Frequently Asked Questions About Real Estate Licensure
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Your Common Real Estate Education Questions Answered
Whether you’re just getting started or you’re a seasoned veteran, the real estate industry can be incredibly confusing. To help, we created the Real Estate Agent Encyclopedia. This guide will answer your questions through every phase of your real estate career.
How do you become a real estate agent?
The process to become a real estate agent varies by state, but it typically includes a combination of the following:
- Ensuring you meet the prerequisites, like being 18 or older
- Completing the required Pre-Licensing education
- Passing your state’s real estate examination,
- Finding a real estate Broker under whom to work
- Submitting an application to your real estate commission
- Paying appropriate fees, like background checks and state licensing fees
For more detail on each step, check out our step-by-step guide to becoming a real estate agent.
How long does it take to get your real estate license?
For most people, completing the educational portion will take between four and six months, though the length of time needed to finish your real estate education, pass your real estate exam, and complete the real estate license application process will vary by person and state. If you choose to take online courses, you can set the pace for your education, which means you can finish your real estate license requirements quicker than you can with traditional classes.
This detailed explanation of how long it takes to get your real estate license alsooutlines the requirements to get started.
What does a real estate agent do?
Helping people find their dream homes is all in a day's work for agents, but that just scratches the surface of everything that these professionals do. We’ve created this in-depth guide to outline what a real estate agent does, their duties, and how they help those they serve.
What real estate skills do agents need?
The good news is that you don't need a specific educational background to become a top real estate agent. However, there are some specific qualities of a good real estate agent and skills needed to be an agent that leading performers share. Some of the top 10 real estate skills you need to master include communication skills, local knowledge, teaching skills, and real estate knowledge.
Bear in mind that these qualities of a good real estate agent are just a sampling; if you don’t possess all of these real estate skills, you can still become a successful agent.
Can you get a real estate license online?
When it comes to real estate in the U.S., it varies by the state in which you live. Many states allow you to get a real estate license online. Online education has grown significantly in popularity, particularly within the last year. We’ve written this article to provide more details on online real estate education.
How much does a real estate school cost?
Pricing varies by state and region. It also varies by the level of real estate education that you need. Real estate school costs between $83.30 - $1,000 (though some brick and mortar schools run higher). The state licensing exam costs anywhere from $36.75 - $66.00.
Here is a list of all 50 states and the associated cost of getting a real estate license there.
What is real estate Pre-Licensing education?
Pre-Licensing is the regulatory education required by each state’s real estate commission for getting your license. Completing real estate Pre-Licensing is typically the first step in getting your real estate license.
Learn more about the Pre-Licensing requirements in your state.
How long should you study for the real estate exam?
How long each person needs to study varies for each individual. What can help each prospective student is to create a study plan. Of the six steps we recommend, you can use flashcards, study effectively, and complete as many practice exams as possible.
When it comes to studying for your real estate exam and how long you should do so, these six tips will put you on the right path and ease some of those concerns.
How do you pass the real estate exam the first time?
While there is no magic bullet for acing your exam on the first attempt, many industry professionals would agree that there is a best way to pass the real estate exam, and we’re prepared to tell you the best way to do just that.
This recipe for success includes a combination of practice, research, dedication, and mental preparation.
What to do after passing the real estate exam?
As a new professional joining an extensive network of other real estate professionals working to help buyers and sellers through the process, we’ve outlined the five logical steps to take after obtaining your license. Of those steps, you need to create a timeline, establish a budget, and network with other real estate professionals.
What is real estate Post-Licensing education?
Some states require additional education to complete your first renewal after you become a licensed agent, which is called Post-Licensing education. This page explains the requirements in your specific state regarding Post-Licensing credit hours.
How do you join a real estate brokerage?
Choosing the right brokerage directly correlates to your success as a real estate agent. To join a real estate brokerage, first consider whether you’d like to join a national real estate brokerage or real estate brokerage boutique. Next, find a real estate brokerage that fits your values and desired career trajectory by asking thoughtful questions during your brokerage interviews.
When selecting your brokerage, these steps will help narrow down your choices.
What is real estate Continuing Education?
Continuing Education is education required to retain your real estate license. Each state has different CE expectations, so find your state-specific Continuing Education requirements here.
