Ready to start your career as an Orange Country real estate agent? Finding the right school to get your pre-licensing coursework completed is a crucial part of starting your real estate career on the right foot. And with so many options, it’s hard to determine which program is the best.
As you search for the right school, you must understand what you’ll need to succeed. Do you need a structured, in-person classroom setting? Or are you looking to learn on the go with online classes and mobile-friendly coursework? Whichever learning style is best for you, there’s likely a program that will fit your needs.
We’ve done some research for you and ranked our top 10 real estate schools in Orange County - based on Google Reviews as a guiding point.We believe these public reviews are a realistic and subjective representation of each school's online reputation with students who have completed the program.
#1. CA Realty Training (128 Reviews, 5.0 Average Rating)
At the top of the list is our CA Realty Training program, with a 5.0 rating across 128 reviews. We think this truly speaks to the outstanding experience our students have — both with our online platform and the engaging instructors that teach the courses.
Our program offers unparalleled support, the flexibility students need, and a money-back guarantee, giving you the confidence you’ll pass your exam after using our program.
Student Testimonial: This program provided me with all the tools necessary to pass the state exam on the first try. I took the online training classes with Angela So and she was fantastic! The classes were enjoyable and I looked forward to meeting with the group via Zoom twice a week! Angela's personality is fun and energetic which keeps things interesting. She shares personal experiences as a realtor and answers all your questions. I highly recommend the program and taking Angela's classes. Thank you so much CA Realty!
CA Realty Training Pros
Try Before Signing Up
At CA Realty Training, students can test our platform before enrolling in the complete program with our free trial. This gives you an inside look at our platform's format, functionality and features, ensuring you feel confident and comfortable with what you see.
We also have a free live webinar training session that lets you sit in on the first class for free. That way you can get to know your trainer, meet your classmates, and see if this career is right for you.
Formats and Schedules That Work For You
We have a variety of class structures to fit whatever learning needs you have. With onlineor live webinar classes, CA Realty Training has flexible options, giving students the power to learn in the format they prefer.
If students prefer the flexibility of online work, they can pick from on-demand pre-recorded classes or live webinar options at a scheduled time. This ensures the classes fit in with our students’ busy lives.
Local and Knowledgeable Trainers
Our students love our engaging and knowledgeable trainers that have real-world experience. Their in-depth knowledge of local Orange County real estate prepares our students to pass their exams and succeed in their careers. They’re able to grasp the coursework better and can build valuable real estate connections thanks to our trainers.
We also have more cumulative experience and knowledge than any other program in the county thanks to our team of trainers and educators.
At CA Realty Training, our online educational platform is a one-stop shop for pre-licensing course material, state exam application assistance, and study resources for the California real estate exam. Our students get access to hundreds of vocabulary flashcards, eBooks, online quizzes, and more, giving you all the tools you need to ace your exams.
Top-Notch Support During and After Your Classes
Our student advisor team guides and supports our students during their coursework and after graduation, ensuring they have a network of resources as they start their real estate careers. They’ll assist you through the entire licensing process, and then our brokerage partners will help you with job placement and a roadmap to success. Our program offers support at every stage of your educational journey.
Additional Course Programs
No matter where you are in your licensing journey, CA Realty Training has a program for you. In addition to pre-licensing courses, we provide broker pre-licensing education, continuing education, and state exam prep. No other program offers the variety of classes and educational depth as we do.
CA Realty Training Cons
Getting a real estate license is an investment in your future career — and yourself. But we know that comes at a cost. While we think our prices are competitive, we know it’s not affordable for everyone. If you are interested in becoming a CA Realty Training student but aren’t sure you can make the financial commitment, give us a call. We’ll walk you through your options and find a solution that fits your needs.
#2. Revei Real Estate Education (92 Reviews, 5.0 Average Rating)
With several 5-star reviews, Revei Real Estate Education is another option for students looking to get their real estate license in Orange County. While they’re locally owned, their format is based on at-home study.
Student Testimonial: “Revei was great! I highly recommend them for license renewal. They were very efficient and returned my emails & phone calls right away.”
Maria del Carmen
Revei Real Estate Education Pros
Unlike other national programs, Revei Real Estate has been locally owned and operated for over 32 years. Their local approach ensures the material is relevant to California, and instructors are Orange County-based.
Online Format for Flexibility
With their online courses, Revei’s format is based on at-home study. This means there aren’t live classes or lectures, but students go through their coursework at their own pace, providing added flexibility for those who prefer this format.
Responsive Customer Support
Several of Revei’s reviews highlight the outstanding customer support from their instructors. With their online format, students can benefit from reaching out to their instructor and customer support if they have questions or need additional help.
Revei Real Estate Education Cons
While Revei has positive online reviews, most of the reviews are related to their continuing education options — not their first-time licensing program. Additionally, since their program is formulated around at-home study, it might not be a good option for students who are looking for an interactive or live classroom setting. Their pre-licensing course also starts at $250, making it expensive compared to some other local options.
#3. Real Estate Trainers, Inc. (73 Reviews, 4.2 Average Rating)
Founded in 1972 by Bob Morris and Larry McHarg, Real Estate Trainers, Inc. has provided real estate educational courses to local Orange County students for decades. With 73 reviews and a 4.2 rating, they rank number 3 on our list of best real estate schools in Orange County.
Student Testimonial: Real Estate Trainers is the only reason I passed my exam the first time! Extremely important to do it in person. They were amazing. Literally the best $$$ I ever spent!! I would not have passed without them. They take you step by step how to take the test. When I finished not only was I happy I had passed the first time I was kind of sad it was over- I actually had fun!
Real Estate Trainers, Inc. Pros
Live Online Tutorials
Students looking for an online option to get live support can benefit from Real Estate Trainers, Inc., training tutorials. Held twice a week in the evenings, these sessions led by an instructor provide a chance for students to get clarity on specific material.
Family-owned for Two Generations
Real Estate Trainers, Inc has been owned and operated by the McHarg family in Orange County for two generations. Now run by Larry McHarg’s son, they pride themselves on their family values and extensive time in business.
In-Person Crash Course
If you’ve already completed your pre-licensing coursework but need additional support, Real Estate Trainers, Inc., offers an in-person crash course to prepare for your state exam. This is helpful for local Orange County students who prefer a traditional classroom setting.
Real Estate Trainers, Inc. Cons
With their 3-course package starting at $384, Real Estate Trainers, Inc. is an expensive option for students looking to complete their classes on a budget. Plus, to access the live tutorials, students must purchase the physical textbook package, adding additional cost. While they offer in-person crash courses, most classes are only online.
#4. 999 Investments and Realty College (41 Reviews, 5 Average Rating)
While they have several 5-star reviews, 999 Investments and Realty College offers in-person classes at their Huntington Beach office. Paul Nguyen, the president and lead instructor, is also an Orange County realtor.
Student Testimonial: Awesome place to take your real estate class. I am very happy I went here instead of somewhere else. Angel is a lifesaver, she help me very process of the way. I can't thank her enough. And Paul is a great help as well. Both helped me out with any questions, I had. I highly recommend this real estate class if you want to pass the test the 1st time.
999 Investments and Realty College Pros
Courses in Vietnamese
999 Investments and Realty College offers courses in both English and Vietnamese, giving non-English speaking students a chance to get their real estate license.
While their website doesn’t provide information on specifics, all of the coursework for 999 Investments is done in person at their office located on Beach Boulevard in Huntington.
Positive Customer Reviews
Despite having limited information on its website, this school has a 5.0 rating on Google, with previous students reporting a high satisfaction rating after completing their coursework.
999 Investments and Realty College Cons
From the outside, it’s hard to really gauge how 999 Investments and Realty runs its classes since they don’t list a course schedule or offer any pricing information. Students will likely have to pick up the phone to learn more.
#5. Duane Gomer, Inc. (26 Reviews, 4.4 Average Rating)
Located in Orange County, Duane Gomer, Inc. has been led by founder Duane Gomer since 1978 and offers pre-licensing, broker, and mortgage loan officer courses. With a 4.4 rating on Google, it is ranked #5 on our list of best Orange County real estate schools.
Student Testimonial: My late brother-in-law advised me to take Duane Gomer's real estate courses to become an agent. The courses were easy to follow and helped me pass my real estate exam on the first try. The crash course really helped prepare me and I appreciate Duane and his staff. They have great communication and I am so grateful for everything.
Duane Gomer, Inc. Pros
Course Price Includes Textbook and PDF
With a hybrid approach to teaching, courses at Duane Gomer include both a physical textbook and a downloadable PDF. This allows students to review material in the format that fits their learning style best.
Live Exam Prep
Duane Gomer hosts in-person exam prep courses every few months in Laguna Hills and Fountain Valley for students who want that added study time before taking their licensing exam. These classes last 8 hours and give an overview of everything on your California licensing exam.
Accessible Customer Support
This school’s website touts “real live people” to answer students' questions about their coursework. Their customer support team is available via phone or email five days a week between 9 and 4:45 PM.
Duane Gomer, Inc. Cons
Some reviews for Duane Gomer, Inc. outline discrepancies between the coursework and the exam, which left students frustrated and caught off guard. This school’s pricing is comparable with other pricey programs, at $325 for three courses. However, it costs $150 for their live crash course, which is higher than most.
#6. Approved Real Estate Academy (20 Reviews, 4.8 Average Rating)
Approved Real Estate Academy is a locally operated program that combines live class instruction in Orange County with online courses that are California DRE-approved.
Student Testimonial: When I started the class, I knew very little about the Real Estate business. Jim Forde's patient teaching to reinforce the books has made it possible for me to confidently prepare for the real estate exam. I am scheduled for the end of September, and I fully expect to pass. Jim not only goes over the information in the books, he reinforces them with personal experience. Excellent teacher and course. Highly recommended.
Approved Real Estate Academy Pros
Scholarship and Financial Aid Program
Students who are on a budget or those who might struggle to afford prelicensing coursework can apply for scholarships or financial aid through Approved Real Estate Academy. They also offer a 110% money-back guarantee if students don’t pass their course exams.
Approved Real Estate Academy has a mentor program that helps connect students with local Orange County realtors who can help them jumpstart their careers or answer any questions. This no-cost program is a benefit for any student enrolled at the school.
For students who prefer to learn on their tablet, all of Approved Real Estate Academy's courses are iPad-friendly and don’t require Flash or special software. Students can utilize this feature to complete their coursework on the go via their tablets.
Approved Real Estate Academy Cons
Parts of their website appear to be outdated, with class schedules dating back to 2019 and no activity on their Facebook since 2021, leaving prospective students to wonder about their current pricing and courses.
#7. NRE Schools (6 Reviews, 5.0 Average Rating)
While they don’t have a lot of reviews, NRE Schools, based in Buena Park, has a 5-star rating, coming in at #7 on our list. With both online and in-person courses, they offer a hybrid approach for students that prefer a mix of learning styles.
Student Testimonials: Great program...highly recommended.
NRE Schools Pros
Weekly In-Person Classes
NRE Schools is one of the few educational programs that offer regular in-person licensing classes for students who prefer a traditional classroom setting. These classes are held every Wednesday evening at the NRE office in Long Beach, California.
NRE School offers a “triple guarantee” that if students aren’t satisfied within 30 days of their purchase or fail the exam on the first try, they can get their money back. Additionally, when students purchase any course, they have one year from their purchase date to complete the course, even if they fail.
Zoom Study Group
NRE Schools offers an online weekly Zoom study group outside of their regular courses. This is helpful for students to connect with others taking the course and review key concepts.
NRE Schools Cons
While NRE Schools has an updated and easy-to-use website, there isn’t any information about who runs the courses or what experience the instructors have with real estate. Additionally, at $439 for their complete licensing bundle, NRE Schools is the most expensive option out there.
#8. Agent Real Estate Schools (6 Reviews, 5.0 Average Rating)
The Agent Real Estate network of schools offers online and in-person training options across the state of California. This program was founded as the KW Real Estate School and has been around since 2013.
Agent Real Estate Schools Pros
Multiple online options
Agent Real Estate Schools has a variety of online learning classes depending on students' needs. Their “fast track” options allow students to work through the coursework at their own pace while adding the option to pay more, join an in-person study group, and connect with other students.
Career Day Webinars
If students are unsure about becoming a real estate agent, they can attend a virtual Career Day hosted by the school. This interactive webinar connects students with licensed professionals.
With their “Fast Track Lite” course costing $199, this school has some of the more affordable licensing options in the area. This option includes a student orientation, access to a private Facebook forum and the three required courses.
Agent Real Estate Schools Cons
While they have a large network of locations and agents, they don’t list any upcoming events in the Orange County area for students to attend in person. They also charge more to add on the study group access, making it an added cost to simply connect with other students.
#9. The KW School of Real Estate - Long Beach (5 Reviews, 5.0 Average Rating)
In a new spin on pre-licensing education, the KW School of Real Estate in Long Beach offers a 100% online and free program for those looking to get their real estate license. Run by the local Keller Williams Brokerage, students can leverage this program and get access to a Kaplan Real Estate licensing course.
Student Testimonial: If you are looking for a great education that is flexible for your busy lifestyle- look no further! The KW school will not only prepare you to pass your exams, but it will also teach you what the REAL job of being a realtor is like.
The KW School of Real Estate - Long Beach Pros
This program advertises it as being entirely free for students to enroll and participate. This ensures that students of all financial backgrounds can access the courses they need to get their real estate license. However, the free cost does mean you do not receive as many perks and benefits that other programs offer, which could hurt you in the long run.
Connected With a Local Brokerage
Since the KW Coastal Long Beach brokerage runs the program, students are connected directly with a local group of agents to get advice, ask questions and jumpstart their careers.
According to the signup form, students will get more than just the pre-licensing education content. They’ll also participate in a program called KWSCORE that adds real-world application to the curriculum.
The KW School of Real Estate - Long Beach Cons
Students looking to learn more about the KW School of Real Estate Long Beach will have to contact the school directly or fill out the form first, as they don’t have much information about the curriculum or training program online.
Because the program is free, the program is more barebones than what other programs will offer. This could make it harder to pass the real estate exam and feel unprepared for a successful career.
Honorable Mention: Allied Real Estate School (47 Reviews, 2.8 Average Rating)
This national real estate education provider deserves an honorable mention on our list. They offer prelicensing education for California students in an online-only format, with both home study and live instructor classes.
Allied Real Estate School Pros
Several Online Options
Allied Real Estate School provides several options for students to participate in, depending on their schedule.
Allied School ensures that you can get your money back if you don’t pass your exam or aren’t happy with the program within a week of purchasing.
Several Fast Track Package
Students who are looking for the bare minimum or want to pick from several packages will benefit from Allied Real Estate School’s program. They have several “fast track” packages that vary in features to provide a customizable experience for students.
Allied Real Estate School Cons
While Allied is an online-only real estate school, its mobile platform can use some enhancements to be more user-friendly. Some students report the advertised class scheduling as being unreliable, with class times changing after they had signed up. Others said they had issues with the school’s technology platform.
Are you looking for the best real estate school in San Diego? With so many options, it can take time to figure out which school is best to assist you in obtaining your real estate license.
There's something for everyone, from virtual, online classes to weekly in-person sessions. It’s also important to factor in the real estate school’s location — is a local San Diego school best? Or a larger, national real estate program?
If you’re struggling to figure out which real estate school is right for you, we’re here to help. We looked at San Diego’s top-ranked real estate schools and outlined how each school compares, using Google Reviews as a guiding point.
We think these public reviews are a realistic and subjective representation of each school's online reputation based on students who’ve taken the course.
Here’s what one student had to say about their experience in our program:
I highly recommend CA Realty Training! After years of life getting in the way and attempting on my own to get my license, the structure and curriculum of this school forced me to focus and complete the courses. Having nothing to lose I took a chance and signed up for their free intro night class. I immediately signed up for their 3 month courses, attended regular night classes, and used their state exam prep portal. These steps helped me pass and attain my Real Estate license within 6 months! If you are serious about getting your license this school will help you get there. Signing up was the best decision of my adult life!
CA Realty Training Pros
The perks of our school starts before you enroll in the program. We provide a full library of free content that covers steps to become a real estate agent, terminology, exam prep, as well as actionable career advice and interviews with industry leaders.
Also, we provide a live webinar or in-person free introductory class for students who want to test our program out before they enroll. Our online student portal also has its own free trial, which anyone can start to give our online experience a try.
Multiple Class Formats
With in-person, on-demand, and live webinar classes, students can pick the format that works best for them and their learning styles. For in-person learning, we provide one centrally-located San Diego training room which runs weekly, nighttime classes catered to the working student.
For online learning, students can pick between on-demand classes that are pre-recorded or live webinar classes at a scheduled time. This offers added flexibility to ensure the classes fit in with our students’ busy lives.
With several locations throughout San Diego, you won’t have to trek out of your way to get to a CA Realty Training class. Unlike the national schools, our on-the-ground locations provide a meeting point to collaborate, learn, and connect with classmates.
Interactive and Knowledgeable Trainers
Taught by some of San Diego’s best real estate agents, our trainers have over 50 years of combined real estate experience, which means that our program is one of the most knowledgeable programs in the city.
Their in-depth knowledge about the industry helps our students prepare to pass the California state exam and jumpstart thriving careers in real estate. Students love their engaging lessons, both online and in-person, allowing them to build real-life real estate connections.
At CA Realty Training, our online educational platform is a one-stop shop for pre-licensing course material, state exam application assistance, and study resources for the California real estate exam.
We’ve invested in technology to ensure our students have the best online experience possible. With hundreds of vocabulary flashcards, eBooks, online quizzes, and more, you can study for your courses and the real estate exam from anywhere at any time
As you attend and graduate from CA Realty Training, you will have support and a built-in network every step of the way. Our team of student advisors are here to assist you through the entire licensing process, while our brokerage partners will help you with job placement and a roadmap to success. Our program is designed to give you support no matter where you are in your educational journey.
Courses For Every Point in Your Career
Unlike other state-specific schools, CA Realty Training offers an education program for every stage of your real estate career. In addition to pre-licensing courses, we also provide broker’s pre-licensing education, continuing education, and state exam prep. No other program offers the variety of classes that we do.
CA Realty Training Cons
Although our courses aren’t the cheapest on the market, our school is the most competitively priced out of any program. At our prices, no other program can provide the amount and quality of education that we can deliver while providing unparalleled student support.
#2. School of Real Estate (42 Google Reviews)
Coming in second in our Google ranking is the School of Real Estate — a San Diego-based company with both online and in-person classes. With 42 reviews and a ranking of 4.8, students like this option for its affordable pricing and fast-paced format.
With online courses starting at $99, School of Real Estate offers an affordable range of courses depending on your needs.
The School of Real Estate has been great for me! I was skeptical at first, but went ahead and signed up, and after a month of pushing myself to finally get started, I did! The material is what you would get with any real estate program, but I like the online format, which keeps the cost down. I can work when I feel like it and ignore it when I don't. I recommend School of Real Estate to anyone who wants to study for their license.
