Real estate is one of the most lucrative businesses in the world, but it isn’t a sure thing. Because they work on commissions, some realtors become millionaires doing it while others barely get by. So you need to be bold to get started.
That said, it is generally a steady business with its fair share of ups and downs. The key is to go through the right steps to become a real estate agent and never stop learning all you can about being the best real estate agent you can be.
What Is A Real Estate Agent License?
A real estate agent is a person who represents sellers or buyers of real estate or property. They can work with companies, or as independent contractors, to sell houses for those who have listed their homes or property.
But in order to do that in the United States, you need to get a real estate agent license. A real estate license is something you get after you complete training to become a real estate agent and pass the required exams.
How To Become A Realtor
Becoming a realtor varies depending on the state you live in, however, the process is quite similar no matter where you live. Here are the basic steps that all real estate agents need to take to become realtors.
Take A Pre-Licensing Course
Pre-licensing courses are necessary if you want to become a real real estate agent. The number of hours varies depending on where you live. They are usually broken down into courses and you need to take them all to move on.
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This is all about education. So even if it can be a drag, you are better off learning all you need to know about real estate from qualified teachers and with certified courses. There is no better place to start.
Take The Real Estate Exam
Next up, it’s time to take the real estate exam. After you finish all of your training, if you were paying attention, your exam should come easy. The more passionate you are about the job, the easier it will be to retain the information.
The pass rate for a real estate exam is around 50%. This means only about half the people that take the exam pass. This can be discouraging, but you can always retake the exam if you fail it the first time.
Find A Broker
This is an important step. It may be tempting to skip it but it’s an even better idea to get it done early. You can find a broker who can take you on before you even become a real estate agent. Their help is valuable.
In order to be a real estate agent, you need to work with a licensed real estate broker. They will give you all of the assistance that you need to ensure you have a successful business. So value them and they will value you.
Activate Your License
Congratulations! If you made it this far, that means you passed! So, you’re ready to activate your license. In order to get an active real estate license, you will have to complete a sponsorship request with the help of your broker.
This varies by state, but your broker can help you out. That’s why choosing a broker and working with them early on is a good idea. So that they can help you through the entire process of becoming an agent.
Become A Member Of The NAR
This step is also important. While you can be a real estate agent without becoming a member of the National Association of Realtors, you can’t be a Realtor unless you are a member. That title means a lot.
It means you can work with any broker, become a member of any other club, and sell on any aggregation site. All successful real estate agents are Realtors who are members of the National Association of Realtors.
Popular Places For Real Estate Agents
Although you can become a real estate agent anywhere in the United States, there are a few places that are considered the best places for real estate agents. These states will make you the most money in the market.
How to Become A Real Estate Agent In California
The steps above describe the basic steps you need to take to become a real estate agent in California. But there are a few things you need to consider if you are planning on selling real estate in California.
Most of the time, a clean record and residency of the state are necessary. You also need 135 hours of training, which is broken up into three courses Real Estate Principles, Real Estate Practices, and Real Estate Finance.
The passing score for each of the final exams is 70%. After you pass your course’s final exams, you’ll take the California licensing exam. This will be a 150 multiple-choice question exam with a time limit of 3 hours and 15 minutes.
How to Become A Real Estate Agent In Texas
You can begin the process of becoming a real estate agent in Texas online. You need to submit an application that will get you a background check and approval. After that is approved, you can take the courses.
You will need 180 hours which are divided into six courses. These courses need to be taken in front of a licensed educator in the field. They are considered classroom hours. This is unique to Texas and some other states.
After your coursework, you can take the exam. You can take it up to three times but after that, you need additional education before you can take it again. This resets every time you fail the test three times.
How to Become A Real Estate Agent In Florida
Becoming a real estate agent in Florida is easier than in most states. All you need is to have a GED or high school diploma and an SSN. After you provide that, you can begin training to become a real estate agent.
You also only need 63 hours of training to become a real estate agent in Florida, which can all be done online. You even get a practice exam which will let you know if you’re ready for the real thing.
If you pass it, you can take the real exam, which has a passing grade of 70%, the standard in most states. After that, you submit yourself for a background check and then follow the final standard steps online.
How to Become A Real Estate Agent In NY
To become a real estate agent in New York, you can’t have any prior felonies. Other than that, you only need to be an adult. As for education, things are a little different. In most cases, you need 75 hours of coursework.
However, if you have a degree and studied real estate in college, those hours can count towards your total. After you get that, you can take the exam which has a standard passing score but you only have an hour-and-a-half to take it.
From there, things are quite normal. You find a broker, submit your license, and get started selling real estate. Each state has different requirements so make sure you check your own state guidelines.
FAQs About Real Estate Agents
Every job has a fair set of questions that are often asked about it by those interested in the profession. These are the most frequently asked questions about becoming a real estate agent in the United States.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Real Estate Agent?
This depends on your state. In most cases, you can become a real estate agent in 6-months. However, if you don’t have much free time to spend on coursework or if the approval process is delayed then it can take longer.
How Old Do You Have To Be To Become A Real Estate Agent?
You need to be 18 to become a real estate agent in all states. However, there are exceptions as in Illinois, Nebraska, Alabama, and Alaska where you have to be older than 18. But you always have to be at least 18.
Do You Need A Real Estate Broker?
Yes. Though you can attempt to get licensed without a broker, you need a broker to take you through the process officially. Though the contact after you get started may be minimal or regular as you are working for their company.
How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make?
Real estate agent salaries vary greatly. Some make $25,000 a year while others make millions. The median income for a real estate agent is around $60,000, but this number changes depending on your state.
Is It Worth It To Become A Real Estate Agent?
This all depends on what you want. If you want something steady and sure, then real estate may not be for you. But if you want something with a lot of potential that you apply yourself to, then this could be your perfect opportunity.
What is important is that you love what you do. This is true with almost any job that works off commissions. A lot of people who work in real estate are in love with their jobs and you’ll find they are the most successful in life.