How to Get a Real Estate License
Table of Contents
Real Estate License Eligibility
Each state sets its own eligibility requirements. These requirements ensure that students and real state applicants are qualified to manage the complex process of buying and selling real estate. Moreso, they want to ensure a person meets the legal requirements for engaging in negotiations like this, including the creation of formal contracts.
To be a licensed real estate agent, most states require individuals to be 18 years of age or older, but some states require students to be at least 19. In addition to this, they must have legal U.S. residency and the ability to work in the state. Some states also require individuals to have a high school diploma or GED, but many do not.
Once the requirements have been met, students can apply for entry into an educational program to complete pre-licensing courses. Some states require students to obtain education through an approved or recognized provider. Once they complete this, students must then pass a state licensing examination.
Take Required Classes
There's a lot that goes into the process of selling real estate. Those who wish to become licensed agents must go through formal training, which requires taking courses over a period of time that may range from a few weeks to several months. Some schools allow students to learn over time with self-paced learning. This may make it easier to obtain education even when the student is working another job or caring for a family.
Pre-licensing course costs range from $200 up to $1100 or more. Again, costs differ significantly from one program to the next. Many are available online, which may help to lower costs.
During these courses, students study real estate law, marketing, sales, contracts, ethics, and more. Topics covered in this program are generally designed to help students understand the legal process and requirements of real estate sales. Some courses can also help students develop skills to build a business, such as communication or sales.
Get a Real Estate Scholarship
The cost of real estate education can be prohibitive to some people, but that shouldn't stop them from getting an education. That's where a real estate scholarship may help many. Some brokerages may offer a scholarship program to help real estate students build their new careers. Benefits of a scholarship can include fee reimbursement, additional studying materials that can't be found anywhere else, and in some cases, a chance to work for the brokerage that sponsored the scholarship.
A real estate scholarship is well within reach for students who are ready to apply themselves. Kris Lindahl Real Estate is happy to offer a real estate scholarship with all the advantages typically seen in these scholarships. New students can have their entire education paid for in full, and even students who have already started their real state education journey can have their money reimbursed if they are accepted into the program. Scholarship slots are limited, so act quickly to secure one and start a brand new career in real estate.
Take the State Exam
Each state issues a state licensing exam. This is a way for the real estate board to determine if a student has the skills and knowledge to advise and manage the real estate sales process. The test ranges in length and material covered. However, most tests will be extensive and designed to really ensure applicants have the education they need to do an exceptional job working in the industry.
The exam is typically in-person. Students may spend two or more hours completing the test, though this depends on the real estate authority itself. There is typically a fee that ranges from $50 to several hundred dollars, as well. All this information can be found on the real estate regulatory authority for the state's website.
In addition to taking the exam, some states require individuals to pass a background check. Some states will require the background check before the exam, while others require submission with the real estate license application. Some states also require students to submit fingerprints and may verify identity as well. All of this helps ensure the identity of the individual. State laws differ significantly on these rules, so it's best to know the rules in the state before starting on the educational path.
Find a Broker and Mentor
In many states, those who wish to work as a real estate agent must be sponsored by a current brokerage, while other states encourage but don't require it. Joining a brokerage can be beneficial for many reasons: it helps agents get into the proper environment and ensures appropriate mentors and supportive resources are available to help them succeed. Even though they've completed the necessary education, there's still a lot to learn in the first years working as a real estate agent. In a brokerage, individuals gain access to tools to help support their business's growth and success.
Working with a broker has its advantages, but there may be some costs involved, but this depends on the agreement set up with the brokerage. When mandated, it may not be possible to obtain a real estate license without sponsorship from a brokerage. Some individuals may pay fines if they operate without this type of protective arrangement and oversight after receiving their license. For that reason, it's beneficial for agents to focus on building a business with the brokerage and getting their name out there.
It's always important to turn to the state's regulatory authority to determine what the rules are in that state for getting and maintaining their license. The rules discussed here apply in most states, but they can differ and even change over time. Here are a few examples.
One of the most common differences is in the amount and type of education required. In New York, students take 75 hours, while California requires 135 hours of education.
Some states, such as Arizona, Texas, New Jersey, and Hawaii, require students to complete their real estate education if they move into the state. That means that even though they have a license in another state, they may need to go through the process a second time to receive licensing in these states.
Another area of difference is continuing education, or courses real estate agents need to take to maintain their education. For example, agents need to complete 15 clock hours of continuing education every two years to maintain their license in Alabama. In Massachusetts, the requirement is 12 hours of continuing education to renew licenses.
How to Renew a Real Estate License
Most states make real estate agents renew their licenses every few years. This differs by state, but it is common for individuals to meet continuing education requirements as a starting point. Agents may also need to maintain their connection to a brokerage for some time, depending on state laws.
Most often, renewing a license is as simple as completing an application form and sending in a fee by a specific time. Be sure to check the requirements in the state. For example, in Minnesota, agents must complete 30 hours of continuing education before the renewal deadline (June 30th) every two years. Renewal is also completed every two years in Florida and requires agents to complete 14 hours of continuing education in specific areas of interest, such as ethics, business practices, and updates to Florida law. Costs for renewal can range from $100 up to $500, depending on the state.
Keep in mind some states have other laws and rules about inactivity. If the individual is not a practicing agent with a brokerage for a certain time, they may need to reapply, which may include new testing to ensure they meet the education and skill requirements. The fees and continuing education in these cases may also differ.
How to Get Started on the Path of Real Estate Education Now
There are many opportunities to consider when it comes to obtaining a real estate license. Without a doubt, it takes some time and a lot of work to earn an education and license, but the opportunities to serve the community by helping them meet their goals are often well worth it. This is always a personal decision and one that each individual should make based on their interests and goals.
Most importantly, individuals working to earn their real estate license need to learn the specific requirements in their state. Take the time to determine which agency oversees this process in the state. Work to meet the established goals for earning a license.
For those looking for a way to get started without spending a lot of money, consider the scholarship opportunities available to assist. This may be exactly what a person needs to get started on a new career path and pursue the exciting opportunities that come with it.