School of Real Estate Pros
Local and In-Person
Unlike the large, national education programs, the School of Real Estate only operates in San Diego and is locally founded. With a knowledgeable instructor and local expertise, they can connect students with San Diego brokerages after graduation.
Audio Learning Available
If you consider yourself an auditory learner,, the School of Real Estate offers audio lessons and vocabulary practice in a few of their packages. If you purchase their silver or gold packages, or one of their crash courses, you’ll get access to those audio sessions so you can study on the go.
Discounted Online Pricing
With some of the lowest pricing available, the School of Real Estate’s packages start at $149 for strictly online learning. If you’re looking to learn the basics on a budget, this might be a good option for you. Keep in mind, however, that this does not come with any type of on-demand videos or live classes.
School of Real Estate Cons
Even though students like the in-person training instructor, some dislike the class format, calling it “extremely boring” in one review. Additionally, there have been errors reported with online software, causing some students to have login problems as they began their coursework.
Since in-person classes are only offered on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, your schedule will have to accommodate those days without another option.
#3. Agent Real Estate Schools - Del Mar (26 Reviews)
Agent Real Estate School - Del Mar is a pre-licensing program that originated as the KW Real Estate School, but recently changed its name in 2021 to be more inclusive of all brokerages. With 26 reviews and a 4.8 rating, they rank third on our list of best real estate schools in San Diego.
While most of their pre-licensing coursework is done online, Agent Real Estate Schools - Del Mar does offer in-person boot camps and study groups to those local to San Diego. This hybrid approach offers a unique way for students to have flexibility while getting some benefits of in-person collaboration.
I took the fast track program online, and I feel confident in my ability to be a real estate salesperson. They provide you with many tools and resources. They also answer additional questions very quickly and effectively.
Agent Real Estate Schools - Del Mar Pros
Flexible Learning Options
Agent Real Estate Schools - Del Mar offers online learning, making it a good fit for those who don’t want the traditional structure of a class. Their “fast track” options allow students to work through the coursework at their own pace while adding the option to pay more to join an in-person study group and connect with other students.
Career Day Webinars
If you’re not quite ready to commit to a career change, you can attend Agent Real Estate School’s virtual Career Day to learn more. This interactive webinar connects students who are considering becoming a real estate agent with currently licensed professionals.
“Concierge” Approach to Support
From onboarding to passing your exam, this school’s instructors and staff will provide dedicated support and guidance - ensuring you have a clear plan of success.
Agent Real Estate Schools - Del Mar Cons
With any online course, it can be difficult for some students to keep up and learn the material. One reviewer says, “I feel like they just gave me the books, and I had to learn for myself.”
Lastly, you have to pay an additional fee if you want to benefit from the in-person sessions or study groups. This can be an added financial burden, with upgrades starting at $149 on top of the online program fee.
#4. Clare Institute (11 Google Reviews)
Founded by Kathy Clare in 1997, the Clare Institute is one of the oldest real estate schools in San Diego offering a variety of real estate licensing classes. While they previously offered in-person classes, the Clare Institute has expanded into fully online courses through a partnership with Chamberlin Real Estate School.
As an affordable and local option, they come in at #4 with 11 Google Reviews and a 4.6 rating.
I used Clare institute for my initial Real Estate course, and I am now using Clare institute for my continuing education. Love this school, and the people who run it!
Clare Institute Pros
Through their online courses, you get access to the benefits provided by Chamberlin Real Estate School, like toll-free support and instant graded responses.
If you’re looking for some added help to pass the exam on your first try, Clare Institute does offer a one-day webinar class via Zoom. This once-a-month class gives you a live and personal virtual learning option if you want to boost your studying.
Clare Institute Cons
Clare Institute’s website isn’t the most intuitive to navigate and it can be challenging to find the appropriate information to learn about the courses. Additionally, all of their online classes are hosted by a third-party educational program, without any original content from Clare Institute itself.
As far as affordability goes, their program is also on the more expensive end while offering less than what competitors offer.
In their reviews, some students noted that the small staff could be unwelcoming and difficult to work with, with some reviewers calling the instructor “direct and to the point” and “unprofessional.”
#5. Realty School 101 (9 Google Reviews)
Realty School 101 is a California-wide school that offers online real estate coursework with 24/7 support. They’re working on revamping their website and coursework for spring 2023, but still offer comprehensive online learning options for those looking to complete their salesperson or broker license requirements.
With 9 reviews and a 4.6 rating, they’re ranked number 5 on our best real estate schools in San Diego.
If you’re looking to become a licensed realtor, broker, agent and want the best approach for the pre-qualification courses, then this is it. Realty School 101 Instructors are friendly and they know how to help you pass the state license exam. The online exam prep has questions with instant grading and explanations. There’s other exam prep options that are fantastic including one-on - one tutoring (even more very helpful within a week before taking the exam). I would definitely encourage you to enroll here. The immediacy of starting once you sign up is great (no waiting) and same thing with the certificates when you finish each course (get ‘em right away, no delay)
Realty School 101 Pros
Coursework can begin immediately
One of the main benefits of taking classes with Realty Schools 101 is that you can access the coursework immediately once you pay and sign up for the classes. With access granted immediately, you can start working through the classes at your preferred pace.
Variety of courses depending on your needs
Realty School 101 offers an a-la-carte style sign-up process, allowing you to pick the specific courses you need to complete your pre-licensing requirements. This gives students some flexibility to work through the courses in order of their choosing.
No matter when you need it, Realty School 101 offers a 24/7 support line for questions or technical help.
Realty School 101 Cons
While they previously offered in-person classes, Realty School 101 is now entirely online. This might be a deterrent for students needing an in-person option for their preferred learning style.
Additionally, without a San Diego presence, their website is general to California as a whole. They don’t have a local, personal touch like some other institutions.
#6. San Diego Real Estate License (5 Google Reviews)
Even though they only have 5 reviews, the San Diego Real Estate License program has a 5.0 rating. This school is an affiliate of the national program, The CE Shop, giving them the power of a robust online network without a local presence.
San Diego Real Estate License Pros
Robust Online Program
Thanks to their association with the CE Shop, the San Diego Real Estate License school benefits from the national company’s extensive online coursework. They are constantly updating their technology platforms and coursework to keep up with industry changes.
Through the CE Shop, students can get a 100% refund on their coursework if they start the classes and change their minds. If you’ve purchased a class in the last 30 days and have completed less than 50% of the course, you can get your money back.
24/7 Customer Service
Similar to other large national entities, this school also offers 24/7 support through phone or chat.
Realty School 101 Cons
With packages starting at $249, Realty School 101 is one of the more expensive pre-licensing options. Additionally, as with other national programs, they don’t have connections to local brokerages like some on-the-ground options.
#7. EP Real Estate School (4 Google Reviews)
Last on our list is EP Real Estate School, located in Mesa, California with 4 reviews. Their online-only format offers flexibility and a fully digital experience for students.
Phenomenal team, great online courses!
EP Real Estate School Pros
If you prefer to learn through audiobooks, EP Real Estate School might be a good fit for you. They offer over 20 hours of audio coursework - including vocabulary, lectures, and practice questions. This is perfect for someone who spends a lot of time in the car and still wants to get their studying in.
Live Crash Course Sessions with Professionals
If you like online learning but want the added personal touch of an expert, you can sign up for a live crash course with EP Real Estate’s instructors.
EP Real Estate School Cons
Despite being an online-only school, EP Real Estate School’s website remains difficult to navigate and outdated. They also don’t list their prices on their website, making it hard to determine their cost structure or affordability.
Honorable Mention: Colibri Real Estate
Colibri Real Estate is worth mentioning on our list because they are a national program that provides state specific online learning that students can take on their own time. Although their program is limited with what it can offer, students do enjoy the bare bones approach to their education.
Colibri Real Estate School Pros
Pass or Refund
Colibri’s program offers money-back if you do not pass the state exam on your first attempt. This does require students to submit proof that they did not pass the exam, and you can only choose to be reimbursed for your pre-licensing education or exam prep package. Additional terms and conditions do apply, so make sure you read the fine print.
Access to the State Instructor
Students have the opportunity to contact a state instructor who can answer their questions regarding the educational material. However, they can only communicate with the instructor through email, so this could delay the response time.
Because Colibri’s program is online, they have created a mobile friendly system that students can access. However, some people have mentioned that their website is cluttered and overwhelming.
Colibri Real Estate School Cons
No Broker’s Program
Colibri does not offer a broker’s program for California. So, if you would like to complete your broker’s pre-licensing education, you will have to choose a competitor.
No Physical or Local Schools
As a national program, Colibri does not provide in-person classes for students. This makes it harder for students who prefer to be physically in the same room as their trainer. Although they do provide a Live Exam Crammer Series and Instructor Q&A that students have access to online at different intervals throughout the month.
Colibri is limited in the options they provide their students. At their price point, they do not provide as many program features that other competitors offer, which makes it hard to learn the material.
Expensive Without a Coupon Code
Unless you have a coupon code, Colibri’s program is an expensive option. As we mentioned in the previous point, the higher price may not be worth the investment. So, be sure to find a coupon code before purchasing.
Final Thoughts on the Best Real Estate Schools in San Diego
Getting your real estate license is a major investment in yourself and your future career. Make sure you take the time to understand all of the educational options out there, ensuring you find the best fit for your personal goals and learning style.
Are you thinking of becoming a real estate agent in San Jose? Real estate is an exciting, lucrative, and rewarding career — but it requires proper planning and education to get started on the right foot.
As you start searching for a real estate school in San Jose, consider all of your options and which program is the best fit for you. Are you looking for a traditional classroom setting? Do you prefer that your pre-licensing coursework is online? Do you want a program with local connections? There are so many options available for students in today’s real estate pre-licensing market!
With several options, it’s essential to research and weigh each school's pros and cons. The good news is we’ve done some of the work for you. Below is a list of the top real estate schools in San Jose, California.
We used Google Reviews as a guiding point. We believe these public reviews are a realistic and subjective representation of each school's online reputation with students who have completed the program.
From our innovative online platform to our engaging in-person courses, students can get the educational experience they want while building local connections with real estate professionals.
Plus, with five locations in the San Jose area, students can build local connections in an engaging environment.
Here’s what one student had to say about CA Realty Training’s pre-licensing program:
I was extremely satisfied with my experience in CA Realty Training. The online student portal was easy to use and the textbook material was up-to-date. The couple times I did need help, the customer service advisor Karen Friedman was very responsive and helpful.
The big highlight for me, though, was the instructor. Bryan Collins was everything I could’ve hoped for in a real estate teacher. He went the extra mile to make all his lectures fun and engaging. He supplemented the book knowledge with his real-world experiences in the field for a well-rounded understanding of the course concepts.
He also made it clear that he was our ally and truly wanted us all to succeed. He made himself available both in and out of class for questions about course material but also advised on real estate careers as a whole.
I would recommend CA Realty Training to anyone who wants to start a career in real estate.
CA Realty Training Pros
Is our school right for you? Our free library of content can give you career guidance, actionable advice, and hours of exam help without enrolling in our program. You can find all of this content on our YouTube channel or our website’s blog.
And if you want to try our program but you’re unsure if you’re ready for a commitment, we have a free introductory class and free trial of our online student portal. The free introductory class has helped thousands of students decide if a career in real estate is right for them. Signing up is quick and easy – no credit card needed.
Online Or In-Person Class Formats
CA Realty Training is one of the only programs that regularly offers in-person options and online courses. With several options like in-person, on-demand videos, and online live classes, students can pick the best format for them and their learning styles. No other program in San Jose offers this type of class variety.
Multiple San Jose Offices And Scheduling Options
With five conveniently located offices in Cupertino, Campbell, Santa Clara, South San Jose and Palo Alto, students can pick the CA Realty location that is best for them. No other program offers the amount of real estate school locations that we do throughout San Jose. Finding one near you is quick and easy.
Our program is developed to give anyone, no matter their schedule, the option to get their real estate license on their own time. With so many locations and an abundance of class times, students have the added flexibility that ensures their classes fit in with their busy lives.
Helpful And Professional Instructors
Taught by some of California’s best real estate agents, our trainers have firsthand experience, providing you with practical examples and support as you prepare for your California real estate exam.
Our trainers’ cumulative years of experience surpasses any other program, which gives us one of the most knowledgeable real estate schools in San Jose.
What makes our trainers remarkable is their ability to break down complex ideas into easy-to-understand lessons and their student-first mindset. No other program has trainers that care about their students’ success like ours.
We want to provide students with a seamless learning experience online. That’s why we created an intuitive online learning platform that makes completing your pre-licensing education easy.
At CA Realty Training, our student portal is a one-stop shop for all course material and practice exams. You’ll get immediate access to hundreds of vocabulary flashcards, eBooks, online quizzes, and more when you enroll.
Don’t believe us? You can sign up for a free trial of our online student portal and see for yourself!
Different Levels Of Classes Depending On Your Educational Need
We have a class for you, no matter what level you’re at in your licensing journey. Our program offers pre-licensing education, state exam prep, broker pre-licensing education, and continuing education for when you need to renew your license every 4 years. This comprehensive curriculum ensures you’ll have every course you need for a long, successful career in real estate.
Support Every Step Of The Way
Our dedicated student advisor team is available to help you with any question or issue you have as you work through the online course, have a question, or just need help with your next educational step. With a knowledgeable and helpful team, you’ll never be left wondering who to contact or what to do next.
The support doesn’t end once you graduate. When you pass your exam and get your license, we’ll connect you with one of our amazing local brokerage partners to get your career started. That’s one of the biggest benefits of working with a local, well-respected program like CA Realty Training.
CA Realty Training Cons
Although our program isn’t the cheapest, we are the most competitively priced for what we provide our students.
We also know that getting your real estate license is an investment, so if the cost is more than you can afford, contact us to learn more about our payment plan options.
#2. Chamberlin Real Estate School (17 Google Reviews)
Founded in 1949, Chamberlin Real Estate School has been family owned and operated for the last 70 years. Their home study program includes online courses and textbook support while a live instructor walks you through the material.
With 17 Google Reviews and a 4.7 rating, they rank second on our list of best real estate schools in San Jose.
I wanted to thank De Willmore for a great crash course. I successfully passed my broker licensing examination on the first try!
The crush course helped me to refresh and mentally organize the previously studied material. That was money well spent!
Chamberlin Real Estate School Pros
Students enrolled at Chamberlin Real Estate School will get access to a “personal instructor” to walk them through the coursework. Many students reported in their Google Reviews the helpfulness of the instructors.
One student said that despite the “dense” course material, the instructor was “fun” and “professional.”
Live One-Day Webinar
If you are looking for a crash course before taking the exam, Chamberlin Real Estate has a live, one-day intensive webinar you can enroll in the weekend before your exam.
This is done online through Zoom and is included in the full course package. Otherwise, it’s $119 separately.
Locally Run For 70 Years
Chamberlin Real Estate School has been local to San Jose since 1949, when Carol Chamberlin became one of the first real estate professionals in the area.
As a third-generation family-run business, they have an esteemed reputation locally.
Chamberlin Real Estate School Cons
While Chamberlin is a well-established school, its pre-licensing course package prices are expensive, starting at $436. While you can purchase individual items, they strongly recommend their package to get the most extensive experience.
Additionally, some Google reviews expressed “disappointment” with the program, calling the instructors “rude.”
Despite their local roots, they are only offering online classes. This could deter some students that prefer in-person instruction over virtual coursework.
#3. Quick Learning School, LLC (9 Google Reviews)
Ranking third place with 9 Google reviews is the Quick Learning School. This San Jose school is one of the few schools currently offering both in-person and online classes. The school was established in 1983 and offers other licensing courses outside of real estate, like insurance and securities.
This is a great school for learning how to learn and fully comprehend what is needed and wanted to pass your real estate and insurance board exams. Complete training is given for ethics (Ins. and R.E.), Real Estate- principals/practices, Insurance (Health and Life), Insurance Flood Cert Training., SEC Licensing. Additional training also includes notary and loan docs certification. They know what they're doing, you just need to make sure you study well. It is a lot of data to absorb yet, it's a must if you're going to serve the public. I passed all my exams with flying colors because of the help I received here.
Quick Learning School, LLC Pros
Quick Learning School has an office in San Jose that offers a traditional classroom setting for some of its courses. Their classes take place in-person on weekday evenings, making it a good option for students who aren’t comfortable with online courses.
Option For Individual Courses
If you just need one specific course or a handful to finish your pre-licensing requirements, you can purchase one course starting at $89 at Quick Learning School. This can be helpful for those looking to brush up on a few topics or those who already started their learning at another institution.
Free 5-Day Mini Email Course
If you’re interested in seeing the course material and learning style at Quick Learning School, you can register for a free 5-day mini course.
Valued at $40, the free course will give you tips to “effectively study and pass your test,” however it may not cover as much as an in-person exam crash course or exam prep course.
Quick Learning School, LLC Cons
While Quick Learning School does offer in-person classes, some of its prices for their study groups go as high as $499, making it the most expensive real estate school in San Jose.
Additionally, since they’re not specific to just real estate courses, you might not get the same benefits as a program that is only real estate focused.
Some students also reported issues with the school’s customer service, with one reviewer mentioning that the real estate department is very hard to contact.
#4. Devlin Real Estate School (0 Reviews)
Devlin Real Estate School is a local San Jose option founded by local agent Michael Devlin. While this school offers only online webinar-style classes every week, they have no Google Reviews and rank number four on our list.
Devlin Real Estate School Pros
Free Guest Lesson
If you’re interested in checking out Devlin Real Estate School’s learning style, you can check out their free guest lesson on their website. By filling out a form, you can sit on a webinar class to see if you like their format and instructor.
Live Online Classes Every Week
According to their website, Devlin Real Estate school has scheduled live webinar classes every week, giving students a structured routine to take their pre-licensing coursework.
Free Career Session
If you’re unsure if real estate is a good fit for you, you can attend Michael Devlin’s free career webinar to learn more about becoming a real estate agent. He walks students through how to launch a successful career and he shares his experience over the last 20 years of working in the field.
Devlin Real Estate School Cons
Despite being locally owned and operated, Devlin Real Estate School doesn’t offer any in-person classes for students looking for a traditional classroom setting.
Their online courses also require students to log on at a specific time every week, giving less flexibility to students who prefer to go at their own pace.
Additionally, without any Google Reviews, it’s hard to determine what kind of experience students have had with Devlin Real Estate School. It could be a toss up for whether the price is worth it or not.
#5. Agent Real Estate Schools - Fremont (0 Reviews)
Agent Real Estate School - Fremont is a licensing program that originated as the KW Real Estate School but recently changed its name in 2021 to be inclusive of all brokerages.
The Fremont location has no Google reviews, ranking it at number 5 on our list of best real estate schools.
The school offers online coursework, but every month they host an in-person boot camp at locations throughout the Bay Area.
Agent Real Estate Schools - Fremont Pros
Multiple Online Options
Agent Real Estate Schools - Fremont has a variety of online learning classes depending on your needs. This can be a great option for students looking for flexibility and are interested in completing their coursework online.
Their “fast track” option allows students to work through the coursework at their own pace while adding the option to pay more, join an in-person study group, and connect with other students.
