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10 Things you need to know before getting into Real Estate

By Mike Wheatley | August 27, 2015

What essential information should someone obtain before making a decision to enter the real estate profession? Addressing the ten important items can save anyone considering a real estate career a lot of time and money.


1. Know Your Local Real Estate Licensing Laws

The first, most important, information required to pursue a real estate career involves gaining familiarity with the real estate licensing laws in your area. These differ from state to state. You can obtain directions to your state's rules by contacting your local Real Estate Commission.

2. Investigate Real Estate Specialties

The two basic divisions within real estate involve residential and commercial sales. However, other very specialized types of real estate practice exist. Some attorneys engage in real estate law, for instance. You may also find a real estate attorney that specializes in unique types of properties, such as farms or shopping malls.

3. Can You Survive Without Income For Six Months?

Most real estate sales agents and brokers obtain their living by earning commission checks. This performance-based system of compensation means successful agents may obtain high incomes; other, less successful real estate agents often struggle financially. New real estate professionals can expect an initial period without much compensation. Some experts recommend saving enough money to survive at least six months without a commission check before entering this field.

4. Understand Errors and Omissions Insurance

Today, most real estate sales professionals carry errors and omissions insurance. Increasingly, real estate firms find themselves subject to lawsuits if problems arise during or after a sales transaction. You should learn as much as possible about this complex area before undertaking a real estate career.

5. Learn Real Estate Sales Basics

Most states at a minimum require real estate sales agents to undertake a specified number of classroom hours in certain real estate courses and to pass an examination. Usually, brokers must meet steeper requirements. These vary from state to state, but you won't be able to obtain your real estate license until you comply with these training requirements.

6. Appreciate Market Trends

It makes sense to investigate prevailing market trends in your area before entering the real estate profession. Even in poor real estate markets, usually some places enjoy better conditions than others. This information can assist you in planning your real estate career.

7. Plan on Joining Your Local Professional Society

In order to use the designation "realtor", you'll need to join the National Association of Realtors, a professional organization. It maintains local boards in every state. This organization can offer a wide array of helpful information as you begin your real estate career.

8. Identify Your Brokerage

New real estate professionals in the United States typically work for experienced brokers. It is possible in many places to start out as a broker, if you complete extensive educational and training requirements first. You need to decide whether you plan to start your career in this field working for a broker, and whether or not you will begin as a sales agent, or a broker.

9. Select a Specific Market Location

Most real estate professionals focus on specific markets. For instance, sometimes a residential real estate sales agent will concentrate on selling houses within a single neighborhood or limited geographic area.

10. Set Benchmarks

Set benchmarks to evaluate your progress towards your real estate career goals. This process will enable you to track your success and focus on the most essential tasks at every step of the journey.

Real estate offers one of the most enjoyable, challenging and financially rewarding career choices available today. It allows you to meet interesting people and to furnish a valuable service to your local community.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. The information for this article was provided by real estate attorneys at the Dore Law Group.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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