How To Be a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agent showing the house

Real estate agents work with both buyers and sellers of land and buildings. They must be efficient at completing the necessary paperwork, and work well with the public. To become a real estate agent, follow these simple steps:

  1. Make sure that you have what it takes. Being a real estate agent requires excellent communication skills, as well as the ability to persuade perspective buyers. You should meet with real estate agents in your area, and possibly even arrange to “shadow” one for a day, so that you understand the day-to-day requirements of the job.
  2. Find a real estate agent course. Many real estate institutions offer such courses. Consult either the Professional Licensing Commission of your state or the Real Estate Association functioning in your area for details about reputable programs. Some of these courses are offered through real estate agencies, while others are at colleges or independent institutions.
  3. Take the real estate agent exam.  In order to become a real estate agent, you’ll need to pass a test after completing your coursework. This exam evaluates your knowledge regarding the laws of real estate sales. In order to take the exam, you must be a high school graduate, and be 18 years old (21 in some states). While some states allow you to take the licensing exam as an individual, others require you to find a sponsoring brokerage first. Even if you have recently completed your coursework, it is important to prepare for this exam, as the information is very detailed. Don’t forget to ask real estate agents about the content on your state’s exam; after all, they have already taken it, and can tell you what to expect.
  4. Go through the background check process.  To become licensed in your state, you must allow the Real Estate Licensing Commission to conduct a background check. This is required by law, and is necessary because you will be handling large amounts of money and confidential information.
  5. Find a real estate agency.  When you are first beginning your career as a real estate agent, you’ll work under an existing agency. Many recruit new agents on their website although you can also contact local agencies directly. Go through the hiring process, and hopefully you’ll be accepted by the agency.
  6. Career advancement. Once you have worked with a real estate broker for 2 to 5 or more years, you should have sufficient experience to set up an individual practice. However, keep in mind that this presents its own challenges. You can get your own broker’s license from your state licensing office after you have enough experience in the field.

Being a real estate agent can allow you great flexibility. Real estate agents make a commission on each sale, which is a percentage of the sale price. You can control your workday, and your pay depends directly on the effort you put into it.


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