How to Become a Real Estate Agent

canstockphoto7389306Here are the basic steps necessary to become a real estate agent:

First find out the requirements for your particular State. Pre-licensing is required for all states as are some college level courses on licensing subjects pertaining to real estate principles and practices. Age (usually 18 years old), and US citizenship are also requirements in most cases. Additional training courses may be required by the agency for which you will begin working.

Real Estate agents must work with a registered broker. Contact a broker or brokerage firm while in training who is willing to sponsor you. The best way to find a broker willing to sponsor you is to simply look up a list of brokerages in your area, pick up the phone and start calling them. Most real estate professionals will be glad to help you to get your career started, just as they were in turn helped when they were starting their career.

After graduating from training, it is necessary to pass the state and national examinations, for which the fees vary. Every state has different requirements, so you should check the exact requirements for your state. All require you to take specific training courses and pass the required exam(s).

A criminal background check is mandatory. You may also be required to prove state residency in the state you want to get your license. This is sometimes done to prevent individuals from getting licenses in states they don’t live in to sell in multiple states (this can be more common in locations close to state borders, especially if neighboring states have different tax laws or other incentives that make practicing in a bordering state more attractive).

Apart from paying for your training courses (which are usually in the $100-$300 range), paying for your textbooks ($40-$200 each), paying to take your exam(s), and paying for your license, you will have to budget for advertising through business cards, web design and other necessary costs, along with real estate association fees. Additional funds may be needed to be set aside to tide a new agent over until he/she begins to make commissions on sales for start-up costs and other related business expenses. Most new agents don’t start to make a full time living for at least six months after starting in real estate sales, so it’s wise to have a substantial buffer of savings before starting your career in real estate.