Licensing is a pretty big deal for real estate professionals! A license not only gives you the right to work, but it also requires that you are trained in certain skills and concepts before you can start working. These include things like understanding basic finance, marketing methods, and even how to use technology to your benefit as a professional broker or agent.
In most states, there is one licensing body that handles all of the other state-specific licenses. This organization works with each individual state to develop their own test requirements, and then they make sure people who pass those tests are actually qualified to do business.
The two major national organizations that run this testing process are The National Association of Realtors (NAR) and The Federation of Brokers’ Associations (FBOA). Both NAR and FBOA have some level of certification for every state; however, not everyone needs the same credential. Some states require only an associate membership, while others ask that you be certified, and many allow you to be either without setting any formal requirements.
This article will talk about what levels of certification are available from both associations in the State of California.
What does a real estate license mean?
Being able to prove that you are an expert in buying and selling property is one of the most fundamental things needed to work in the residential or commercial real estate industry. In fact, it’s a must-have for anyone wishing to pursue their dreams of becoming a professional real estate agent.
In this article we’ll take a look at what a real estate broker’s licence means in terms of qualifications, how much it costs, and where to find out if you qualify. So stay tuned!
What does a real estate brokers license mean?
A brokers licence isn’t just any old piece of paper. It represents the highest level of certification that you have as an experienced real estate investor. You can only be granted this credential after proving your proficiency in specific areas such as finance, marketing, negotiation, business fundamentals and law.
And while having this proof of qualification may not sound like big deal, it makes sure that people who hire you will know that you are highly trained and capable of doing your job well. These employers want to make sure they aren’t being overcharged by someone with less knowledge than them!
Another important reason to have a brokers licence is so that others can verify that you belong to The Broker Code – our set of standards which all Realty Agents are expected to live by. If you don’t, then people could lose trust in your skills and professionalism.
You need a license to be a real estate agent
As of February 2019, there are three licenses you must hold to work as a residential real estate agent in California. These include being licensed with a brokerage, having an office space, and holding either a salesperson or broker’s license.
If you already have one of these when you want to start working, great! But if you don’t, you can still become a realtor by applying for your other two licenses first. Each of these takes about a month to complete, so you will have enough time to do that before starting work.
And remember, even though it is called a “license,” you do not actually have to take this test to be a real estate agent. People who want to work as brokers must go through additional training and certification processes instead.
You need to pass a test to get your license
The process of becoming an agent is not quick or easy, even if you are already working with real estate. It takes several months before you can officially work as a broker. Even then, there are still many things that must be done to ensure your success as an agent!
The first step on this journey is to prove that you have at least one year’s experience under your belt serving as a property manager. This means no matter what kind of business you want to start, you should be able to show proof of service for at least one year.
After proving your managerial skills, it’s time to take the exam. There are two main types of exams for agents: practice tests and oral examinations. Both require you to speak about a topic and answer questions related to the material.
Practice tests are much easier than the actual exam because they don’t pose any question-answer pairs. What it does do though, is give you a feel for how difficult the examination will be so that you aren’t overconfident when taking the real thing.
There are several different types of licenses
Having a real estate license comes with some additional responsibilities, not only related to selling houses, but also being a professional broker. To put it simply, if you are looking to make a career out of this field, then you will need to have a sales representative’s license.
There are two main types of licenses that people get when they start working as representatives- agent (or listing) agents and buyer’s agents. Agent (listing) agents represent sellers while buyers’ agents do the other way around.
The difference between these two is pretty simple- an agent representing a seller has one goal, which is to find a house for sale and negotiate a deal on what price owner wants to sell their home at. Their job ends once the house is sold!
While buying a house is very similar, your responsibility doesn’t just end there. An agent who represents a buyer has one thing on his or her mind every minute he or she is outside of the house- finding a place to live.
This can be tricky since most homes available now have already been advertised somewhere. If someone calls you about a property that belongs to the seller you work for, chances are good that it has gone up in value too much to be practical.
That’s why being a buy agents is more difficult than being a listing agent.
License renewal dates
The best way to stay ahead of license expiration is by updating your business information online. This includes changing your broker’s ID, profile pictures, contact information, and annual sales goals. You can also update your legal description, website, phone numbers, and addresses for your office.
Be sure to check out our article about how to start your real estate career as a beginner! It will help you get all of this information organized so you don’t forget anything when it comes time to renew your license.
Once everything is updated, then it’s time to revisit our article above about what to do next if you are experiencing a lot of traffic on the internet using the word “realtor.com.” That is definitely not a good thing!
If you run into issues during that process, no worries – we’re here to help! Contact us at Work With Us so we can figure out why you are running into trouble with your Realtor.com domain name.
In most states, including California, real estate agents are licensed by either your state’s legislature or through an agency that is hired to regulate the profession. The license costs typically cost around $100-150 per year.
In some cases, there will be additional fees such as for testing out of date exams or for being underqualified (only people with at least two years of experience can test out).
These extra licensing fees are not cheap! A lot of individuals start off thinking that they can “join the team” after paying this fee but it is very expensive to do so. There are ways to save money if you are just starting out as a real estate agent, however.
There are many firms that offer professional certification for relatively low prices. Some even offer free courses to get certified! An excellent source for this article was from our friends at Realtor.com.
Real estate agents get paid
As with any career, there are always ways to make money doing it. With real estate, you can be very successful without having a license. But if you want to run your own business, or even be employed as an agent, you need to have at least one license.
The most basic licenses for brokers are those that only require you to register and identify yourself as a broker. More advanced licenses require you to put more responsibility onto yourself, such as being required to represent both sellers and buyers of homes, limiting yourself to working within a certain area, and requiring you to go through additional training and testing before being allowed to work independently.
The cost to obtain these different levels of licensing varies widely depending on what state you live in, how many people apply for the same license level, and whether your current employer is willing to endorse you as qualified to do the job. However, overall costs for all licensing in this field range from about $100 to well over $1,000!
There are also several courses and certification programs available outside of government regulation. While they aren’t mandatory, anyone offering themselves as an expert should definitely consider investing in their development. This way you prove that you know what you’re talking about and increase your marketability.
Licenses are not valid in all states
Most people believe that to be licensed as an agent you need a real estate license in your state. This is false! While it is true that most individual agents have licenses, being able to represent sellers or buyers does not require one.
There are many reasons why this isn’t the case and it can actually be confusing for beginners trying to figure out what they need a license for.