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How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent

By Shanea Patterson | February 3, 2022
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Starting a career as a real estate agent can be a fun and exciting experience. But many people don’t realize exactly what goes into starting a career as a real estate agent.

So below we’ve outlined all of the necessary steps to becoming a real estate agent so that you’ll know the exact path to take to make it to your first sale.

Real Estate License Class

Take a State-Approved Real Estate Course

Most states will require that you complete a state-approved Real Estate Agent License Course. Real Estate U offers classes for every state that’ll help you meet your state’s requirements.

In New York State, you’ll need to take and pass a 75-hour state-approved real estate course at a real estate training academy.

It usually requires that you pass a final exam at the end of the course using a proctor at an approved testing site. Once you pass the final exam, it’s your job to schedule your state exam and pass that.

Pass Your State Test

Once you’ve taken and passed your course’s final exam, it’s time to schedule your state test.

Some students choose to purchase additional study guides. And while they can be helpful, they’re not necessary to pass the exams.

Once you pass your state test, your license will be mailed to whatever broker you choose to work for so no need to worry about looking for it in the mail.

Choose a Broker

Choosing a broker is the next step on your journey to your first closing. Do some research and learn which brokers have the best working environment, the happiest realtors, etc.

You don’t want to have to go through the trouble of switching brokers if you find you’re not happy with your broker.

Go on a few interviews and decide which one is the right fit for you and your goals.

Keep in mind that it’s normal to expect desk fees (and other fees – like insurance) from some brokers, especially smaller brokerages. But insurance fees are usually paid back during the first closing.

Join the MLS

Once you sign an independent contractor agreement with a broker,  you’ll need to join the MLS (multiple listing service) which gives you access to homes currently on the market in your area.

You may sign up with your local board of realtors for whatever county you’ll be selling houses in. For instance, if you’re in Ulster County, NY, you’ll likely become a member of the Ulster County Board of Realtors.

But you’ll also need to join the national board of realtors.

Join the National Association of Realtors

Joining the National Association of Realtors is another professional requirement that comes with its own set of fees. In New York, you’ll have to contact your local board of realtors or whatever office handles that.

Joining the National Board of Realtors gives you not only professional distinction, but it helps you stay up to date on industry news so you can be as knowledgeable as possible about the market for potential clients. You’ll be able to provide them with information that can affect their home-buying decisions, which is truly an invaluable asset.

Take the New Member Orientation

You have a limited amount of time to complete the New Member Orientation after joining the local and national board of realtors.

Make sure you take it within the specified period of time. Otherwise, you risk violating the terms of joining.

When you join the board, they should give you instructions on how to complete both New Member Orientation and the required Code of Ethics training.

Code of Ethics Training

The Code of Ethics training is another requirement you must complete in order to remain a member of the board.

Complete Your Broker Training

If you’ve selected a good broker, you’ll likely have to go through training before you can actually get out in the field and get started with selling houses.

Depending on the broker, the training may be a few weeks long.

Sell Your First House

Once you’ve completed all of the steps above, you’re finally ready to get started selling your first home.

Bio: Shanea Patterson is a freelance copywriter and content creator, the founder of Ultimate Freelance Guide, author of The Ultimate Guide to Living Your Best Freelance Life, NYU grad, and a huge marketing enthusiast. She is a sought-after freelance copywriter and content creator who’s been published on USA Today, Small Biz Daily, Overture Global Magazine, and OnDeck. She’s a regular contributor to Realty Biz News.
  • One comment on “How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent”

    1. I found it helpful when you said that you can expect your license to be mailed to you when you pass your state test. Many real estate agent aspirants will surely consider this, especially if they need and want to be licensed in their field. I could imagine them finding a company that could help them obtain a proper license to start working.

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