Choosing the Right Career for You: Real Estate Agent
Real estate sales are a great career path for many due to the flexibility of the work hours, the high earnings potential and the relatively quick process of becoming a real estate agent in California.
Real estate is a market where the competition is a high and achieving success could be difficult, but with the right knowledge and aggressive mindset, success is within reach. Know this before committing to a new career – a successful business depends on local economic conditions, a strong grasp of the market, and your willingness to reach out to consumers and other professionals.
Taking Real Estate and a career seriously comes with both pros and cons. You may appear to have an unlimited potential income, but in tough economic times, you may need extra savings to get you past the moments when you are not making sales. In order to succeed in the industry, you have to be willing to become an expert in the market, helping guide clients looking for the right neighbourhood, negotiating a sale, and being the middleman between the buyer, seller, and other agents, escrow, and title.
Requirements to Get a Real Estate License?
That is a question with a longer answer than most people would like. While getting your real estate license does not require a college degree, it does require that you take training courses or real estate licensing courses and pass them, similar to a driver’s license. The obvious difference is that the studies are about passing a test to drive and passing a test that will determine your future earnings. There are other requirements, though that you should probably be aware of if you want to get a real estate license.
That is where Real Estate Instruct comes in. We know all about such requirements and are willing to share our knowledge about such matters. With that said, there are a few basic requirements for getting your real estate license, and we are going to start with the simplest of them all.
The Age Requirement
The minimum age for becoming a real estate agent is 18 in all fifty states in the union. However, being a real estate agent at 18 years old would be incredibly difficult. This is not to say that you can’t do it, but it is difficult to initially compete with older more trusted people. The reason for this is that you will be competing with older and more experienced real estate agents. In short, build your experience in real estate through other means and maybe work under another real estate agent to gain experience. Agents with more experience and knowledge than you will close deals better and before you can.
While every state is different in their prelicensing education, they also require at least some form of it. California has three different classes that you have to take and pass that is for 45 credit hours apiece. Most states have something similar to that type of prelicensing education. What exactly this consists of is decided by the individual state’s real estate commission or bureau of real estate.
You are required to take 3 courses as mentioned above, 2 of which are required, and the third course is an elective of your choosing that relates to real estate. The two courses that are a requirement for everyone include Real Estate Principles and Real Estate Practice.
There are 12 elective courses you can choose from including:
– Real Estate Appraisal
– Business Law
– Common Interest Developments
– Real Estate Economics
– Mortgage Loan Brokering
– Property Management
– Real Estate Finance
– Legal Aspects of Real Estate
– Real Estate Office Administration
– Computer Applications in Real Estate
For its applicability to your career and the state licensing exam we recommend taking Legal Aspects of Real Estate.
The Real Estate Exam
Given that each state administers its own real estate license exam, it is important to be prepared for it. Don’t use review materials for an exam that is old or for another state. Just because something is free does not mean it is what you need. This is especially true of passing a real estate license exam. Most of these exams include both state and national real estate laws. Each state sets its own specific real estate laws, but there are also federal real estate laws to be followed.
Keeping Your License
Aside from following real estate laws to the letter, you might also be required to take classes and exams on new laws and participate in refresher courses. This means a continued education to hold onto your California real estate salesperson license. This might sound like a hassle but really can only benefit a real estate licensee over time.
Working For A Broker
Until you become a real estate broker yourself, you need to work under one. Pretty much every U.S territory and state requires that you work under a real estate broker before you start working for buyers and sellers. Make sure you check all your local real estate laws to be sure which ones you need to follow to be a real estate agent.
States with Full License Reciprocity
Any US state that offers full reciprocity for real estate licenses allows license holders in a participating state to skip the general courses. By skipping the courses you’ve already taken, you will learn more about state-specific real estate laws. You will get licensed once you pass the state licensing exam which is comprised of the required course material.
It should be said a few caveats should also be understood. For instance, you should have a valid real estate license in the state you reside in. Your license will probably need to be renewed if you have allowed it to expire, before you can apply for reciprocity.
In addition, you must have no issues in your background check such as delinquent child or alimony payments or offenses deemed not fitting for an agent. Make sure any issues are resolved prior to applying for your license as a problematic background report can affect your future as an agent.
