Over the course of the last 30 years, a burgeoning job market has existed for those who want to become a real estate agent. Popularity in the field has skyrocketed (as seen in multiple hit reality television shows). The allure of working your own schedule outside of an office setting — whilst also interacting with new and exciting people on a daily basis — is something that appeals to a large amount of people.
This piece will specifically delve into the steps one must take when wanting to become an agent. It’ll also speak about the benefits from a financial standpoint, as well as when it comes to overall happiness.
Where Do You Live?
When it comes to real estate, it matters in terms of where you reside. Each state has specific requirements and specifications. As such, the person interested in become a real estate agent must seek what those requirements actually are. Normally, there’s some sort of baseline education level which will clearly be stated within the state’s guidelines. Some states require exams, while others might not. There are even three states (Idaho, Maine, Vermont) who reportedly don’t need a real estate license to participate in property management.
There’s even something called real estate license reciprocity, where some states have agreements with each other. Someone who gets their real estate license in one state might be able to have it transfer over to another. Again, it all depends on the specific stipulations that are put in place from a state standpoint.
In order to prepare for a potential real estate exam, states require schooling from an accredited source. Many times, these courses can be completed remotely/from home. Every state requires a different amount of hours to satisfy the completion of the course. This licensing school will allow for the soon-to-be agent to have a firm grasp on the industry. As it ties into the previous step, one must research their own state to see what it requires.
Once your classes are completed, the next step involves taking the licensing exam. The exam is broken into two parts — one on national questions and the other on ones pertaining specifically to the state you intend on working in. One has to pass both parts (on a computerized test) in order to get their license. This multiple choice test also varies in price based upon where you live. From a cost standpoint, the individual is paying for the exam itself — but also for the license, the application fee, and a background check/fingerprints. States on the higher end in terms of total cost include Colorado, Ohio, California and South Dakota. Ones on the lower end include Mississippi, Vermont, Florida, Michigan, and Kansas.
Once you receive your license, you’re then able to practice. Though one can opt to strictly be a real estate agent, having the title as a realtor could be more lucrative when it comes to making money. By joining the National Association of Realtors (NAR), one gains access to research, data, statistics, and other information which makes selling houses that much easier. This also involves info on potential foreclosures and other miscellaneous minutiae in
particular areas. From there, the aim is to join a brokerage team. Realtors/real estate agents normally will be paid on a commission basis.