Simple Steps to Becoming a Real Estate Agent

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What are the steps to becoming a Real Estate Agent?

Now that you’re ready to become a real estate agent, the next step is obtaining your real estate license. The requirements for real estate licensing vary widely from state to state. Some states require a certain level of education, and/or a certain number of credit hours in real estate coursework before you can take your licensing exam. No matter which state you live in, you need to follow these basic steps to get your real estate license:

·         Understand your state’s requirements

The first step in learning how to become a real estate agent is to research your state's pre-license course requirements. Each state is different so it's important that you pay attention to which courses are required for your state.

·         Select a real estate school

Make sure you select an accredited real estate school that offers pre-licensing coursework specific to your state. You will also want to decide if an online school or a classroom is the best option for you. We’ve put together a list of five key questions to ask when choosing a real estate school that can help you make an informed decision. 

·         Complete your pre-licensing coursework

All states require some form of pre-licensing coursework before you can take the real estate licensing exam. The type and amount of coursework needed will vary from state to state. Determine how much your pre-licensing coursework will cost in case you need to save some money or get financing before you launch your real estate career.

·         Study for your real estate pre-licensing exam

Before you can take your state real estate exam, you’ll have to pass the pre-licensing exam at the end of your coursework. Many students choose online coursework, in which case this exam will be online, too. Don’t be intimidated by the thought of studying for an exam, even if you’ve been out of school for a while. These study hacks can help you maximize your time and set you up for success on test day. Once you pass, you'll need to obtain your official transcripts or a certificate of course completion.  If you think you may need some extra guidance, consider a real estate exam prep program that will help you study state-specific material for your state real estate exam. 

·         Apply for and schedule your state real estate exam

Once you pass your real estate pre-licensing coursework, it's time to sign up for your state licensing exam. Research when and where the next real estate exam will be in your state. These are most frequently administered by third-party testing centers. Make sure you get information about parking, hours and any materials you’ll need to bring with you on test day. Some states require that you get fingerprinted, complete a background check, or have Errors and Omissions Insurance on hand before you can take your state exam. Before you take your exam, ask the testing center what documents you’ll need to have on test day.

·          Select a broker

Depending on your state, you may be required to be sponsored by your broker in order to take the real estate exam. Choosing your broker may happen at this stage, or it may happen later, once you pass your test and are ready to start working. Selecting a broker to work for is one of the biggest steps of your real estate career. Your broker can influence how you get paid, how much you earn, your niche and what resources are available to help you advance in your career. Make sure you do your research on this step and find a broker who truly meshes with your goals.

More: 7 Reasons Why Joining a Real Estate Team is Beneficial

·         Pass your state licensing exam

Taking and passing your state licensing exam is one of the most important steps on our checklist of how to become a real estate agent. Each state has different passing requirements for the licensing exam. To help ensure you pass your exam the first time, remember to consider taking a real estate exam prep course.

·         Join professional real estate organizations

Once you’ve passed the exam and earned your real estate license, you’ll want to become a member of your state and local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) and perhaps the National Association of REALTORS®. These organizations provide valuable networking tools and professional resources. As a member, you’ll be able to attend national conferences and get access to valuable research that can help you stay updated on trends and best practices in your niche.

·         Complete necessary real estate post-licensing coursework

A handful of states require you to complete real estate post-licensing coursework within the first 6–12 months after you obtain your real estate license. Don’t let this slip from your radar.

·          Launch your real estate career

Once you have all your systems in place, let everyone know you’re in the real estate business. Soon you’ll start interacting with potential buyers and sellers, and you’ll be in business! Now comes the part you’ve been waiting for — your first transaction. Even if you feel confident it’s always a good idea to have a more experienced agent check your work to make sure you’re doing the very best for your clients. After it’s all done, sit down, give yourself a pat on the back and smile — you’re officially a real estate agent.

For expert training and education consider joining eXp Realty.

More Great Advice for Real Estate Agents:

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100 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Getting into Real Estate



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Comments (4)

Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.  Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day!

Jan 24, 2022 07:19 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello and thanks for sharing this great information with us here in the Rain.  Make it a great Monday!

Jan 24, 2022 07:30 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Hi Tammy Emineth . My steps were a little different. A very successful agent/broker associate told me I'd be great as a RE agent. Because of his encouragement I visited with the firms Broker and they offered to pay my expenses to acquire my license as long as I gave them at least a year. It worked out well BUT I would advise others thinking about it to START by shopping for a Broker and seeing who will help them out the most even before studying for the exam.

Jan 24, 2022 08:40 AM
Tammy Emineth

Excellent advice and you're right, it can be very different for different folks!

Jan 24, 2022 09:13 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

A very thoughtful and very thorough summary for those considering a career in real estate sales. 

Jan 24, 2022 11:21 AM