Career Day Webinars
If you’re not quite ready to commit to a career change, you can attend Agent Real Estate School’s virtual Career Day. This interactive webinar connects students with licensed real estate agents.
“Concierge” Approach to Support
Students at this school can benefit from a “concierge” support model, ensuring you have a clear success plan. They will provide dedicated support and guidance from onboarding to passing your exam through their instructors and staff.
Agent Real Estate Schools - Fremont Cons
One disadvantage for those attending Agent Real Estate Schools - Fremont is that most in-person classes are hosted in other cities, like Irvine, Temecula or San Diego. It could be out of your way to attend any of the in-person options because they do not have any locations within San Jose.
Also, they don’t have any Google reviews, making it hard to determine the quality of Agent Real Estate Schools - Fremont’s program.
Honorable Mention: Aceable Agent (online)
Aceable Agent appeals to students looking to complete their pre-licensing coursework from a phone with its mobile-first platform.
This educational provider is a national brand that offers courses in 14 states, including California.
Aceable Agent Pros
If sitting in a classroom or working in front of a laptop isn’t for you, Aceable Agent’s mobile app is a tech-savvy platform to complete your pre-licensing courses. Their app is a one-stop shop with flashcards, quizzes, and audio-narrated courses.
Live Webinars and Q&A
Students who upgrade to a premium package can access live webinars and Q&A sessions five times a week. But, this comes at an extra cost. This additional option may benefit students who want an interactive, live instructor to answer their questions.
If you’re someone who prefers to learn through audio, Aceable Agent may be a good fit for you. All of their courses feature an audio-narrated option, allowing students to listen and learn on the go.
Aceable Agent Cons
As with any national brand, students don’t get the benefit of the local expertise and connections that come with a locally-operated education program. Aceable Agent is no different, as they don’t offer any in-person or San Jose-specific expertise.
Additionally, some reviews reported their student dashboard lacked information and was over-simplified. Students that aren’t comfortable with technology might not prefer this option, as it’s a strictly-digital pre-licensing educational program.
Final Thoughts on the 5 Best Real Estate Schools in San Jose
It’s an exciting time to get into real estate. If you’re ready to take the next step and get your real estate license, consider enrolling in our program at CA Realty Training to learn more.
Our top-rated program has a 90% pass rate and a state exam pass guarantee, so you can be sure your investment is money well spent. What are you waiting for? Contact us today to get started!
Are you looking for a pre-licensing real estate program in Sacramento? As you prepare to get your real estate license, finding the best real estate school that fits your learning needs and preferences is crucial to your success.
With several programs available, it can be hard to decide which is best for you. There are online options for students who prefer flexibility, in-person classes for those who value a traditional setting, and then there’s the choice between a local or national program.
We researched the schools with the most Google reviews in Sacramento and compiled a list of the best of the best to help you pick where to get your pre-licensing education.
#1. CA Realty Training (75 Google Reviews)
With 75 Google reviews and a 5.0 ranking, CA Realty Training comes in at number one on the best real estate schools in Sacramento list. Our students rave about their engaging trainers, easy-to-understand content, and responsive customer service.
Additionally, with offices all over California, we have classrooms throughout Sacramento.
Here is what one of our students loved about our Sacramento classes:
Stephen T Webb is a great teacher with a great teaching course. Answers questions thoroughly making the subjects easy to understand. The course is well put together and explained in a way that also uses real world scenarios as an example to what certain things would be like in practice. Overall a great and interactive learning environment that was also very informative and easy to comprehend.
CA Realty Training Pros
CA Realty Training has thousands of hours of free content on our popular YouTube channel. Our videos range from state exam prep, actionable career advice, and interviews with real estate leaders. Our website’s blog also has tons of helpful content to launch a successful career.
But our free material doesn’t end there. With our three-day free trial, you can test out our online portal to see the engaging pre-licensing educational material you’ll receive as a student.
We also offer a free introductory class for students who want to sample our live and interactive training program while learning more about the process to obtain a California real estate license.
This is a fantastic way to see if becoming a real estate agent is right for you and the best part is, it’s risk-free – no credit card needed.
A Wide Variety Of Class Formats
With three different class formats, CA Realty Training has something for every student – no matter their learning style. With recorded video lectures, live sessions (both online and in-person), or online only, students can pick a pre-licensing program that best fits their learning preference.
From evenings and weekends to morning weekday classes, we offer several different live training sessions led by expert real estate professionals. This gives you the flexibility you need to fit your pre-licensing education in a schedule that works for you.
Convenient Locations In Sacramento For In-Person Learning
With four locations in the Sacramento area, a CA Realty Training location is never far away. We have offices in South Sacramento, Elk Grove, Roseville, and Natomas, ensuring you won’t need to go out of your way to attend a class in-person.
If you can’t make it to a class in-person, you can still enroll in our video or live webinar program to get the classroom experience from anywhere.
Our students constantly rave in our Google Reviews about the engaging and knowledgeable trainers. With years of real estate experience, our trainers are skilled at providing real-life examples and easily guiding students through their exam prep.
Also, our trainers’ cumulative years of experience surpass that of any other program in Sacramento, which means we have one of the largest wells of real estate knowledge in the city.
Interactive Student Portal By Students, For Students
Our intuitive online portal is designed to make learning easy. With eBooks, flashcards, practice quizzes, interactive videos, and more, our platform is unparalleled and constantly improving based on feedback from our students and trainers.
You also get detailed graphs and charts that show how your quiz and test scores improve over time. No other school takes learning to this level. Take a peek yourself!
Classes For Every Stage Of Your Career
Whether you’re starting your real estate career or need to fulfill your continuing education requirement, CA Realty Training has a course for you.
We offer several different levels of courses depending on where you’re at in your career, such as pre-licensing education, state exam prep, continuing education, or broker pre-licensing education.
No other program offers this many real estate education packages in the city.
Support When You Need It
CA Realty Training has a student advisors team dedicated to helping you through each step of your licensing journey. Students can also email our certified lead instructor with questions about the course material for additional help.
Our support doesn’t stop once you pass your exam — CA Realty Training will also help you connect with one of our brokerage partners to get your career started the moment you get your real estate license. That’s an added perk that is not offered by other schools.
CA Realty Training Cons
No program is perfect, but we believe the pros outweigh any cons for CA Realty Training. With over 2,000 five-star reviews throughout California, we work hard to ensure our students are pleased with their experience.
While we’re not the most expensive option, we believe we provide the best value. No matter your financial situation, we offer a great payment plan through PayPal to ensure everyone can benefit from our training.
#2. Accredited Real Estate School (13 Google Reviews)
Accredited Real Estate School is a long-time staple in the Sacramento area for real estate classes. Founded in 1995, they’re a local option that offers salesperson and broker licensing exam prep.
While they offer an extensive catalog of free online content, they also offer in-person classroom options for those who prefer a traditional learning environment.
With 13 Google reviews and a 4.7 rating, they are ranked second on our list of best real estate schools in the Sacramento area.
If you live in the Sacramento area and want to pass you(r) licensing exam for California you should most definitely use Accredited! Great teachers, great content, so many Practice quiz options. If you do what they tell you to do you will pass the exam for sure. Thank you accredited for helping me pass on the first try!
Accredited Real Estate School Pros
In-Person Classroom Options
As a local educational company, Accredited Real Estate School offers in-person classroom options for students who prefer learning from an instructor live.
These classes are taught by local real estate professionals and take place in the evenings during the week, with some weekend options as well.
Sample Video Content
If you’re interested in sampling the school's online video style first, you can take a look at their YouTube page, where they have a free sample of their 18-hour exam prep video.
This can help prospective students determine if they’d benefit from the school's online classes or would prefer in-person.
Decades Of Experience With Students
Accredited Real Estate School has provided unique exam prep material since its founding in 1995. With over 60,000 graduates, the school has a large cohort of licensed alumni.
Accredited Real Estate School Cons
While they have in-person learning options, Accredited Real Estate School is located in Fair Oaks, which is a long drive from the Sacramento area.
Additionally, their most basic online package starts at $169, with their lowest-level classroom program starting at $399. At this price, they are one of the more expensive real estate pre-licensing options in Sacramento.
#3. Select School of Real Estate (4 Google Reviews)
With a 5.0 rating and four reviews, the Select School of Real Estate is third on our list of best real estate schools in the Sacramento area.
While there is little information on their website about their real estate licensing program, the Select Group has over 1,200 real estate professionals associated with their real estate group.
Student Testimonial: Jodi is Amazing! She’s patient, she cares, and she is highly knowledgeable! Love her Instruction!
Select School of Real Estate Pros
Locally founded in the Lake Tahoe region in 1982, Select Group has decades of expertise in California.
The real estate group is also constantly ranked as a Top Performer with its large group of real estate agents, however this does not speak for their pre-licensing education program.
Select School of Real Estate Cons
There needs to be more information included on their website about their program, leaving prospective students to reach out to learn more. Without a clear website, it’s hard to gauge how their pre-licensing program works or how students can sign up for it. While Select Group has been around for decades, it didn’t expand to Sacramento until 2020.
#4. Kaplan Real Estate Education (1 Google Review)
As a leading national provider of pre-licensing education, Kaplan Real Estate is a well-known name for online real estate classes. They have a robust learning platform with the power of a national support network.
With only one Sacramento review, they come in at number four on our list of best real estate schools in the area.
Student Testimonial: Kaplan classes hosted by the Rick Fuller Team were great. I'm thinking about changing careers and I really appreciated the support from the class host and other students. I would recommend this course to anyone who's thinking about going into real estate.
Kaplan Real Estate Education Pros
Kaplan is a widely-recognized real estate program that is nationally known. As such, they have a robust collection of learning material that is constantly being updated and improved upon.
An online platform allows students to study and practice at their own pace, providing added flexibility for those with a busy schedule.
Added Career Launcher Program
If students want to make the most of their Kaplan courses, they can pay to add on a “Career Launcher” upgrade.
This package gives students access to a live virtual study group with other students and connects them with a virtual career mentor who can help them with real-world real estate questions.
Multiple Online Formats
While Kaplan doesn’t offer in-person classroom instruction, they do offer multiple online formats for students to pick from. They offer textbook study material, on-demand video packages, and live online classroom instruction for those looking for more interaction.
With a wide range of formats, students can decide what kind of online learning program is best for them.
Kaplan Real Estate Education Cons
Kaplan Real Estate may present challenges for students that aren’t as technologically savvy, because their user interface isn’t as intuitive as other platforms. Some students also reported poor video quality.
Additionally, as a national company, their local connections are limited for students looking to network or build relationships in Sacramento, which could hinder the success of students when they start their career.
#5. Access License Schools (0 Google Reviews)
As a locally-owned educational program, Access License Schools offers strictly online classes for real estate or broker’s licensing programs. While they don’t have any Google reviews, they have been around since 1975 and provide home study courses for students.
Access License Schools Pros
With their packages starting at only $79, they are one of the most affordable pre-licensing options for students in Sacramento.
Additionally, when you buy their pre-license course package for $179, you also get their crash course exam prep for free. However, students do not receive as many perks as they do in other programs at these price points.
With over 40 years of educational programs, Access License Schools have been around for decades, helping students get their real estate licenses.
They're so confident in their program that they offer a 100% money-back guarantee within 30 days or if you don’t pass your exam on the first try.
Qualified Online Instructors
As you go through Access License Schools’ program, you can employ the help of licensed real estate instructors to answer your questions. This added local touch could help you with any California-specific real estate question you might have as you study.
Access License Schools Cons
While Access License Schools have been around for nearly four decades, it’s difficult to find what students have thought of the program due to their lack of public testimonials or reviews.
Additionally, their salesperson online crash course appears outdated, which might cause concern if practices, regulations, or laws have changed recently.
#6. Devlin Real Estate School (0 Google Reviews)
Another local Sacramento option is Devlin Real Estate School. Founded by top local agent Michael Devlin, this school only offers online webinar-style classes every week.
They are number six on our top real estate schools in Sacramento because they have zero Google reviews and because of the following:
Devlin Real Estate School Pros
Free Guest Lesson
If you’re interested in checking out Devlin Real Estate School’s learning style, you can check out their free guest lesson on their website. By filling out a form, you can sit on a webinar class to see if you like their format and instructor.
Live Online Classes Every Week
According to their website, Devlin Real Estate School has regularly scheduled live webinar classes every week, giving students a structured and specific time to take their pre-licensing coursework.
Free Career Session
If you’re unsure if real estate is a good fit for you, you can attend Michael Devlin’s free career webinar to learn more about the day in the life of a realtor.
He’ll walk you through how to launch a successful career and share his experience over the last 20 years of working in real estate.
Devlin Real Estate School Cons
Despite being locally owned and operated, Devlin Real Estate School doesn’t offer any in-person classes for students looking for a traditional classroom setting.
Their online courses also require students to log in at a specific time every week, giving less flexibility to students who prefer to go at their own pace.
Honorable Mention: The CE Shop (online)
The CE Shop is a well-respected national brand that offers real estate pre-licensing coursework in 41 states, making it widely used. Their self-paced curriculum and affordable pricing make them a popular choice for students who want a national program.
The CE Shop Pros
The CE Shop’s pricing is one of the most competitive, with California packages starting at $129. They also offer military discounts to active duty members and their families.
Though they don’t have a mobile app, students can complete all of CE Shop’s classes online. If students want to complete their coursework while they’re out and about, they can utilize this mobile-friendly option.
Since all of the courses from the CE Shop are self-paced, students have no pressure to complete a course in a certain time or adhere to a specific timeline. This added flexibility allows students to complete the courses at their own pace.
The CE Shop Cons
While the CE Shop offers customer service seven days a week, if students have questions about specific course material, they might need to wait two days for an answer from the curriculum team.
As a national company, they need more resources to offer students personalized help from a local real estate expert. Plus, students who prefer a traditional classroom setting should look elsewhere, as they only offer online options.
Final Thoughts on the Best Real Estate Schools in Sacramento
Getting your real estate license is not only a major time commitment — it’s also an investment in your future. Set yourself up for success and ensure you’re picking the right school for your learning style.
At CA Realty Training, our top-ranked programs are available year-round and taught by industry-leading professionals who are there to help you start your career. Looking to learn more? Contact us today to get started!
Getting your real estate license is an exciting and rewarding career move. As you prepare to take your licensing exam, finding the best real estate school in San Francisco is important to ensure you’re prepared and ready to pass your exam.
While several options are available in San Francisco, students should weigh the pros and cons of each program to ensure it fits their individual needs.
While some students prefer the flexibility of online learning, others may need a more structured classroom environment to understand and grasp the material thoroughly.
We looked at the top real estate schools in San Francisco based on Google Reviews and ranked the best schools in San Francisco for real estate.
#1. CA Realty Training (147 Google Reviews)
With 147 Google Reviews and a 4.9 ranking, CA Realty Training's real estate pre-licensing program is at the top of the list. Our innovative platform, coupled with in-person options, provides the best of both worlds for students wanting a comprehensive pre-licensing experience.
Students will benefit from our local real estate trainers who share their real-world experience and walk through the coursework in an engaging and easy-to-understand way. Here's what one student had to say about our program.
I am very pleased I chose CA Realty Training to sign up with to help me obtain my RE License. It was a very seamless program from beginning to end. I passed my three courses in exactly 54 days! I applied for the State Exam that same day and took the state exam and passed the first time out!!! The courses and especially the online state exam prep were extremely helpful and really pinpointed the areas I needed to concentrate on. Kian Khalifian was very helpful in scheduling the crash course with Mac Nomura, who was fantastic!
I am very appreciative to CA Realty Training and their staff for helping me successfully reach my goal! Thank You CA Realty Training!!!
- Deborah Adri
CA Realty Training Pros
If you’re curious about our education platform and what we offer, you can access our free content library. You’ll find actionable advice, career guidance, and hours of exam prep without enrolling in our program. You can find this content on our YouTube channel or the blog on our website.
Still unsure if our school is a good fit for you? You can enroll in our free introductory class and get a free trial of our online student portal — at no cost or obligation to you. Signing up for the free class is quick and easy.
Online Or In-Person Class Formats
With regularly scheduled in-person and a bevy of online courses, CA Realty Training is one of the only programs that offers in-person and online real estate course options in San Francisco.
With several options like in-person, video, and online live classes, students can pick the best format for them and their learning styles.
Even within our online program, there is flexibility depending on the student’s preference. We have on-demand classes, which are pre-recorded lectures that students can watch on their own time, and live webinar courses for an interactive, classroom experience that you can attend from anywhere.
Convenient San Francisco Locations
There are CA Realty Training locations throughout the San Francisco area, and students can conveniently attend our in-person classes at our centrally-located office in Oakland. No other program has more local offices in San Francisco.
We offer class options during the day, evening, and weekend, allowing students the flexibility to attend class when it works best for them.
Helpful And Professional Trainers
Our San Francisco real estate trainers have first-hand experience navigating the industry and working in real estate. Their knowledge and interactive teachings will guide you through the coursework, making you feel prepared, confident, and excited about your real estate career.
Our trainers are experts at breaking down complicated real estate topics and presenting them in a way that connects with our students, ensuring you not only remember the material but can apply it in real-world scenarios as you start your career.
We work with local trainers who help students prepare for the San Francisco market. Also, our trainers’ cumulative years of experience surpass that of any other program making it the most knowledgeable real estate school in the city.
Easy-To-Use Online Platform
CA Realty Training’s online learning platform was designed with our students in mind, making it a seamless and easy-to-navigate experience. The intuitive design guides students through the pre-licensing coursework and serves as a one-stop shop for all learning material and resources.
Upon enrolling, students will get immediate access to vocabulary flashcards, eBooks, online quizzes, and more.
Are you interested in checking it out for yourself? You can sign up for a free trial of our online student portal and start learning today.
Different Levels Of Classes Depending On Your Educational Need
Whether you’re working on getting your broker license or fulfilling your license renewal requirements, we have a class for you.
Our program offers pre-licensing education, state exam prep, broker pre-licensing education, and continuing education. You can rely on CA Realty Training for every phase of your real estate education needs!
Support Every Step Of The Way
When you enroll at CA Realty Training, you have the support of our dedicated student advisor team to guide you through the coursework.
Whether you have a question about a class or need next steps to launching your career, our knowledgeable student advisor team is there to help, ensuring you have the answers you need.
The support doesn’t end once you graduate. After passing your exam, we can connect you with one of our amazing local brokerage partners throughout the San Francisco area to get your career started.
CA Realty Training Cons
Although CA Realty Training isn’t the cheapest option, we are the most competitively priced for the resources and network we offer our students. An investment in our program is an investment in your future success as a real estate agent.
We also offer a payment plan through Paypal to help make the cost of enrollment even more manageable for students.
#2. California School of Real Estate (52 Google Reviews)
California School of Real Estate comes in second on our list with 52 Google Reviews and a 4.8 rating. This school opened in 1941 and has been family-operated ever since.
While they don't have in-person options, they do offer online-only classes in the form of online, on-demand videos and home study materials.
