real estate transaction, and real estate agents play a pivotal role in facilitating a successful closing:

Facilitating Closing Procedures

Agents coordinate the logistics of the closing meeting, ensuring that all parties are present and necessary documents are prepared for signing. They facilitate communication between buyers, sellers, attorneys, and title agents to resolve any outstanding issues.

Ensuring Contract Compliance

Real estate agents review closing documents to ensure accuracy and compliance with contractual agreements. They verify that all terms and conditions outlined in the purchase agreement are met, and any outstanding contingencies are resolved satisfactorily.

Resolving Last-Minute Issues

In the event of last-minute issues or challenges, real estate agents act as problem solvers, working diligently to address concerns and facilitate resolution. They advocate for their clients’ interests and strive to ensure a smooth and successful closing experience.

Client Support and Follow-Up

Real estate agents prioritize client support and follow-up to ensure a positive and seamless transaction experience:

Providing Ongoing Communication

Agents maintain open lines of communication with clients throughout the transaction process, providing regular updates, addressing concerns, and answering questions promptly. They strive to keep clients informed and engaged at every stage of the transaction.

Addressing Client Concerns and Questions

Real estate agents actively listen to clients’ concerns and questions, offering personalized guidance and solutions to address their needs. They serve as trusted advisors, providing reassurance and support to alleviate any anxieties or uncertainties clients may have.

Offering Post-Closing Assistance

Even after the transaction is complete, real estate agents continue to offer support and assistance to clients as needed. Whether it’s providing recommendations for local services, assisting with relocation logistics, or addressing post-closing issues, agents remain committed to serving their clients’ best interests.

Ethical Conduct In Real Estate Practice

Ethical conduct is a cornerstone of professional real estate practice in Nigeria. Here are some key points to consider:

Codes of Ethics

Nigeria has regulatory bodies for real estate professionals, like the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) and the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON). These bodies have established Codes of Ethics and Practice that guide members’ conduct.

Transparency and Disclosure

Real estate agents should be upfront with clients. This includes disclosing any potential conflicts of interest, financial stake in a property, or relevant details about its condition.

Client Loyalty

Agents should prioritize their client’s needs and best interests. This means avoiding steering them towards properties that benefit the agent more (e.g., higher commission) but don’t align with the client’s goals.

Fair Dealing

Ethical conduct prohibits misrepresentation of properties, misleading clients, or engaging in practices that disadvantage other agents or buyers/sellers.

Legal Compliance

Real estate professionals must comply with all applicable laws and regulations governing property sales, leasing, and other aspects of the industry.

Real Estate Societies In Nigeria

Nigeria’s real estate sector is experiencing exciting growth, and with it comes the increasing importance of professionalism and ethical conduct. Real estate societies play a vital role in shaping this landscape, ensuring trust, knowledge-sharing, and adherence to best practices. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, here’s a breakdown of key societies you should be aware of:

The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV)

Considered the backbone of the industry, NIESV sets the professional standards. They establish a code of ethics, ensuring client protection and ethical practices. NIESV also provides crucial educational programs and certifications, along with continuing professional development opportunities to keep members at the top of their game. Additionally, they advocate for policies that benefit the real estate sector and promote sustainable development.

The Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON)

This government agency acts as a watchdog, ensuring practitioners meet competency standards through registration and examinations.  They maintain a register of qualified professionals, fostering public confidence in the industry.

The Association of Property Managers of Nigeria (APMN)

Catering specifically to property managers, APMN equips them with the knowledge and resources they need to excel.  They offer industry-specific programs, certifications, and resources on topics like tenant relations, maintenance, and legal compliance.

The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP)

Town planners may not be the first to come to mind when thinking about real estate, but their role is crucial. NITP promotes best practices in urban planning, considering factors like land use, infrastructure, and environmental sustainability. Their work directly impacts the property sector by influencing zoning regulations and shaping development opportunities.

Lagos Real Estate Regulatory Authority

The Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority Law, 2021 (the “LASRERA Law” or

the “Law”) was signed into law on February 7, 2022. The LASRERA Law repealed the

Lagos State Estate Agency Regulatory Authority Law, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria

(LSLN) 2015 (the “Old Law”) which established the erstwhile Lagos State Estate Agency Regulatory Authority. The Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (the

“Authority”) is the agency created under the LASRERA Law, and it has a similar name

to the agency under the Old Law.

The LASRERA Law widened the scope of the Old Law and made significant changes in

the regulation and monitoring of real estate transactions in Lagos State (the “State”)

to be in line with global best practices. Although a step in the right direction, the

enactment of the LASRERA Law also raises issues around duplication of laws and

application, especially in the light of pre-existing statutes for the licensing and

regulation of real estate professionals. The criteria for registration are listed below.

  • Meet the eligibility requirements: You must be at least 18 years old, have a clean criminal record, and possess a minimum of a secondary school certificate to be a real estate agent.
  • Complete a real estate training program: To become a real estate practitioner, you will need to complete a training program approved by the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.
  • Register with the appropriate authority: Once you have passed the exam organized for real estate practitioners, you can then register with the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA).
  • Obtain insurance: You are required to obtain professional indemnity insurance to protect your clients, this is quite important for real estate agents.
  • Renew your license annually: Your license must be renewed annually by paying the renewal fee and meeting the continuing education requirements.


In conclusion, a real estate agent has a wide range of responsibilities when it comes to helping clients buy, sell, or rent properties.

From client representation to property valuation, marketing, and negotiation, a real estate agent plays a crucial role in ensuring that the transaction goes smoothly and that their clients are satisfied with the outcome.

If you are thinking about buying, selling, or renting a property, working with a qualified and experienced real estate agent can help make the process easier and more successful.


What does a Real Estate Agent do?

Real Estate Agents help buyers and sellers alike navigate through each stage of finding their perfect residential or commercial space. They do this by arranging viewings and making appointments with potential customers based on what best suits them.

What are the duties and responsibilities of a Real Estate Agent?

A Real Estate Agent helps their clients purchase, rent or sell properties. They advise the client about market conditions and conduct walkthroughs to make sure everything is in order before it’s time for closing on their house!

What makes a good Real Estate Agent?

A great Real Estate Agent needs to have a hard-working mentality and dedication. They need to nail the basics: marketing, communication skills (both written and verbal) and negotiation are critical success factors.

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