In states with full reciprocity, you can apply for license reciprocity if these two conditions are met.
Consider yourself blessed if you move to one of these five full license reciprocity states, regardless of which state you’re moving from:
States Without Reciprocity For Licenses
The reciprocity of licensing is not available in every state. Any state with no license reciprocity will require you to retake your real estate courses.
Despite what appears to be bad news, there is some good news. Fortunately, you’ll be able to breeze through much of the course material quickly and easily. Additionally, you will receive some useful refreshers on topics that you may not encounter on a daily basis.
State license reciprocity is not available in the following 17 states:
– New Jersey
– New Mexico
– South Dakota
Partially Reciprocal States
The number of states we’ve discussed so far is less than half of all the states in the United States. Most of the remaining states have partial reciprocity requirements.
Partially reciprocating states are all different, so we need to examine each one separately.
In addition, you won’t find a pattern as to which states grant license reciprocity! There are some states that only reciprocate with neighboring states. Reciprocity is sometimes only offered to states with laws that are very similar to their own.
Please confirm that your current license is still valid when applying for reciprocity. You must resolve issues as soon as you know about them as that can keep you from being an agent in good standing before you apply.
Following that, here are 28 states that offer partial reciprocity in licenses:
– Applicants from New York, Alabama, Florida, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Washington, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and West Virginia are eligible to transfer their licenses to Arkansas.
– The state of Connecticut offers reciprocity to agents moving from Alabama, New York, Colorado, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island.
– License reciprocity is available in Indiana for agents moving from Arkansas, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Colorado, Connecticut, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.
– Iowa offers reciprocity for licenses to agents from Mississippi, Alabama, Minnesota, Arkansas, Georgia, North Dakota, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Louisiana, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
– In Louisiana, a licensed agent moving to the state from Georgia, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Colorado, Mississippi, Oklahoma, New Mexico, North Carolina, or Iowa is eligible for reciprocity.
– Reciprocal licenses offered by Maryland for moving agents from Pennsylvania and Oklahoma.
– Massachusetts offers license reciprocity to agents from Alabama, New Hampshire, Arizona, Ohio, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, California, and Washington.
– Minnesota offers reciprocal license agreements with Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, North Dakota, Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
– In Nebraska, license reciprocity is offered to agents from Alabama, Iowa, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Minnesota, West Virginia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, North Dakota, Massachusetts, Michigan, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming.
– Nevada offers reciprocity for licenses for agents moving from Kentucky, Arizona, Texas, Idaho, Louisiana, Ohio, Utah, Delaware, and West Virginia.
– New York offers reciprocity for licenses to agents from Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and West Virginia.
– Agents moving from Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Connecticut, Mississippi, and West Virginia can get license reciprocity in North Carolina.
– License reciprocity is offered by North Dakota to agents from Tennessee, Iowa, Georgia, and Minnesota.
– Agents moving from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado, West Virginia, Mississippi, Nebraska, Connecticut, and Wyoming may apply for reciprocity in Ohio.
– Oklahoma offers reciprocity to agents moving from North Dakota, Alabama, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Arkansas, and South Dakota.
– The state of Pennsylvania offers reciprocity to agents moving from West Virginia, New York, Georgia, Maryland, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and Arkansas.
– The state of Rhode Island offers reciprocity to Connecticut and Massachusetts agents.
– South Carolina offers reciprocity for North Carolina, Georgia, and West Virginia licenses.
– Tennessee offers reciprocity for agents moving from New Mexico, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Virginia, North Carolina, and West Virginia
– Utah offers reciprocity for moving agents from Georgia and Mississippi.
– West Virginia offers reciprocity to agents moving from Tennessee, Alabama, New York, Arkansas, North Carolina, Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia.
– The state of Wisconsin offers reciprocity for agents moving from Indiana and Illinois.
Moreover, you need to be aware that reciprocity agreements between states are constantly changing.
While it may seem daunting to get your real estate license, the steps outlined above can all be achieved within 3 months. It takes a minimum of 54 days to take your courses, equivalent to 18 days for each course which is the fastest the state permits you to take a course from top real estate schools in Los Angeles. Then it takes up to 2 weeks to prep for the state exam, and then you must pass a background check, and then submit evidence of your completed courses, passing the background check, and submit the state licensing application to the state in which you are doing business.