If you're serious about prepping for the real estate exam, this is the place to do it. They were very helpful, and were extremely flexible during the pandemic lockdown. I felt fully supported all the way to my test date. Thanks CA School of Real Estate!
California School of Real Estate Pros
Locally-Owned and Family-Pperated
According to its website, the California School of Real Estate has been around since 1941 and was one of the first California-approved real estate schools.
The head instructor has nearly 40 years of teaching experience and has a local perspective that larger, national schools can’t offer.
With its two-phase program starting at $119, California School of Real Estate is one of the market's more affordable pre-licensing education options.
They also offer a 200% money-back guarantee if you don’t pass your state licensing exam.
Newly Released Online and Audio Course
While the school doesn’t offer in-person courses, they recently released a new PowerPrep Online Program for students to watch lessons on-demand. This home-study format features their head instructor providing tips and tricks to passing the exam in an on-demand video.
Additionally, the schools recently released a “Drive and Prep” program featuring audio lessons for students who prefer auditory learning.
California School of Real Estate Cons
Despite being a local San Francisco business, the school doesn’t offer any in-person classes for students that prefer a traditional classroom setting.
Additionally, their course format is only through on-demand videos, minimizing the number of live interactions students can get with other classmates or their instructors.
#3. CES Real Estate School (42 Google Reviews)
With 42 Google reviews and a 4.6 rating, CES Real Estate School ranks third on our list. With both in-person and Zoom-style classes, this option is one of the few local options besides CA Realty Training with classes local to San Francisco.
I highly recommend CES Real Estate School! I took all my classes during the covid through zoom. It was the best investment I could of done, In myself. Ms. Charlotte was also a pleasure to work with.
CES Real Estate School Pros
CES Real Estate School offers weekly classes on Wednesday evenings at their San Pablo, California office. While their classroom isn’t centrally located to San Francisco, they do offer courses in other locations like Vallejo.
Crash Course For Exam Prep
For students that have already met their pre-licensing coursework requirement, CES Real Estate School offers a Crash Course to prepare for the exam. This course can be taken over 2 days on Zoom, or you can purchase access to 6 hours of on-demand video to help you prepare.
Charlotte Saulter, the founder of the school, has over 20 years of experience running a brokerage, allowing her to apply her real-life learnings to students. In their reviews, students have responded positively to her engaging teaching style and helpful lessons.
CES Real Estate School Cons
With their in-person courses priced at $350, CES Real Estate School is an expensive option. The cheapest coursework, which only includes the practice exam, is $99, with prices increasing from there.
Additionally, as a small, locally run San Francisco option, they only have a few team members, bringing to question the level of support they can provide for students. On their Google reviews, some students reported inaccuracies in final grades and course material from CES Real Estate School.
#4. Realty School 101 (26 Google Reviews)
Realty School 101 is a California-wide school that offers online real estate coursework with 24/7 support. They’re working on revamping their website and coursework for spring 2023, but still offer comprehensive online learning options for those looking to complete their pre-licensing or broker requirements.
Thank you for an online course that was easy to enroll, request and access support any hour of the day. 12 months was more than enough time to get all 3 courses done and to prepare for the state exam.
Realty School 101 Pros
Coursework Can Begin Immediately
Realty School 101 allows students to get access to their coursework immediately upon enrolling. Having quick access to the material can help students who are eager to get started or looking to get through the classes quickly.
Different Class Packages Based On Your Needs
Realty School 101 operates as an a-la-carte signup process where students can choose different course packages to fit their educational needs. If you only need a specific course, you can enroll in the individual class versus purchasing a larger package with unnecessary extra classes.
With a 24/7 chat and phone support option, Realty School 101 has staff available to help at all hours. This feature can be helpful for students working through the material late at night or on the weekends.
Realty School 101 Cons
With their courses ranging from $200 to $600, their pre-licensing courses are expensive and could be cost-prohibitive for students on a budget.
Additionally, their coursework does not have an in-person element, so students do not have the benefits of building local connections.
#5. Kaplan Real Estate Education (2 Google Reviews)
Kaplan Real Estate is a well-known national provider of educational content, including a real estate pre-licensing program. While not local to San Francisco, they offer a California licensing program with several different online class formats.
Kaplan Real Estate Education Pros
Large National Brand
As a national company with several educational offerings outside of the real estate industry, Kaplan has the power of a large national brand to ensure its platform is constantly updated and innovated.
Its online portal allows students to work through the material at their own pace with options for on-demand, live, and home study courses.
Option to Add Career Launcher
While Kaplan doesn’t have a local San Francisco presence, students can pay extra to add the “Career Launcher” program. This will give you access to a weekly group mentor session that provides students with career tips, guidance, and networking connections.
A Variety of Online Class Formats
Kaplan offers both on-demand and live courses and a home study option. Students can pick the format that works best for them.
Students who just want the basic course material can select the more affordable home study option. The live classes might be a good fit if they want a more structured online experience.
Kaplan Real Estate Education Cons
As a large national company, Kaplan’s coursework and platform are slightly generic without much personal touch or San Francisco-specific lessons. If students want to build connections deeply and understand the local real estate market, Kaplan might not be the best fit.
Additionally, students who still opt to go with Kaplan will need to pay extra on top of their coursework to benefit from the Career Launcher program.
#6. Agent Real Estate Schools - Oakland (0 Google Reviews)
Originally the KW Real Estate School, the Agent Real Estate School - Oakland is a licensing program with offerings across the state of California.
While the majority of the coursework is done online, they have some in-person meet-ups in other areas of the state, like Irvine and San Diego, which is not convenient for students who live in San Francisco.
Coming in at number seven on our list, they don’t have any student reviews specific to their San Francisco option.
Agent Real Estate School - Oakland Pros
Multiple Online Learning Options
While they don’t have local classes, they offer different online course options, including a fast-track course, virtual group study, and a one-day interactive prep webinar.
Depending on the student’s needs, they can pick the option that works for their timeline and budget.
Career Day Webinars
Agent Real Estate Schools offers a Career Day webinar for potential students to hear from a professional on the real estate industry and career.
This can give some helpful perspective if students are on the fence about making a career move.
“Concierge” Approach to Support
The school touts a “concierge” support model for students, giving them access to dedicated guidance through their instructors and staff.
Agent Real Estate School - Oakland Cons
Without any reviews specific to their Oakland program, it is challenging to discern what students thought of Agent Real Estate School.
Additionally, while they say they have local programs, they are associated with a national program that can minimize their website's personal, California-specific touches. This is also evidenced by their lack of in-person Oakland offerings.
Honorable Mention: Aceable Agent (online)
As a national online platform, Aceable Agent takes a mobile-first approach to their pre-licensing courses. Their mobile app has several features like flash cards, quizzes and audio narration, making it a good option for students on the go who enjoy podcasts.
Aceable Agent Pros
Aceable Agent’s claim to fame is their on-the-go learning platform, with the ability to complete the entire pre-licensing course on a mobile device. This could be beneficial for tech-savvy students who are looking to complete coursework online.
Audio Narration Option
For auditory learners, Aceable Agent has an audio narration feature that allows students to listen to their classes as a podcast. Whether you’re in the car or on the run, the platform enables you to complete your class hours through listening.
With a 30-day money-back “Ace or Don’t Pay Guarantee,” students can feel confident that they'll get their investment back if they don’t pass the exam. Considering plans start at $150, this can give peace of mind to those hesitant to spend the money.
Aceable Agent Cons
The user interface of Aceable Agent can be hard to navigate for students that aren’t as tech-friendly or prefer a traditional, book-based class.
Plus, without a note-taking system on the platform, students will have to write notes in a separate document or refer back to the course material as they study.
Since Aceable Agent is a national platform, there are no San Francisco instructors to help guide students through their courses or connect them with local professionals.
Final Thoughts on the Best Real Estate Schools in San Francisco
As you research which San Francisco real estate school is right for you, consider each program's reputation and expertise. CA Realty Training is consistently top-ranked and loved by students alike.
With over 100 locations in California and over 2,000 five-star reviews, our program will help you ace your exam on the very first try. Are you interested in learning more? Contact us today to get started with a career that can change your life.
If you’re looking to purchase an investment property, there are several factors you’ll likely consider as you start your home search. Is the property in a good neighborhood? What type of improvements needs to be made? How much can I rent the units out for?
One of the main ways to determine the income potential of an investment property is by calculating the gross rent multiplier. This formula can help determine which properties could be a good investment down the line based on the amount of rent they generate annually.
What is the Gross Rent Multiplier?
The gross rent multiplier is the formula investors use to determine the value and income opportunity associated with a rental property. The GRM is a function of how long the property will take to be paid off based on the anticipated rental income it will bring in.
It’s important to understand that the GRM doesn’t take into account the operating expenses on the property, like maintenance, taxes, insurance, and upkeep. Because GRM doesn’t consider additional expenses, the final number cannot be used as an accurate prediction of how long it will take to pay off but is more of a high-level indicator of the home’s potential earning value. It provides a starting point to investors as they make their decisions and can help compare two properties being considered.
Additionally, lenders will view the income potential compared to the cost of the property as a factor in approving a loan for an investment property.
How to calculate Gross Rent Multiplier on a property
GRM is a ratio of the rental income the property brings in on an annual basis and the home's fair market value. To calculate it, you use the formula:
Gross Rent Multiplier = Fair Market Value ➗Gross Rental Income
For example, if an investor is looking to purchase a rental property priced at $400,000, and annually it brings in $50,000 in rent, the property’s GRM is 8 years. On the other hand, if a more expensive property brings in more rent proportionally, it could have a lower GRM. Such as a $500,000 home that brings in $75,000 in rent annually. The GRM for this property would be 6.5 years.
You can also use this formula to calculate what a fair market value of a property would be. If you have the GRM of a property and know how much rental income it brings in you can use the following formula to calculate an estimated price of the home:
Gross Rent Multiplier x Annual Rental Income = Fair Market Value
Or, you can use GRM to figure out how much rental income the property brings in. If you know the area’s average GRM, you can use the following formula to calculate annual rental income:
Fair Market Value ➗ Gross Rent Multiplier = Annual Rental Income
These are all helpful formulas as you determine if a property is a good rental investment or not.
What is a good GRM?
As investors are evaluating a property, it’s important to consider the length of time it will take before they can start making a profit on the property. The less time it takes, the lower the GRM will be.
Generally speaking, investors look for a GRM between four and seven years. Depending on the type of market or income potential, a GRM over seven years could still be a good investment — it just depends on how long the investor is willing to take to pay the property off.
What is the difference between GRM and Cap Rate?
GRM and Cap Rate can sometimes be confused with each other. While they are both used in comparing investment properties, they measure different things.
Cap rate, also known as capitalization rate, is calculated by taking its net operating income and dividing it by the property’s current value. It helps determine the potential return on investment — not the length of time to pay off a property.
Another big difference is that cap rate will take into effect costs to operate the property, like taxes, insurance, and occupancy rate, providing a more in-depth look at potential profit.
While the cap rate of a property can more accurately reflect costs, it also requires more information to calculate, making it less popular for investors looking to determine an investment property's earning potential quickly. That’s where GRM can be an easily accessible metric.
What is the best way to find investment properties?
Finding the right investment property can be difficult. The market is competitive, and inventory for good rental properties can be few and far between. As an agent, you can help your clients find the right property with a bit of hard work and consistency.
Drive through neighborhoods
One way to find off-market investment properties is through on-the-ground grassroots efforts. To do this, drive through neighborhoods, and look for abandoned or neglected properties. You can contact the title company to find out who the owner is and if they’re interested in selling.
Property management companies
Another place to find investment properties is through property management companies that are looking to sell part of the management inventory. These properties are likely already occupied and could be an easy way to start collecting money.
Lastly, individuals listing their home through For Sale By Owner could be a promising avenue for investment property leads. Often these individuals will be looking to save money on commission or marketing expenses, and you can present them with a convenient solution.
With so many investors taking advantage of the hot real estate market, there is a lot of competition to find the most profitable properties.
Make sure you consider the property's condition, location, and rentability before purchasing. Your real estate agent can provide helpful insight and expertise on what will be a good investment!
Final thoughts on gross rent multiplier
As you search for an investment property, using the gross rent multiplier formula can help you determine when you might be able to pay off the property and earn 100% profit from rents.
This is helpful for investors comparing which property might be a better investment in the long run. By calculating GRM, you can
As a salesperson agent, working at a real estate brokerage is a requirement. But, just because you have to work at a brokerage doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.
These brokerages are run by licensed real estate brokers who have undergone further training and have substantial experience in real estate.
Whether you are considering a career in real estate or are about to get a salesperson license, this article will provide you with the necessary information on what it’s like to work at a real estate brokerage.
Brokerages Offer Career-saving Resources
Real estate agents are required by law to work under a brokerage, not as employees but as independent contractors.
Through this arrangement, brokerages offer career-saving resources to agents in exchange for a portion of the agent’s commission they earn following each real estate transaction. These resources include:
Training and education
Access to networks and collaborators
Administrative staff to support agents
Marketing and advertising
Since real estate brokerages want to maintain the integrity of their reputation, they will want their agents to become the best of the best. To achieve this, these resources are available to their agents to guide them into successful careers.
When a brokerage equips agents with the support they need, it can ensure a better interaction with the homebuyers and sellers. This support looks like many things, like a network of third party services, mentors and coaches, and a workplace culture that is built on encouragement.
Networking and Collaborating with Other Agents
Brokerages recruit real estate agents at almost every level and specialization, from agents looking for their first opportunity to agents with years of experience who want to transition into a new brokerage. This creates an adequate environment for real estate agents to network and collaborate.
Because the real estate industry is very competitive, building relationships as a real estate agent goes beyond interacting with just buyers and sellers. It is equally important for real estate agents to connect with other agents.
By connecting with a fellow agent, you may get hints about new property listings, snatch a good deal for a future client, or even get ideas on a niche different from yours.
There’s a Brokerage Culture
The term culture describes the goals, mindset, shared values, and patterns that are characteristic of the brokerage. A brokerage's culture can positively impact the performance, happiness, engagements, and lead generation of an agent.
When it comes to brokerages, there is no one-size-fits-all, as every brokerage has its own culture. Before joining any brokerage, you should screen them thoroughly to know which can provide the best culture for your productivity.
Brokerages Offer Training
Brokerages often offer training and educational aids to their agents so that they stay up-to-date on the best practices for real estate transactions. A wide range of possible topics is covered during these training sessions, like understanding contracts, best sales practices, or connecting with your sphere of influence.
These trainings are good as they expose real estate agents to the inner workings of the industry, therefore, expanding the possibilities of them making successful sales.
Each brokerage provides its type of training and set of training courses. Some may have online platforms, while others may have in-person venues where agents can go to learn. This should also be a factor to consider when deciding on which brokerage to work at.
What are the Costs of Working at a Brokerage?
After agents have successfully made sales, the brokerages make money by taking a split of the real estate agent’s commission. Brokerages may also charge transaction fees and monthly fees for office spaces, marketing, and other resources.
These costs depend largely on the brokerage, available resources, and how good an agent is. Some brokerages may offer a 60/40 or 70/30 split; however, the better an agent is at closing deals, the better the split they are offered.
What is a 100% Commission Brokerage?
A 100% commission brokerage is a brokerage that gives real estate agents all their commission on every successful transaction. Unlike the traditional commission model, this 100% commission makes it possible for agents to make more money from their real estate transactions.
These brokerages may provide office support services to agents at very low monthly fees. Because most of the business is run online, they have little to no overhead cost. This way, they can keep expenses low and get their money by charging flat fees. Depending on your broker, these fees can range from very low to very high.
Are All Brokerages the Same?
All brokerages are not the same, and just as much as they differ in costs, they also differ in the amount of support they offer their agents. Some brokerages will offer as many services as possible, while others will offer fewer and some none.
Because these services are important to being a successful real estate agent, there are some elements you should look out for when picking a brokerage to work at. They are:
Culture fit is an important factor when figuring out what brokerage to work at. How an agent melds with a brokerage’s culture will determine how well they perform and how long they stay.
In other words, if the culture of a brokerage doesn't fit your work style, then it makes going to the office and working with others harder.
The real estate industry continues to evolve. Therefore, as a real estate agent who wants to stay relevant, you would be required to keep learning and remain up-to-date with the current real estate trends. Working at a brokerage that offers training resources to its agents is the best way to do this.
When choosing a brokerage, you should always put the ones that encourage agent leadership through mentorship programs at the top of your list. This form of cross-training tends to be beneficial as new agents learn the best real estate practices while experienced agents invest in their personal growth and development.
Should You Work at a Brokerage with a Broker’s License or Go it Alone?
When you get a broker’s license, you do not have to work at a brokerage. But, is that a good idea? Of course, broker’s license holders can still work at a brokerage and oftentimes they are titled broker associates.
But whether you should do it alone or sign with a brokerage depends on what kind of career you want to create for yourself. Here’s a few pros and cons to consider:
Pros of Working Alone
You officially work for yourself
You can earn more money
You have more flexibility
Cons of Working Alone
Getting your resources can be costly
You don't have limited access to networking and collaborations
Your success completely depends on you
Pros of Working at a Brokerage
You get all the support you need
Your access to networking and collaborating with other real estate professionals is easier
You don't need so much money to launch your career.
Cons of Working at a Brokerage
Your job responsibilities are limited
You don't make as much money
You work under the rules and regulations of the brokerage.
Final Thoughts on Working at a Real Estate Brokerage
Real estate brokerages support agents in taking their real estate careers to the next level by giving them a slew of resources and services.
One of the best resources is training. Other than that, agents can experience an office environment that promotes networking and collaboration to help everyone thrive.
The bundle of rights is a legal set of rights associated with purchasing and owning a home.
These rights are awarded to the buyer of a property when the title is transferred to the owner and the sale of the home is finalized.
There are five rights included in the bundle:
Right to use
Right to possess
Right to transfer
Right to encumber
Right to enjoy
How does the bundle of rights work?
Individuals who purchase a property are awarded a set of rights that outlines their legal privileges through ownership.
These rights allow the buyer to use the property however they wish, as long as no laws are broken in the process.
Each of these rights stands by itself, and some of the rights may be distributed to other parties depending on the type of homeownership.
For example, if you buy a home by obtaining a mortgage, the bank or lender will share some of your rights until the home is paid off. Or, if you use the home as an investment property, the renters might also share some of the rights.
However, these rights must ultimately be observed within the scope of other laws or legally binding agreements.
Each of these rights has some limitations and exceptions that can vary based on the type of ownership, the governing rules in the state, and how the homeowner seeks to use the property.
While these rights apply to both residential and commercial properties, in a commercial property, the rights are often shared between multiple parties.
Right to use
Sometimes called the right of control, the right to use gives the homeowner the ability to use the house as you see fit.
Whether you want to have guests over or potentially rent the property out, as the owner of the house, you are allowed to determine how you use the property and what activities are conducted within the walls of your home — as long as you’re not violating other laws.
This right can be dictated further by things like an HOA or zoning regulations that have a say over how you can use a property, so make sure you comply with those ordinances.
Right to possess
The right to possess is the simple right of ownership that comes with the transfer of the title.
