Real Estate Agent: 5 Steps to Becoming a Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers in a real estate transaction for a commission. These sales professionals educate, counsel and provide property listings to interested clients upon request. To become a real estate agent, a state-issued real estate license is required. Schools offering Real Estate degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Step 1: Research Real Estate Agent Career Duties and Education
Real estate agents are licensed commission-based professionals who mediate various individuals in financing, locating and selecting real estate properties for a fee. Real estate agents may specialize in residential properties, land, mobile homes, deeded parking, multi-family units, commercial properties and leasing. They are knowledgeable about neighborhoods, contract language, state laws, zoning and financing. Real estate agents obtain listings from sellers who want to sell their home and guide prospective buyers in finding property to purchase.
Real estate agents need to be high school graduates and pass a written exam. Most states forbid convicted felons from getting a real estate license.
Step 2: Enroll in a Real Estate Program
A high school diploma or GED is a state requirement to apply for a real estate license program. Most states require applicants to be 18 years and older, while some require a minimum age of 21. Pre-licensing programs may be found online or through a vocational school, university, community college or local real estate association. State laws vary on the number of required hours, but programs typically offer 30-90 classroom hours of pre-licensing study.
Step 3: Take the Real Estate License Exam
After passing all of the necessary pre-licensing courses, prospective real estate agents may take the licensing exam. Preparation for the exam may involve studying for a significant amount of time prior to scheduling the exam. Some states offer multiple chances to pass the exam within a year. Transcripts of the completed courses, a fee and completion of a registration form are needed to apply for taking the exam. Your state's real estate commission board can offer specific instructions on what testing services offer the exam.
Step 4: Apply for a Real Estate License
Applying for a real estate license may only be done after passing the written state exam. The state in which you're going to be licensed will typically need the license fee, sponsor card, state application, transcripts and proof of a passing examination. Licenses are typically renewed every 1-2 years, and state laws vary on continuing education requirements. All real estate agents are members of the National Association of Realtors (www.realtor.org), which has 1.3 million members.
Step 5: Find a Brokerage
After securing a real estate license, real estate agents need to find a brokerage to sponsor them. This selection is often made before submitting license information to the state, but may sometimes be identified afterward. New agents should conduct research in selecting a brokerage to determine if they are a fit. Employment of real estate agents is expected to rise 14% during 2008-2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).
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