While the term “real estate” may have had its roots in medieval times, when all land was considered the property of the monarch, and therefore of the “royal estate”, today real estate refers to land, and its natural resources like water, minerals, and timber, and any improvements which have been made on it.But the value of real estate in the 21st century is now seen as more than a parcel with resources and improvements; it is seen as a sound investment. Because people will always need shelter, and buildable real estate is a limited commodity, the value of real estate only appreciates over time as the world population increases. Real estate is one of the best inflation-proof investments in existence.Real Estate ProfessionsThere are numerous professions within the real estate industry, and they all center on the buying, selling, and maintaining of property. They include property appraisers, real estate brokers, land developers, property managers, and relocaters.Property appraisers assess real estate and assign it a fair market value before it is placed on the market; real estate brokers act as go-between for buyers and sellers; land developers add improvements like roads and buildings to land; property managers will oversee the proper use of the land and its improvements; and relocators help those who are moving their families or businesses to another part of the world.Real Estate NegotiationsSomeone interested in purchasing a particular piece of real estate will eventually have to negotiate a selling price with its owner. Real estate price negotiation is as much of an art form as the ancient art of horse trading, and the approach which one takes to a real estate price negotiation will depend on the circumstances.If you have not signed a contract with a real estate broker to negotiate for you, or you are buying a new property directly from the developer, you should first of all not appear overly anxious to get the property. First clarify the asking price with the seller or developer; and when you are sure exactly what is included, say that you need a few days to think it over.If you are working with a real estate broker, indicate that you are looking at several properties, and then make an offer of below the quoted asking price, saying it is close to what you are willing to pay but there might be room for negotiation, depending on what you hear about your offers on other properties.You should always make your offer twice the amount lower than the asking price that you are actually willing to pay, so that you and the seller can meet halfway. If you want the seller to come down 10%, make your offer 20% less than the asking price.And always make sure to get in wiring that you are buying the property “as is, where is,” when you have settled on the price and are drawing up the selling agreement.