Is It Time To Get My Real Estate License?

Services for Real Estate Pros with RE/MAX Town & Country

Yes! I have decided to take the plunge and get my real estate license.

For several years I've been buying and selling real estate as an investor. I have assigned multiple purchase contracts to other investors. I've worked with several agents and other real estate professionals along the way.

I've avoided getting my license simply because my primary business is investing. Many of my investor friends started out like me but then eventually decided to get their real estate license.

Investing in Real Estate

Like my investor friends who have become agents, I plan on keeping the investment side of the business my primary focus. And being a licensed agent will give me some extra opportunities I have to pass up now because I'm not licensed.

Real Estate Investing Has Prepared Me to Get My License

Over the years I have done many things in my real estate investment business which has prepared me to be an investor / agent:

Property Valuation - I evaluate comps like a nerd! I analyze data on a potential investment property before I buy. The process of placing an accurate value on a property that I am going to buy for investment purposes gives me great insight into the market conditions. I think the way I do property valuation is more like an appraiser than an agent, which I think will come in handy when I have a client that needs a more thorough analysis than comps usually provide.

Home Inspection - I've learned to inspect homes thoroughly. I can see what repairs need to be made in distressed houses to bring them up to full retail market value. I go up into attics, on roofs, and under crawl spaces to find anything that may need to be repaired on a house. I have purchased houses with structural problems and fire damage. I have the capability to help clients who may want some factual information about the property condition before they decide to put in an offer and bear the expense of hiring a professional home inspector.

Home Renovation Contractors Expenses - What does it cost to make repairs on a property? When I first got started investing in real estate, I didn't know much about the costs of home renovation. Now I have experience fully renovating distressed real estate. I am actively doing this as an investor, therefore I know what the actual real-world costs are to make various kinds of repairs and updates on a house. I work with investor friendly contractors who I can recommend to my clients. With all the distressed foreclosures on the market, my connections to good contractors is a powerful tool to assist clients.

Investor Network - I have a cash buyer list of investors who I've done deals with over the years. Whenever I get a great potential investment property listed, I have buyers I can market to right away. This is a good thing!

Lenders - I have worked with many types of lenders. Many lenders will not lend on the types of properties I find. This has forced me to find lenders who have the capability of providing funding in today's market which is flooded with distressed properties. Mortgage lenders, hard money lenders, and private money lenders in my network are all eager to loan money for clients to purchase distressed real estate.

Now that I have finally made the decision to get my license, I plan on studying hard and getting it done as quickly as possible. I'm going to enroll in my course on Monday.

And I plan on blogging about my learning experience.

Any advice from agents is welcome and please wish me luck please!

Comments (54)

Gregory Bain
Mezzina Real Estate & Insurance - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
For Homes on the Jersey Shore

Well, good luck with that.

Oct 16, 2011 02:15 PM
Judy Orr
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale AZ and surrounding towns

I know there are many licensed agents that invest.  I don't know how they are treated by banks, IOW whether it hurts them in trying to get a foreclosure or short sale, since they have to disclose they are licensed.  Do banks care if the offer is good or do they prefer an unlicensed buyer - re:  arms length transactions?

Oct 17, 2011 03:28 AM
Maren Sutton
Livin On The Coast - Corona del Mar, CA

Read comments #11 and #24 carefully and take their "advice" to heart. Being a licensed sales person is indeed a very different world from which you live in You will find many constrictions and restrictions along with a whole new level of "liability risk".

Oct 17, 2011 03:50 AM
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Like some of the previous posts there is a lot more to the story. It definitely changes the rules, As an agent you are expected to be an expert in everything. Changes the negotiation rules. You need to disclose you are an agent on every property you participate in. Get liability insurance. Good luck with it. It is not an easy path.

Oct 17, 2011 04:11 AM
Kate Akerly
Kaminsky Group - Manhattan Beach, CA
Manhattan Beach Residential Sales

And if you ever come across buyers and sellers (or your own listings) on the investment side of the business, you can consider referring them all out to agents if you don't want to service them personally.  Now that you have a license you can collect the referral fee.

Oct 17, 2011 04:27 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Competition increases the performance of all players, so welcome. Good luck on your new business. 

Oct 17, 2011 04:43 AM
Freida Knight
1st Knight Realty, Inc. - Auburn, GA


I thnk it is a great time for you to get your license. I am the broker/owner of a small real estate company in Northeast Atlanta where you are in Northwest Atlanta. Let me give you some of my experience because it applies directly your qualifications. I have building background and accounting background. Two of my agents are former builders, home inspectors, renovators. They have done very well in this crazy market. They have been in real estate for 1 yr & 2 yr respectively.

