What does a real estate agent’s career entail? What education do you need or do you have to complete professional courses? These questions may pop up in your head if you are interested in real estate and want to become a realtor. But before you can start your career, you must first obtain a real estate agent’s license and comply with a number of requirements.
In this guide, you will find answers to these questions and everything that has to do with the real estate industry.
Whatever the profession, people may decide to quit or temporarily give up their jobs. Instead of leaving the industry forever, one can place the license into an inactive status.
The process of deactivating a real estate license is different for each state and there may be some differences. For example, a state may only accept deactivation requests by paper application (by mail or in person). Others, on the other hand, may prefer online licensing systems to update the status of the license.
Such information can usually be found on official state websites of the Real Estate Commission. Every state also has its own rules of deactivation regarding the period a license can stay inactive. The state of Texas, for instance, allows the license holder to put the license on hold for only two years. Otherwise, the license will expire, entailing additional problems connected with fees, continuing education, and so on.
Once the licensee decides to come back, he/she can reactivate the license providing that they meet some requirements. Those requirements pertain to completing the required hours/credits of continuing education.
It is important to know that you cannot use an inactive license or engage in real estate deals without deactivating the license.
Consumers always look for a licensed real estate agent to rest assured that the agent has knowledge of state rules and regulations. The simplest way to confirm the agent is knowledgeable is to verify their license. In addition, verification can provide a variety of information, including the licensee’s name and license status.
To verify a real estate agent license, one can simply conduct a license lookup. All you will need to do is enter the license number and obtain information. You can also search by licensee or company name to perform a more specific search.
What is more, each Real Estate Commission website offers a unique search mechanism to help. To clarify, you can search by license number, name, or city/state.
The search will verify a real estate license and show whether it is in good standing with the board. Moreover, it will indicate the expiration date, as well as restrictions. This tool is especially convenient for licensees, who need to verify licensing status.
Working as a real estate agent is a job that is highly regulated and undergoing training and special courses are required. In general, states require meeting the following requirements:
In the US, nearly every state requires those seeking a real estate license to complete pre-licensing education. They, indeed, offer exam preparation materials in an easy-to-understand manner while providing valuable exam tips and strategies.
Such courses cover the state’s rules and regulations for real estate licensure, as well as have high passing rates. You may take the courses online and in classroom depending on your convenience and needs.
Despite the fact that pre-licensing education is welcome, some states still do not claim it. On the contrary, they give total freedom and control in terms of choosing the most suitable method.
In the following order, taking the state licensing exam is the next step and it is a major requirement. It is preferable to schedule an exam beforehand with the testing facility.
One cannot trust a real estate agent, who has committed crimes or been found guilty of a felony or dishonesty. Things simply do not work that way and having a good reputation and background record is vital.
For this particular reason, states demand that applicants pass the background check by submitting their fingerprints.
Note that the state will not issue the license unless you pass the check and prove your innocence.
Having completed the previous steps, you are now ready for the last part of licensure. To elaborate, you must apply to your state’s board and pay the license fee. Attaching all the necessary documents is another key point.
In case you fail to complete any application point correctly, there might be some license delays.
Every license renewal period relates to continuing real estate education for the rest of your career. It is to keep in touch with ongoing licensing requirements and industry trends.
Not all states compel attending CE courses and they are perfectly fine with that.
If you hold your real estate license in one state and intend to move to another state, you will need to transfer your license. You must inform your sponsoring broker about your decision in advance. This way he will have much time to surrender his license and send a formal request to the license control agency.
When transferring a real estate license, an applicant must comply with the licensing requirements of the state. Without doing so, a person cannot engage in real estate transactions and be eligible for the license.
There are many states, which have reciprocity agreements, which allow the license holder to engage in real estate transactions without obtaining a new license. In other words, completing pre-licensing education, as well as taking the real estate exam is not necessary.
The states of Missouri, Kentucky, Mississippi, Washington, and Virginia are examples of reciprocity agreement states.
The real estate license exam is one of the state requirements of obtaining a real estate license. It consists of two portions: national and state-specific. The first one includes questions, which cover real estate principles and practices. The second one, on the other hand, covers laws and rules regarding real estate.
The examination is computer-based and is given in a multiple-choice format. The number of questions varies from state to state, as each state organizes the test differently. An applicant will have 1.5-3 hours to finish the test completely.
For the most part, the state licensing exam covers the following topics:
The test is hard, but not impossible by any means to pass. With proper preparation, mastery, and proficiency nearly 50% of students manage to succeed on their first try. Even if someone fails, there is an opportunity to retake the exam once ready.
Obtaining a real estate agent’s license may not be as easy and free as you could have imagined. There are a number of fees, which you will need to pay during the process of getting a license.
As a rule, these fees are different for each state and may vary greatly. For example, one state may require $25 for a license, while the other may require $50 or above.
In general, there are various things, that influence and determine the amount of money an applicant will have to pay. To elaborate, the licensing process consists of pre-licensing education, application, and many other things, which have particular prices.
To start with, an applicant must take a certain number of pre-licensing course hours providing that the state has such a requirement. These courses are not free and you will have to pay for them. The course fees usually cost from $200 to $600. The price is based on the course hours, provider, and method of teaching.
As one may guess, there is a state licensing exam to take and you must pay the examination fee before taking it. The fee is different for every state (in most cases less than $50 and you must pay for each combined line of insurance.
After submitting the license application, an applicant must pay some money for the license to be processed. The fee is usually somewhere between $80 and $150.
Before getting a license, an applicant will need to submit fingerprints and pass a background check, which will cost approximately $75. Finally, there is an actual license fee to pay before receiving it.
The start of a real estate agent’s career is directly connected with working with a licensed broker, who is going to sponsor your license. Accordingly, there will be some broker-related costs, such as paying for the Internet or a monthly desk fee.
What comes to continuing education, it is the main requirement for license renewal. Therefore, you will need to pay $80-$300 for continuing education courses, credits, or hours.