You have the right to own and legally possess the property, which also means you can exclude or include people from your property.
You can prevent people from accessing or trespassing on your property, and you’re legally allowed to exclude people from your property if you wish.
A few exemptions to this rule would be a search warrant or a utility easement that’s in place on the property. In these cases, some of your rights to possess would be diminished.
Right to transfer
Sometimes called the right of disposition, the right to transfer says that you are able to transfer, sell, gift, or get rid of the property in whatever way you see fit.
The main caveat to this right is if you have a mortgage. In order to have the right to transfer or sell, you’ll have to pay off any remaining balances with the proceeds from the sale or out of pocket.
If you own the home outright, there are no restrictions on the property transfer.
Right to encumber
There are many different types of encumbrance when it comes to homeownership.
The right to encumber gives homeowners the right to do what they want or make improvements to the property.
This could include things like adding a pool to the property, changing the occupancy, renting the property out, and more. It allows you to use the home as collateral to earn profits or take money out against the property's value.
Some things like zoning laws or a mortgage on the property could restrict the right to encumbrance. It’s also required to let prospective buyers know about encumbrances on a property before they buy it.
Right to enjoy
There are so many wonderful joys to owning a home. And that right to enjoy your property is included in the bundle of rights!
Whether it’s the right to peace and quiet or to use the property as you see fit, there is a protected right to enjoy your property, just as long as you’re following other laws like noise ordinances.
Do these rights still hold up in an HOA?
If you live in a community with an HOA, you might have different rules to follow that could potentially supersede your bundle of rights.
When you purchased the property, you likely signed an agreement outlining the HOA rules and how you should follow them. These could impact your rights, but ultimately an HOA’s power can vary state by state.
What’s an easy way to remember the bundle of rights for the real estate exam?
This bundle of rights will likely be included in the real estate exam, so it’s important to understand each of their uses and descriptions.
Typically, real estate brokerages pay their agents a percentage of the total commissions from a deal, with the remainder of the commission going to the establishment.
Nevertheless, the 100% commission model has begun to gain more popularity because of the shift to online business models.
If you are an agent – especially a newly certified agent – and you are trying to decide if 100% commission real estate brokerage is the way to go, or if you are simply curious about what it is, then keep reading because we’re breaking down the 100% commission brokerage.
What is a 100% Commission Real Estate Brokerage?
A 100% commission real estate brokerage is a brokerage that pays its agents 100% or the entire commission from a successful deal. This implies that agents at such brokerages do not have to worry about splitting their commission with the brokerage.
However, working with a 100% commission brokerage, the agent keeps the entire commission and is only required to pay a specific amount – which varies depending on the brokerage – as a flat fee for every transaction, no matter the amount of commission.
If we use the example above, the agent keeps the entire $100,000 while paying as little as $400 as the stipulated amount.
The 100% commission brokerage is an ideal design for agents, especially the experienced ones who want to work alone and earn more money than they typically would at a traditional model or build a brand name for themselves without worrying about the influence of the brokerage.
Candidates who are best suited for this brokerage model are agents who are skilled, experienced, and do not need in-office training. Most of the time, they have built an impressive clientele and a successful business for themselves over the years.
The Truth about 100% Commission Brokerage
So, is it too good to be true? Well, let’s explore how 100% commission real estate brokerages actually work and whether or not you should work at one.
You Still Have to Pay the Brokerage
Like every other business, real estate brokerages aim to make profits while delivering the desired results to their clients. Hence, the brokerage would not just give their agents 100% commission without finding ways to make money themselves.
As an agent, you are still required to pay specific fees to be part of the brokerage, although these fees are usually fewer than traditional brokerages.
Depending on the brokerage, these fees vary as no real estate brokerage has the same fee structure. Some of these fees include a flat transactional fee for every closed deal, monthly desk fee, yearly fee, compliance fees, technology fees, administrative fees, etc., and they usually go to the general maintenance and sustainability of the brokerage.
When joining a 100% commission brokerage, it is essential to look out for hidden fees and other alternate avenues that these brokerages might use to make more money. Ensure that the brokerage is transparent with their costs and you are familiar with these costs before signing up to be their agent.
Insurance is Typically Paid Upfront
Transactions in real estate almost always involve huge sums of money, and if anything goes wrong, the consequences can be dire. Hence, agents need insurance to protect them from the financial aftermath of various errors and liabilities.
One such insurance agents need to acquire is Errors and Omissions (EO) insurance which covers liabilities and fees associated with lawsuits that arise due to:
Errors in property listings
Accusations of negligence
Failure to deliver promised services.
Unlike traditional brokerages, where agents make monthly payments, with full commission brokerages, these insurances are usually paid upfront.
This implies that you’d have to part with a large sum right from the start, which could be pretty challenging. Other insurances include general liability insurance, cyber liability insurance, etc.
Communication is all Virtual
Typically when joining a more traditional brokerage as a new agent or when you need assistance from more skilled personnel on closing your deal, you would meet with your superiors at the office. However, this is not the case with 100% commission brokerages.
As most of these establishments operate remotely, which means that all forms of communication are virtual. This includes onboarding and signing new agents, important deals, meetings, and reviews.
Each brokerage has its custom mode of operation. However, generally, to join, you need to send an email indicating interest in joining the brokerage with your credentials attached.
If you are selected by the brokerage, a response will be sent with the necessary paperwork for you to fill out. This has gone a long way to provide agents with considerable flexibility and independence without having to rely on typical office infrastructures and support.
However, it could also make it quite tricky for new agents who need guidance to request assistance with a deal.
No Brick and Mortar Office or Limited Space
Most 100% commission brokerages typically do not have offices, or even if they do, they have small, limited office spaces should the need arise for face-to-face meetings.
This enables them to charge their agents very low monthly fees and keep office expenses, such as building maintenance, at a minimum.
Traditional brokerages require office spaces to create a professional setting when meeting and discussing with clients. This has been known to reassure clients of the brokerage’s legitimacy, thus giving them an advantage when closing deals. It is also necessary to maintain a working and corporate environment for agents and hold in-company meetings.
Lack of Brokerage Support
Agents at 100% commission brokerages do not have access to the same level of support and resources offered at conventional brokerages and often go into the market alone with no support or training. This is majorly due to the lack of office space.
Generally, when new agents are starting out at brick-and-mortar brokerages, they are offered business support, marketing tools and extensive training courses, usually at the offices. They also have access to a vast network of professionals to work directly with and obtain hands-on knowledge.
However, this is not obtainable with a 100% commission brokerage, and even if this training is provided, it is not as extensive as those provided by traditional brokerages.
This lack of training and support may pose a challenge, especially to inexperienced agents who are just starting out in real estate and require coaching.
Final Thoughts 100% Real Estate Commission Real Estate Brokerages
100% commission brokerages are great opportunities for real estate agents to make more money and build a brand for themselves.
However, it is advisable for newly licensed agents to develop experience in more traditional models of brokerage, as 100% commission brokerages do not provide the necessary support and coaching they might need to develop and advance in the real estate world.
There are dozens of options when you search for the best real estate school in Los Angeles. All of which vary in cost, quality, and availability.
As you take the first steps to begin your career in real estate, we want to ensure you get off on the right foot — and that means attending the right school for you and your goals.
As you explore the options, consider whether you want to join in-person or online classes, and if the program you choose assists with job placement after passing the real estate state exam.
Additionally, it would help if you considered the value that a local, California-based school offers versus a national institution, which typically won’t come with state-specific content and services. Each of these factors will impact your experience in getting your real estate license.
We looked at some of the top real estate schools in Los Angeles and outlined their pros and cons below. Our rankings are based on Google reviews, which we think provide a realistic and subjective representation of their online reputation.
#1. CA Realty Training (519 Google Reviews / 4.9 rating)
We placed ourselves on top of the list. Biases aside, when you stack our program up against the rest, we come out on top as the #1 reviewed program by students.
CA Realty Training is renowned for our top-notch customer service and engaging coursework that students love. We take a personal approach to our classes, ensuring each student has what they need to succeed.
We provide the most thorough training, and offer students the ability to pick between three different educational formats to fit their learning styles and schedules.
Students can choose from two live training formats (live in-person or live Zoom meetings), an online pre-recorded video lectures format, or an online-only format. No matter which option a student chooses, all students receive our intuitive online program to assist them in their studies.
Our pre-licensing courses are available online for six months, but if you’re looking to finish faster you can do so within 54 day’s time.
Student Testimonial: “I cannot express how much this program helped me. It was honestly easy to follow the steps, the amount of assistance is incredible and the resources they have while taking the courses and AFTER you are licensed is incredible. It's like having a coach with you at all times. The videos and online courses were the best. I passed the very first time, I have referred and keep referring to CA Realty Training. Thank you so much for making this so easy to follow and for my success in real estate.”
CA Realty Training Pros
Let’s talk about the pros of our program. Here, you’ll find what our program brings to the table and what makes it the #1 pick among students in Los Angeles.
The pros of our school start outside the classroom. Our online database of free videos and articles are available for all with Internet access. This supplemental material helps educate you about the real estate industry and features interviews with experts in the field. It also showcases state exam prep content that will help students prepare and feel confident for the big exam.
Classroom formats for everyone
Now onto the actual program. We're one of the only local real estate schools in California with both in-person training and live webinar classes offered remotely through Zoom. Students can pick from a variety of classroom types and times that work best for their schedule.
Our program, dare we say, is one of the most comprehensive classroom experiences in the state. We provide you with 3-months of training which focuses on one of the three prerequisite courses each month. This equates to 36-hours of classroom instruction and makes us the leading provider of live training in California!
Within each of our course packages, we also offer a state exam prep with one of the largest test banks in California. This comes with over 2,000 practice exam questions, meaning you can take nearly limitless variations of practice exams to help you pass the real exam on your first attempt.
Tons of locations and scheduling options
We have the most locations throughout the state and, more specifically, throughout Los Angeles. Students can typically find a class that works best with their schedule given the flexible days & class times we offer. Daytime classes, nighttime classes, weekend classes - you name it, we have it! If you can’t find a location nearby, you can always choose our webinar option which covers the same exact material.
Trainers with unparalleled experience
Our trainers are handpicked based on their years of real estate experience and their ability to break down complex concepts into simple examples that all can understand. With everyone’s years of experience combined, we have the most industry knowledge out of any other program in California.
Intuitive online student portal
Students have access to an extremely intuitive online portal which lets them review class presentation slides, read and engage with course eBooks, take quizzes, tests, and even practice state exams and view hundreds of vocabulary flashcards.
In fact, the online portal was designed specifically for user-friendly navigation and to help students learn in the most efficient way possible.
If you want to take a look at how we make learning easy, then sign up for a free trial and get access to our online student portal today.
Classes for every part of your career
In addition to the pre-licensing curriculum, we offer exam prep courses, continuing education, and the coursework needed for the Broker License to help students at any point in their career.
The best support team
It’s not just our program that takes the cake. We have the best student services team in the state who will help you through every step of your journey.
We also connect our alumni to brokerages after they graduate from our program. This helps them hit the ground running once they pass the state exam and are ready to start their career.
CA Realty Training Cons
If we had to list a con about our program, it would be our pricing. CA Realty Training might not be the cheapest option on the market, but we think you’ll find we provide the best value.
This doesn't mean we’re the most expensive either. We strive to offer our program at a competitive price and most importantly we pack it full of everything you need to pass your courses and state exam. On our highest priced programs, we also offer a great payment plan.
Our goal is to ensure students from all economic backgrounds have access to our industry-leading education program.
No other program gives you the full toolkit like CA Realty Training. Our #1 goal is to make your real estate education informative and fun.
#2. Premier Schools (102 Google Reviews / 4.9 rating)
Coming in second is Premier Schools — a California-based real estate company that offers online coursework.
Students appreciate the simple organization of the coursework and the ability to complete the requirements online at their own pace.
There are three packages for aspiring agents to consider; each will provide hardcopy textbooks to use in tandem with a printable workbook, open-book finals, and access to practice exams.
In addition, students can select upgraded packages to receive CD & DVD sets, providing them with pre-recorded state exam preparation.
Student Testimonial: "Great customer service. I had so many questions and all of them were answered in a timely manner and the person I talked to was super nice and helpful."
Premiere Schools Pros
Here is what really stands out to us when we reviewed Premiere School’s program:
Support team ready to help
Students enjoy the speed at which they receive support from Premier Schools, giving them the encouragement they need to study and pass their finals.
Premier is an excellent option for those who enjoy learning independently with their textbook and notes.
The material is concise, and quizzes are graded immediately after submission, which helps students finish within the standard 54 days.
Others noted the affordability of the courses, allowing them to save money as they renew or obtain their license.
Premiere Schools Cons
This school doesn't offer live in-person classes, meaning all lessons are done online on your own schedule.
Despite a high rating overall, previous students were frustrated with the level of communication and correspondence from their instructor.
Some also said there was a mismatching of materials from the prep work to the final exam, leaving some previous students to retake their licensing exam after failing.
Key Highlight: This school offers all coursework in English or Spanish, making it an excellent choice for Spanish-speaking students looking to get their real estate license!
#3. The Realty Academy (65 Google Reviews / 4.9 Rating)
Realty Academy offers in-person and live online classes for their coursework.
They rank #3 on our list with 60 Google Reviews and a 4.9 rating, illustrating their success among students who take their classes.
With four different pre-licensing packages, students can find the best learning style suited for their taste.
A favorite among students is the “+++VIP Program,” offering in-person training, hardcopy textbooks, exam prep with application assistance, and the inclusion of an 8-hour live cram course.
To provide the most support for their students, The Realty Academy also provides access to a private tutor to further explain real estate concepts and exam prep.
Student Testimonial:“I read online that only 44% of people pass the State Real Estate Exam the first time. I am one of the 44% thanks to Armando and the Realty Academy. Even with classes over Zoom, it was much more effective to have personal interactions then just going online. If you are serious about getting your license, this is money well spent!”
The Realty Academy Pros
For those seeking a traditional classroom setting, the in-person classes at Realty Academy are beloved by former students.
They offer multiple monthly sessions to attend training either in-person or through webinars. In addition, the option to purchase private tutoring - no matter the original package selected - is a great way to guarantee that students are fully prepared to pass the real estate state exam.
The Realty Academy Cons
While some of their course packages start at $299, their main licensing package is $699, making it one of the highest-priced programs compared to other options out there.
Compared to other programs, we didn’t notice any special features that The Realty Academy offers so we would consider this a lot of money for only 4-weeks of live training.
Additionally, they only have one in-person location available in Calabasas, California, which could make it inconvenient for students across Los Angeles County.
Key Highlight: They state they can connect students with several referral brokerages once they receive their real estate license.
#4. California School of Real Estate (52 Google Reviews / 4.8 Rating)
Confident in their ability to help students pass the RE state exam, they offer a "200% refund program" for anyone that fails the state exam after taking the three prerequisite courses.
Their most popular package, the “home study package”, offers physical textbooks, eBooks, lecture guides, mock exams, and an 899+ question bank to answer any course-related questions.
In addition, all students are welcome to request free consultations with their head instructor, who has been teaching real estate education for 60 years.
Student Testimonial: “I used the program offered by the California School of Real Estate and really had a great experience. The qualification courses were extremely easy to complete by just reading the textbook and doing the online open book finals, but I believe the most helpful to me personally was the license preparation program. I particularly liked Don's lecture as he made it a little more enjoyable to get through which would be normally dry and boring material. End result I passed my exam, great Instructor and a great program.”
California School of Real Estate Pros
The California School of Real Estate prides itself on its affordable price and high-quality education, sitting at a cost of $169. From reviewing other options, you’ll notice it’s not a bad price point given their recent program updates in 2022.
One of their pros is the 200% money back guarantee if you take their program and fail the exam. Keep in mind, however, you have to meet their qualifications in order to be eligible for the refund. We recommend reading the fine print.
California School of Real Estate Cons
The California School of Real Estate offers limited options for students to complete the courses.
With self-guided classes, it is up to the student to stay on top of their coursework throughout the lessons. Students are not equipped with any guides or a team to help them through the learning process, which could equate to a poor experience.
They don't offer in-person or video classes, and only provide a “live” weekend review session to help students prepare for their finals and RE state exam.
The last major con is that their website seems to be outdated. We found it relatively hard to navigate and it delivers information in a way that makes the licensing process hard to understand. Students might find it hard to find which courses to take, what they provide, and how it works.
Key Highlight: The California School of Real Estate was one of the first real estate schools approved by the Department of Real Estate in 1941.
#5. Lumbleau Real Estate School (50 Google Reviews / 4.6 rating)
Lumbleau Real Estate School is one of the oldest schools in California. Today, classes are offered as a self-paced, online course with chapter summaries and 14 pre-recorded lesson videos.
Priced at $189, Lumbleau allows you to complete the three required pre-licensing courses within the standard 54 days without breaking the bank.
In addition, students can purchase hardcopy textbooks or go through their course material online.
In this $189 program, state exam preparation is included in the price, providing a one-on-one video meeting, video lessons, and a 3,300+ question bank to help you prepare for the RE state exam.
Student Testimonial: "Easy to follow real estate education program with great customer service. The layout of classes is simple and easy to follow. Their customer service was extremely helpful whenever I had a question - they replied right away. They were actually able to make real estate courses fun."
Lumbleau Real Estate School Pros
Students find that Lumbleau customer service representatives are great. Their support staff is composed of licensed real estate agents who offer a solid support system for students needing assistance with their coursework.
In addition, a free demo is available on their website. This allows prospective students to preview the format and style of coursework before committing to enrolling in their program.
Lumbleau Real Estate School Cons
With only online classes available, this school lacks the in-person support & training that many students look for here in California. Previous students have reported on the difficulty of reaching their customer service team, which created delays and disruptions in their coursework.
While it’s great to offer video content, especially from motivational speaker and salesperson, John Lumbleau, we found Lumbleau’s videos to be outdated and most likely produced in the 1980s to 1990s.
Like the videos, their website fits their oldies aesthetic. It’s not the most visually appealing user experience, but is likely effective.
Key Highlight: After each course section, you'll go through a 100 to 400-question interactive test to gauge the knowledge you learned. Each course also features a motivational video to get you started.
Honorable Mention: Real Estate Express (online)
As one of the national institutions, Real Estate Express doesn't have localized Los Angeles Google Reviews to rank.
But given its popularity, we thought it was still worthy of a spot on our list. In addition, as a national institution with courses across multiple states, students enjoy the online platform to walk them through their coursework.
Student Testimonial: "It was very convenient. Working a full-time job and being able to do the online Program was the best. If you have a job, this is the route to go. It was not too hard and not too easy, be ready to do a lot of studying."
Real Estate Express Pros
As a national online learning company, Real Estate Express has a robust platform with various options for students to pick from. All of their instructors are state-approved, and you can choose between live or on-demand classes.
Real Estate Express Cons
Some students report errors and technical issues while going through the coursework, causing frustration as they go through the lessons. Additionally, while they have live support, it's not 24/7, so some might have difficulty getting answers when necessary.
Key Highlight: Real Estate Express offers a "Career Hub" where you can ask questions and get practical guidance on how to launch your real estate career.
