What is a general agent in real estate?

What is a general agent in real estate?


A general agent in real estate refers to a professional who is authorized to act on behalf of a principal in a broad range of real estate transactions. Unlike a special agent who is limited to specific tasks, a general agent has broader authority and can represent the principal in various matters related to real estate. In this article, we will delve deeper into the role and responsibilities of a general agent in the real estate industry.

Role and Responsibilities of a General Agent

Representation: One of the primary responsibilities of a general agent is to represent the principal in real estate transactions. This can include buying or selling properties, negotiating deals, and handling legal documentation. The general agent acts as a trusted intermediary, ensuring that the principal’s interests are protected throughout the process.

Power of Attorney: A general agent often possesses a power of attorney from the principal, granting them the authority to make decisions and take actions on their behalf. This legal document empowers the general agent to sign contracts, make financial transactions, and perform other necessary tasks related to real estate transactions.

Market Research: Another crucial aspect of a general agent’s role is conducting market research. They need to stay updated with the latest trends, property values, and market conditions. This knowledge helps them provide valuable insights to the principal and make informed decisions regarding real estate investments.

Negotiation: General agents are skilled negotiators who represent the principal’s interests during price negotiations, contract terms, and other crucial aspects of real estate deals. Their expertise in negotiation ensures that the principal gets the best possible outcome in every transaction.

Property Management: In some cases, a general agent may also be responsible for managing the principal’s real estate properties. This can include tasks such as finding tenants, collecting rent, handling maintenance and repairs, and ensuring compliance with local regulations. Property management is an additional responsibility that general agents may take on, depending on the agreement with the principal.

Qualifications and Licensing

Real Estate License: To become a general agent in real estate, individuals must typically obtain a real estate license. The specific requirements for obtaining a license may vary depending on the jurisdiction, but generally involve completing a certain number of pre-licensing education hours, passing a licensing exam, and meeting other eligibility criteria set by the regulatory authority.

Experience and Expertise: In addition to obtaining a license, general agents often gain experience and expertise through years of working in the real estate industry. This experience helps them develop a deep understanding of the market, build a network of contacts, and enhance their negotiation skills.


In conclusion, a general agent in real estate plays a crucial role in representing the interests of a principal in various real estate transactions. They have broad authority and are responsible for tasks such as market research, negotiation, and property management. Obtaining a real estate license and gaining experience are essential steps for individuals aspiring to become general agents. With their expertise and knowledge, general agents provide valuable guidance to principals and help them navigate the complex world of real estate.


– National Association of Realtors: realtor.com
– Real Estate License Direct: realestatelicensedirect.com
– Investopedia: investopedia.com