I feel confident that you will do so too. You will bring much more to the table than the average new agent.

Wishing you the very best!

Freida Knight, 1st Knght Realty, Inc., Auburn, GA 770-867-1901


Oct 17, 2011 05:25 AM
Morris "Bill" Austin
Team Price Real Estate - Dripping Springs, TX
Exceptional service is my standard expectation.


Just remember who is your client. What you should / can say about cost of repairs, inspections, & financing for your clients differs from what you can do for yourself.


Oct 17, 2011 05:56 AM
Debra Miller
Bella Real Estate - El Dorado Hills, CA

Read Satar's comment carefully and make sure that you are not getting your license to only represent yourself in transactions. You will also need to take a step back and not be an advisor in home inspections, etc. Now that you will be licensed there are things that you CANNOT say or do compared to when you were unlicensed.

I came into the business with a similar background and it helped me tremdously, but I also had to unlearn things I was able to do on the "outside".

It sounds like your enthusiasm and experience will make you ahead of the curve, so good luck with your new endeavor! Passing the test is easy, real life real estate is not!

Oct 17, 2011 07:01 AM
Brian Park
Danville, CA


keep it up, and like others said think broker. I was an investor for 10 years before I got licensed because I kept running into deals that were not deals for me as an investor but definitely deals for me as an agent. You won't regret it, I have seen the other posts mentioning drawbacks to doing both but I never ran into one worth giving up my license for.

Some here say you have to disclose but that depends on the state. For example in California there is no state statute requiring a agent to disclose their status, the only requirement is the contractual one you make with the Association of Realtors that requires you to disclose through their code of ethics and a good disclosure form will actually help you to get the deal. Mine was 12 good reasons to sell to a licensed real estate agent, kind of a built in sales pitch within the disclosure..

Oct 17, 2011 07:07 AM
Kent Dills
Broker, Dills Real Estate - Bellingham, WA
Real Estate 817-495-8028, Bellingham, Washington

John, congrats on the decision to get your license.  Your previous experience will be a big benefit but don't be surprised if your course and the state and federal exams contain content - and then test you on it - that seems totally unrelated to your experience.  No worries though - once past that and you'll have smooth sailing!  ;-)

Oct 17, 2011 07:08 AM
Freida Knight
1st Knight Realty, Inc. - Auburn, GA

I do agree that you have to be careful what you say to buyers and sellers when you bring knowledge (real world knowledge) to the table. But it surely does help you to know what questions to ask and to help you recognize whether or not the answer is appropriate to the discussion at hand. My agents and I are very careful, especially in the area of renovations. But you have a marvelous background to hit the ground running.

Freida Knight, 1st Knight Realty, Inc. 770-867-1901


Oct 17, 2011 07:08 AM
PRG Real Estate - San Jose, CA
VA Home Loan Specialist - SF Bay Area

Congratulations John. Now that you have knowledge about the investing side, you will have no problem explaining situations to your new buyers. Good Luck!

Oct 17, 2011 12:05 PM
Michael Singh,Broker
Singh Real Estate - Corral de Tierra, CA

Congratulations,  I started out the same way and your resume looks good.

Oct 17, 2011 05:40 PM
John Marion
RE/MAX Town & Country - Canton, GA

Thank you all once again for all your comments and suggestions. I'm about to start studying this week!

Oct 17, 2011 10:54 PM
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi John,  Why not the commission you earn just adds to the return.  I factor it into my deals!

Oct 18, 2011 05:42 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

In today's market there is not a lot of Passive Losses in Real Estate.  Most people start making money right away when they pruchase a rental.  But Real Estate Agent's passive loss write off's are not restricted.

Oct 18, 2011 08:44 AM
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Congratulations on your decision and good luck!  Real Estate is a tough business. -Kasey

Oct 18, 2011 06:16 PM
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

Great decision!  I was actually an agent 1st (10 years ago) and an investor 2nd (9 years ago), however I spend about 85% of my time solely on investing over the past 5-7 years.  However, I still close 4-5 million in sales volume every year as an agent on referrals or repeat business that fall in my lap...which is an extra $100k to grow my business.  No other way to go in my opinion!

Mar 24, 2012 02:49 AM
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta

Good luck with getting your license! That's an exciting move! There's a crash course that is 3 weeks I think, so you could do it fast or have less longer days and have it take a little longer.

Mar 27, 2012 12:23 AM