A career as a real estate agent is highly sought after because of its many benefits, but getting your license isn’t as easy as filling out some paperwork. There is a process for earning your real estate license, and its many steps may raise some questions along the way. If you are contemplating getting your real estate license, here are a few FAQs that will help give you a jump start in the process.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Real Estate Agent?
The time it takes to become a real estate agent largely depends on the state you are being licensed. Each state has specific requirements for the amount of pre-license education hours you need to complete. Once you have completed your education hours, you must pass a test and apply for your license, which can take several days or weeks of processing time. Depending on how much effort you put toward your schooling and how many hours of pre-exam work are required, it will take anywhere from two to six months to get your real estate license.
How Do You Become a Real Estate Agent?
It isn’t as easy as saying that you want to be licensed. First, you must take a course certified by your state, then pass a licensure exam. The test and the exam are the most challenging part, but after you have passed those, you must apply for your real estate license from the state. Even after you get your license, you are required to acquire a certain number of continuing education credits each year to keep your license. The number of credits needed to keep your license varies by state.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Real Estate Agent?
Like with many aspects of earning your real estate license, multiple factors are involved. While it is difficult to put an exact number on it, there are fees involved in obtaining your license, including the amount paid for your pre-exam education, the exam fee, the license application fee, and fingerprinting fee. In addition, real estate is a competitive market, so you will also face marketing fees and other business expenses when you start.
How Much Money Does a Real Estate Agent Make?
One of the many benefits of being a real estate agent is the potential income. Real estate agents get paid on commission, so they get a percentage of every home they help sell. The percentage varies based on the agent, but it is usually between 5 and 10% and split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. For example, let’s say a $500,000 house is sold at a commission percentage of 5%; the commission is then $25,000. That number is then split between the agents so that you would walk away with $12,500 from one sale. The excellent news for agents is there is no limit to how much they can make if they are motivated to work hard and network.
Can You Be a Real Estate Agent in More than One State?
If you live on the border or split your time between states, you may want to be doubly certified. This is entirely legal, but remember that each state has its own requirements, so you may have to complete the whole process twice.
What Is a Real Estate Agent’s Day Like?
Being a real estate agent is rewarding, but many people only think about it from the angle that TV and movies show you, popping into houses all over town and negotiating with the seller, but that is only one part of the job. Some days you may be meeting with clients and showing houses, while others, you may be in an office filling out paperwork and responding to emails. On days where there isn’t much to do, most agents make calls to potential clients and work on advertising, so there aren’t many days where there’s not much to do. Being an agent is a very flexible job, but it is a job that can often see you work seven days a week.
Why Become a Real Estate Agent?
As alluded to above, there are many great benefits to being a real estate agent. Successful agents make a respectable income from their sales, and they can build their schedules around their families. But, most importantly, you get to go to sleep at night knowing that you help people find homes where they can make lifelong memories.