Real Estate

How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Five Steps

How to become a real estate agent is quite a popular topic these days and something more than 14.000 people search on Google every month in the US. There are over 2 million real estate licenses in the US and for a good reason – helping someone finding and buying the perfect home or sell its properly and make tons of money is super exciting.

However, buying and selling real estate isn’t as simple as it might look. It is a competitive industry, especially for newbies. According to one research, more than 80% of all new agents fall within the first 5 years.

Before you decide to do it, you should weigh the pros and cons of joining this professional. If you think is the perfect career choice for you, here are the steps you must take.

But first, let’s see how much do these agents make.

Real Estate Agent Salary: How Much Do Agents Make?

The real estate agent salary can motivate you for sure. The real estate industry is a lucrative field and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, real estate agents make approximately $45.610 per year while the top agents can earn up to $117.000. Impressive. You can make as much money as lawyers and doctors and they spend tens of thousands of dollars on their college degrees.

We can’t say the process is easy but there are a lot of opportunities for you to make money.

5 Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent

Here is how to get into real estate:

Step 1: Take a Pre-Licensing Course

States demand people take a pre-licensing course from a certified institution before they take the real estate licensing exam. The number of training hours can vary by jurisdiction. For example, in Virginia agents must take at least 60 hours of pre-licensing training, in California, they need to take 135 hours.

The real estate agent course will teach you principles and important terms, practices, and the legal aspects of the business. You can find all information online – go to your state real estate commission’s site to find a list of pre-licensing institutions.

The course can be taken online or in-person.

Step 2: Take the Licensing Exam

Go to the state real estate commission’s website again to find instructions on how to sign up and take the licensing exam. Usually, states outsource administration of the licensing exams to testing centers. The exams are divided into two portions – one test is for federal real estate laws and real estate principles and the second is for state-specific laws. Both exams consist of up to 100 multiple-choice questions. The exams also include math questions that require you to use a calculator.

What are the odds you will pass the exam?

In some states, 50% of the people fall the first time. The good news is that you can take the exam as many times as you want over a two-year period. After two years, applicants are required to take the pre-licensing course again. The cost of taking a licensing exam is between $100 and $300.

Step 3: Activate Your Real Estate Agent License

Activate Your Real Estate

Now that you’ve passed the test i is time to start engaging with clients. But first, you need to activate your real estate agent license.

  • Activate your license through the commission’s website. Activation fees usually cost around $200-$400.
  • Pay for membership to the multiple listing services. Membership in the MLS is necessary since you must use the system to add properties. The service also allows you to pull a property’s tax information, see listings before they go on the market, analyze market trends, etc.

Step 4: Become a Realtor (Optional)

A realtor is a licensed agent with the ability to use that respected title. If you want to become a professional realtor, you need to become a member of the National Association of Realtors and subscribe to their code of ethics. The National Association of Realtors is the largest trade association in the USA, representing 1.3 million members who are property managers, salespeople, counselors, brokers, appraisers, and other participants in the commercial and residential real estate industry.

Being able to call yourself a professional realtor can surely add to your title as a real estate agent. As an official realtor, you will have access to a variety of benefits, real estate market data, business tools, educational opportunities, research and statistics, and discount programs.

For example, all realtors have access to RPR or Realtors Property Resource which is an online database of over 160 million properties in the US created from public records and information.

Step 5: Join a Real Estate Brokerage

As a real estate agent, you work under the umbrella of a senior broker who is officially licensed to oversee all real estate transactions and ensure that you follow the required ethical and legal standards. The brokerage will pass you a percentage of the commission it gets from your real estate transactions. In other words, you won’t get an hourly salary.

You will have ongoing expenses such as continuing education, renewing your license, lockbox fees, and multiple-listing-services memberships. These costs can add up to a couple of thousand dollars per year so it is important to factor them into your monthly budget when deciding if a real estate agent is the right career option for you.

The good news is that a career as a real estate agent can be flexible. You can limit your working hours to mornings or never work on weekends. The more time you put into being a real estate agent, the more success you will be able to achieve.

Getting a real estate license takes money and time but it can surely help you find a rewarding job in the real estate industry. Ready to start your career as a real estate agent?

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