Q&A - How To Become a Real Estate Agent

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Q&A - How To Become a Real Estate Agent


I've been asked this question a lot lately, and I've had to explain the process of how to become a real estate agent several times the last few days. Apparently, lots of people want to know, so I figured that a great blog post would be to explain the entire process.
Q: How do you become a real estate agent?
A: Ok, first off, let's start with the preliminary requirements. You've got to at least meet these requirements before even starting the process:
1. Be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
2. Be at least 19 years old;
3. Show proof of bona fide residency in any state in the U.S.;
4. Show proof of high school graduation or GED;
5. Not have been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude;
6. Not have had a real estate application or license rejected or revoked in any statewithin the past two years.

If you meet these requirements, the first thing you've got to do is seek out a real estate school. There is a 60-hour pre-license course that you must go through. You can attend this class at any of the various real estate schools throughout Alabama. These classes are offered in either live classes, online, or on video. After you've gone through the course, you must pass the course exam at the end. After passing the exam, you'll receive a certificate of completion and will be able to take the Alabama State Real Estate License Exam. And, yes, you'll actually have to pass the test.
I remember taking the exam. It wasn't quite as bad as I expected. I do remember studying a lot before taking it. You should certainly study as much as you can. Some people don't take it seriously the first time, and miss a passing grade by only a few points. Remember, it costs you money every time you take it, so its worth it to put your best effort in it and pass it the first time.
After passing the license exam, you'll receive a temporary license, and will be able to practice real estate at that point. You'll need to attend a 30-hour post license course within 6 months of receiving your temporary license in order for it to be converted to to permanent status.
Throughout that process, you'll need to find and commit to a real estate company. It may be best to interview a few different brokers in order to find the place where you feel will best serve your interests, and will offer you the support you need. At Home Grown Real Estate, we offer training to all our new agents through mentors who will offer you one-on-one support helping guide you through your first year of working in real estate.
There are also other things you'll need to consider when looking to be a licensed real estate agent. In order to work with most companies, you'll need to join the local Board of Realtors, along with the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which will allow you access to all of the property listings in your area.
After all is said and done, you should expect to spend around $1000 to get started and going in the real estate business. You should also have money set aside for advertising, signs, a camera, measuring tape, flashlight, and any other additional expenses or equipment you might need along the way.
You should remember that being a real estate agent is really like starting your own company. While you will work under a broker at a company, you will be considered an independent contractor. This, in and of itself, has many benefits, including tax benefits, the ability to set your own schedule, to handle your own advertising and marketing, to choose what you specialize in and how you run your business. You can work full-time or part-time. As long as you stay within the confines of the law, and follow the broad guidelines of your own broker, you can pretty much do what you want with your business. It can be a very rewarding career move that gives you opportunities to help other people manage their most valuable assets.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at jbpettus@gmail.com or call me at 256.541.0491.

Joshua B. Pettus


Home Grown Real Estate






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