If you relish the idea of becoming a real estate agent, ask yourself what is the motivation. If you only move money and search for an easy profession, keep looking, this is not. But if you like customer service, you are hardworking, creative and persevering, you could find a good option for you.
In the United States, as in many other parts of the world, you must be licensed and registered to be a real estate agent. In some places they speak of salesperson, or “salesperson”, and in others of realtors rather than seller. The latter term also applies to brokers.
Requirements may vary in some states but typically are as follows:
- Being over 18 years.
- Have a high school diploma (high school). Depending on the place they could ask for college credits.
- Social Security number.
- Take a course required by the state. The number of hours varies, and this requirement may be waived in certain states for law graduates who have licensed attorneys or baccalaureate graduates in real estate.
- To pass the examination of said course.
- Apply for a license at the state regulatory agency of the profession. In many places you will be asked from the fingerprints to a verification of your record (“background check”) to grant the license. Persons with a criminal record may apply for leave in many states, but if they lie on the application that is sufficient cause to deny the license, or revoke it, if it has already been granted.
Once obtained the license you can work until the expiration date of the license. Depending on the state you will need additional courses that vary in number of hours, to renew your license.
In most states if you are a “salesperson” you will not be able to work alone, but under a Real Estate Office that has your “broker” or broker.
If you are already licensed somewhere in the States and you move, ask about the reciprocity of licenses to the place of your new residence. In some cases you will not have to take the exam again, but you should always notify your move to the state where you originally obtained your license.
Take into account that no license is permanent, in all you will have to complete continuing education courses to continue with the privileges that the license gives you. In addition, you work independently or under a company, you have to comply with all the laws of the state where you live.
Agent is not the same as realtor
There is a lot of confusion. All realtors are thought to be Realtors but it is not. Be Realtor means that a member of the National Association of Realtors, that the admission requirements are followed, the required annual fees are paid and, above all, that follows a strict Code of Ethics of Realtors. In addition, this association is a provider of continuous education of excellence and grants different certifications giving more professional options.
Realtor will entitle you to use a Multiple Listing System where information on all properties for sale or rent of all other agents of the Association is available.
However participation in that association is voluntary, so many real estate professionals do not belong to it. Membership and annual dues are a deterrent for many to participate. The association is the largest but it is not the only one.