Final Thoughts on the Best Real Estate Schools in Los Angeles, California
Picking the right Los Angeles real estate school can mean passing or failing your licensing exam. It also determines how knowledgeable you will be as a full-fledged agent in the real world.
As you examine the top real estate schools, check out our upcoming courses at CA Realty Training and contact us to get started with the top-ranked school in Los Angeles.
Classes are available year-round, so there is never a wrong time to begin your real estate journey.
Commingling is a term you’ll likely see on your real estate exam and is an example of mismanaging your client's money in the real estate transaction.
If you’re unfamiliar, make sure you take the time to learn what commingling is and how you can avoid it.
What is Commingling?
Real estate commingling is the act of mixing the client’s funds with the broker’s own funds. This is illegal and happens when a broker or real estate agent fails to properly deposit their client's funds into an escrow account, client trust, or earnest money account within the mandated time frame.
The mixing of funds like this should be avoided at all costs and is considered a type of fraud. It can have serious legal consequences like having your license suspended or revoked.
There are a few legal ways to commingle money regarding real estate investing. This occurs when funds are used intentionally from multiple sources.
For example, individual investors contribute to a real estate investment trust (REIT) or participate in a crowdfunding project. Commingling is allowed when the money is intentionally being invested in real estate. But when it comes to the broker and agent relationship, it is not legal.
Why is Commingling Illegal in Real Estate?
Commingling occurs when the client’s money is not handled correctly and is mixed with the broker’s funds. While each state differs, mixing funds between a broker and their clients is usually illegal.
This is because most brokers and agents must follow a set of fiduciary duties and are bound to a different set of codes that they must follow.
While acting as the fiduciary, they must manage their client’s funds according to the law and real state code.
While commingling is the mixing of funds, conversion refers to spending a client's money for something other than what it was intended for.
When funds are commingled, it is not uncommon for conversion to also occur. Conversion is also a type of theft punishable by law.
If commingling and subsequent conversion occur, agents could be found in breach of their fiduciary responsibility and lose their license. It is a type of fraud, and agents should follow all proper steps to avoid this.
How Can You Avoid Commingling Funds?
To avoid commingling funds, it is best to keep separate bank accounts for your business or investment accounts and your personal funds.
This way, there is a minimized chance you would accidentally spend your client or investment money on personal expenses.
There are several simple ways you can avoid commingling funds.
Follow the proper escrow process when transacting with clients
Set up an LLC for your investment properties
Create a trust account to hold security deposits
Keep meticulous records to track all your transactions.
Invest in appropriate bookkeeping software to ensure all transactions are categorized as business-related can be accounted for
Have a system of checks and balances to ensure funds are deposited correctly
Educate your team on the best way to collect client funds
When in doubt, ask for legal advice from your broker or a real estate lawyer
How is Money Transferred to All Parties in a Real Estate Transaction?
To avoid the commingling of funds in real estate transactions, a third party will hold the funds until the contract terms are fulfilled.
Keeping the funds in a third-party account is called escrow, and there are multiple types of escrow accounts a buyer or seller will encounter during the process.
The main goal of having an escrow bank account is to keep the client’s money separate and prevent funds from being mixed with other clients or the broker’s own funds.
When a client is ready to make an offer on a property, the real estate agents will collect the earnest money deposit and transfer it to an escrow account until the deal has closed.
The earnest money deposit is usually collected within five days of submitting the offer and is held in the escrow account until closing day.
However, many home sellers would need some convincing to determine if hiring you would be beneficial to them.
As an agent, the ability to portray your knowledge and experience by providing answers to your clients’ questions would earn you the reputation and opportunity to succeed in the industry.
In this article, we will be responding to five questions home sellers ask agents, why they ask them, as well as some good follow-up questions to ask them.
“How Much is My House Worth?”
Home sellers are concerned about how much their house would be worth when placed on the housing market.
This is because the information provides better insights into what buyers are willing to pay for the property, how it compares to other homes in the neighborhood, and what actions will increase the property’s worth.
Also, the listing price of a house gives the first impression to buyers and determines whether or not they’d be interested in the home on the spot. Before hiring an agent, sellers want to be sure of these two things:
That the agent is not inflating the property’s worth to make more money out of the transaction.
That the agent can justify the property’s worth during negotiations.
The Best Way To Respond To This Question
As a savvy agent, your best response to this question would be to offer a data-backed Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to the seller. This shows how the seller’s property compares to each of the best recently sold homes in the area.
Your analysis should include value adjustments for differences that may affect the property, such as:
Proximity to schools, markets, hospitals
Follow-Up Question: “Why are You Selling?”
Homeowners want to sell their homes for many reasons, ranging from a need to relocate to a high maintenance cost. Whatever their reasons may be, knowing why the owner is selling can help in determining how to list the property and to what extent you should go when negotiating.
“What Will You Charge Me to Sell My House?”
Considering that the standard real estate agent’s commission is 5% to 6%, For-sale-by-owner is usually the first option for many home sellers.
Although it may seem like a great way to save money, the risks involved in selling without an agent causes sellers to reconsider.
They often want to have an understanding of how much agents will charge to sell their homes before going ahead with any transaction.
You can include the services you would be offering and that the commission would be split between you and the buyer’s agent.
Also, you can be open to negotiations but be sure to put up a fight to emphasize your worth.
Follow-Up Question: “What Property Services Interest You the Most?”
After you have satisfied the seller’s curiosity about how much they will be charged for the house sale and why they will understand that they stand to make good money when working with you.
Following up with this question would create an avenue to walk them through your property services and find out which of these services interests them.
“How Long Will it Take to Sell My House?”
Home sellers always want to know the amount of time it will take for a house to sell. This is especially true when the seller needs to get out of an uncomfortable financial situation quickly.
Houses that stay on the market for too long don’t always do well.
Buyers tend to think there is a problem with the property, and as a result of desperation, the seller is willing to sell way below the asking price.
The Best Way To Respond To This Question
It is important to be realistic when responding to this question to avoid giving the seller false hope. You should inform the home seller that the rate at which their house would sell depends on the average market time for the area.
A more personalized estimate can also be provided based on the type of house or what part of the area it is situated in.
Follow-Up Question: “What is More Important: Time or Money?”
This question gives you better insights into what the seller wants. Although most sellers want to sell quickly and for as much as possible, you may come in contact with someone who needs to sell fast, not minding if it is for less than they should.
Or a seller who doesn't mind if the property has to stay a while on the market to make as much money as possible. As an agent, you should be able to align your services to what your client needs.
“How Will You Advertise My House?”
An agent who takes a holistic approach to property advertising is what home sellers seek when trying to sell their property. Advertisement is what creates awareness for the property and increases demand.
Because home sellers want to sell their property in the best way possible, they want to ensure that the agent they hire can handle the advertising of their home.
The Best Way To Respond To This Question
There is no better way to respond to this question than by highlighting the tools that are available to you as a real estate agent for advertising property.
But it wouldn’t be enough to stop there; you should go further to discuss what advertising strategies you would be utilizing, why they would be utilized, and their recorded success rates.
“Why Should I Pick You to Sell My House?”
Home sellers are always looking for the best agents to handle their home sales. Therefore, when this question is asked, it is to examine the agent’s confidence and overall level of competence.
The Best Way To Respond To This Question
This is the perfect time to pitch yourself to your potential client. At this point, you are expected to inform the home seller about your qualifications and certifications, how long you have been an agent, your professional contacts, your team -if any- and how many listings you have converted into sales.
Follow-Up Question: “What Are You Looking For In An Agent?”
A homeowner who is looking to sell their property would most likely have done some research on what the duties of an agent are.
Therefore, asking this follow-up question will give more insights on how to satisfy the seller and reassure them that your services will cater to their every need.
Final Thoughts on Questions from Home Sellers
When it comes to selling property, home sellers want to be able to trust the agents they would be hiring to handle the sale. This includes getting realistic and detailed answers to the questions they ask.
As an agent, you must make use of your expertise to respond in the best way possible. Once you can do this, you stand a chance of converting every interview into a job.
With an approximate growth of 3.4% in 2022 alone, the real estate market is undoubtedly one of the fastest growing and highly competitive sectors in the US today.
Buying and selling homes for money is the bread and butter of many thousands of people around the world.
And this doesn't just apply to those living in large cities like New York and Los Angeles, but to small towns across the United States as well.
However, starting an actual real estate business isn't easy, and it will take a lot more than just good intentions to make it work.
That's why we've written this ultimate guide to show you how to get started in the real estate business. Here are some essential steps to get you started:
Create a Plan
For any business to work, there first has to be a precise and well-detailed plan. To establish a flourishing real estate enterprise, you have to develop a strategic blueprint to guide you every step of the way.
When setting up a plan, ensure that it covers all aspects of your business, including concept, branding, targeted audience, marketing strategy, and most importantly, finance.
Having a proper financial plan is perhaps the best thing that you can do for yourself as you start your business. A financial plan will give you a clear idea of how you can procure the funding needed to start and sustain your business.
The first step to developing a financial plan is to assess your current financial status before drawing up a practical budget.
To help you identify what your business goals are and how to plan towards them, here are some helpful tips to guide you:
Carry out thorough and extensive research on the market to find out if your current business idea is feasible
Categorize your goals using the SMART(specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) framework
Identify a suitable niche that caters to all your personal objectives and goals
Find an experienced mentor -preferably in the real estate sector- to guide you and give you pointers
Seek advice from Small Business Development Center experts.
Get Your Real Estate License and Become an Agent
Before embarking on your real estate business, you must first get a license, because, without one, you have no legal backing to work as a real estate agent.
Though the specific requirements for getting a license vary from state to state, here is a general rundown on how to get a real estate license:
Complete the Pre-licensing Education
Pass the Exam
Get a License
Sign with a Brokerage
Complete the Pre-licensing Education
This is the first step to becoming a licensed real estate agent and it requires that you take a pre-licensing course which usually costs about $350.
The requirements for this course vary depending on where you live. For example, in California, applicants must take three real estate classes, totaling 135 hours.
In New York and Georgia, the courses take 75 hours while in Florida, the course takes only 63 hours. Most states offer online classes as well as in-person coursework at real estate schools and classes at community colleges.
Pass the Exam
After taking the course above, the next step is to take and pass the licensing exam. Your course tutor is expected to guide you on how to schedule, register, and pay for the licensing exam which typically costs about $100-$300.
The exams are computer-based and consist of two sections: a national category on general real estate principles and practices and a state-specific category that covers your state’s real estate laws.
You must have a passing grade on both sections, which is usually from 70-75% to qualify for a license.
Get a License
After passing the exam, you are expected to submit an application and all the necessary documents to your state’s real estate regulatory body. You will also be required to pay a fee, usually between $200-400.
Once your application is approved, your license certificate will be mailed to you and you automatically become listed on the licensees' section of its website.
Sign with a Brokerage
Once you become licensed, you can now work under a brokerage that is licensed by the state to oversee real estate transactions and ensure you abide by the fundamental legal and ethical standards.
Typically, the brokerage pays you a percentage of the commissions collected from your real estate transactions.
Create Your Database
A client database is very essential to you as an agent because it helps you organize your current leads and clients.
It also stores information like client contacts and paperwork, email threads, prospect home search criteria, listing information, marketing content, etc.
Due to the fiercely competitive field in the real estate market, hardly any deals are closed on a one-call basis.
Thus, active marketing and multiple lead follow-ups are required to stay on top of your game and also to build your business long-term.
This would not only make them see you as a reliable source of information when it comes to the real estate market but it also keeps you at the top of their minds.
Here are a few practical steps to build your client database:
Create a List of Existing and Potential Clients
Writing down the contacts of everyone you know is the first step to building your database. This list could include your friends, family, neighbors, existing customers, and everyone within your Sphere of Influence.
Categorize your Contact List
Depending on the type of relationships you have with a particular person, you can divide your contact list into different subcategories.
For example, one category would include people who are close to you, such as your family or already existing clients.
The next category could contain people you just met but are not very familiar with while another category could include new leads you have not met.
This helps you to keep your database organized and simplified to ensure all your clients receive the required attention to maintain a good relationship.
Fill in Information
The next step is to fill in the necessary information regarding each contact. This could include setting up dates to build relationships for those you have not met or setting reminders to call or email those with whom you are already familiar.
Build a Lead Generating Schedule
Time is of the essence to every business including real estate and the aim of every real estate agent is to turn potential leads into closed deals.
Therefore, when starting your business, it is important to maximize your time by creating a practical schedule.
Schedule important meetings and activities to occur consecutively instead of at random to avoid getting overwhelmed with the smaller tasks.
This in turn helps you to get more work done efficiently while still focusing on the important things that require more effort such as contacting people from your database and generating new leads via other means.
Scale Your Business
Now that your business is up and running, it is time to take it to the next level and establish a name for yourself.
To most people, this stage may seem difficult, but with focus, hard work and the right information at your fingertips, it is achievable. As an agent, in order to identify aspects of your business to scale up, it is important that you:
Evaluate your Business
Critically evaluating your business gives you an idea of the areas that need working on. Before scaling up, take into account your sales growth forecast, which is a product of the number of new customers available and the revenue you want to generate.
Employ More Hands
To identify areas of your business to scale up, you also need to create time to identify these areas and work on more pressing, important aspects of your business.
Automating and delegating less important responsibilities to contractors and vendors not only makes your work easier but also creates time for you to focus on things that actually bring in money.
Improve the Areas that are Working
It is said that hard work and consistency are the keys to a successful business venture. That being said, it is essential as an agent that you identify the areas of your business that are flourishing and stick to what you have been doing to achieve that.
For example, if sending out emails or calling your clients on special holidays keeps you at the top of their lists and gets you leads and referrals, then keep doing just that.
You could also further boost your relationship with your customers by adding special or thoughtful bonuses.
Final Thoughts on Starting a Real Estate Business
The real estate market is a nest of opportunities; however, starting a real estate business is not for the faint of heart. It requires focus, hard work, consistency, and strict planning.
As a startup, ensure to carry out due diligence before embarking on your business venture to help you fine-tune your goals and objectives.
Also, keep in mind that before you can be listed as a legitimate real estate business, you first have to obtain a real estate license.
The real estate industry so happens to be one where financial issues can arise at any time. Therefore, you should acquire an in-depth understanding of what subordinate clauses entail before venturing into the realm of real estate deals.
Doing this will assist you in taking adequate control of your interests and prepare you for everything possible.
In this article, we will be taking you through what a subordination clause is, how it works and how it affects homeowners.
What is a Clause in a Real Estate Contract?
Before we dive into subordination clauses, let’s, first of all, discuss what a clause in a real estate contract is.
According to legal terms, a real estate contract clause is a provision in a legal document that dictates specific conditions under which all parties agree to abide by during the purchase and sale, exchange, or transfer of a real estate property.
These statements point out the rules and obligations to which a buyer, seller, and other entities involved agree.
A real estate transaction requires a contract to make it legally binding, and the use of clauses protects and prioritizes the needs of all parties involved.
In the competitive real estate market, buyers, sellers, and even lenders continually seek more flexibility in their transactions. To achieve this, any of the seven essential types of contract clauses can be utilized when preparing purchase offers or counteroffers.
Here are the seven essential types of clauses in a real estate contract:
Prepayment penalty clause
What is a Subordination Clause?
A subordination clause, also known as a dependent clause is a provision in a contractual agreement that allows the present claim on a mortgage to take precedence over subsequent claims that may be made in the future.
In real estate, a subordination clause becomes effective once a mortgage loan has defaulted and there is more than one lien on a property.
When a borrower defaults on a mortgage, there is the possibility of the property being foreclosed and liquidated for cash.
Typically, the first mortgage lender gets the legal rights to repossess the property and recover the loan’s balance before any other lender. In many cases, the value of the property may not be sufficient to cover all the liens.
Therefore, the further down a lender is on the mortgage tier, the less likely they are to recover their loans.
To improve the priority of a lien, most lenders will include a subordinate clause in the real estate contract to protect them in case of a default. The subordination clause can be found primarily in mortgage notes and commercial real estate lease agreements.
How Does a Subordination Clause Work?
A subordination clause works by establishing that one party's interest is superior to another if the borrower’s property needs to be sold to pay off outstanding debts.
The most important thing to remember about how a subordination clause works is that if the borrower defaults on the mortgage, the first lienholder which is usually the primary lender is taken care of before subordinate liens can recoup their costs.
For example, a lender agrees to lend Mr. A the money to purchase a house after a subordination clause, stating that they are to take repayment priority, has been signed.
If after two years Mr. A has incurred a huge amount of credit card debts and a lien has been issued on his house by the court. Mr. A is obliged to, first of all, pay the lien to the lenders before repaying the credit card company.
Subordinate clauses are also common in situations when there are two mortgages on a property but the property owner needs to refinance their primary mortgage.
The refinancing lender will require that a subordination clause be signed by the second mortgage lender to ensure that they are paid first if there is a default.
How Does a Subordination Clause Affect a Homeowner?
Although it may seem like the subordination clause is only important to lenders, this is not true. Subordinate clauses can significantly affect a homeowner's finances when refinancing a house.
Refinancing happens when the initial loan has been fully paid and a new lender offers a loan under a new interest rate. A subordination clause will then be used to give priority to this new lender and ensure they are the top priority for repayment.
However, this may not always work out as many claim holders will not authorize this refinance because they would then become subordinate lenders.
What is a Lien?
A lien is a legal right or claim which has been issued against a property to assist the creditor -banks or mortgage agencies- to collect what is owed to them. Liens are real estate encumbrances that set a limit to what the property owner can do with the asset.
This encumbrance is placed on a property when a debtor fails to fulfill their financial obligations. As stakeholders in the property, creditors are given certain legal rights and may choose to get rid of the property by selling it to get their money back.
How Do You Remove Liens From Titles?
The most straightforward way to remove a lien from a property is to either satisfy the debt or negotiate a payment plan with your creditor. Once your debts have been fully paid, you can then file for a Release of Lien form which will act as evidence that you no longer owe your creditor.
Before purchasing a property, it is important to find out if there is a lien attached to the property. If yes, find out what type of lien it is. Liens are a matter of public record, therefore, by running a title report you can discover any liens that may be on the property.
Final Thoughts on Subordination Clauses
Subordination clauses are a complex and delicate aspect of real estate transactions that should be handled with the utmost level of understanding. Failure to do this can result in severe financial and legal consequences that could easily have been avoided. Also, it would be wise to always seek legal help when preparing and before signing a real estate contract.
Every month as you make your mortgage payments, you are accumulating equity in your home. Plus, if your home has gained market value since you’ve purchased it, you’ve also accumulated equity that way.
However, most of the time, you’re unable to tap into your home’s equity until you sell your home, triggering cash out of those profits.
That’s where home equity loans and lines of credit come in. These second mortgages are a way to leverage your home’s equity and get access to that capital without selling your home.
But which one is best for your financial situation? And how do they differ?
What is a Home Equity Loan?
A home equity loan is a one-time lump sum that the bank will approve you for based on your home’s equity.
