Becoming a Real Estate Agent, Step to Step Guide.
Why Should You Consider Becoming a Real Estate Agent?
A real estate agent's job entails a wide variety of tasks and responsibilities. You won't always be doing the same thing because you'll be dealing with a variety of clients and traveling to a lot of different residences. You will have the opportunity to be your own boss while also having the satisfaction of assisting buyers and sellers in negotiating one of life's most significant landmarks.
It is not difficult to enter this field. When compared to other jobs, the majority of which require a college degree, the process of getting your real estate license is quite quick and inexpensive. Additionally, the prospective earnings are comparable to those of other careers.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in 6 Steps
If you are interested in becoming a real estate agent, you will need to make an initial commitment of both money and time; the amount of each will change depending on the state in which you choose to earn your license. An overview of the steps needed to become a real estate agent is provided below, although the particular requirements needed to do so vary depending on the state.
Investigate Your State's Regulations
Because there is no such thing as a nationwide real estate license, you must meet the licensing criteria of your individual state. Investigate the website of your state's real estate regulatory office, which may be found by visiting the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) regulatory agency database.
Each state has specific requirements for:
- Education prerequisites (such as a high school diploma or GED)
- Courses for pre-licensing and post-licensing
- Exams and eligibility for exams
- Fees and the application process
- Fingerprinting and background checks
- Education that is ongoing
- How to Advance to the Next Level of Licensure
- Reporting a criminal record
Some states have reciprocal licensing arrangements with other states, which means you can earn your license in one state and use it in another without taking another licensing exam. Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, for example, have reciprocity with New York.
Take a Prelicensing Course
No matter where you live, you must take a pre-licensing course from a recognized real estate licensing school for an estimated $350 before sitting for the real estate license exam.
Course requirements differ from state to state. In California, applicants must complete three 135-hour real estate classes. The courses last 75 hours in New York and Georgia, but only 63 hours in Florida.
Most states provide online classes, as well as in-person classes at real estate schools and community institutions.
Take the Licensing Exam
Your instructor should walk you through the process of scheduling, registering for, and paying for the licensure exam. The usual cost of the test is between $100 and $300. Exams are computerized and divided into two sections: a national portion covering broad real estate concepts and practices, and a state-specific section covering your state's real estate legislation.
The exams are multiple-choice, with the number of questions and time permitted varying by state. Each section is graded independently, and you must pass both sections to pass. If you fail one or both sections, you will be able to retake the exam. Each state has its own laws about how many times you can repeat an exam, how long you have to wait between exams, and when you must complete any retakes.
Activate Your Real Estate Agent License
When you pass the exam, you must submit an application to your state's real estate regulating body, along with any required documentation and fees (typically $200-$400).
When your application is granted, the state will mail you your real estate license certificate, and your name will be searchable on the state's website under the licensees' area. Remember that you cannot work as a real estate agent until your license is approved by the state's real estate authority.
Consider Becoming a Realtor
Many people confuse the terms real estate agent and realtor, although they are not interchangeable. Despite the fact that both are licensed to assist buyers and sellers throughout the real estate transaction process, Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and adhere to its stringent Code of Ethics.
The National Group of Realtors is the largest trade association in the United States, with 1.5 million members who work in the residential and commercial real estate industries as salesmen, brokers, property managers, appraisers, counselors, and other professionals.
Though membership is optional and costs around $185, being a realtor can boost your credibility as a real estate salesperson. You'll also have access to a number of benefits, such as:
- Business instruments
- Data, analysis, and statistics about the real estate market
- Educational possibilities
- Discount programs are designed to help you thrive in business.
Realtors have access to Realtors Property Resource (RPR), the nation's largest online real estate database based on public records and assessment data. It contains information on zoning, permits, mortgage, and debt data, schools, and a vast foreclosure database.
Join a Real Estate Brokerage
As a real estate agent, you work under the supervision of a supervising broker, who is licensed by the state to oversee real estate transactions and ensure that the appropriate legal and ethical requirements are met. In general, you will not be paid on an hourly basis. Instead, the brokerage will most likely pay you a percentage of the commissions generated by your real estate transactions.
Depending on your agreement with your brokerage, you may be required to pay for desk fees, technology fees, business cards, marketing materials, and other business-related expenses. Other one-time and ongoing costs include annual license renewal, continuing education, lockbox fees, and Multiple Listing Service memberships. Joining brokerage costs between $25 and $500 every month.
Costs can rapidly build up to several thousand dollars each year, so consider them while choosing whether a career in real estate is suited for you.
How Should I Promote Myself as a New Real Estate Agent?
Reaching out to friends and family, as well as developing a marketing network, can help you get started in your job. To increase interest in your new career, contact new home builders, other realtors, and even lenders, and utilize social media to construct your agent profile.
What Is the Difference Between License Reciprocity and License Recognition?
When one state chooses to honor the official real estate license of another, the time and effort required to complete a multi-state transaction are reduced. Many states recognize licensure from other states, particularly nearby ones, and the National Association of REALTORS® offers a tracking tool for "Broker and Salesperson License Reciprocity and Portability."
What Does the National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics Require?
The Code of Ethics is organized into three primary sections, each of which specifies particular principles for "Duties to Clients and Customers," "Duties to the Public," and "Duties to REALTORS."
All in all, it takes time and money to obtain a real estate license, but it can help you secure a fulfilling position in the real estate market, and a career as a real estate agent can provide flexibility. Real estate agents might work part-time, although most make themselves available on weekdays and weekends. Consider real estate designations and certificates for mortgages, appraisals, residential property, commercial property, and property management. These qualifications can boost your real estate career, marketability, and earnings.
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