A real estate license is an impressive credential that demonstrates your expertise in the field. However, it is not easy to get! Becoming licensed takes time, effort, and education.
Many people begin their journey towards becoming a real estate agent by working as a sales associate or broker. Both of these positions require you to have at least one year under your belt before applying for your license. These two positions are great starting points since they’re already part of the industry.
After taking pre-licensing courses and proving yourself through the work experience process, you can apply to take the written exam for licensure. This test is three hours long and can be taken anywhere with a good amount of resources and wifi.
Find a local real estate association
As with any career, being licensed is a great way to make an income in this field. To be able to represent sellers or buyers depending on your affiliation, you need to be licensed!
There are over 1 million people that hold a Realtor® license in the United States. This includes agents who work for large brokerage firms as well as individuals who are self-employed.
The only requirement to become affiliated with the Realtors’ Association is to show you know the basics of the profession (listing houses, negotiating prices, etc) and that you agree with the Realtor Code of Ethics.
After passing their test, members can use the designation “Realtor.” You do not have to be a professional before joining, but if you already have then it helps solidify your credentials.
The Realtors’ Association of America has its own certification program so even if you aren’t officially registered yet you can still get some extra exposure by completing courses and exams.
Read up on the regulations surrounding real estate licenses
As mentioned earlier, before you can become licensed as an agent, or what is known as a broker, you must first be admitted into the state’s licensing agency. This means passing their test and proving your education and experience.
After that, you will need to be sure you meet the requirements set by each individual town within the county in which you want to work. These include things like requiring you to live in the area, limit how many agents you can represent, and more.
Prepare a list of your goals
Now that you have determined that real estate is what you want to do, it’s time to prepare for the exam! Before sitting for your license test, make sure you have done everything necessary to qualify as an agent. This includes making sure your business is licensed, having proof of insurance, and being registered with both the state and MLS.
Once all this is taken care of, then it’s time to pick your exam format. There are two main types of exams: computer-based and paper-and-pencil. Both require you to be able to read questions and answers quickly, so knowing how to read a question and answer properly is important.
There will also be some timed exercises where you need to perform certain actions within a set amount of time. For example, if there was a picture accompanied by a sentence, you would need to simply read the sentence before picking out what item goes along with it in the given space of time.
Work with a licensed real estate agent
As mentioned before, working as an agent is not for everyone. There are very few people who enjoy being in the sales business, but most understand that it’s necessary to have in order to make money.
Agents get paid large sums of money because they bring in buyers to properties that the owner has put up for sale. Without agents, sellers would be left to sell their homes themselves which could cost them much more due to no interest from potential buyers.
There are many ways to become an agent so you should do some research and find one that fits your budget. Some of the steps include taking courses online or through community colleges, paying a broker to help you, and/or going through an agency.
Pay your membership dues
The next step in getting a real estate license is paying your membership dues to the proper governing body that will evaluate you as an agent. These are typically organization-specific, so it’s important to make sure you don’t miss out on this step.
Most organizations offer both individual and group memberships. An individual membership usually costs less than a group one but can still give you access to all of the agents under your company. This way you can learn more about being an agent and how to be successful as one.
The other option with a group membership is just having yourself listed as an agent. You would then have to work with another member or staff to actually get licensed. This isn’t too common though since most people who want to be professional real estate agents already know what they want.
Obtain your certificate
Now that you have determined that real estate is what you want to do, it’s time to get educated! While some people are born with a knack for helping others find their homes or help them invest in one, most must be trained.
That’s why there are so many ways to become licensed as an agent. Some require several years of schooling first, while others can be done right away if you already have a degree or certification. No matter which route you choose, make sure to check out all of the regulations and requirements for licensure before jumping into this career path.
The fees for being licensed will also vary depending upon where you live and how much business you intend to bring in. It’s best to know ahead of time just like our experts did here at The Realty Alliance.
Find a place to live
Finding a good real estate school is only one part of getting your license, the next step is finding a location to practice! There are many ways to do this, you can choose from direct referrals or through networking.
By having a close referral partner that has trained under the same leader, they will help you find an office space and give you their opinion on the organization so you know it’s trustworthy.
It is very important to be familiar with the area where you want to work in, there should not be too much unknown territory for you. Know the streets, the areas, and what types of houses and condos exist in each setting!
Making sure you have enough transportation to get to work every day is another key factor in being able to spend time outside of work looking for homes. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving home alone, test out some different routes before making the big leap.
Obtain a home inspection
A home inspector is an individual that evaluates and reports on the health of your house or lot, as well as its surrounding area. This person checks everything from the roof to the floor to make sure there are no major safety issues or problems with how the structure functions.
Typically, inspectors look at the exterior of the property, check for signs of water damage (this includes roofs), inspect windows and doors, assess gutters, confirm drainage is working properly, survey the yard, and test the soil. All this information helps ensure the integrity and safety of the building you own!
Some states require you to be licensed as a home inspector if you want to perform professional inspections. Before earning your license, however, you must take both written and practical tests. These can be done through educational institutions or state departments responsible for regulating professionals.
There are also some basic requirements to become a home inspector such as being over 18 years old and having good literacy.