Thank you for your patience.
Being a real estate agent can make people money, but like any business, it takes time to build up a "book" of clients who will buy and sell from you, and more importantly, because most people buy a new home only on average of about every 5 years, will refer you business. Beyond that, real estate agents work for a broker, so out of their commission they pay fees to the broker, plus many realtors pay fees every month to the broker that they work for to cover costs of things like overhead, licensing requirements, etc. That's whether or not they make a sale, too. And remember, it's completely commission based. Ideally, they want to list and sell expensive homes for the most commission. However, the real money in real estate is when people get a broker's license, then have agents working under them. I have a friend who is a broker/realtor and he makes a TON of money (lives in a huge house, drives a nicer car than I ever will have, and travels constantly). Not saying all of them make big money, but I could have saved myself a lot of time in school and worked up to being a broker.
As far as flipping houses - not as easy as it looks on tv. Here's a good article on it. Things people need to consider include the costs of borrowing the money to flip the houses, unanticipated costs (like if the home needs more work then anticipated, which happens a lot, especially with older homes), closing costs and other costs of selling the home, plus the time involved in finding and fixing up a house. The "big payoffs" aren't really that when you look at it like that.
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