How To Start in Real Estate

This article from written by the Indeed Editorial Team talks about getting started in real estate.

A career in real estate can be very rewarding, with many different job opportunities to choose from. Real estate agents usually have flexible hours and can work on their own or as part of a group. Getting started in real estate involves undergoing a program and earning a license. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps you need to get started in real estate and how long it takes, the qualifications required and the job outlook and salary for real estate agents.

Steps to get started in real estate

Here are the steps you should take to get started in real estate:

1. Review your state’s guidelines

Since there’s no national regulatory body for real estate agents, each state has different guidelines for real estate licensure. You may need to submit proof of training, undergo a background check and meet certain age requirements. Research your state’s requirements to make sure you take the right steps to earn your license.

2. Complete a real estate pre-licensing course

To take the licensing exam, you first need to complete a real estate course. These courses teach you about the fundamentals of selling and buying real estate, including:

  • Property rights
  • Titles, deeds and ownership laws
  • Property taxes
  • Zoning and environmental laws
  • Appraisals and market analysis

You can take these courses at community colleges, dedicated real estate schools or online. Each state has different requirements for how many hours of coursework you need to complete, though you can expect anywhere from 20 to 200 hours of instruction. In a traditional classroom setting, it can take four to six months.

3. Pass the state real estate exam

To earn your license, you need to pass your state’s real estate licensure examination. Though each state exam varies, you’ll complete two sections: a national real estate portion and one that’s specific to your state’s laws and regulations. Exams are multiple-choice and computerized. You’ll need to register and complete your exam at an approved testing site. You can usually retake the exam after a waiting period, though there’s typically a limit to how many times you can retake the exam.

4. Apply for a license

Once you pass the exam, you can apply for a license. Requirements vary by state, but you’ll likely need to submit proof of completing a real estate course and a passing grade on the exam. You may also need to submit proof of Errors and Omissions insurance. Once you submit your application, it could take one to two months to process.

Most states also require you to renew your real estate license by taking continuing education courses. These courses help you stay up to date on any changes in real estate laws and regulations. In some states, you need to complete an additional training course within a certain amount of time after receiving your license.

5. Find a brokerage

Real estate agents usually need to operate under a broker who oversees all transactions. Search for local brokerage companies and find the best one for you. Usually, brokers complete real estate transactions, then give agents a certain commission based on the sale, so check to see what the usual percentages for each brokerage are. Many brokers also help agents learn the various aspects of their local real estate community.

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