Make no mistake: becoming a realtor involves a lot of hard work and time. But, it can be a tremendous investment for your future. The entire process from the qualifications necessary, the costs and the timeline to become an agent differs from one state to another. As such, it is essential that you know exactly how to get a real estate license before you even think about becoming a real estate agent.
What Are the Basic Requirements?
While each state is allowed to dictate specifically the requirements necessary to become a real estate agent, certain basic requirements are common in most states.
How to Get a Real Estate License?
1. Take a Course for Pre-Licensing
To acquire a real estate license, in most states, you need to take a pre-licensing course. You need to invest quite a bit of money along with time. That is why it is important to gather the total costs and budget appropriately, before getting started.
For pre-licensing, certain schools require you to meet over a set number of classes or credits. This can happen either over quite a few weeks or at your convenience; know your options and choose one accordingly. The fees for this course again depend on schools and the state but be prepared to shell out anywhere between $300 to $1000.
2. Take the Licensing Examination
Depending on the state, you will need to appear for a licensing examination. That will take anywhere between an hour and a half to three and a half hours, to fully complete. Also, be prepared to shell out between $20 and $65 for the examination fee.
This test will typically consist of multiple choice questions, about 100 or so, and will cover state and national laws and principles. Again, the minimum passing score differ from state to state.
Typically, the passing score is anywhere between 60% and 75%. Upon passing, you obtain a completion certificate from the school or an official real estate transcript along with a photocopy of your score.
3. File an Application for a Real Estate License
Upon successfully passing the examination, you can submit your results, the application for the license, and the fees for the application. The fees will be between $55 and $275. You might also be asked to have a background check which will set you back anywhere between $50 and $90.
As mentioned earlier, you will require your basic education or be of minimum age requirement. You also have to be authorized to work in the USA, and some states also need you to be a resident in the same state. After submitting everything, it will take about a week to two months for the license to be processed.
4. Find a Real Estate Brokerage
Once your license is processed and you have obtained it, you will be required to work with a real estate broker. This broker is the person who will sponsor your first couple of years (typically two to four) as a realtor.
For those who don’t know what a real estate broker is, it is basically an office or an agency where real estate agents work. It is always wise to search for a broker even before you give your licensing exam. Real estate is a team sport and your network will be your most valuable resource before, during and after your journey begins.
5. Join the NAR (National Association of Realtors)
After having acquired your license and finding yourself a brokerage sponsor, you would assume you are now a real estate agent. However, you are still not there yet. While it is not necessary legally, you should join the NAR (National Association of Realtors) for you to be able to call yourself a real estate agent.
This is also important if you want to take part in MLS (Multiple Listing Services) which will allow you to see other real estate agent’s listings. Without being a member of the NAR, you will still be a legal realtor, but your potential to earn is quite limited without the MLS.
6. Renew Your License Regularly
As you can see, acquiring a license is a ton of work, so ensure you are renewing it on or before the designated date. Depending on the state, the license expires anywhere between every two to four years.
Additionally, several states also require you to fully complete a number of hours course credits to be eligible for the renewal. This is typically between 22 and 90 hours. These courses ensure that you are always up to date with the evolving state and nation markets as well as regulations.
Some Helpful Information
If you have already acquired your real estate license along with everything else and still looking to expand your business, Real Estate Express can help out. Upon signing up for this program, you will receive a commission check and so much more when your website has generated sales. So, be sure to check them out.
As you can see, to become a realtor is a huge decision and involve a lot of attention, time, and dedication. Knowing how to get a real estate license and successfully obtaining it will ensure that you are given an opportunity to unlimited earning potential, and someday, the possibility of becoming your own boss.
Justin Grimes has been an active business & real estate investor since 2007 participating at various levels in asset classes from single-family rehab and mortgage note creation to multi-family, self storage and mobile home parks. He enjoys building teams and scaling his portfolio of assets.
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