How to Become a Real Estate Agent – Mahalo

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    • To become a real estate agent (also known as a real estate salesperson), you must obtain a real estate agent's license. No two states have the same regulations for obtaining a license.
    • Check with your individual state's Real Estate Commission or Department of Real Estate to learn about specific requirements.Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents: Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement While individual state requirements vary, there are some universal legal regulations that a person must meet.
    1. Age: You must be at least 18 years old to take the real estate agent exam.Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents: Training and Other Qualifications If you are under the age of 18, research your educational options and local real estate agencies while you wait to reach the required age.
    2. Education: A high school diploma or General Education Degree (G.E.D) is required before you can take the exam.Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents: Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement If you do not have a high school diploma or G.E.D., there are several avenues that you can take to obtain your diploma. These options include adult learning programs and online schools. Be sure to sign up with an accredited institution.About.com: How to Earn an Online High School Diploma as an Adult
    3. License: The proper license must be obtained before you can legally work as a real estate agent.Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents: Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement
    4. Written Exam: A written exam must be passed before you can be awarded a license. Many community colleges, adult learning annexes and real estate firms offer classes that help prepare an individual to take the written exam.Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents: Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

  • Step 2: Gather Information
    • In order to become a real estate agent, you must meet your state's requirements.

  • Real Estate Commission
    • Every state, including the District of Columbia, has a government agency devoted to real estate.
    1. Locate Your State's Real Estate Commission: This government agency is sometimes known as the Department of Real Estate. Find your state's commission here.ReMax: List of Schools and Commissions
    2. Real Estate Courses: Most states require that a prospective agent attend real estate courses for a specific number of hours before they can take the real estate agent's licensing exam.Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents: Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement Your state's Real Estate Commission will have a list of locations where you can attend the appropriate courses.ReMax: List of Schools and Commissions
    3. Miscellaneous: Your Real Estate Commission may inform you to:ReMax: List of Schools and Commissions
      1. Submit a background check (usually at your expense). Some states, such as Arkansas, require a background check.Arkansas Real Estate Commission: Arkansas Real Estate Commission
      2. How many hours of real estate courses you must attend.
      3. The minimum score accepted to pass your state's licensing examination.
      4. How long after passing your written licensing exam you will have to register with a real estate brokerage.Nolo Glossary: Real Estate Agent Definition A brokerage is the agency that you will work for. Examples of well known brokerages are: 21st Century, Prudential and ReMax.Century 21 Real Estate: Century 21 Real Estate Prudential: Prudential Real Estate ReMax: Remax Real Estate
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  • Interview an Agent
    • One of the best ways to gain insight into the world of real estate is to speak to an established agent.
    1. Prepare your questions:Before you speak with an agent, jot down any questions that you may have pertaining to becoming a real estate agent.About.com: Interview An Real Estate Agent Some questions to include are:
      1. Where can I register for real estate classes?
      2. Where can I take my real estate licensing exam?
      3. What do I do after I pass my exam?
      4. What is life like for a real estate agent?
      5. How many hours are in a typical work week?
      6. How are commissions split between the real estate agent and the brokerage?
      7. How often are payments disbursed?
      8. What fees are associated with working as a real estate agent?
    2. Interview an agent:While speaking to an established real estate agent, you will not only learn the requirements needed to become an agent, but you will learn what the work environment entails.
      1. If you have a relative or friend who is a real estate agent, ask to speak with them about your questions and concerns.
      2. Call or visit one of your local real estate brokerages and ask to make an appointment with an agent to discuss a future career.
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  • Step 3: Choose a School
    • Most states require that you attend real estate courses before you can sit for the real estate agent exam. Each state has different requirements as to how many hours you must attend.

  • Community and Junior Colleges
    • Many community and junior colleges offer courses in real estate.
    1. Visit your local real estate commission's website to learn which schools in your area offer courses in real estate.ReMax: List of Schools and Commissions
    2. Because not all schools are created equal, make a side-by-side comparison of the schools in your area. Compare such factors as:
      1. Price: Do pricier schools offer better courses?
      2. Course Schedule: Does the school offer courses that are conducive to your current schedule?
      3. Successful Course Completion Rate: How many students successfully pass the courses?
      4. Exam Pass Rate: Of those that pass the courses, how many go on to pass the real estate agent exam on the first attempt?
      5. Employment Rate: Does the school help their students find employment?

