Real Estate

Buying and selling real estate

Real Estate as a formal profession has been in existence for well over a century. One of the earliest pieces of evidence of real estate transactions involving an agent was in association with the US Homestead Act of 1862. Those wishing to claim the “free land” offered by President Abraham Lincoln were to pay a filing fee and a commission to the land agent for his services which involved the submission of the necessary paperwork.


  • 1862, earliest known real estate transactions by a real estate
  • 1879, first real estate property brochures found
  • Different real estate laws apply to different states
  • Realtors Licensed by State
  • Delaware Residence over 65 are entitled to up to 50% deduction of tax assessment
  • Commercial Real Estate encompasses residential and commercial property

According to the National Association of Real Estate Boards (who coined the term Realtor® in the United States), real estate sales brochures that incorporated maps of California ranches for sale have been found dating back to 1879. Clearly, an organized form of promoting the purchase and sale of the property has been well established over time.

Niche Markets Emerge
As with other broadly based professions, the realty market quickly segmented itself and realty ‘niche’ appeared. A Realtor® could opt to work with those seeking commercial real estate, single family homes, condominiums, ranches, investment property or any number of other select areas that fall within the vast category of real estate including luxury homes.

Not Just a Real Estate Agent… A Realtor
Since real estate transactions involve both legal and governmental actions, agents need to be well-versed in not only salesmanship but also in the procedures necessary to record the transfer of land from one party to another. Due to the high level of training required, real estate agents are required to be licensed in a specific area, or areas in which they practice.

In the United States, Realtors® are subject to individual state licensing laws and are required to pass an extensive examination to prove their knowledge of the processes and procedures involved in matters pertaining to real estate property in that particular state.  It’s a highly complicated matter that involves commitment and hard-work, and as these codes and laws are occasionally updated, Realtors must keep up to date with the latest information relating to land and property transactions.

Delaware Real Estate and Property Tax
An example of the wealth of knowledge required to practice as a real estate agent would be to review the Delaware state code, it lists 31 titles (categories) of which Property covers some 40+ chapters detailing everything from deeds and conveyance to commercial leases, agricultural leases, liens and conversions.  Each municipality within the state charges its own tax rates and there are certain areas where the elderly are entitled to reduced tax rates – Those over 65 who live in a primary residence in Delaware are entitled to up to a 50% reduction of their tax assessment. Thus properties and real estate in Delaware is highly sought after by the retirement community.

Commercial vs. Residential Real Estate

The Commercial vs. Residential real estate market is yet another area where real estate training is essential, as explained here.  Whilst residential real estate can be defined as property intended to house individuals and families, commercial real estate is more complicated. Commercial real estate can encompass both aspects of the market.

Commercial real estate can involve the purchase and sale of office buildings and commerce centres. It can however also include rental properties such as apartment buildings and homes. In such cases, the purchase of a residential apartment building would become a commercial transaction even though the facility is designed as one where individuals and families would reside.

Commercial real estate is also concerned with zoning, building and other restrictions. Companies who wish to purchase a facility in which to operate their business must adhere to local zoning restrictions. According to, zoning is set in place to control the pace and development of property in certain areas. In order for a business to buy or build on any particular site, it must be zoned for commercial use.

When buying or selling a real estate property always ensure you work with a team of professionals who understand the finer details of all real estate transactions.

The Buying and Selling of Real Estate Article, Published by Maggio Realty, August 2012

Joe Maggio, of Joe Maggio Realty, is a  Real Estate Agent offering homes for sale in Rehoboth Beach on the Delaware Coast and surrounding areas.  Info: