Home How to Become a Real Estate Agent in 9 Steps

How to Become a Real Estate Agent in 9 Steps (2024)

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Is Becoming a Real Estate Agent Right For You?

Before we tell you how to become a real estate agent, it’s essential that you understand what it’s like to be one. After all, being a real estate agent is unlike any other career. It’s similar to owning your own business, and thus, appeals to people who want to be in charge of their own destinies and have unlimited income potential.

Real estate is also perfect for those who prefer a more flexible schedule. However, it’s worth noting that salespeople must often work evenings and weekends to support clients with traditional 9 to 5 jobs.

Finally, people in real estate love their profession because it allows them to work with clients as they make one of their life’s most significant personal and financial decisions. Many agents feel honored to serve clients as they choose a home or sell a property. 

Benefits of Becoming a Real Estate Agent

Every career has pros and cons, but the benefits of becoming a real estate agent are considerable. Here are a few reasons why you should consider real estate as a career:

  1. Flexible schedule
  2. Ability to be your own boss
  3. Unlimited income potential
  4. Help clients find their dream properties
  5. Expansive career options
  6. Access to deals and real estate market information

Besides these benefits, the process of becoming a real estate agent is affordable and fast compared with other training and college degree programs.

9 Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent in 2024

No matter which state you live in, you need to follow these basic steps to get your real estate license:

Know your state’s requirements

The first step in learning how to become a real estate agent is to research your state’s requirements and the licensing process. Each state is different. While they all require pre-licensing courses, a background check, and an exam – the order in which you complete these tasks varies by state.
In addition, some states require post-licensing courses before you can become fully licensed, while others require specific continuing education classes for new agents. State licensing agencies oversee this process, so it’s essential that you follow directions to a T. Of course, a good real estate school should help you know what to do.

View real estate license requirements by state.

Choose the right school

Select a real estate school accredited by the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO). Make sure the school offers pre-licensing courses specific to your state.
Real estate schools sometimes have in-person, livestream, or at-your-own-pace online options. So, when choosing a real estate school, make sure it meets your lifestyle and learning needs.
Online experiences are great for those who prefer to work at their own pace and their own location.
Online real estate courses are also preferred by those who would rather interact with their instructors when needed through course websites, email, phone calls, or video chat. Read 5 Key Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Real Estate School to make a more informed decision.

Complete real estate post-licensing coursework (if required).

Your pre-licensing coursework must be completed before taking the real estate licensing exam. Some states require 180 hours of pre-licensing education, while others will allow you to take the licensing exam after 40 hours in the classroom. Regardless of the required hours, you will study hard-hitting topics like real estate law, contracts, and property valuation.
The information you learn during real estate school will enable you to pass your state licensing exam. But, more importantly, the content you learn will help you provide expert advice and quality service to your future clients. You must take this information seriously, so choosing a high-quality real estate school with a solid reputation is important.

Prepare for your pre-licensing course exam.

Your course exams will make sure you have understood the content presented in your pre-licensing course. Studying for this exam will allow you to review material you may have missed or ask for clarification on complicated topics. This exam will also help you prepare for your state licensing exam.

Apply for and schedule your state real estate exam

In most states, you need to fill out an application and complete a background check before scheduling your real estate exam. You’ll likely have to pay a fee for each of these steps.
In addition, you will need to provide documents to your state’s licensing department, which may include your transcripts or a certificate showing that you completed your pre-licensing course.
Third-party testing centers usually administer state real estate exams. You must understand test-taking procedures and required documents and IDs, so read your testing materials carefully.
Successful candidates study for the exam. Consider selecting a real estate school that offers real estate exam prep courses to help you pass the first time.

Select a real estate broker that’s right for you

Choosing your broker may happen at this stage or later once you pass your test and are ready to start working. Regardless, selecting a broker to work for is one of the most crucial steps of the process and must be taken seriously.
Your broker will set your commission split, affecting your earnings. While some brokers may require a larger percentage of your commission, they may offer resources, training, and services to help you succeed.
Make sure you do your research when choosing a brokerage. Talk with several before making a decision. Ask about real estate niches, commission splits, desk fees, and resources to find a broker who truly meshes with your goals.

Take and pass your state licensing exam

For many, passing the licensing exam is the most stressful step of the licensing process. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
To increase the likelihood that you’ll pass the exam the first time you take it, pay close attention during your pre-licensing course. Make sure you understand the material and ask your instructor for help if you need additional explanation.
Next, understand the exam format. Learn what topics will be covered and base your studying time on this information.
Finally, take practice exams. Pay attention to what types of questions are difficult for you and review that material. Practice your pacing.
All states allow you to retake the real estate licensing exam if you don’t pass it the first time.
Remember, few people like taking tests. However, it’s a part of the process. So, dig in and get it done!

Join professional real estate organizations

After earning your real estate license, you should consider membership in state and local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) and the National Association of REALTORS®. These organizations offer networking opportunities and professional resources. Members can attend national conferences and get access to valuable research that can help you stay updated on trends and best practices in your niche.

Complete real estate post-licensing coursework (if required).

A handful of states require you to complete real estate post-licensing coursework within the first 6–12 months after you obtain your real estate license. Don’t let this slip from your radar.
All states require continuing education classes to keep your license current. Those continuing education courses and hours vary by state, so make sure you understand what is required of you.

NOTE: Some states require that you get fingerprinted, complete a background check, or have Errors and Omissions Insurance on hand before you can take your state exam. Before you take your exam, ask the testing center what documents you’ll need to have on test day.

Your success is our number one priority, in the classroom and throughout your career

Become a Real Estate Agent on Your First Try With Our Exam Prep Course

How Much Time Should You Spend Studying for the Real Estate Licensing Exam?

Time is valuable, and we know you don’t have any of it to waste. Set yourself up for success by studying regularly throughout the entire course rather than waiting until the week before the exam. Reviewing and repeating the information will give you a deeper understanding of key course concepts.
Want to increase your chances of passing the real estate license exam?
Colibri Real Estate’s Exam Prep is a complete real estate test prep solution designed to help you pass your real estate exam on the first try. Real Estate Exam Prep

Want to increase your chances of passing the real estate license exam?

Our real estate Exam Prep is a complete real estate test prep solution that’s designed to help you pass your real estate exam on the first try.