  • Online Real Estate Courses
    • Thanks to modern technology, a prospective real estate agent can now complete the required amount of real estate courses via the Internet.
    1. Check with your state's Department of Real Estate as to rather they will accept online course credits.ReMax: List of Schools and Commissions
    2. Only attend online real estate courses that are pertinent to your state.Van Ed: Online Real Estate Courses by State
    3. Search:Compare several online schools to determine which one best meets your needs.
      1. Price: Online schools offer real estate courses at different prices. For example Allied Real Estate School charges $228 for the California Real Estate Fast Track Premium Program.Allied Real Estate School: California Real Estate Fast Track Premium Program Allied Real Estate School: Allied Real Estate School
      2. Customer service: One of the drawbacks of online learning is that you do not interact with a teacher in a traditional classroom setting. It is important that your online school have someone available to answer your questions in a timely manner.
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  • Step 4: The Exam
    • Once you have successfully completed the required real estate courses, you will be eligible to take your licensing exam.

  • The Night Before
    1. Location: Find the location of where your exam is going to take place the night before your test. This will save you from getting lost and being late on test day.
    2. Studying: While some people prefer to study the evening before the big exam, others like to relax and unwind. Do what is best for you.
    3. Supplies: Gather all the supplies that you will need to take with you to the testing center and put them in a bag. This will not only save you time on exam morning, but it will also insure that you do not leave anything at home.
    4. Clothing: Decide what you are going to wear for exam day. Make sure your outfit is clean and pressed. While most state's don't require you to wear business clothes to the exam, having a professional look is never bad.
    5. Sleep: Get a good night's sleep.

  • What to Bring to the Exam
    • It is important to know what supplies to bring with you on exam day. Most likely these items will not be provided for you. Check with your Individual testing center to see what items are allowed.
    1. Notice: You may need to bring your official test notice to the exam center. This is the notice that informs you of your tests date and time.
    2. Photo I.D: Testing centers often require you to present an identification card when you sign in to take your exam.
    3. Calculator: Testing centers may allow a scientific or financial calculator to be used during the exam.
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  • Exam Subjects
    • No two states offer the same real estate licensing exam. Subject matter will vary state by state.
    1. General subjects:Most real estate licensing exams will test on subjects that encompass national and state specific laws and regulations. According to Peterson.com, there are several standard subjects that you will be tested on.Petersons.com: Real Estate Exam Information
      1. General real estate laws
      2. Financing
      3. Property size
      4. Taxes
      5. All aspects of real estate contracts
    2. Specific Questions: Your test will most likely also consist of state specific questions. Your real estate courses will have taught you about your state's real estate laws and procedures.
    3. Time: Time constraints vary by state.

  • Step 5: After the Exam
    • Once you have completed your exam, you will be ready to being your career as a real estate agent. Unfortunately, there are a few more steps that must be completed before you will be classified as an active real estate agent.
    1. Exam Completion: Once you have completed the exam, make sure to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.
    2. Exam Results: Each state has there own grading system when it comes to the real estate agent exam. The wait time for receiving your test result will vary.

  • You Passed the Exam
    • Once you have successfully passed your real estate agent's licensing exam, you will soon be able to begin your career.
    1. Brokerage: Once you have been notified that you have passed your exam, you will need to gain employment with a real estate brokerage (also known as a real estate agency).
    2. Employment:If you have not already done so, decide which real estate agency you would like to work for. Keep in mind that not all real estate agencies are the same. Make sure to compare agencies before signing any employment contracts.
      1. Commissions: You will split all commissions with your real estate brokerage.Forbes: How to Run A Real Estate Brokerage: Costs Percentages vary by brokerage.
      2. Benefits: Make sure to ask what type of benefits your real estate agency offers.
      3. Sales: Inquire about the real estate agencies recent sales. Even though you are usually responsible for finding your own clients, it is important to know whether your prospective agency makes steady sales.
    3. Activation:Not all, but most states, require you to contact your state's Real Estate Commission with your employment information so that you can be awarded your license.ReMax: List of Schools and Commissions
      1. License: After your employment is verified, you will receive your real estate agent's license.
    4. Career: At this point, you will be able to start selling and buying homes and property for your clients. You new life as a real estate agent has just begun!

  • You Failed the Exam
    • Unfortunately, not everyone passes the real estate licensing exam on the first try (or second or third). If you fail the exam, you will have to contact your state's Department of Real Estate and request a new exam date.ReMax: List of Schools and Commissions
    1. Assessment: Ask yourself why you failed your exam. Test anxiety, being preoccupied with other events and not knowing the material are all reasons people fail exams.
    2. Exam Prep: There are many resources available to help you prepare for your next attempt at the real estate agent licensing exam. You can also visit your local library, bookstore or Amazon.com to find workbooks that will help you prepare to retake your exam.Amazon.com: Real Estate Exam Secrets

  • Conclusion
    • While becoming a real estate agent takes a lot of hard work and determination, it is a rewarding career with unlimited earning potential. If you are diligent about gathering all pertinent information and giving your all to studying your courses, you should find a rewarding and long career as a real estate agent.

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