Borrowers must repay a one-time amount, whether you use the full amount or not. Because of this, you should only apply for the amount you need to borrow. A home equity loan is also known as an installment loan or a second mortgage.
One of the biggest benefits of a home equity loan is that your interest rate and monthly payments will remain fixed over the course of the loan. This can make budgeting easier every month and will ensure you can factor in the same amount monthly.
A home equity loan is a great option if you want to use the line of credit to re-invest in your home through improvements or upgrades. But keep in mind that you’ll be required to repay the total amount you borrow, so it’s best used for a specific project or purpose.
What is a HELOC?
You can think of a HELOC as a credit card that uses your home’s equity as collateral. Unlike a home equity loan, a HELOC is a revolving account that you can use multiple times and borrow against when you need it.
Depending on your equity, you can borrow anywhere from 60% to 85% of the equity earned in your home. However, be aware that most of these have a variable interest rate, which means your monthly payments could change throughout your loan.
One of the biggest benefits of a HELOC is that you don’t have to use the entire amount approved, and you will only pay interest on the money you’ve actually spent.
With a HELOC, you’ll be required to make monthly payments on the amount you owe, but you will be able to use the funds over an extended period. Usually, HELOC’s are based on an adjustable rate term, but some lenders will offer fixed rate HELOC.
Make sure you speak with a trusted advisor about the best option for you and your needs.
A HELOC is a good option for homeowners who have established significant credit in their house and need a loan for multiple projects or needs. One of the most appealing things about a HELOC is that it is one of the more flexible home loan options.
You don’t necessarily have to use the funds for home improvement projects — some people even use a HELOC to pay off student loans, medical bills, or debt consolidation. Because you can use a HELOC over a long period, this type of loan is great if you have a large project that will be completed in multiple stages.
How Do You Use Home Equity?
If you’re considering using a home equity loan or HELOC, it’s important to fully understand how equity is calculated.
To calculate the amount of equity in a home, the bank might require you to get an appraisal to determine the home’s current value.
From there, your equity is the difference between what you own on the property and how much it’s appraised for. The bank will then loan you a percentage of that equity in either a lump sum (home equity loan) or in a line of credit (HELOC).
Your home’s equity is a powerful tool in your financial toolbox. Not only do you gain equity every time you make a mortgage payment — as your home increases in market value, but you will also gain equity.
It’s important to remember, though, that with either type of loan, the borrower is putting your house up as collateral. This becomes a problem if your home suddenly loses its value or you cannot make your loan payments.
Is Home Equity Loan Better than HELOC?
Both the home equity loan and the HELOC are based on one thing — your home’s line of credit. However, they both have different terms and conditions that offer pros and cons depending on your needs.
If you want the most flexible option, a HELOC is a convenient solution for a variety of expenses. From home improvement costs to an unexpected medical bill, you can utilize your HELOC at the specific time you need it.
And, since you aren’t required to use the full amount, you only will pay interest on the money you spend. Remember that a HELOC will likely come with an adjustable interest rate, meaning your monthly payments will fluctuate over the course of the loan.
If you have a specific project in mind or know exactly how much money you need, a home equity loan is probably a better fit for you. With a lump sum payment, your interest rate and monthly payments will remain the same.
One of the negatives of a home equity loan though is that it is just a one-time expense, and you’ll be required to repay the full amount you borrowed whether you use all the funds or not.
Final Thoughts Home Equity Loan vs HELOC
Whether you’re considering a home equity loan or a HELOC, you should speak with a trusted real estate or mortgage advisor beforehand.
While they’re a great option if you need access to your home’s equity, they also can carry significant consequences if misused — including losing your house.
With the proper guidance and advice, though, they can be a great addition to your financial portfolio!
As you acquire a mortgage or other types of loan, you might receive an amortization schedule that outlines your loan repayments.
Many consumers don’t realize that even though their monthly payments stay the same throughout their loan, how much they’re actually paying towards their principal loan amount will change month by month.
Otherwise known as amortization, this financial system is the foundation of mortgage payments and is crucial to understanding when working in the real estate industry.
What Does Amortization Mean?
There are two primary meanings to amortization. In real estate, amortization is the gradual repayment of a loan. This includes a schedule of interest and principal payments of a loan until the entire amount is repaid with interest.
Originating from the old English language meaning “to kill”, amortization is a standard loan type often seen in mortgages. The slowly paying down of the loan amount “kills” the loan by the end of the term, usually around 30 years.
The other meaning of amortization is the spreading out of capital expenses relating to intangible assets over a duration. This is useful for accounting and tax purposes and is similar to the depreciation rate.
How Does Amortization Work?
Amortization is the process of spreading out the cost of a loan over a specified term amount, with fixed payments each month. A portion of each payment will go towards the interest charges, with the amount of interest paid each month decreasing over time.
A lot of financial loans are amortized, like credit card payments. But things like personal loans, auto loans, and mortgages are usually amortized and allow you to pay down the balance over time. There are pros and cons to an amortized loan, with the biggest benefit being a fixed monthly payment.
This often allows for a more reasonable repayment schedule with full transparency into how much each payment will be. However, a drawback of amortized loans is that the borrower doesn’t accumulate equity in the property on the front end. The longer the loan term goes on, the more principal paid and the more equity earned.
For a 30-year mortgage, this can mean that very little equity is established in the loan's first several years.
How is Amortization Calculated?
Borrowers and lenders use specific formulas and calculators to determine the amortization schedule for a mortgage.
As long as you know the interest rate and the principal amount of the loan, you can calculate the amortization yourself using the formula: Total Monthly Payment – [Outstanding Loan Balance x (Interest Rate / 12 Months)] = Principal Payment.
There are also countless online tools and resources if you’re not interested in calculating this rate manually. Additionally, you should receive an amortization table at your closing which outlines all the upcoming payments over the loan length and how much is designated to the interest versus the principal.
How Does Amortization Work in Mortgages
When you receive a mortgage, your monthly payment goes towards the principal amount and the interest charged to the loan, otherwise known as your PI payment. When you obtain an amortized loan, the monthly amount doesn’t change over the length of your loan.
However, the amount paid toward principal or interest differs over the length of the loan. When you reach the closing table, your lender will provide you with an amortization schedule or table. This will provide full transparency into each monthly payment you make over your loan.
In the first half of your mortgage, most of your monthly payments will go towards paying down the interest on the loan. However, as you reach year 15 or so, you will begin to pay more towards your principal than your interest. By the end of the loan, the majority of payments will be principal, and you will have “killed” the loan.
When you reach the closing table, your lender will provide you with a payment schedule that fully explains how much of your payments will be allocated to both principal and interest. If you opt for a shorter loan term, like a 15-year mortgage, the less interest you’ll pay. You’ll see that your monthly payments will pay more towards principal payments than a longer, 30-year mortgage.
If you’re interested in shortening your loan amount, making additional payments at the beginning of your loan is recommended to pay down your principal amount more quicker. This will help you save money on interest payments and allow you to “kill” the loan quicker. Make sure though there are no penalties for repaying your loan earlier.
Does a Rental Property Depreciate?
When amortization is applied to an asset like rental property, it is similar to the asset's depreciation. Rental property, unlike most other types of property, does depreciate. This is because there are costs associated with using the property as a rental like maintaining its condition and ensuring it’s a safe rental.
By spreading out these expenses throughout the loan, real estate investors can take tax deductions for their rental property. The Internal Revenue Service will allow taxpayers to deduct things like advertising, maintenance, property taxes, and utilities. Make sure you speak with a tax professional to fully understand the pros and cons of rental property depreciation.
However, if you’re currently a renter paying a similar amount as a mortgage payment, you should consider purchasing a home. Here’s why: every monthly payment you make as a renter is helping to build someone else’s equity in their property.
As a renter, you’re building no equity in your own home, and If you own your property, you’d be gaining wealth through property appreciation.
Final Thoughts on Amortization in Real Estate
Amortization schedules can be a new concept for buyers to understand as they go through the mortgage process.
As their agent, ensure they know how this amortization schedule could affect the equity they have in their home and how the repayment of their loan will work. Knowledge is power when it comes to real estate, and amortization is something all real estate agents should be prepared to walk their clients through.
Whether you’re just starting out in your real estate career or are looking to grow your business to the next stage, you’ll need advice and guidance from those more experienced to get you there.
From mentors to team leaders and everything in between, the more people you have in your corner encouraging you, the more you’ll grow your business and feel confident in the process.
But what is the difference between a broker, team leader, mentor, and coach? The terms are often used interchangeably, and while they will all encourage you, each person has a slightly different role in your career.
What is a Real Estate Broker?
When you join a brokerage, the head honcho at your office will be your broker. A real estate broker is someone who has completed more training and licensing requirements than a traditional agent, can work independently, and hire individual real estate agents to work for them.
While they might still help clients buy or sell a home, they will also have added responsibility to manage the office or provide support to the other agents. As you get your license, you will likely have to interview with a broker to get hired and hang your license at that particular office.
You should find a broker that you respect and trust — they’ll be an advocate and resource for you as you go through your career.
A broker is not only the boss of the office, they will also encourage you and ensure you’re growing in your career. They want you to succeed and advance in your career, just like a boss or manager in any other industry.
There are technically three types of brokers: associate, managing, principal, or designated brokers. An associate broker will have a license but often will not supervise agents. A managing broker will oversee an office, train and hire new agents, and help manage agents' transactions.
Lastly, a principal broker is one that ensures all national and local laws are obeyed and complied with. Each real estate office is required to have a principal broker.
What is a Team Leader at a Brokerage?
As you start your real estate career, you’ll have the option to work as a solo agent or within a real estate team. If you choose to work within a real estate team, you’ll have a team leader who is in charge of that group.
The team leader will oversee this smaller group of real estate agents that are working together under that joint team brand. They’re responsible for the transactions of the team members and will likely take a percentage of your commission to be on their team but in return, you’ll be able to benefit from being associated with them through lead generation and career advice.
The team leader will give you instructions to help you grow, ensure you’re representing the team appropriately, and provide encouragement as you start your career.
Because of their strong leadership skills and experience, a good team lead will improve your skills and give you the guidance you need. And maybe eventually, you’ll feel confident enough to leave the nest and start your own team!
What is a Real Estate Mentor?
Do you want to learn from someone who is experienced and respected in the real estate world? A mentor might be an excellent fit for you. A real estate mentor is someone you look up to and who provides guidance in the real estate transaction process.
Many brokerages will offer mentorship programs, so check to see if your brokerage has a similar program. If your brokerage doesn’t have a formal mentorship program, you can still find mentorship opportunities within your own network or through online groups or forums.
Also, check with your local realtor association to see if there are mentorships opportunities there.
Since mentors are often successful agents busy running their own business, they usually will have a cost associated with them in the form of a percentage of your commission. But in exchange, you’ll get invaluable guidance as you navigate transactions and deals.
Their role is to help you build confidence and pass on valuable lessons you can use as you start your real estate career.
What is a Real Estate Coach?
While a real estate coach and mentor are often used interchangeably, they are slightly different. A mentor will walk you through various transactions and situations, but a coach will work to improve your specific skillset and give actionable advice.
This specific skillset advice will be based on where you have weaknesses and will help hold you accountable as you build your career. They’re someone that is also experienced in the industry but also can guide you on a formula and process to help you improve your real estate skills.
Whether that’s knocking on doors or improving your social media presence, your coach will work with you to develop a specific, actionable plan to achieve your goals.
Some brokerages will offer specific coaching programs, but a variety of national schools and programs can also pair you with a real estate coach.
Hiring a real estate coach can often be expensive, but if done correctly, you’ll notice an increase in your business and become a better real estate agent.
If your brokerage doesn’t offer a formal coaching program, ask respected leaders in your market what they recommend. A lot of the top agents have also likely been through coaching programs before!
Final Thoughts on the Differences Between Broker, Team Leader, Mentor, and Coach?
Brokers, team leaders, mentors, and coaches all have one thing in common — their main goal is to encourage you and help you grow as an agent. Depending on your needs and the stage you’re at in your career, having extra support and guidance will benefit you today and as you advance in the real estate industry.
As the great Andrew Carnegie said, "Never be so foolish as not to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.” Surrounding yourself with more experienced agents will encourage you to be your best self.
This system has also been used to prevent survey fraud and simplify land allocation for different purposes, such as schools and urban development.
How Does the Government Survey System Work?
The government survey system describes real property using the following structure:
Two reference lines are drawn from the Fixed Point of Beginning -this is a surveyor's mark at a well-known landmark that serves as the starting location from which the baselines and principal meridians are drawn to survey the land
The two reference lines drawn are called the Principal Meridian -a line running from north to south- and the Baseline -a line running from east to west
From the Fixed Point of Beginning, parallel lines running east to west are drawn from the Baseline, while parallel lines running north to south are drawn from the Principal Meridian. These lines are called tiers (townships) and range lines, measuring approximately 6 miles each.
An intersection between two range lines and two township lines forms a township
To locate a feature on the landscape using a land description, you need to work from the largest to the smallest part.
Having highlighted the lines, their names, and their positions, let’s break things down by taking a quick example, using the coordinates “NW1/4 of NE1/4 of Section 8, T.2N., R.1E”.
These coordinates translate to the “Northwest quarter of the Northeast quarter of Section 8 in Township 2 North and Range 1 East.”
What is a Township?
A township is established by the intersection of tiers and range lines that measure 6 miles by 6 miles on each side. It comprises 36 sections, with a total area of 36 square miles.
These sections are numbered beginning from the North East, with the first section designated as 1, all through to 36.
For a clearer understanding, draw a large square and divide it into 36 smaller units. Start numbering each box, beginning from the top right corner to the top left corner, then downward in a snake formation until you have gotten to the last box at the lowest right corner.
Many people take townships to be the same as cities, but this is incorrect. While a township is merely a subdivision of a county or a town, a city is a much larger territory that is even bigger than a town.
What is a Section?
A section is one of the basic units in a government survey system. It is a measure of land in a township with a one-mile square of 640 acres.
The land is referred to as half and quarter sections in each section. The one-sixteenth division of a section is called a quarter of a quarter, as in the NW1/4 of the NW1/4.
What is an Acreage
An acre is a unit of area used to describe a precise amount of land. It typically measures approximately 43,560 square feet, which translates to 4,046.86 square meters, 0.404686 hectares, or 1/640 of a square mile. An average single-family house sits on only about ⅕ of a total acre.
Therefore, to clearly understand how big an acre is, picture the American football field but without the end zones. If you use an NBA basketball court, which measures approximately 0.11, one acre will equal approximately 9 basketball courts.
It is important not to confuse an acre with a commercial acre, as these terms describe different things. A commercial acre is a term typically used when describing industrial or commercial properties in big cities.
It measures about 4,000 square yards instead of 4,840 square yards for a typical acre. This means a commercial acre is roughly 83% of a standard acre.
What is a Hectare?
A hectare is a unit of area that measures about 10,000 square meters or approximately 2.471 acres. Hence, it is roughly two times larger than an acre.
To visualize how big a hectare is, picture an international rugby union field measuring approximately 1.008 hectares or a baseball field measuring roughly 0.83 to 1.12 hectares.
If you are not a die-hard sports fan, try picturing London's Trafalgar Square, which is approximately 1 hectare.
Final Thoughts on Survey Systems
The government survey system is one of the systems of land description used in most states in the U.S.
It is a system based on the principles of lines drawn to divide the land into smaller sections for easy identification, purchase, and allocation. It also helps to prevent and settle boundary disputes among property owners.
Between 2020 and 2021, "how to become a real estate agent" was the most researched job-related term. This statistic proves that being a real estate agent is one of the most lucrative jobs today, whether as a full-time career or a side hustle.
The average annual income of a real estate agent is $48,340. In addition to the money, agents enjoy other perks like independence and the satisfaction of helping different individuals acquire their ideal property.
This article reviews the most common questions aspiring real estate agents ask.
Should I Interview Brokerages Before Getting my Real Estate License?
Yes, as a potential real estate agent, you can interview brokerages before getting your real estate license. Interviewing before you get your license helps you decide which brokerage you want to join. Not only that, but you could coordinate with the DRE to automatically sign with a brokerage when you pass the state exam.
How Long Do I Have to Stay at a Brokerage?
There is no fixed time frame restricting your time at a brokerage. Instead, the time spent after signing an independent contract with a brokerage is dependent on several factors, including the terms of the contract signed and personal factors such as how fulfilled and comfortable you feel at the brokerage.
Is the Commission Split with Brokerages Negotiable?
Yes, the commission split between you and the brokerage you sign up with is negotiable. However, if you are uncomfortable with the split portion, both parties can negotiate until a compromise is found.
Is it Necessary for New Real Estate Agents to Join Teams?
No, joining a real estate team as a new real estate agent is not necessary. Although joining teams may come with benefits, such as establishing a familiar ground and creating exposure in the real estate industry. However, if you feel you have what it takes to go solo and meet your clients, go for it!
If I do an Open House for Another Agent's Listing, Do I Keep the Leads?
You can keep the leads you get from hosting another agent's open house. One of the best ways to stay busy as a new agent is by offering to do an open house for a thriving listing agent in your brokerage. Any potential future clients you get in the process are a bonus and yours to keep.
Am I Tied to the Brokerage's Preferred Service Providers?
The answer to this is no. You are not obliged to use your brokerage's preferred service providers. Instead, as an autonomous contractor, you are allowed to determine what works for you and your business, including the choice of who provides your services, such as escrow officers, mortgage lenders, etc.
Is it Required to go to Your Office Every Day?
No, you are not required to go to your office every day. The best place for a real estate agent is outside their office to find more opportunities to meet potential new clients.
However, it is crucial to keep your ears to the ground to know when special events such as masterclass training are being held. Brokerages offer events, classes, and training to help agents improve. So, you don't want to miss out!
Do I Need a Mentor?
As an aspiring real estate agent, a mentor is not required. But, if you can afford the commission split, you may want to find one. Mentors help shorten the learning curve and guide you through problems you might not know how to fix.
Generally, having a mentor will cost you 20% of every commission check. But, this can vary depending on the contract.
Can I Represent Myself in the Purchase or Sale of a Home?
Yes, you can represent yourself in purchasing or selling your property once you have passed the real estate state exam and received your license.
Do I Need to Print My Real Estate License?
No, printing your license is not required. Typically, the Department of Real Estate sends you two copies of your license:
A portable card with your real estate number
A larger copy via email
The most important thing is to save these documents for reference purposes.
I Have a Criminal Background. Can I Get a Real Estate License?
Yes, you can obtain a real estate license, even with a criminal record. The first step is to contact the Department of Real Estate to inform them.
When explaining your criminal history, be honest and specific. If the DRE finds the information you hide, you will look suspicious and untrustworthy.
Criminality is a significant factor in deciding a person's eligibility because trust is a cornerstone of a real estate agent's fiducial duty.
How Do I Stay Motivated While Studying for the State Exam?
Staying motivated throughout the process of getting a real estate license is a vital key to passing the exam. To stay motivated, you must remember your reason for embarking on the journey. Your "why" can be financial freedom, independence, or providing for people you care about.
