Working as a Real Estate Agent: 5 Steps to Take When Starting Out

Does the thought of looking through homes and helping people buy and sell real estate sound fun? Are you wondering how to become a real estate agent? Working as a real estate agent is a fun and often lucrative career with a mean annual wage over $60,000

If you’re thinking about working as a real estate agent, take a look at our guide. We’ll help you discover the necessary steps and how to jumpstart your career. 

What Does a Real Estate Agent Do?

A residential real estate agent works with home buyers and sellers guiding them through the process of buying or selling a home. Careers in real estate also vary depending on what type of work suits you. 

You may want to work only with buyers or only with sellers, and that’s your choice. You may also want to work in commercial real estate selling large commercial properties. 

A real estate agent also spends each day handling loan-associated paperwork, marketing, and other office tasks. Successful agents spend a lot of time developing industry relationships and managing contacts. Moreover, if you are looking for the best real estate agents in Atlanta then Atlanta Home Buyers would be the best option.

The Many Benefits of Working in Real Estate

Although real estate markets fluctuate, there’s always a need for real estate. Agents have flexibility, you’re not stuck in an office all day, and you spend a lot of time socializing. It’s a great job for someone who enjoys getting out and meeting people. 

You also have some control over your pay. There’s no set limit to your earnings. If you want to earn more, sell more!

How to Become a Real Estate Agent

It takes some time and effort but if you’re a legal resident over 18 (or 19 in some states) there are some basic steps to becoming an agent. Keep in mind that requirements vary a little from state to state. 

1.  Pre-License Education

Check out your state’s education requirements for getting your real estate license. You’ll need to take some real estate classes to fulfill the education class hours required by your state. There are both classroom classes and online learning classes, so pick what works best for you. Taking an online course can save a lot of your time. To achieve that, reach out to a specific provider for your state and take a real estate licensing course online.

Some of the types of classes you’ll take include:

  • The Principles of Real Estate
  • Real Estate Practice
  • Law of Contracts
  • Law of Agency
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Promulgated Contract Forms

Make sure your classes meet the criteria for your state. When you’ve finished your classes, it’s a good idea to take an exam prep course. Some education providers include a test prep course with your other classes.

2. License Application

You’ll need a license to practice real estate. Many states have online portals where you begin the license application process. Applications cost anywhere from $50 to $200 depending on what state you’re in. 

You’ll give the state your contact info, social security number, and other information. Most states ask for proof of real estate course completion.

Depending on your state, you may need to pass the real estate licensing exam before submitting the application. Other states want the application before you take the exam. In that case, you’ll submit your exam results with the final application submission.

3. Background Check

Most states want a background check and fingerprinting before issuing your real estate license. This is an added cost to the application and is usually $100 or less. 

You’ll get your fingerprints taken by an authority approved by the licensing board. This may be a private company or local law enforcement. The results of the background check can take some time, so be patient. 

4. The Real Estate Licensing Exam

You’re almost there, but before you can practice real estate, you must pass the licensing exam. Practice tests are a great way to prepare yourself so you’re familiar with the format.

The tests are specific to each state and contain about 100 to 150 multiple-choice questions. You’ll get three to five hours to complete the test.

This is a closed-note test, so you can’t bring any study materials into the exam. No matter which state you’re in, the topics are similar but some states focus on regulations unique to the state. 

Some topics covered by most states include:

  • The Contract of Sales and Leases
  • Law of Agency
  • License Law
  • Land Use Regulations
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Construction Issues
  • Environmental Issues
  • Real Estate Math
  • Pricing Properties and Valuation
  • Real Estate Income Tax Issues
  • Mortgage Brokers

The point of the test is to ensure you’re able to understand the basics when it comes to conducting real estate transactions. This includes understanding the state’s regulations and laws you must follow. 

Most exams also cover real estate licensing requirements, license renewal, and continuing education requirements. 

Make sure you have two forms of identification when you arrive for your test. Both forms must match the name and address on your application form.

Leave purses, backpacks, bulky outerwear, and electronic devices at home. Don’t bring any study notes or books either. 

The exam costs as much as $150 and if you have to take it twice you’ll pay for it twice. It’s worth paying for a prep course so you pass the test the first time. 

Passing scores vary from state to state but most require at least a 70% to pass. 

5. Meet With a Broker

Once you’ve passed your exam and completed the license application, it’s time to meet with a broker. You have to work under a broker’s license for at least a year or longer depending on the state. The broker oversees your work. 

Tips for new real estate agents? Make yourself more competitive by completing the pre-licensing education, exam, and application before looking for a job with a broker. Once you’ve worked with a broker for a while, you can check into the state rules for going out on your own. 

The Steps to Working as a Real Estate Agent

There are many steps to work through if you’re interested in working as a real estate agent. The good news is – real estate is a fun, rewarding, and lucrative occupation! 

Are you interested in more business, finance, and education tips? Keep scrolling the blog!

Vivek is a published author of Meidilight and a cofounder of Zestful Outreach Agency. He is passionate about helping webmaster to rank their keywords through good-quality website backlinks. In his spare time, he loves to swim and cycle. You can find him on Twitter and Linkedin.