Can you be a part-time real estate agent?
A part-time real estate career is quite common and offers a great opportunity to build a successful business on your schedule. The requirements to become a part-time real estate agent are the same requirements asked of full-time real estate agents. While these requirements vary by state, most follow a similar process involving the completion of Pre-Licensing education and passing the state licensing exam.
What is a real estate Broker?
A real estate Broker has more experience, undergoes more training, and ultimately makes more money than an entry-level agent. Entry-level real estate agents typically report to a Broker or brokerage. Brokers are allowed to open their own brokerage or property management firm. But that’s just the beginning.
This guide also lays out the types of Brokers, what Brokers do, what a brokerage is, and the services they provide.
How do you become a real estate Broker?
The first step to get your real estate Broker License is to make sure you meet the following real estate Broker requirements. Again, the rules will vary by state regarding how to become a real estate Broker, but these general guidelines can start you off on the right foot. To become a real estate Broker, you must:
- Be 18 year old or older
- Hold a high school diploma or its equivalent
- Have a valid real estate license
- Have two to four years of experience as an agent
- Take the required Broker education
- Pass the Broker licensing exam
- Complete your application and pay the related fees
For more information on what Brokers do and the reasons to become a Broker, this guide outlines everything you need to know.
What is the difference between a real estate agent and a Broker?
The requirements to become a real estate agent vs. a Broker are different. A real estate agent is an individual licensed to assist people in selling, purchasing, or renting real estate. An agent can also be known as a Salesperson, depending on the state in which they practice, and they work under a Broker. A real estate Broker typically has more education, experience, and responsibilities than an agent. Think of a Broker like a coach - though this coach could also still assist in the buying, selling, or renting of real estate if they choose to do so. Finally, a REALTOR® is any licensed real estate professional who becomes a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.
Understanding the different titles in real estate can be confusing, but it's not impossible. In your quest to decide between becoming a real estate agent vs. a Broker, this guide will give you all the insight into the different roles of real estate professionals.
What is the average real estate Broker’s salary?
Broker income varies depending on your experience levels, the size of your brokerage, and your location. We’ll delve into each of these factors within this guide.
What is the average commercial real estate agent’s salary?
According to Indeed, the average base salary for a commercial real estate agent is $84,475 per year. Beyond the commercial real estate salary and commercial real estate commission, working in this side of real estate can make for an exciting career. The following guide will explain what commercial real estate agents do and how their compensation is broken down.
How do you become a real estate developer?
To become a real estate developer, you need to get an education, establish a real estate developer network, join a real estate development firm, and then gain enough experience to become independent.
Becoming a real estate developer requires more experience than other real estate careers, but this role can be particularly rewarding and lucrative. This guide will cover how to get into real estate development.
How do you become a property manager?
Most employers require the ideal candidate to meet the minimum property management requirements. The most vital aspects regarding requirements vary depending on the state and nature of the property you will be managing. Some essential property manager requirements include:
- Age: Most states will only issue property management licenses to people who are 18+ years.
- High school diploma or GED
- Real Estate Education
- Real Estate Exam
How do real estate agents get paid?
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) established a 6% commission on the sale of houses, which is then split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. That leaves you with roughly 3% of the sale price, which, with a median U.S. home price of $227,000, equates to a $6,810 commission before brokerage costs and taxes.
To break that down: if you sell 10 homes at the median home price, you’ll gross $68,810 for the year. The national average real estate agent salary is $83k a year.
How does real estate commission work?
A commission is the fee paid when someone buys or sells a house. The average real estate commission is usually 5-6%, though that figure varies based on the agent’s real estate experience. Then the agent divides that figure with their Broker as outlined in their listing agreement.
How do real estate agent fees work?
A real estate agent fee is the payment received by real estate agents after making a sale on a property. It is usually paid to the brokerage for which the real estate agent works and is then split based on the agreed-upon contract. The standard real estate fee is 6% of the sale, though it can sometimes be closer to 5% on average.
Do real estate agents get health insurance?
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 22-33% of its members are uninsured every year. In other words, you’re not the only one who may be struggling with real estate health insurance!
What career opportunities are there in real estate?
