Should You Get A Real Estate License?

By
Real Estate Agent with Davis R. Chant, REALTORS RS301772

Should you get a real estate license?

The answer to that question is tied up with the answer to several other questions.

 

1. Do you like people?  

2. Do you like houses?

If the answer to either of these questions is YES, then the answer to the first question is NO, because you will end up hating both within six weeks. Or less.

How about:

3. Do you have enough money saved to pay all of your regular bills, plus several more NEW bills, for the next several months?  

4. Are you able to go several weeks at a time without a paycheck?

If the answer to either of these questions is NO, then the answer to the first question is NO, because you will starve and have your utilities shut off unless you get really lucky in your first few weeks as a real estate agent. 

So many people think having a real estate license is equal to money in the bank.  It is one way to earn money. And some agents do get "lucky" and walk right into a sweet, easy deal that seemed to be effortless. But for every one of those "easy peasy lemon squeezy" deals, there are at least 30 that are akin to giving birth to 11 lb triplets breech without drugs.

Anyone can get a real estate license - honestly, all you have to do is pay a few hundred bucks for a 60 hour class & cram a bit to pass the test. Most brokers will hire you if your biggest skill is to fog a mirror. Some will hire you even if you can't do that.   This is unfortunate.  This is why so many have such a low opinion of real estate agents; most likely because they've been burned in a transaction by a mirror fogger.

A competent real estate agent isn't an accident.

A competent real estate agent spends hours learning about the communities in her market. A competent agent studies the price trends.  She knows the difference between a fireplace and a wood stove. A competent agent knows that excellent marketing requires a strong working knowledge of basic grammar, and that every seller deserves professional quality photography.  She needs to understand that the longer it takes a home to sell, the more it costs the seller in taxes, mortgage payments, and community fees, among lost time and shattered plans.

A competent agent understands contracts, deadlines, contingencies, and requirements for qualifying for a mortgage.  She knows that she needs to respect Fair Housing Laws and RESPA regulations. She should know about how mold, underground fuel tanks, and smoking can affect a sale price.  

She needs to know the significance of homes built prior to 1978.  If she works in the country, she needs to have a basic knowlege about how a septic tank functions and who to call when bacteria or e-coli shows up in a well. 

An agent worth her salt knows that the client needs are more important than her needs.  Today's real estate agent needs to be comfortable working with computers (way beyond using Facebook).  Being able to think outside the box and being flexible are extremely important skills.  

She needs to know that she holds within the palm of her hands someone's biggest asset or investment. She needs to understand that people trust her with hundreds of thousands of dollars of decisions. She needs to handle that trust with care.

Competency requires hard work, dedication, commitment.  This is a terrific career, and would be an excellent choice for many women - but not all women. Only women willing to study, learn, commit, sacrifice, and treat this with the seriousness it deserves should apply.  You need to have money to do this - don't think you're going to start collecting $100 bills every day just because you have a real estate license.

If you're "a people person" simply looking for a "fun way to earn some extra cash," may I suggest selling LuLaRoe, ThirtyOne, or MaryKay. Real estate isn't for dabblers, or part timers, or gals who just need something to do. You have people's finances in your hands.  Treat that responsibility with respect. 

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Karen Rice (that's me!) lists & sells in Tanglwood, Wallenpaupack Lake Estates, Hideout, Indian Rocks, Masthope, Fawn Lake, Tink Wig, Woodland Hills, Walker Lake, Hemlock Farms, & more in Pike & Wayne County.

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Rainmaker
569,710
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

This was a good article, but I've been in real estate for seven years and love to tour houses, talk about houses, buy houses, sell houses, and invest in houses!

Feb 16, 2017 09:13 PM #1
Rainmaker
1,036,689
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Do you have $2000 for NAR, MLS, membership, lockbox?

Do you have $800-2000 for E&O insurance?

Do you have $200-400/month desk fee?

Do you have an import car for driving people around?

Are you willing to show 100 homes to a client and get blamed because your buyer wants to low ball every home and have another two or three agents competing with you?

Do you have the passion and patience?

Feb 16, 2017 09:59 PM #2
Rainmaker
541,321
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

Wow your E&O is pricey! I pay $150/year, and no desk fee.  Great questions though! People have NO IDEA how much it costs to be a REALTOR!  Don't forget paying for your continuing education every 2 years.

Feb 16, 2017 10:11 PM #3
Rainmaker
777,942
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

If you're "a people person" simply looking for a "fun way to earn some extra cash," may I suggest selling LuLaRoe, ThirtyOne, or MaryKay. Real estate isn't for dabblers, or part timers, or gals who just need something to do. You have people's finances in your hands.  Treat that responsibility with respect.  

Love.

You are very straight forward.  I like that. -Kasey

Feb 16, 2017 10:40 PM #4
Ambassador
4,301,228
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Karen Rice - well said! 

"A competent real estate agent isn't an accident."

Not everyone can be skilled in all the professions - and that is true for Real Estate, too.

Feb 16, 2017 11:06 PM #5
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Rainmaker
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Karen Rice

Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales
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