Finding a way to get licensed as an real estate agent is not easy, nor will it happen immediately. But you can always pick up some lessons and testing materials from somewhere, try to study them, and then put those skills into practice.
The vast majority of agents are self-employed, which means they are in charge of their own business including marketing, finding new clients, and promoting themselves.
As with any other career, people who want to be professionals look to learn more about the profession by talking to others who have done so before them. The internet is a rich source of information for anyone doing research work.
There are many ways to become licensed as an real estate agent. Some states require only that you take state exams while others require both oral and written tests as well as certification. Others may even ask you to prove your experience as an agent through letters or testimonials.
In this article, we will talk about how to get license for real estate in the United States though! What good is having a licence if you cannot use it? We will also discuss some little known routes to becoming an agent.
Apply for a license
Now that you have determined it is time to get your real estate license, all you need to do next is apply! There are two main ways to go about this. You can either take the test from an established testing service like The National Association of Realtors (NAR) or Property Guru, or you can prepare yourself by taking their course.
The NAR offers both beginner’s courses as well as professional certification courses. For more information check out our article here.
For those who prefer a more in-depth approach to learning, there are many great resources available through educational providers. Many offer free material and/or lessons to help you learn the basics of being a real estate agent.
Once you have learned enough to be able to take the exam, then you can pick which one makes sense for you to take.
Pay a license fee
As mentioned before, in order to work as an agent you must be licensed. There is a small licensing fee that varies from state to state and organization to organization. Some require you to pay yearly while others only ask once per decade!
The cost of licensing can vary quite a bit depending upon your area and what kind of licenses you have. For example, if you are wanting to sell residential real estate you will need to be certified as a broker which costs around 2k-3k. Then there is the salesperson’s license which ranges between 500 and 700 dollars.
These fees are usually paid through your employer or directly via PayPal or check at the appropriate agency. Make sure to look up their fees ahead of time so you know what to expect!
Once these bills come due you will either get them done online or sent off by mail. Many people do both because they find it more organized this way.
Provide proof of your identity
It is very important to prove who you are before getting licensed as an agent or broker. This includes showing photo identification, proof of residency, and if you’re self-employed, proof of business ownership.
It can be tricky trying to find this information when you first begin looking into real estate agents, so don’t worry about being over-confident with what you have!
There are many ways to get this info, but none that we could recommend are really expensive unless you buy a lot of products. We would suggest doing some research and coming up with a survey or two before investing in anything substantial.
Provide proof of your address
In most states, to be able to use real estate as a profession, you need to have license! This means having a license that allows you to work in the field and earn income selling or buying properties. Most state agencies that issue licenses require you to provide proof of your professional address, typically an office location or a mailing address where business cards can be printed.
While some agents are lucky enough to represent themselves only, the vast majority must have a representative to help with their job. They cannot sell or buy property alone! Luckily, there are many ways to come up with a reliable representation. You can find professional representatives through churches, local businesses, or even friends who already have one.
By being proactive about finding your representation, it will take care of itself once you find someone you trust.
Provide proof of your financial health
A license is needed to sell real estate, so before you can even apply, you must prove that you have enough money to be a successful seller! This includes having a large amount of liquid capital (funds), as well as proving yourself by offering appropriate evidence such as pay stubs, bank statements, or contracts.
Most states require that you are able to show at least 6 months’ worth of income in order to qualify for your sales agent license, which is why it is important to make sure you don’t need to resign soon. If you do, you should consider investing in additional training so that you know what you’re doing!
Many brokers also require that you are not currently under investigation for any type of fraud or misrepresentation, but again, this may be an opportunity to invest in more education and certification.
Obtain a website and a business card
As mentioned earlier, you will need a domain name and web hosting to run your real estate practice online. These can be expensive, so it is important to know how to get started with these services.
There are many ways to acquire both of these things, but most people start off by registering at a free platform like Google or Facebook. By doing this, then purchasing the premium account, you have access to all of their resources such as storage, email, and websites. This gives you a place to store all of your files and an address where people can contact you.
By creating a LinkedIn profile, you can add your real estate license to make yourself look more professional. On this site, users can create profiles, connect with others, and promote themselves. You may also choose to do some paid advertising here as well.
To actually get licensed, you must go through multiple steps. The first step is to determine if you are already licensed in your state. Some states require that you take certain classes before being able to use the term “Real Estate Agent” while other don’t.
Confirm your license is current
Before you can even begin looking at homes, you will need to confirm that you have adequate real estate licensing! This includes having a seller’s permit, broker’s license, and if you are selling yourself, obtaining a salesperson’s license.
Most states require every person working in real estate to be licensed, with some exceptions (like when one is acting as an escrow agent). Some states also require people who sell their own home to be trained and certified as house sellers. These training courses usually take place at either a university or local business offering such classes.
Getting these licenses doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t expect to walk into a building and ask how to become a homeowner. That won’t work unless you already know what all of those things are!
Instead, most state agencies run educational programs around acquiring a license. Many offer both online and classroom courses, and many times they are affordable enough to fit within our budget. If there is no cost involved, why not give it a try?
That way you won’t spend money traveling to get your license while still being unprepared when you got there. Disadvantages of getting educated through education institutions include time constraints and limited availability. If there isn’t a class happening right now but you would like to learn more about something related, going non-classroom mode may be your best bet.
Do not share your license number or your address
While it is okay to let people know that you are licensed, do not give your actual license number or tell anyone where you live. This goes double if you are selling real estate!
If someone asks about your license, say that you can run some checks but you will have to get permission from your employer first before you can disclose this information.
Your employer’s name and phone number should be enough to confirm your employment so nobody doubts your statement. You can also mention that you work under NDA (non-disclosure agreement) terms which prevent you from sharing such info.
Real estate agents must go through mandatory training courses and exams to prove they know their business. If someone asks you how many times you took an exam, just say that you passed and move on with the conversation.