After you complete your real estate education, you’re not “locked in” to one career path. Here are some of the careers you can hold in real estate:
- Residential real estate agent
- Real estate Broker
- Commercial real estate agent
- Real estate investor
- Home inspector
Real estate offers a wide variety of career paths from which you can choose.
How do you prepare your real estate elevator pitch?
A real estate elevator pitch is a brief explanation of who you are, what you do, and how you could help someone - ideally delivered in less than a minute. Some of the factors to keep in mind:
- Keep your pitch short
- Provide a specific example to show your value and experience
- Make a personal connection
How can you find a real estate mentor?
Real estate mentors can show you the ins and outs of the business, how to make yourself stand out in the sea of competition, and give you valuable insight to start your career on the right foot.
This guide will walk you through what to look for in a real estate mentor, finding a real estate mentor, how to find a real estate mentor who is right for you, and the benefits of real estate mentorship.
What is a listing agreement?
A listing agreement is a contract between the seller of a home and a real estate agent. This contract authorizes the Broker to work with third parties to help the seller find a buyer for the home.
How do real estate agents get listings?
Listings allow real estate agents to represent properties during the sales process. Here are some strategies to follow to ensure you get real estate listings:
- Identify your target
- Tap into your network
- Utilize social media
How real estate agents negotiate?
Real estate agents depend on their negotiation skills to close deals and make an income, but knowing how to negotiate deals is a learned trait. The optimal way to hone your real estate negotiation tips is through practice. Here are some factors to consider:
- Choose facts over emotions
- Build trust with your clients
- Be prepared for any offer
How do you prospect new clients in real estate?
Real estate prospecting is the method to build your clientele base, and, with it, your business. To successfully prospect new clients in real estate, you need to:
- Choose a real estate prospecting tactic
- Set prospecting goals
- Adhere to legal policies
How do you build a real estate website?
The first step in creating a great real estate website that shows off your services is selecting a website builder to host your site. But that’s just the beginning. You need to select an easy-to-remember domain name and also have content on your website that is relevant and useful to potential clients.
How can you build your personal brand in real estate?
The first step in solidifying your real estate branding is to identify your values. When it comes to personal branding, real estate agents should be able to not only identify their own values but also communicate them clearly to their clients. Some examples of possible values that may appeal to clients include:
What are the best apps for real estate agents?
The best apps for real estate agents are DocuSign, Zillow Premier Agent, Propertybase, Freshchat, HubSpot, and BrokerAssist.
For more details about what makes these (and several other) products great, we've put together this list of the best apps for real estate agents.
What tools are helpful to real estate agents?
Real estate technology tools can help you in many ways. Some of the tools real estate agents should have in their toolbox:
- Client relationship management systems
- Internal communication software
- Marketing and design tools
What is a real estate CRM?
A customer relationship management (CRM) organizes your leads’ and clients’ information in an easily accessible database, allowing you to focus on what matters most - providing top-quality services to your community. View CRMs for real estate like your personal assistant that can help you remember meetings and people you’ve assisted at some point in the past.
How do you create a real estate business plan?
The first step in putting together your real estate business plan is to create a mission statement. But after you create a mission statement that defines you and your business, what do you do? Here are a few key points to build a successful business plan:
- Develop a strategic plan
- Evaluate a time frame
- Identify a target audience
How do you hold an open house?
Here are some initial open house recommendations to get started:
Greet visitors at the door as they arrive
Upon entry, offer visitors a professionally printed pamphlet that outlines key points about the property along with your contact information.
Beyond those initial recommendations, we’ve outlined our open house tips to help you maximize your marketing efforts and bring in the sales.
Which states have real estate license reciprocity?
Each state has different rules regarding real estate license reciprocity, and it can be harrowing to track down those details on your own. Real estate reciprocity is the ability of a real estate license earned in one state to be used in other states.
We’ve created this detailed page that lays out each state’s real estate license reciprocity and portability rules.
Can you get a real estate license with a felony or criminal record?
Each state has different rules regarding real estate licensure and criminal records. Many states allow applicants with a felony or criminal record to obtain their real estate license if their history is disclosed to the real estate commission. For more details on rules in your state, we created this page to answer all of your questions regarding earning your real estate license with a criminal record.