How to Become a Realtor in 7 Clear Steps

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Making a career change is not for the faint-of-heart, but if you have enough drive and determination, anything is possible. 

Luckily, moving into the field of real estate can be done at almost any age in your life. But before you begin practicing, there are a few requirements you'll need to tick off your list. 

For 7 simple steps on how to become a Realtor, this blog outlines everything you need to know.

General Requirements 

Each state regulates its own licensing processes with rules that differ from state-to-state. 

Above all, there are a few general requirements which remain consistent, including: 

  • You must be over 18 years of age to practice as a real estate agent 

  • You must hold a valid United States residency 

  • You must complete the required pre-licensed education

  • You must pass your state's real estate license exam  

It's also important to keep in mind whether real estate is suited to your personality. You'll need to be open to meeting new people on a daily basis, personable, responsible and good with communication.

Along with this, becoming a Realtor means mean becoming your own boss. This brings responsibility such as office management, paperwork, accounts, working the dealers and buyers etc. 

Ask yourself whether you're ready for all of the above before diving into real estate full-time... 

How to Become a Realtor in 7 Simple Steps 

As mentioned, the specifics tend to vary from one state to the next, but generally, there are 7 steps to becoming a Realtor... 

Step 1: Meet Your State's Licensing Requirements

What you need to do is visit your state's specific real estate commission website. This official website will list all pre-licensing requirements. 

In most states, 60-90 hours of college-level education in real estate basics is required to qualify for a license. 

Keep in mind that the licensing school you choose to study with must be accredited and acknowledged by your state. 

Step 2: Complete a Pre-Licensing Course 

While the cost of pre-licensing courses differs, bear in mind that becoming a real estate agent requires both time and investment. 

Some pre-licensing courses are set over a number of weeks, while others allow you to finish in your time and move at your own pace. 

You'll need to choose the best course to fit your lifestyle and the amount of study you can manage in a designated time-frame. 

You can expect to pay between $200-$1,000 for your courses, depending on your state and the school you choose to study with. 

Step 3: Submit Your Application for the Real Estate Exam

You must be following the application process carefully. This way, you'll be able to sit your real estate exam soon after you've completed your studies. 

The process is specific to your state and the fee will vary, but most states require fingerprints and a background check before scheduling an exam date. 

These details can take several weeks to process, so make sure this part of your application is completed as early as possible.  

Step 4: Sit Your Real Estate Exam and Pass!

It's important to know that not everyone passes the real estate exam the first time, and that's okay. That's why preparation and adequate study is so important.

It's recommended that you enroll in the exam preparation class, especially if it's been a good few years since you last studied or wrote an exam!

These classes allow you to take practice exams and work on your strengths, weaknesses and build up your comprehension of certain subjects.

By putting in a little bit of additional work you can be assured of passing the first time and well on your way to kick-starting your career. 

Step 5: Secure a Real Estate Brokerage

Once you've passed your real estate exam, this doesn't mean you're free to begin practicing independently. You need to be registered first and can only trade on behalf of a broker. 

Try and find a real estate broker as early as possible in your licensing process. Once you have completed your studies and passed your exam, you and your broker can complete final paperwork and submit to the state. 

Once you have been accepted by the state, your license will be issued and you'll be free to practice under the sponsorship of your broker. 

Step 6: Join the NAR 

Another important step once you've been granted your real estate license is to join the National Association of Realtors (NAR). 

While it's not legally necessary, it's a requirement in order to trade under the designation of REALTOR®. This also helps when looking to participate in Multiple Listing Services, known as MLS.

Without access to MLS, your earning potential could be severely limited, so it's definitely worth joining the NAR and securing this designation! 

Step 7: Remember the Importance of License Renewal 

Securing your real estate license is a lot of work and expense- don't let it all go to waste because you neglected your license renewal! 

Make sure to double-check your state's licensing requirements and how often a real estate license should be renewed. This is generally every 2-4 years. 

You'll also need to complete a number of hours of additional course study in order to be eligible for renewal. This ranges from 22-90 hours every two years. 

These courses are relevant to ensure real estate agents are kept up-to-date on ever-changing state markets and regulations. 

A Real Estate Career with 100% Commission 

If you're wondering how to become a Realtor without spending every waking hour at work, with minimum earnings, Ashby and Graff are here to help! 

The Ashby and Graff Advantage prides itself on being different to any other real estate firm. We believe in putting our agents first and helping them succeed. 

We allow you to choose your own commission, enjoy the full benefits of your paycheck as well as unlimited brokerage advice. 

Join the Ashby and Graff Advantage team today!