Thinking about getting your real estate license in 2021?
Want to learn how to get into real estate? Despite unsettling events this past year, the US housing market has remained strong and steady for all kinds of real estate professionals, including real estate agents. While many professions were negatively impacted and unemployment soared during the Coronavirus pandemic, real estate agents have enjoyed the freedom and versatility of home sales.
Obtaining a real estate license is both a challenging and a highly rewarding opportunity that anyone with enough determination and the right resources can succeed in. If you want to embark on the journey of becoming a real estate entrepreneur without taking on the risk of being a real estate investor, learning how to get your real estate license is your first step.
See also: How to Become a Real Estate Agent
How to Get a Real Estate License
Check Your State’s Requirements
Real estate licenses are issued by the state government, so you’ll need to check the requirements for your state or the state in which you’d like to be licensed. Real estate agents may become licensed in multiple states if they choose, though it’s best to start by receiving licensing in your home state, as the process typically is intensive and takes several months to complete.
Some basic requirements for all states include:
- US citizenship
- At least 18 years of age
- Background check
- Brokerage sponsorship
- Completion of a state approved pre-licensing course
- Passing grade on a state pre-licensing exam
For example, to get your Florida real estate license, you’ll need to take a 63 hour pre-licensing course and score at least 70% on the state exam. However, a California real estate license requires the completion of 3 very specific college level real estate courses and a passing grade on the state examination. Make sure you know exactly what will be required of you before committing to getting your real estate license.
Sign Up For a Pre-Licensing Course
There are plenty of real estate classes to choose from when planning on becoming a real estate agent. But before diving in and picking any course, you should consider the following:
- Is the course approved and acceptable in my state?
- Will it fulfil the requirements for me to sit for a real estate exam?
- Is it the best possible option for me to prepare for the exam?
- Is it flexible enough to work with my schedule?
First, you should know that real estate coursework does not have to be completed in person. You can now take online real estate courses in most states that fit easily into your schedule. Of course, if you prefer in-person classes, that is a possibility too.
While online real estate school might seem like a dream come true for aspiring agents with busy schedules, be careful of online scams and dishonest programs. Not all online real estate classes will be approved by the appropriate governing body and, therefore, will not necessarily count towards your pre-licensing hours.
Before taking real estate classes online, check with your local association to see what your state’s requirements are. Though a Google search might turn up the answer, be wary of old articles with outdated or incorrect information. It’s always best to receive information right from the source.
Sit For a State Real Estate Exam
Before sitting for your real estate exam, make sure that you’ve studied the materials thoroughly and you’re ready to ace it. Many courses offer real estate practice exams you can take advantage of to prepare.
Once you’ve completed your coursework and successfully passed any exams associated with your real estate course, it is time to take the state exam in order to obtain your real estate license. In order to sign up to take the test, you’ll need to go to your state’s real estate commission website and apply. Traditionally, the exams would take place in person, but many states are now offering virtual exams, allowing you to obtain your real estate license online.
When you do decide to get your real estate license, make sure you realistically have the time to commit to the coursework and studying. Many states want you to pass your exam within a certain timeframe of completing your pre-licensing course. If you do not pass the first time, you can usually retake your exam a few times until you pass. However, this will depend on the state.
Get Sponsored By a Brokerage
The second to last step in getting your real estate license is choosing a real estate brokerage to work under. Every real estate agent must work at a real estate agency, or brokerage, in order to legally facilitate real estate sales.
When deciding what brokerage to work with, consider these factors:
- Does the brokerage provide leads to their realtors?
- Do they offer training and other resources?
- Do they offer perks such as free business cards, marketing, or a real estate website?
- What does the commission split look like? Or do they charge flat fees?
- Do they have a well-known, reputable name that home buyers and sellers will trust?
There are many things to think about when choosing the right brokerage for you, and the decision is entirely personal. Be sure to start the process of researching and talking with brokerages early on so you don’t find yourself in a last-minute scramble after passing your test.
Obtain Your Real Estate License
Once you’ve secured a sponsorship from a brokerage, you can finally obtain your real estate license. To activate it, you must visit your state’s real estate commission website and pay an activation fee of typically $100 or more.
How to Become a Realtor
Many people make the mistake of assuming a real estate agent is the same as a realtor. While they are very similar and perform the same job, having a realtor license is an extra distinction in the real estate space.
To become a realtor, you must become a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). To apply, you can submit an application in person or online to your local association. For instance, if you live in Texas, you would need to contact the Texas Association of Realtors. Once you’re a member of NAR, you’ll be required to pay dues and abide by their standards.
The Bottom Line
Getting your real estate license is an incredible journey, whether you intend to become a real estate agent or real estate investor. But to make the most of your new license, you’ll want access to the tools and resources you need to be successful. Mashvisor can help real estate agents instantly qualify leads, find on and off market properties for their clients, quickly create professional looking reports, and increase their client base. To claim your free agent profile at Mashvisor, click here.