Want to Become a Real Estate Agent? Here's a Step-by-Step Guide

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Jul 24, 2018

Jul 24, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

Have you been considering a career as a real estate agent?

Have you been wondering where to start?

It can be overwhelming trying to get started in the real estate business, but you probably know that it is well worth it. This is because the real estate market has grown by at least 11.4 percent and its upward trend shows no signs of slowing down.

That means that there is no time like the present to get the knowledge and the skills you need to make money. Here is a guide that will tell you all you need to know about how to become a realtor.

1. Analyze Your Skills

To become a real estate agent, you are going to need to have the right skills. While some skills can be taught others are innate.

Obviously, you want to make sure that you are going to enjoy what you do in order to get through the challenging times. Here are some of the major questions you need to ask yourself, so you can be sure you have the innate skills necessary to become a top realtor.

  • Do you love sales?
  • Do you enjoy helping people?
  • Do you have an aptitude for Math?
  • Do you enjoy teamwork?

If you answered yes to most or all of these questions, you have the basic skills to become one of the best realtors around.

2. How To Become A Realtor With The Right Training

Having innate skills is good but that won't be enough when getting into real estate. Most states will require that you get training and take a real estate licensing exam before you can sell real estate.

The number of hours that you need to train will vary depending on where you live. In fact, don't be surprised if the number of hours needed in your state is double that of your neighboring state or vice versa.

To get more information about the required number of hours in your state, it is best to visit your state's real estate commission site. When you visit the website, you will find out about the requirements for getting a license.

You will also find a list of schools that offer courses. The best thing about these classes is that they are flexible. You can take them online or in a traditional setting. The best choice for you will depend on your learning style.

3. Take The Exam

Once you have completed the course you can revisit your state's real estate commission site and get instructions on how to take the licensing exam. You will find that most states outsource the administration of the exam, so you will have to take the test at a testing center.

Your exam will cover three topics:

  • Federal real estate laws
  • General real estate principles
  • State real estate principles

Federal real estate laws and general real estate principles are usually pooled together into one section and state real estate principles are covered in a second portion. You can expect about 60 to 100 multiple choice questions in both sections.

You can usually see sample tests online and your course provider will often provide you with sample tests as well. If you fail to ace the exam the first time you can take it as many times as you want over the next two years. However, once the two years have passed, you are going to need to take the training once again.

4. Diving Into Real Estate

When you have successfully passed the test one of the first things you will need to do is to activate your license. This can be done online through your local real estate commission.

The next step is to get membership in the multiple listing service (MLS). You will have to pay to get listed in this service. However, it is not a step that can be skipped if you want to be a successful real estate agent.

You will need the multiple listing service to list properties, get tax information on a property and to see market trends. You will also be able to see property listings before they go on the market. The charges for this service varies greatly based on the state.

To become a full-fledged realtor you will also need to become a member of the National Association of Realtors. This step gives you the respect and credibility you will need to be successful and make a name for yourself. It also ensures that you get the support you need to get started in the business.

Membership in the National Association of Realtors entitles you to real estate market data and discounts on continuing education courses. You also get access to transaction management services.

5. Get Into A Brokerage

Membership in the National Association of Realtors is not the final step. The next step is to join a brokerage.

A brokerage is licensed by the state to oversee the transactions of realtors. It is a policing agency for realtors which ensures that legal and ethical standards are not breached.

While the idea of striking out on your own may have been your first thought, it is usually best to join a brokerage when you first start out. In this way you will have experience and credibility before you launch out on your own.

Once you start your job search you will find that it is not difficult to get into a brokerage. This is because it won't cost them anything to take you on, so they are usually eager to sign on newly qualified realtors. However, bear in mind that you will only get paid when you complete a transaction.

When you start selling real estate, it is important that you read more about other aspects of home ownership besides home acquisition. This is because you will have clients who will ask you for advice about things such as home improvements and loans. So, make sure you are well rounded.

Final Thoughts

If you have been seriously wondering how to become a realtor, then your questions have been answered!

Becoming a realtor can be a worthwhile and rewarding experience. There is lots of room for advancement if you are willing to take the time necessary to hone your skills as a professional.

If you would like job alerts for realtors then please visit our website, where you will find useful tips to help you make the right career choices.