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How to Become a Real Estate Agent

If you want to work as a real estate agent, you should first ensure that you understand how to get licensed. There are many different factors involved in this process. For example, there are requirements that you must meet, including completing a pre-licensing education program. Additionally, you will have to follow certain guidelines for renewing your license. 


Many states require that real estate agents complete specific pre-licensing education coursework. These courses are designed to teach students about real estate law and business practices. They cover the legal aspects of real estate, contract clauses, real estate law, financing, and more.

To be eligible for the real estate license, applicants must have completed a minimum of four years of high school, at least 60 hours of pre-licensing coursework, and pass a background check. Real estate licensees must also take continuing education courses every two years.

The real estate licensing exam takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. Applicants must earn a passing score of 70 percent or higher. In addition to passing the real estate exam, aspiring real estate brokers and salespersons must complete cultural competency training and implicit bias awareness.

Most real estate licensees must pass a criminal background check. You must disclose that information before submitting your application if you have been arrested or convicted of a crime in the last five years.

A real estate agent’s job description is full of tasks. Not only do they have to manage their properties, but they also must deal with various clients. They may even have to attend an inspection or two. As for work hours, many agents work a 40-hour workweek. Some can juggle their schedules, while others may find they have to sacrifice some of their family time for work’s sake.

In addition to their standard work hours, many agents are lucky enough to have a flexible workplace. For example, there is a lot of competition in the real estate industry, so an experienced agent might have to clock in and out on weekends. With realty, agents benefit from comprehensive medical insurance and a nifty mobile app. 

In the realm of a real estate career, a large part of your day will be spent on the road. To make matters even more challenging, there are a large number of aspects of a real estate career that happen outside of the typical 9-to-5 window. However, you can do a few things to keep yourself sane.

A good commission plan can help you reach your goals. Real estate agents and brokers split commissions in a number of ways. The most basic of these is a simple 50/50 split. This means that the real estate agent receives half of the commission from the sale of a home. Some brokers also pay their agents a salary. In this case, the agent can make a decent amount.

However, a good commission plan takes more work and is not as straightforward as you might think. Agents have to weigh the advantages of the various options. One option is to work with a broker who offers a graduated commission system. These commission systems reward you for reaching certain milestones.

You can find these plans at many brokerages. There are also tiered commission structures. For instance, Keller Williams offers a “Profit Share” program that gives agents a share of their commission. You can also go with the capped commission plan.

If you are a real estate agent or broker, you may have heard that your license must be renewed yearly. This requires you to complete a number of requirements. The specific requirements vary by state. However, most states have a specified amount of continuing education (CE) coursework hours required.

Some states also require a certain number of hours for a first renewal. Other states require post-licensing education. In Maryland, for example, you are required to take a course in ethics every three years.

The number of CE credits needed for a real estate license depends on the state. For example, the minimum is 45 hours of education. It also depends on the type of services you provide. Those who offer commercial or residential real estate must take different courses.

The Department of State will send you a renewal notice 30 to 45 days before your license expires. The notice will contain information on how to renew online. You will need to login, fill out the renewal form, and pay a fee using a MasterCard or Visa credit card. After you submit your renewal application, the Department of State will review it and contact you if any further information is necessary.