Selling houses or other properties can be an excellent career. Real estate agents take a significant slice of the pie when a property is sold. And if you are a ‘go-getter,’ then making a six-figure salary in a year is not an unrealistic target.
Becoming a real estate agent is a relatively straightforward process, and you do not need a college degree or years of experience to start selling. If you enjoy meeting people and getting out of the office, then selling real estate could be the perfect job for you.
So, let’s take a look at How to Become a Real Estate Agent and the steps involved…
What Is A Realtor?
Realtors do the same work as estate agents, but they are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and have a strict code of ethics.
Being a member of the NAR has many benefits, such as access to all real estate databases, educational opportunities, and various discount programs. It offers you the chance to enhance your expertise and market yourself as an ethical agent that your clients can rely on; it gives you more credibility in the real estate industry and affords opportunities to gain market insights and gain a competitive edge.
What Is A Real Estate Broker?
Real estate brokers have additional training and are licensed to own their own real estate agency. They employ other agents to work for them and take a split of the commission earned with every sale. Brokers need to have worked as an estate agent for two to three years before they can apply for a broker’s license.
The Steps To Getting Qualified
It can take about four to six months to qualify as a real estate agent. You can start your journey by following the steps below.
Step 1 – Check the Requirements
Each state in the US has its own licensing requirements for estate agents. You will need to research this online at your state’s real estate regulatory office website. On the website, you will also find all the information you need to apply, including age requirements, fees, documents needed, and exam eligibility.
It’s also a good idea to consider getting your real estate license in a state that has reciprocity with other states. For example, if you get your license in New York, then you do not need to get a license for these other nine states:
- West Virginia
Step 2 – Take a pre-licensing course
You can do this at your nearest accredited real estate licensing school or online. The cost of this is about $350, but online may be cheaper. It is a good idea to shop around to find the best price. This pre-licensing course is compulsory, and you will not be able to take the licensing exam without it.
Step 3 – Register and do the licensing exam
Your instructor from the pre-licensing course should be able to help you with registration, or you can visit your state’s real estate commission website. The cost of this exam is about $300 but can vary in different states. The exam is multiple choice and covers your state’s real estate laws and the general principles and practices of real estate.
Step 4 – Submit Your Application
Once you pass the exam, you will need to activate your license by submitting an application to your state’s real estate regulatory service. The cost of this is usually between $200 and $400.
Step 5 – Find a Job
Now that you have a real estate license, you can start looking for a job with a real estate company. Try searching online for positions or visit the websites of reputable firms and apply for an interview.
How Does Commission Work?
Most estate agents earn a living from commission only. A percentage of the property sale will be taken by the broker. The percentage earned on a house sale is usually between 4 and 6 percent but can vary in different markets.
The listing agent will also get a cut of the commission. The bigger the sale, the bigger the commission, so the goal is to sell the most expensive properties on the market.
Real Estate Companies You Need To Know About
The real estate industry is extremely competitive, with agents and brokers all trying to get the upper hand in their respective towns and cities. The best way to get ahead is by providing the best service and going the extra mile for your clients, and by making the whole process of the house sale fast and hassle-free for both the seller and the buyer.
These are the biggest names operating across the country and have good reputations among real estate agents:
- Keller Williams Realty
- Coldwell Banker Real estate
- Century 21
- Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
- eXp Realty
- Sotheby’s International Realty
- Home Services of America
- EXIT Realty
The Benefits Of Being A Real Estate Agent
- It offers more freedom than being in a regular office job. You can make your own hours. As long as you’re selling and making money, you’re doing fine.
- You can work from home. You will, however, need to meet with clients and scout out properties though.
- You will develop amazing communication skills – which will benefit you in all areas of life.
- You can earn a lot of money, especially if you deal with multiple clients and work towards selling high-end properties.
- You have the privilege of working with families and helping people buy their dream homes, which is often one of the most important decisions they will make in life.
Further Your Career In Real Estate
If you’re not sure about what the various positions entail, check out my Real Estate Agent Job Description and my Real Estate Assistant Job Description, along with my Leasing Agent Job Description, or Leasing Consultant Job Description, and my Assistant Property Manager Job Description, and Property Manager Job Description.
Let’s help you ace those exams with the Real Estate License Exams For Dummies with Online Practice Tests and the Real Estate Licensing Exams with Online Digital Flashcards, or alternatively, the Real Estate Exam Flash Cards and the complete Real Estate License Exam Prep: All-in-One, all available online in 2022.
The real estate market is extremely competitive, so make sure you excel at your job with The Book of YES – The Ultimate Real Estate Agent Conversation Guide, or perhaps the Exactly What to Say: For Real Estate Agents, as well as the Success as a Real Estate Agent For Dummies, and lastly, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent.
Starting a new career in real estate may take a bit of time and money in order to become fully qualified.
Keep in mind that you will probably have to wait for your first sale before you get your first paycheck, but the rewards can be very lucrative, and the work is enjoyable and flexible. If you are a people person, have a passion for selling, and are ready to put in the extra work, then this career can make you a lot of money.
Many real estate agents work on a part-time basis, working only on weekends to make extra money. This is something to consider if you need a side hustle – and who doesn’t these days?
If you think becoming an estate agent could give you the lifestyle you want, then go for it.
Good luck, and enjoy working as a Real Estate Agent!