If you want to gain credibility in your real estate venture then you should get your real estate license. It will give you flexibility in your operations and provide your client with an assured standard of quality of service. However, becoming a real estate agent is a change in your career and requires your time and a bit of money. But the rewards of your endeavors will be great.
First, you need to know if you are eligible to get a real estate license. Each state varies with their requirements so we’ll list for you the common ones. If you want to know more about the requirements for your state, you can visit your state’s real estate regulatory office website.
Age - You must meet the required age in order to be eligible for a real estate exam. Usually, the states’ age requirement is at least 18 or 19 years old but it may be different in your state.
Legal US Residency - You’ll be required by your state proof that you are a legal citizen of the United States. They’ll also do a background check and fingerprinting on you. For security purposes.
Education Requirements - Depending on your state, you must be at least a graduate of educational background (Usually a high school diploma).
Pre-licensing Courses - A state will require you to take a real estate course as a requirement before taking a real estate licensure exam. Your state may require you to have a specific number of hours of course in order to take the exam so make sure that the course you’ll be taking is state-approved.
Criminal Records - Some states won’t allow you to take the test if you have existing criminal records. For example, if you have a felony record, most states won’t allow you to take the exam.
Some states have the same licensing agreements which mean if you passed the licensure test in one state you can use your license to operate on another state without having to take their licensure test. Having a wide area of operations as a real estate agent could prove useful.
2) Educate Yourself
Before you get to take your real estate license test, you need to make the necessary preparations in order to pass the test. That’s why a state requires you to take a real estate course before you can take the test.
Prelicensing Requirements - Every state requires you to get a prelicensing education course before you can take the exam. You can check the list of approved real estate schools in your state’s real estate commission’s website. There are different ways you can take a real estate course.
Online pre-licensing course - The course is conducted thru the internet. This is especially beneficial if you have a day job and can’t find the time to attend a class in the morning.
Real Estate Schools - These are in-person classes taught by real estate professionals. Real estate schools specialize only in real estate courses.
Community Colleges - A lot of community colleges offer real estate courses and are commonly state-approved by the state’s real estate regulatory commission. But you may want to contact your local community college just to make sure.
Postlicensing Requirements - Some states require that you complete a postlicensing education after you’ve passed your real estate licensing exam. The state will put your license status to probationary until you complete the postlicensing education. It will become full licensure once you passed a test conducted by your postlicensing school.
Continuing Education Requirements - Once you get your full license after passing the postlicensing requirements, you’ll still be required to do a continued state-approved real estate education. The hours depend on your state but there is always a defined period of time to complete these hours. Think of it as a renewal/update to your license. The renewal date is usually set on the day you got your license. The renewal of your real estate license may vary from different states.
Now that you got all the materials you need, don’t be complacent. Make sure to do the necessary preparations so you won’t have to retake the test. Study in your vacant time so that the course will be refreshed in your mind. Preparation makes you less anxious and stressed out.
4) Apply To Take The Real Estate License Exam
Check your real estate commission’s website and follow their application process. There will also be fees so bring the amount needed. The process will take weeks and some states require you complete the application before registering a date for your exam. The earlier you work on this the easier it will be for you.
5) Take The Real Estate License Exam
The real estate license exams are usually taken on a computer and have two parts, national and state-specific. The national portion covers real estate principles and practices while state-specific covers your knowledge of the state’s real estate law. Each part is scored separately and you must pass both of them. The exams are multiple-choice format and exam time varies with each state.
If you fail in one section, usually you will only retake that section. If you fail in both sections, you can retake the exam. However, each state has its own rules to the times you can retake the exam. They also vary on how long you wait before the retake.
If you passed, you’ll need to submit a complete application on the appropriate forms, with the required documents and fees to your state’s real estate commission.
6) Getting The Results
Once you submitted your complete application, the state will mail your real estate license certificate to the address you submitted on your application form. Your name will also be under the “Licensees” section of your state’s real estate website. DO TAKE NOTE that you should not be doing real estate business until you have your license in hand because it’s against the law.
7) Start Your Real Estate Agent Career
Now that you have your real estate license it’s time to get started with your real estate career. You can start by finding a real estate brokerage and resources. You can check out our real estate articles if you want more real estate information.
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Getting your real estate license requires your time and money but that license you get is a reward on its own. A real estate job is a good opportunity for you to learn about the real estate industry and an opportunity for you to grow. You’ll work under a licensed real estate broker. Afterward, if you want to further your real estate career, you may want to consider going for a broker license or even real estate specification certificates for mortgages, appraisals, residential property, and etc… This will help attract clients and enhance your reputation in the real estate market.