Real estate is property that consists of land and the buildings on it, as well as the natural resources found in or on the ground, such as crops or minerals. It also includes the rights associated with ownership of this type of real property, such as the right to use and occupy it. Real estate can be owned by individuals, companies or public organizations, such as governments.

Purchasing real estate involves substantial financial investment, and buyers commonly use a mortgage to finance the purchase. These loans are typically backed by the federal government or a private lender and require a down payment of between 3.5-20 percent of the purchase price. In addition to residential properties, real estate investors may purchase commercial properties and industrial properties. These types of properties are generally financed with conventional bank loans or through hard money lenders or private investors.

A licensed real estate agent or broker arranges real estate transactions and acts as a negotiator for their clients. They typically specialize in a particular type of real estate and have extensive knowledge about the market, financing options and negotiation techniques. More info

To become a licensed real estate agent, a candidate must meet state requirements including education, testing prerequisites and licensing fees. They must also complete an internship or apprentice program to gain hands-on experience. Real estate agents can work for a real estate company or can operate their own brokerage.

The process of buying and selling real estate involves several other professionals, including appraisers, inspectors and attorneys. Appraisers evaluate the value of a property and prepare reports for lenders. Inspectors conduct a detailed, room-byroom inspection and identify any potential issues. Attorneys review legal documents and provide advice for their clients.

New real estate developments and construction are a significant part of the industry. These projects involve a wide range of players, including developers, engineers, architects, contractors and builders. They create everything from apartment complexes and shopping centers to office buildings and homes. Often, these projects are constructed on land that was once undeveloped or underdeveloped.

Another facet of the real estate industry is the rental of property for business or residential purposes. Renting property can be a great way to get into the real estate market without the commitment of purchasing and maintaining a home. Real estate rentals can be a lucrative and profitable business for those who are able to find the right tenants and manage their properties efficiently. To be successful in renting out real estate, a person must develop a marketing strategy that is unique and effective for their market.