Have you decided to work as a real estate agent? That’s great! Although the qualifications, processes and costs of obtaining a license as a real estate agent vary in different states; here’s what you should do first, consult your local bureau of real estate to get an info concerning the required steps to take.
To most states, if not all, a license is required and that involves taking pre-licensing courses, applications, payments and registration. For more detailed guide on how to start real estate business in Nigeria, kindly click to be informed on the steps involved.
Below are 7 important steps to expect before getting a real estate license. Come with me on this journey.
1. Educational requirements for Real Estate License
With a real estate license, you (as a real estate agent), is able to legally sell and rent real estate properties to prospective clients. To do this, you need to be licensed in the state you’ll be working in because the requirement and applications of licensing each state differs. Find out from your state real estate commission to know the prerequisites for acquire the license.
A lot of states require the following: 60-90 college-level education
Classes, courses, and schools that are approved, accredited and acknowledged by the state real estate commission.
Do you have an existing license? If yes, find out if the current state does a reciprocity agreement with the previous state, if yes again, this might cause the prerequisites for a new license to reduce. Take for instance, if states like Idaho has reciprocity agreements with Wyoming, Oregon, and Montana and you’ve got an Idaho real estate license, you wont have to take pre-licensing courses for a license to work in the other three states.
Your pre-licensing prerequisites could be reduced if you have ever had a real estate degree or have worked as a licensed attorney. .
2. Engage in Pre-licensing courses
As a real estate agent, you’ll have to put in a lot of time, financial investment and a clear understanding of your resources and the market when you begin.
Before you start taking pre-licensing courses, consider the pre-licensing school that works best for you. Some schools conduct classes over several weeks while some gives you the choice to determine how your classes will be. Choose the best that is best for you, according to your schedule and your lifestyle. It is important to know the difference between costs of these schools. You could pay $250 or sometimes more than $1050 for your pre-licensing courses.
3. Writing Licensing exams
Before the exams, you’ll be required to pay an exam fee from the range of $20 to $70 and such exams lasts around 2-4 hours. Know that the requirements and rules of licensing exams differ in different states.
In these exams, there are roughly 100 objective questions concerning national and state laws. The minimum score varies in different states but from %60 to 70% is enough to obtain a real estate license. Ensure to get your certificate of completion and a copy of your exam score and include the both of them to your real estate license application.
4. Real Estate License application
After you’ve written and passed your exams which I believe you will, you’re to submit your tests scores, as well as your license applications and its fees which cost about $45 -$280 and a background check of about $50 to $90 too.
Get more information concerning Errors and omissions insurance from your state’s real estate in order to protect you from financial setbacks and lawsuits in the future because you’re in the real estate field. If you can get such insurance from your brokerage, that’s cool. If not, you may need it before turning in your application.
The minimum age in every state to apply for the license is 18 years old. You should also have a high school diploma and be authorized to work in the US as well. Your license takes about a month after submission to process.
5. Work with a Real estate brokerage
You’ve gotten your license and that’s amazing and its better to work with a real estate broker first. Don’t just go start selling houses.
A real estate brokerage is an agency where real agent works. Working in a real estate brokerage is essential so you can generate income and have experiences.
Before you work in any real estate brokerage, consider these options below.
1. Type of brokerage depending on it’s kind of training
- Virtual brokerages: is entire online and deals with all form of trending technologies
- National franchises: structured training and popularity in the field
- Boutique style brokerages: Personal training and room for improvement.
2. The Company Culture
There are questions you need to ask yourself before joining any brokerage.
- Do they offer a mentoring program for new intakes?
- Do they have a specific work time and conduct?
- Do they require some kind of new training or qualifications?
- Will I be able to bring in ideas and market for them?
3. What is the brokerages Commission?
It is important to know all and consider any of the commission structure below before you start working.
- Traditional Split Plans: 50-50 split between you and your brokerage. As simple as that.
- High split plans: Like the name implies, you get a higher cut, about 70%- 100% but you might have to pay desk fees.
- Hybrid plans: Almost the same with high split plans but the increase of your commission happens gradually and according to how much you earn
6. National Association of Realtors (NAR)
Obtaining a real estate license and working with a broker still doesn’t make you a realtor. What then? That’s right, You got it! You have to be a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) And that makes you officially, a realtor.
Do you want to participate in MLS(multiple listing services) then it is mandatory to join NAR. It offers you other realtor’s listings. If you don’t, you will be a real estate agent without access to MLS and of course, limited earnings.
7. Renewing your license often
We’ve gone through a lot of work above but it isn’t over. Your license needs renewing and it needs it regularly. Know when your license will expire from YOUR state requirements and get prepared to renew it whenever it does.
Get information about your state’s renewing requirements. You might have to take courses to make sure you’re updated with new market strategy and regulations. You can get such info from your state’s licensing office.
How much does Real Estate License cost?
Here’s the thing, it varies. It could cost from $350 – $1000. Coupled with your applications, exam and license fees and miscellaneous it could total up to $1500
It involves a lot of work, commitment, consistency and time to work as a real estate agent. It has it rewards just like any other industry. You can earn just a lot and someday become your own boss. Isn’t that great? Now don’t let the thought of the hassle weigh you down. Get out of your comfort zone and get to work. Good luck! Ref