Real estate sales is a rewarding career. You help first-time buyers become homeowners and get people settled into the next stage of their lives. In many cases, you can set your own schedule. Earning commissions with each successful sale isn't half bad, either.
Interested in becoming a real estate agent in South Carolina? You'll need to be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen or qualified alien, and a high school graduate. In addition, you'll need to follow these six steps.
1. Take 60 Hours of Pre-Licensing Education
This 60-hour course, called Unit I, must be approved by the South Carolina Real Estate Commission. It contains all the fundamentals you need to know. You will learn about real estate ethics and real estate law at the federal, state, and local levels. You will become familiar with deeds, titles, liens, and the appraisal process. You'll even learn proper closing procedures.
You can take Unit I either from a private real estate school or a community college. Just make sure the program is reputable and geared toward student success.
2. Get a South Carolina Criminal Background Check
It's important to take care of this step early on — you cannot apply for your license examination until the background check is complete. For South Carolina residents, the cost is $40.
3. Apply for Examination Eligibility
After you have finished Unit I of your South Carolina real estate course, you can apply for eligibility to take the salesperson licensing exam. You must submit Form 231 to the South Carolina Real Estate Commission. You can do that online through its website for a fee of $63.
Once it receives your letter of confirmation from the commission, you have one year to take the licensing exam. You can schedule an exam time through PSI online, which administers the licensing exams. You have to reapply through the Commission if you miss this deadline or need to retake the exam.
4. Take Additional 30 Hours of Advanced Real Estate Principles
You'll need a total of 90 hours of instruction before you can actually receive your real estate license. However, you are allowed to take the licensing exam after completing Unit I.
Unit II contains advanced real estate principles that will help you be a successful agent. You'll learn about disclosures, real estate contracts, investments and taxation, and how to value real estate property.
5. Find a Sponsoring Broker-In-Charge
Once you have passed your licensing exam with a score of at least 70%, the next step is to get a broker-in-charge. This is as simple as calling local brokerages and finding someone who agrees to sponsor you.
Finding the right broker-in-charge can have a big impact on your future career. Rachel F. Thompson, the owner of BridgeGap Partners Realty, LLC, advises people to look for a broker-in-charge at a company that specializes in the niche that interests them.
"I believe that every broker-in-charge is a mentor," Thompson says. "I take a team approach to running my brokerage and will always pair a new person with someone who is experienced."
6. Apply for a Salesperson License
The final step to becoming a real estate agent in South Carolina is to apply for the salesperson license itself. You must be sponsored and submit this application within one year of passing the licensing exam. The South Carolina Real Estate Commission mails the license directly to your broker-in-charge. The salesperson licensing fee is $25.
Once you have your salesperson license in hand, you are officially a South Carolina real estate agent.
Need more help on your journey? Don't hesitate to try out one of our real estate training courses.