Q. Is it haram to be a real estate agent and/or to work in that industry?
A. A real estate broker or real estate agent is a person 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 buy.
Hereunder is a brief description of Real Estate Sales Agents:
- Present purchase offers to sellers for consideration.
- Act as an intermediary in negotiations between buyers and sellers, generally representing one or the other.
- Compare a property with similar properties that have recently sold to determine its competitive market price.
- Advise clients on market conditions, prices, mortgages, legal requirements and related matters.
- Promote sales of properties through advertisements, open houses, and participation in multiple listing services.
- Accompany buyers during visits to and inspections of property, advising them on the suitability and value of the homes they are visiting.
- Prepare documents such as representation contracts, purchase agreements, closing statements, deeds and leases.
- Confer with escrow companies, lenders, home inspectors, and pest control operators to ensure that terms and conditions of purchase agreements are met before closing dates.
- Interview clients to determine what kinds of properties they are seeking.
- Coordinate property closings, overseeing signing of documents and disbursement of funds.
- Generate lists of properties that are compatible with buyers’ needs and financial resources.
- Contact property owners and advertise services to solicit property sales listings.
- Arrange for title searches to determine whether clients have clear property titles.
- Display commercial, industrial, agricultural, and residential properties to clients and explain their features.
- Review property listings, trade journals, and relevant literature, and attend conventions, seminars, and staff and association meetings to remain knowledgeable about real estate markets.
- Coordinate appointments to show homes to prospective buyers.
- Answer clients’ questions regarding construction work, financing, maintenance, repairs, and appraisals.
- Advise sellers on how to make homes more appealing to potential buyers.
- Investigate clients’ financial and credit status to determine eligibility for financing.
- Develop networks of attorneys, mortgage lenders, and contractors to whom clients may be referred.
- Inspect condition of premises, and arrange for necessary maintenance or notify owners of maintenance needs.
- Conduct seminars and training sessions for sales agents to improve sales techniques.
- Appraise properties to determine loan values.
- Evaluate mortgage options to help clients obtain financing at the best prevailing rates and terms.
- Arrange meetings between buyers and sellers when details of transactions need to be negotiated.
- Rent or lease properties on behalf of clients.
- Secure construction or purchase financing with own firm or mortgage company.
- Solicit and compile listings of available rental properties.
- Review plans for new construction with clients, enumerating and recommending available options and features.
- Visit properties to assess them before showing them to clients.
- Locate and appraise undeveloped areas for building sites, based on evaluations of area market conditions.
- Contact utility companies for service hookups to clients’ property.
The above mentioned job description of a Real Estate Sales Agent is Shariah compliant and accordingly, it will be permissible to work in such an industry.
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
This answer was collected from TheMufti.com, which is a fatwa portal managed by Mufti Ismaeel Bassa from South Africa.