The unsatisfying answer to the question, “What do I need before I start my real estate course?” is, “It depends.”
Prerequisites and requirements vary, depending on the state. But, despite the state, there aren’t too many hoops to jump through or boxes to check when it comes to qualifying for real estate education. That’s why real estate is a popular choice for many people looking for a new career.
Because every state is different, the most important part about getting prepped to start your real estate course is knowing what to look for and what questions to ask. here are five major requirements to keep in mind when evaluating whether or not you’re in a good place to start your real estate course.
5 Requirements to start your Real Estate Course
In most states, you need to be at least 18 years old to get your real estate license. There are a few states where licensees need to be 19 years old (such as Alabama), but 18 is a good number to keep in mind as a general rule. The 18-year-old rule applies to Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Texas… we could keep going, but I’ll spare you.
Most states require license applicants to be U.S. citizens or lawfully admitted aliens. Florida is distinct from most other states in that it doesn’t technically require U.S. citizenship, but it does require a U.S. social security number.
Many states, such as Michigan, also require applicants to be residents of the state itself. It is also helpful to educate yourself on the reciprocity rules, or which states allow licensed agents to practice in multiple states—without having to retake the entire pre-licensing course or be a resident of that state. Read more about reciprocity opportunities.
A high school diploma or its equivalent, such as a GED, is usually necessary to get a real estate license. Michigan is one of the few states that does not make a high school diploma a requirement for real estate agents. Learn more about education requirements.
4. Criminal History
Most states require a background check. The state will usually investigate an applicant’s crimes or misdemeanors and then decide whether or not they will approve the application. Most states go through this process to prove an applicant is “of good moral character.” Of course, each state is different, but to get a general idea of how states review and process criminal record issues, read more about criminal history and getting your license in Washington.
Getting your license, just like pursuing other forms of higher education, isn’t free. The cost is relatively low, in fact, when compared with a bachelor’s or master’s program. But there are still fees involved. Each state has their own distinct fees and associated costs, but there are many similarities. For example, learn more about the fees and costs associated with getting a real estate license in Georgia.