The most common question asked during the exam is how many questions there are in the test. Some people also ask about the length of time it takes to take the test, but really, there is no set timing for when you should be done.
You will get three hours to complete the testing process. You can either spend this time all together or spread out while you are waiting. Technically, you have two minutes per question, so if you do not want to waste time looking at the clock, do not worry about it.
There are some websites that claim to tell you how many times someone failed a certain question on the test, but that information is never confirmed as fact. People may just give wrong answers because they do not know the exact rules and regulations of the test.
The other major component of the real estate exam is understanding what is referred to as an escrow. Escrows occur when there are things that need to be done before or after you sell your home.
Most commonly, this happens when a buyer wants to make a deposit towards a down payment or they want to move in. They will require access to your house while they look for a place to live and/or do some remodeling or repairs. This is called pre-sale inspection.
The seller also may ask the buyers to provide proof of income (such as pay stubs) and proof of residence (like a driver’s license or passport), and possibly health insurance. After the sale, the sellers have to transfer any remaining belongings or personal items from their current home into their new one! All of these things must happen very quickly so that the purchaser has time to check out all of the above.
This can get complicated because most lenders require the buyers to go through an additional process known as credit approval. During this process, the lender reviews the buyers’ financial documents to see if they can afford the loan. If they cannot prove they have enough money, then they will not give them the mortgage. So, the sellers often wait until the end of the transaction to work with the lender.
How to read a contract
Reading a real estate contract is different than reading, for example, an investment document or a will. You should know what items in a contract relate to you as a buyer or seller, how each item impacts you, and whether it is important to review this information before signing the contract.
The list below includes some common items that can appear in almost every real estate contract. If there is anything not listed here that applies to your contract, make sure you have the full version of the contract to ensure everything is clear!
Items related to buyers
Payment requests are questions about money that directly impact you as a buyer. This could be a request to pay close attention during the home tour, ask if any changes need to be made due to poor quality materials, or asking to see proof of sufficient funds.
A payment request may also include having the sellers confirm they are legally allowed to sell their house (as owners cannot do so themselves) and confirming that they have authorized the broker to act on their behalf.
These two things must happen first before the sale goes through. A buyer’s agent can be helpful in ensuring both of these occur by acting as a middleman between you as a buyer and the seller.
Closing costs are expenses that go up at the end of a transaction. These typically consist of fees such as title searches, surveys, and legal documents like wills and mortgages.
How to identify good deals
As we mentioned earlier, being aware of how much competition there is in real estate can help determine if a property is a great deal or not.
If you are looking at a house that seems too expensive, then it probably is! Buying a house with lots of features cost more because they require additional maintenance and costs to keep up.
So, before you make an offer, do some research and see what other people have paid for similar houses in your area. Also, check out whether anyone has purchased a comparable home recently in the same area.
When to pay or get a loan
It is very important that you know when it is okay to pay off your house, run out of money, and need to apply for a new mortgage.
It is impossible to completely rule out having to take this action in order to purchase a home. But by being aware of these signs, you will be able to avoid this situation as much as possible.
If you are ever given a reminder notice that you have run low on funds, immediately start looking at other opportunities to put more money into your wallet.
You may be lucky enough to find an opportunity that does not require too many extra resources, but it is still worth your time to check out.
Alternatively, you can look into getting a credit card with no annual fee so that you do not have to worry about running out of money due to cost of living adjustments (COLAs) on your existing one.
What to pay for
The cost of taking the exam is determined by two things: how many questions you watch for and what level of certification you want to achieve. There are three test levels, with each one requiring a different testing fee.
The most common is the practice test which is also your qualifying test. This costs $59 per person.
If you would like to be certified as a real estate agent, then the pre-license test is necessary. This costs $179 per person.
For professional licenses such as broker or associate, the additional exams needed must be taken at a designated location and administered by an authorized agency. These fees vary from state to state, but average around $500 per person.
How to get a good agent
Being an agent is a tough job, which is why most agents have lots of stories about how they fell into it. Sometimes, people are really dedicated to real estate and always wanted to be involved in it so they started working for a broker or company that had openings.
Other times, someone who was already doing this got exposed to it through conversations or events, and they made the transition from being a property owner themselves to representing other owners’ properties.
Either way, if you want to become an agent, you need to know what kind of person people consider to be professional and reliable in the field.
What to ask a potential agent about
The most common way to find out if someone is a good real estate agent is by asking them how many agents they work with, what types of houses and properties they are trying to sell, and whether or not you can be comfortable working with them.
It’s very important that you look for level-headed professionals who have a lot of experience in the field. You want to make sure that everything goes well for your family, not theirs!
That said, it’s totally normal to worry a little bit before you hire your first professional worker. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to alleviate some of those worries.
One of these things is to meet with several different agents so you can get their opinions as to whether or not this person will be a trustworthy seller’s agent.
You also need to determine if they actually know enough about the market where you live to effectively help you achieve your goals as sellers.
How to pick a location
In addition to asking about property, sales history, etc., there is a limited amount of time for each question. So, how you structure your test depends on how many questions there are. For example, if there are 10 business nature questions, you could do an informal interview with three of those or a more structured interview setting with two of them.
It’s helpful to know what types of businesses there are so that you can make some assumptions when choosing an area! For instance, if there are mostly banking related questions then an urban downtown area like Lower Greenville or Capitol Hill would be best.
If there are lots of technology related questions then a high density suburb close to major highways would be better.