Real estate is a challenging career. It takes hard work, great sales skills, and tons of knowledge about your local market. One thing you won't need to become a real estate agent, though, is a college diploma. That's right. You can build a successful real estate business without having to pay for a four-year college degree.
So what exactly does it take? Read on to learn what you need to get your real estate license and launch a successful career.
The Value of Experience
Real estate is a field where prior life and work experience may actually trump formal education.
"Legally, one doesn't need to have a college degree to become licensed," points out Simone Weissman, a licensed real estate salesperson in New York City. "Intelligence, drive, and the ability to understand the business of real estate, coupled with knowing how to deal with clients and their needs, are the most important things."
Successful real estate agents know how to build and sustain relationships, and they are able to retain information from a variety of sources. They are also natural salespeople with compassion and determination.
The Basic Requirements
There are some general requirements to become a real estate agent:
You must be at least 18 years of age. You also need to have legal U.S. residency — you don't need to be a U.S. citizen.
Complete the required pre-licensing course.
Pass the state's real estate license examination.
Get sponsorship from a licensed real estate broker.
Apply for your real estate license
Beyond these general requirements, there are specific licensing requirements that vary from state to state. You can learn the requirements for your state by checking the appropriate licensing board or state department website.
The whole process of getting a real estate agent license takes about four to six months on average. Some states, notably California and Texas, have more pre-license course hours than others, which can slow the process down.
You may also find the process slower if you take real estate courses through a community college or other in-person learning center. Those real estate courses tend to be aligned with an academic semester, so they take a set amount of time to complete. Online real estate classes let people finish at their own pace, from the comfort of home. They are a better bet if your goal is to streamline the process.
The Pre-License Course
Just as the number of hours varies from state to state, so do the topics taught inpre-license courses. Topics you can expect to encounter are as follows:
Real estate principles, including property valuation, closing the sale, escrow, and the listing and selling process.
Real estate ethics.
The law related to real estate contracts.
Real estate finance.
State real estate licensing exams can be tough, and many people fail the first time around. According to the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), in fact, the sales agent pass rate for the state of Texas is only 61.36%. Moreover, TREC notes that the pass rate varies widely depending on where you take your pre-license course. Some schools do a much better job preparing students for the exam than others.
Ready to Ace the Licensing Exam?
Do you have what it takes to become a successful real estate agent? Aceable Real Estate School courses have the highest student passing rate on state licensing exams. And you can complete these fully online classes at your convenience — no face-to-face classes required.