How to Become a Real Estate Agent
People enter the real estate field from many different careers or as their first career move. No matter where you are coming from, your first question is probably going to be “How do I become a real estate agent?” Here are the steps you should follow to become a real estate agent.
Take a pre-licensing course
States require those who wish to be a real estate agent to take a pre-licensing training course from a certified institution before they sit for the exam. The course teaches you real estate principles, practice, and the legal aspects of the business. Each state has a real estate commission website with more information about what is required in your state and how many training hours are needed. These courses can be taken online or in-person and generally costs between $200 and $300.
Take a licensing exam
Many states will outsource the administration of the exam to third-party testing centers. Your state’s real estate commission’s website should have instructions on how to sign up to take the exam. The exam is typically divided into two sections: one on federal real estate laws and general principals and the other on state-specific laws. Each section has between 60 to 100 multiple choice questions, including math questions where a calculator is needed. If you fail, you can retake the course as many times as needed within a two-year window. Afterward, you must retake the pre-licensing course. The licensing exam generally costs between $100 and $300.
After you pass
After you pass the exam, you need to activate your license through your state’s real estate commission’s website. While activation fees vary, they typically cost around $200 to $400. You will also need to pay for a membership to your local multiple listing service (MLS). The MLS gives you access to a property’s tax information, allows you to analyze market trends, and see listing before they hit the market. The cost of membership varies depending on where you live.
Consider becoming a realtor
To become a realtor, you need to become a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). That’s it! Membership in the association comes with lots of benefits, including discounts on educations course, transaction management services, and many more. The cost for membership in the NAR is $120 per year.
Join a brokerage
You must work under a supervising broker to be able to legally practice real estate. A broker is licensed by the state to oversee real estate transactions. They make sure that the agent is following all legal and ethical standards. Most brokerages will only pay you on commission, meaning that you only get paid when you complete a transaction. You can apply to be a real estate broker as well, but it is recommended that you get a few years of experience first.