Real estate is a legal term that involves land along with improvements to the land, such as buildings, fences, wells and other site improvements that are fixed in location—immobile. Real estate law is the body of regulations and legal codes which pertain to such matters under a certain jurisdiction and include things such as commercial and residential real property transactions. Real estate is often considered synonymous with real property (sometimes called realty), in contrast with personal property (sometimes called chattels or personalty under chattel law or personal property law).
Nevertheless, in some situations the term “real estate" refers to the land and fixtures together, as distinguished from “real property", referring to ownership of land and appurtenances, including anything of a permanent nature such as structures, trees, minerals, and the interest, benefits, and inherent rights thereof. Real property is typically considered to be immovable property. The terms real estate and real property are used initially in common law, while civil law jurisdictions refer instead to immovable property.
A real estate broker or real estate agent is a party who acts as an intermediary between sellers and buyers of real estate/real property and attempts to find sellers who wish to sell and buyers who wish to purchase. In the United States, the relationship was originally established by reference to the English common law of agency, with the broker having a trusting relationship with his or her clients.
Estate agent is the term used in the United Kingdom to describe a person or organisation whose business is to market real estate on behalf of clients, but there are significant differences between the actions and liabilities of brokers and estate agents in each country. Outside the United States, other countries take markedly different approaches to the marketing and selling of real property.
Real estate brokers and their salespersons (commonly called “real estate agents" or, in some states, “brokers")assist sellers in marketing their property and selling it for the highest possible price under the best terms. When acting as a buyer's agent with a signed agreement (or, in many cases, verbal agreement, although a broker may not be legally entitled to his commission unless the agreement is in writing), they assist buyers by helping them purchase property for the lowest possible price under the best terms. Without a signed agreement, brokers may assist buyers in the acquisition of property but still represent the seller and the seller's interests.
Usually a person must have a license before they may receive remuneration for services rendered as a real estate broker. Unlicensed activity is illegal, but buyers and sellers acting as principals in the sale or purchase of real estate are not required to be licensed. In some states, lawyers are allowed to handle real estate sales for compensation without being licensed as brokers or agents.
Laing+Simmons is one of the most successful networks of residential and commercial real estate agencies in New South Wales. Our expertise encompasses the gamut of real estate services, including market research, house and property valuations, house and property sales, short and long-term leasing of rental properties, and property management.