Home Jobs & Education How to Become a Real Estate Agent in the US

A real estate agent is the person who helps people buy or rent houses or apartments. This profession has been very sought after due to its lower starting fees than other occupations and massive investment returns. However, before we begin showing you how to become a real estate agent, there are a few things worth mentioning.

First of all, people who desire to begin a real estate agent career must know that this is a commission based occupation. Therefore, the first few months it is best to have some money on the side before you get on your feet. In addition to that, people must consider the education requirements. In terms of education if people want to know how to become a real estate agent in California, then they will be surprised to find out that just three college level courses are needed.

If people are asking how to become a real estate agent in Ohio, concerning education requirements the situation differs. In the state of Ohio, 120 hours of courses are required for even thinking of taking the real estate license exam.

how to become a real estate agent

Another aspect worth mentioning is that he starting fees for such a career are lower compared to other professions. Expect to pay at least $200 for license fees and somewhere between $150-$600 for the real estate agent courses. Additional costs in regards to starting the business and monthly expenses must also be taken into account. Be prepared to pay almost $2,000 to obtain the license, undergo marketing ads, insurance costs and MLS and board costs. Monthly costs range somewhere between $500-$600. They include office fees, MLS and board contributions, insurance costs and marketing.

Becoming a real estate agent and real estate careers, in general, can be expensive at the beginning until commission fees start kicking in. But how much do real estate agents make? A realtor salary can jump over $50.000 per month. However, there are many real estate agents who reported even larger monthly incomes.

Also, if you are an independent real estate agent you can create and run your own business. Other perks include the ability to make your schedule or become involved in real estate investments much easier. Now that we covered the expenses and incomes of a real estate agent we can better understand the steps and requirements of how to become a real estate agent.

How to become a Real Estate Agent in the US

As we already stated, there a few steps that need to be completed to become a real estate agent. These steps mainly involve the education requirements, state and national license exams and the aid of a real estate brokerage agency.

1.  Education Requirements

First things first, a person who wishes to become a real estate agent must be 18 years old, have a high school or an equivalent diploma and have a United States of America social security number. Then a person must undergo college level courses before applying for a state license exam. These college-level courses are not applied and can be different from state to state.

Therefore, depending on the state in which you plan to work as a real estate agent, these education requirements can differ. In California for example, a person must undergo three college level courses. If you want to know how to become a real estate agent in Texas in terms of education requirements, these courses last longer, for 180 hours. After finishing the real estate courses, the next step will be obtaining a position in a real estate brokerage firm. This is a mandatory requirement to begin practicing this profession.

2. Choosing a Brokerage Firm

Such a company is specialized in selling or renting real estates or apartments. Within the offices of a brokerage firm, many real estate agents alongside brokers work together. Before even finishing your real estate courses it is imperative to get in contact with a broker or a brokerage firm and obtain their support. Although it is a mandatory requirement, there are also a few benefits of doing so.

So, your education is a nonstop process. A mentor can prove an invaluable asset, as he or she can teach you the subtleties of this profession. A broker has much more experience. In terms of years, we can say that such a person has three additional years of experience as a real estate agent. Through their aid, a person who wishes to become a real estate agent can learn invaluable teachings especially when it comes to selling or listing homes.

3. Obtaining a Real Estate Agent License

The last step before becoming a realtor, which is done by joining the National Association of Realtors is to get the real estate license. How to get a real estate license is another matter. When applying for the real estate license exam, participants must show proof of a few requirements.

They must first show proof of finishing the mandatory courses. Afterward, a person who wishes to become a real estate agent must also make evidence of being part of a brokerage firm. Lastly, before taking the exams, in some states candidates are also required to undergo a criminal background check. Expect to pay at least $200 in exam and license fees.

After a person obtained their real estate agent license, he or she can choose to join the National Association of Realtors. This is done after getting the sponsorship of a brokerage firm and by attending some NAR meetings.

smiling real estate agent

But these are just the first steps in having a career as a real estate agent. What comes next makes the difference between a good and a bad real estate agent. In other words, it all comes down to creating your client base and making a portfolio. Of course, this step takes several months, in general, before commission fees begin to flow. If you wish to know the answer to “how do you become a real estate agent?”, this woul be creating a small business. You invest time and resources to get it started, have a rough patch in the first months until things start to kick off. In these first months, the aim should be that of creating a portfolio. The client base is an ongoing process; that lasts until you retire.

This brings to an end our article on how to become a real estate agent. In it, we hope people will find the answers they seek regarding this profession. For any questions or suggestions feel free to let us know in the comment section below. Good luck!

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Erika Schwartz

Dear reader, my name is Erika and I am an actress, arts teacher and film analyst. I studied theatre and film for over four years, and changed more than 15 part-time jobs. What can I say? It is a tough industry. I love dance, especially tango, music, and basically anything art-related. I also enjoy writing about the captivating and dynamic world of entertainment. When I work, I seek the perfect balance between usefulness and beauty. I like to describe myself as the most optimistic person alive.


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