Considering a career in Georgia real estate? It’s a dynamic industry with great potential. But you may wonder how much it costs to get your license. There are certainly the expected costs like examination and license fees. But you should budget more to actually get into the business. Here’s a look at the costs to get your Georgia real estate license.
Cost #1: Education Costs ($300-plus)
Your journey into Georgia real estate starts with pre-licensing education. The full 75-hour course starts at around $300. Make sure to enroll in a course approved by the Georgia Real Estate Commission (GREC).
Look for a program with high pass rates and a money-back guarantee. Many are offered online today. If this suits your learning style, these courses are a convenient option. Many will also offer online test-taking options to make it even more convenient.
When looking at online education options, ask about the support you will receive. Find testimonials and reviews, too. For most online classes you should expect to pay around $300, but if you are an in-person learner, expect to pay about $450 or more.
Cost #2: Testing and Licensing Fees (Roughly $350)
Once you complete your schooling, you will need to sign up for your Georgia salesperson exam, then you’ll apply for your license. GREC really only has three fees associated with this part of the process. They are:
- Examination fee: $121
- License fee: $170
- Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) report: $25
You can get a GCIC report from most Georgia police stations; $25 is the average, but fees might vary from station to station.
The license fee covers your first four years. After that, you pay $125 for a paper renewal or $100 for an online renewal. If you renew within four months after expiration, you pay $100 extra. If you wait longer than four months after expiration, expect to pay a $25 a month penalty. After five years, you must re-take pre-licensing education and re-take the exam as well.
Your Total License Costs ($650-$850)
To get your license, expect to pay between $650 and $850. If you take in-person classes, it will cost more. If you are not timely with some fees, it will cost more. As we said, always budget a little higher to avoid surprises. Just keep in mind, these aren't the only fees you'll need to save up for.
Beyond Licensing: Other Costs to Consider
Once you complete your licensing, other expenses come up. In real estate, you have the freedom to build your own business. That’s the good news. The bad news is that building a business may take time.
In real estate, you are not an employee. You align with a broker who mentors you. But you are a subcontractor, not an employee, to that broker. That means you probably won’t get a regular paycheck. Your success, and income, relies on sales. Early on, you will need to buy things to get started. You can expect:
- Broker fees ($25-$500/month): Your broker must cover office costs. Many charge agents fees to help them cover those costs. They can be desk fees, commission fees, office fees, and others.
- Association fees ($250/year or more): Residential agents benefit from being part of a national and local association of Realtors. This brings access to perks like the Multiple Listing Service, networking opportunities, and discounted education, all of which can cost extra as well.
Marketing Costs ($1,000-plus per year)
Again, your success depends on your ability to network and serve your customers. While you grow your business, you will need to market yourself. Consider setting aside money each month for going to networking events and even advertising. These efforts require time and financial commitments. Above all, they require consistent attention – and investment.
You will also need to market properties for clients. That will require investing in things like brochures, advertisements, or technology. Maintaining a professional website alone could cost up to $1,000 a year. How much you spend here is all up to you, but the more funds you can commit, the faster you might start earning clients.
Miscellaneous Business Expenses ($2,000-plus/year)
Early in your career, you may be surprised by how much you spend. To meet new clients, it might require travel. You may need to pick up the tab for meals. And don’t forget your car expenses.
Vehicle expenses for agents can grow. Keep track of your mileage for tax purposes. And in your first year, keep vehicle expense receipts, too. You may find the mileage deduction is simpler and better for taxes. But some people find totaling up all expenses brings a better tax deduction.
As your business grows, you will likely invest in more technology. Many agents do this to make them more efficient and productive. Don’t spring for the latest thing. But do keep your eyes and ears open for tools to make your job easier and your service better. And pay attention to what peers use, too. Things like document signing software, multiple listing service apps, and faxing and scanning software are all part of the business, and they may cost you money.
Continuing Education ($50-250/year)
You will need to complete continuing education hours to keep your license active. You can take these classes online or in person. In Georgia, you must take 36 hours of continuing education every four years.
You can order a package with 36 hours of content and do it all online at your convenience. They may not like all the classes in the package, but the time and money saved works for them. Or some agents like to pick and choose classes offered by an association. They take classes gradually throughout the year. This allows them to get more education on topics directly affecting them.
Still considering a career in Georgia real estate? Sign up for your pre-licensing class from Aceable Agent, and you’re well on your way!