Also, experts recommend studying small volumes. Studying small volumes makes the material less daunting and helps you learn faster.
Final Thoughts on these Common Questions
Becoming a real estate agent is an important decision and should be treated as one. Research and ask all the necessary questions before beginning the process of obtaining your license.
Furthermore, consider this an upfront investment and prepare to make several expenses such as pre-licensing education fees, real estate exam fees, application fees, etc.
Meeting a home buyer for the first time can make you feel like you're on a first date — What should you say? Where should we meet? How can I impress them?
When you're trying to win business, the stakes can feel high. But there are some tried and true ways to impress potential new buyers, showing them they should trust you with their business.
Find a good location to meet
Make a connection with them
Do your homework before meeting the buyer
Don't ask if they're preapproved
Avoid pushing the buyer-broker agreement
As you advance through your real estate career, these tactics will become like second nature. Here's how we recommend impression potential home buyers in a first meeting:
Find a Good Location to Meet
The location of your meeting is key to making a great first impression with new buyers, as it will set the tone of the relationship moving forward.
First and foremost, the location should be convenient for your potential client. You don't want your potential buyer going out of their way to meet with you, and you want to ensure the location is comfortable for everyone.
While some realtors might be inclined to meet at a nearby coffee shop or restaurant, the ideal place to meet a potential client is at your brokerage's office.
You'll have the resources you need, like WiFi, printers, coffee, and a desk.
By inviting them to your brokerage's office, you're showcasing your professionalism and showing from the initial meeting that you are a credible and established agent.
When you meet at a restaurant or coffee shop, you risk a loud, unfavorable environment to conduct business.
Buying a home is an emotional process for many clients, and they want to feel that they can trust and count on their realtor. It is one of the most significant purchases they'll ever make!
When building a connection with someone you've just met — and especially someone you might be in business with — you want it to be a natural conversation about shared interests or backgrounds.
Ask about their family, sports, where they went to school — things that indicate you're interested in their life outside this real estate transaction.
Clients can determine when an agent forces or fakes a connection to get their business. So instead, be genuine in your approach and slowly build the relationship authentically.
It will benefit you and your reputation in the long run, plus make the client feel at ease!
Do Your Homework Before Meeting the Home Buyer
Real estate agents should be empathetic and understand that the home buyers they're working with likely have a million questions about the process and what it takes to buy a home.
Being ready and able to answer their questions will help boost your credibility and build trust with new clients.
When you meet with a client for the first time, walking them through the process and what they can expect from start to finish can help alleviate anxieties around what comes next.
They will likely have questions like "How do I make an offer?" or "How can I get connected with a lender?" As their agent, guiding them through the process is your top priority, so coming prepared and doing your homework ahead of time is crucial.
The longer you're in the business, the more you will notice the same questions come up over and over. So practice how you respond to common questions and hone in on how to communicate clearly with your client.
A seller objection is a concern that a prospective seller raises, which could affect whether or not they work with you.
It is a question, excuse, or another form of hesitancy that they make out of not having enough information or fear that you cannot satisfy their needs.
Seller objections are perhaps the most significant challenge you might face while trying to convert a potential client. They could be very discouraging, especially for new agents.
However, suppose you ever hope to build a successful career in the real estate industry. In that case, you must know what to say and do to make a seller feel welcome and willing to work with you.
7 Most Common Seller Objections
Seller objections can range from a concern about your pricing or timing of the sales to the value you can offer them and your experience in the field.
This article will teach you how to provide proper reassurance to the seven most common seller objections. The first on our list is - high commissions.
"Are you willing to lower your commission?"
Many sellers will complain about your commission rates being too high or that they know someone willing to do it for less.
Do not be deceived. The only answer to this question is a big and decisive "NO." While this response might seem a bit aggressive, you shouldn't worry about it because you are simply establishing yourself as a professional capable of doing the job.
Your main aim is to provide value, and you cannot do this with lower pricing. So, unless you do not deem your services worthy of the rate you are offering, your only answer to the objection should be "No. Do you have any other questions?"
"It's not really a good time" / "We're going to wait."
There are times when the above statement is true, and the market for sellers is bad. However, if the market is right for them, what you should do to convince the seller is to draw on their motivation. There must have been a reason they called you to sell their property first, and you must remind them of it.
For instance, if they want to sell so they can move closer to a relative in another part of the country, you should ask them how they plan on moving without selling.
If they reply by saying they would buy another house, you should ask them if it is realistic or wise to bear the financial burden of two mortgages.
If they reply by saying they would rent instead, you should ask if their move is temporary or permanent. If it is permanent, why would the seller be willing to build another person's equity over their own?
"I think I'm going to do For Sale By Owner (FSBO)."
'For Sale By Owner' is a common phrase every real estate agent will hear. One way to go about this objection is to ask the seller for their absolute bottom line. For example, you could say, "By selling FSBO, you run the risk of not achieving maximum price. Are you aware of that?"
Suppose they say it is a risk they are willing to take. In that case, you should let the seller see that they will not only take a price reduction but also have to offer a buyer's commission.
Ask - "Is it really worth it? Let's crunch up the numbers and see how much you are really saving here."
Additionally, many sellers willing to do FSBO believe that it is a pretty straightforward process, which it is not. So, suppose the option above doesn't work.
In that case, you could ask if they know all the processes they need to take, how to draft up documents, handle all contingencies and protect themselves. Unfortunately, most times, they do not.
You could then show them how much of the behind-the-scenes work you can help them with to ensure they are safer and sell for more.
"I'm going to think about whether or not I want to work with you."
When a seller says this to you, the last thing you want to be is pushy or overtly persuasive. But, on the other hand, houses are usually the biggest assets many sellers own, so it's understandable if they are trying to be careful when picking an agent.
You could ask them, "What is the one thing that will make you hire me on the spot today without a doubt?"
Usually, they would say something that indicates they need some more time.
At this point, you should understand their need for time, let them know that you will be here, and are willing to show them you can provide value.
Your reply could be, "Well, I passed the state's requirements to get my requirements. I've done the education, and I'm aligned with professionals in the industry. I'm constantly learning every day, and I've got a team of supportive people around me. So what experience exactly are you looking for?"
They'd usually reply that they want someone who has sold many properties or has been in the industry for at least five years.
You could say, "Well, someone who has been in it at least five years isn't here in front of you. But, I am here in front of you, ready, willing, and able to provide you with the best service, an excellent experience, and to accomplish your goals."
After saying this, you shouldn't try to be pushy or to fill the void. You have played your part, and now, you should sit down and let the silence do the heavy lifting. More often than not, this will produce desired results.
"I will only settle for the full asking price, no matter what."
When you hear a seller say this, you should try to educate them about every possible thing that can affect the sale. You should let them see that the market determines the sale, and you do not control the market.
You merely interpret it for clients and do what you think works best, such as staging the property, highlighting upgrades, and showing it well.
These are all things you do to get them the top asking price, but you cannot guarantee they will get the total asking price.
How to Talk to Your Client About Renovations and Updates
When presenting a CMA, many clients say, "I'm not going to do anything to my house."
To convince them to make renovations, you should point out to them the price differences between the current features in the house and their upgraded versions.
Let them see that a newly renovated house with all the latest models will fetch a higher price tag, and there is nothing you can do about it.
So if they want to sell at a particular price, they must be willing to put in the upgrades that will attract that price.
The real estate exam will test you on vocabulary words you learned about during your pre-licensing education. There is a lot of them!
So, we compiled a list of the most common real estate exam vocabulary words that you should expect to see on the big test.
These are foundational to learn for the exam and your career. Although, they won't cover EVERYTHING you will see on the exam, studying this list of vocab words will give you basis that will help your real estate knowledge grow.
What is Real Property?
Real property is all things attached to the surface of the land, the ground below, the air above, and all the legal rights to them.
It is used to refer to things that are typically immovable.
This includes the building itself and other appurtenances, such as landscaping, walkways, and other structures.
What is Personal Property?
Personal property is a real estate vocabulary word that refers to any tangible and moveable objects such as gadgets, furniture, vehicles, machinery, and so on.
This simply means that personal property would be any property that does not qualify as real property.
Another difference between real and personal property is the mode of transfer. A deed is used to transfer real property from an owner to a buyer, while a bill of sale is used to transfer personal property.
What is a Fixture?
A fixture is any item that was once personal property but has become real property by way of permanent attachment to real property.
Examples of fixtures include kitchen cabinets, ceiling fans, chandeliers, and window treatments.
What is the Bundle of Rights?
The bundle of rights is a term that describes a collection set of legal rights that is generally vested in an owner of real property upon purchase and receipt of a title deed.
The bundle of rights consists of five rights. These rights may be held by the titleholder alone or may be shared with other parties.
The Right of Use
The right of use allows a titleholder to use their property in any way that suits them as long as it is not illegal.
This could include things like hosting guests, renting out the property, or even making changes to the property.
Keep in mind that this right can be somewhat restricted in practice by HOA regulations, and local, state, and federal laws where applicable.
The Right of Possession
The right of possession gives a titleholder the freedom and power to choose who may or may not enter their property.
This right may be limited in the instances of search warrants, easements, or rental properties.
The Right of Transfer
The right of transfer guarantees the right of a titleholder to dispose of a property.
This means they can transfer the ownership of their property to another party by selling it, willing it, or gifting it. Exclusion to this right exists in cases of mortgages and liens.
The Right of Encumberment
The right of encumberment means that the title owner has the right to take out a loan on the home. By building and using the home’s equity, they can finance development projects to raise the home’s value.
The Right of Enjoyment
This right permits a titleholder the freedom to engage in any activities of their choice on their property and enjoy the property as they see fit, as long as the activities are not illegal.
A good way to remember the bundle of rights ahead of your exam is the acronym “UPTEE.” It stands for Use, Possession, Transfer, Encumber, and Enjoyment.
What is Commingling?
In real estate, commingling occurs when an agent mixes their client’s funds with their own funds.
Usually, these funds may be designated for different purposes and in some instances, the funds may be from different sources.
An example of commingling is when the homebuyer provides the money to buy a home but the real estate agent deposits the money in their personal bank account. The money becomes mixed with the agent’s personal funds.
What is Steering?
Steering, in real estate, is when a real estate agent discriminatorily influences the choice of a buyer by only showing them properties in certain communities.
This discrimination is often based on factors like the buyer’s gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or other protected factors.
An example of steering would be showing a person of a race only properties that are located in communities or neighborhoods where their race is prominent while avoiding areas dominated by another race.
What is Escrow?
Escrow, in real estate, is a legal arrangement between the buyer and the seller to have a neutral third party hold the funds temporarily until specific conditions have been met, usually a transfer of title.
Once the set condition is met, the funds are transferred to the seller.
Escrow typically assures the seller of the seller’s good faith and protects the buyer from a fraudulent transaction.
Escrow companies typically serve as a neutral third party and they hold onto the deed and other related documents.
Remember, escrow is a neutral third party that protects the integrity of the transaction.
What is an Acreage?
Acreage is a real estate term that refers to a large expanse of land that is yet to be divided into small lots for residential purposes.
An acreage is made up of 43,560 square feet. A section is made up of 640 acres and a survey township is made up of 36 sections.
What is Eminent Domain?
Eminent domain is the power that the local, state, and federal government has to acquire private property from a person for public use. This is usually done in exchange for fair compensation from the government.
For example, if the government wants to expand a highway, they may need to purchase and demolish buildings close to the highway to facilitate the widening.
What is an Easement?
An easement refers to the legal right of a person to access and use another person’s real property for a specific purpose.
For example, utility companies hold easements that permit them to access power cables on a property.
Here are a few terms that you should know to help you understand how easements work:
The servient tenement in an easement arrangement refers to the property that bears the burden of an easement.
A dominant tenement, on the other hand, is the property that benefits from the easement on another property.
Ingress and Egress
Ingress, in easements, refers to the right of a person to enter a property while egress is the right to leave the property.
In easements, these rights come to play when a property is landlocked. It invokes an easement by necessity so that a person can access their property even if it means crossing another person’s property.
What is a Beneficiary?
When you obtain a mortgage, the party benefiting from your payments is the beneficiary. In most cases, this is the bank or lender that you're borrowing money from to buy the house. This is because you promise to make payments back to the lender, and they, in turn, benefit from the payments, including the interest on the loan.
What is Equity?
Equity is the difference between what you owe on a property and the house's current market value. Generally speaking, the more time that has passed since you bought a property, the more equity you'll have in the house. Then, when you go to sell the house, you'll be able to cash out on this value and benefit from your investment.
What is an FHA Loan?
An FHA loan is a type of loan insurance that the Federal Housing Administration backs. This program was created in 1934 by the Housing and Urban Development department to make it easier for people to buy homes, as it requires a smaller down payment than conventional loans.
Today, buyers securing an FHA loan only need a 580 credit score and 3.5% of the home's cost as a down payment. This is why FHA loans are ideal for first-time homebuyers, as they require less up-front cash and are better for people establishing their credit.
However, all FHA loans require mortgage insurance to protect your lender against losses. So make sure to consider this added cost when considering an FHA loan!
What is a Lien?
A lien is a legal right to possess another person's property until their debt has been paid. Usually established by a creditor or legal judgment, a lien is meant to satisfy your obligation to pay off a debt or loan by using the property as collateral.
There are many different types of liens, but general and specific are some of the more common types in real estate. In a general lien, all your property - including your house and additional personal property - can be seized to pay off a debt.
However, a specific lien is used only to seize one specific property applicable to the debt - like a house. This does not cover all the personal property or items a debtor may own.
What is a Mechanic's Lien?
Created by Thomas Jefferson in the early days of our nation, a mechanic's lien is a legal document that ensures a supplier's or worker's right to enact a lien to ensure payment.
A mechanic's lien can be used by subcontractors or builders who have done work on a property and are seeking the appropriate payment. A property with a mechanic's lien cannot be sold and must be settled before putting a house on the market.
What is an Acceleration Clause?
An acceleration clause is a term in a mortgage agreement that permits the lender to accelerate repayments, usually only invoked when the borrower misses payments or is in violation of the loan agreement.
Otherwise known as a mortgage acceleration, these standard protections are implemented to prevent the mortgage lender from defaulting on a loan.
When enacted, the borrower is responsible for paying the amount owed, including any accumulated interest since your last payment. If not paid by a set date, your lender can begin foreclosure.
What Does Underwriting Mean?
When you obtain a mortgage, your loan will go through a phase called underwriting. Once under contract on a property, a person called an underwriter will go through the process of assessing the risk of lending the borrower the loan.
During this process, the underwriter will not only evaluate the borrower applying for the loan — but will also assess the condition of the property being purchased.
The bank is looking to ensure that the borrower's and property's qualifications are up to standards and will consider the risk involved with loaning money for the purchase.
The borrower must submit documents verifying their financial statuses, like bank statements, proof of employment, and tax returns. Additionally, the underwriter will use the appraisal to evaluate the property to ensure it is in appropriate condition and worth the amount of money you're purchasing it for.
What Does Hypothecation Mean?
A hypothecation agreement is when a borrower agrees to offer an asset as collateral in exchange for a loan. Used frequently in mortgages, while a borrower technically owns the house, a lender can seize a home as collateral if debts are not paid or the terms of the loan agreement are not met.
While the bank owns the property, it cannot claim any income or cash flow generated from the home unless the borrower defaults on their loan.
What is the Debt-to-Income Ratio?
Your debt-to-income ratio compares how much you earn every month versus how much you owe. This considers your wages pre-tax, then calculates expenses like rent, mortgage, car payments, student loans, or other types of debt.
When purchasing a home, your lender will look at your debt-to-income ratio when determining how much you can afford.
What is a Fixed-Rate Loan?
A fixed-rate loan is a mortgage loan where the interest rate stays the same throughout the loan's lifetime.
This can be beneficial because you'll always know how much you owe, as monthly payments won't change over the length of the loan. In addition, if interest rates are currently low, obtaining a fixed-rate loan can be an intelligent financial decision.
What is an Appraisal?
An appraisal is a third-party professional opinion on the value of the property. This is generally done to ensure that the value of the property is in line with how much it’s being purchased for and guarantees the bank that it’s being purchased for a fair price.
The appraisal helps the lender protect itself against overfunding and ensures that the price is reasonable for the seller.
Usually, the buyer will pay for the appraisal once under contract on the house. However, it’s generally not required for all cash offers unless the buyer specifically requests it.
What are Comparables?
A comparable, often referred to as a comp, is a valuation of a property according to a study of similar properties in the area that you’re looking to buy or sell in. A comp is used to determine the home’s value based on surrounding properties that have recently sold and can indicate the appropriate value of your property.
For buyers, comps are helpful to ensure you’re putting in a competitive offer on the house. For sellers, they provide clear pricing parameters for how much your home is worth.
Comps consider things like the size of the property, the year it was built, and the property’s features. Real estate agents use comparables to help sellers list their property at an appropriate price and help buyers make an appropriate offer.
What is a Drive-By Appraisal?
A drive-by appraisal is sometimes used in real estate to determine the home’s value. While not as in-depth as a full appraisal, a drive-by appraisal mainly evaluates the house’s exterior.
An appraiser will visit the house, make notes and take photos of the home’s exterior, and make a valuation call based on its street value.
Depending on the current market and the property you’re purchasing, your lender may feel comfortable with just ordering a drive-by appraisal versus a full appraisal.
What is an Appraisal Report?
An appraisal report is the written overview of the appraiser’s findings. This generally includes detailed results of similar properties in the area that have sold, a valuation of the property, and how the neighborhood will impact the home’s future value.
This overview will outline precisely how the appraiser came to their conclusions and cite the corresponding evidence associated with the report, like photos and data.
What is a Trade Fixture?
Trade fixtures outline personal property items that a tenant would install or use to operate their business in commercial real estate. For example, restaurant booths inside a restaurant would fall under trade fixtures that the tenant installed to conduct their business.
Unlike a regular fixture, these fixtures do not become a landlord’s property when the lease expires. A regular fixture is an item that becomes the landlord’s property after the tenant's lease expires.
What Does Ad Valorem Mean?
The Latin phrase ad valorem means “based on value.” In terms of real estate, an ad valorem tax is a tax based on a property’s value — often in the form of a personal property tax.
These taxes are generally instituted by local governments and are assessed annually by the jurisdiction. These are usually the primary source of income for municipal governments and are essential to consider when purchasing a home.
What is a Sales Comparison Approach?
A sales comparison approach is a standard real estate appraisal practice that compares one property to other recently sold properties with similar characteristics.
Many in the industry use this method to determine how individual features on the house make up the home’s overall value. The sales comparison approach considers factors like the size of the house, location, other sold listings, price per square foot, condition, and age of the house.
What is an Income Approach?
In the income approach, an appraiser determines the property’s value based on the income the property generates.
This is frequently used in multi-family housing or investment properties and considers factors like occupancy rates, operating efficiency, and condition of the property. This is also called income capitalization.
What Does Depreciation Mean?
Depreciation is the decrease of the home’s value. A few factors are considered when calculating depreciation — physical depreciation, functional obsolescence, and economic obsolescence.
Physical depreciation refers to the decline of the property’s value over time due to time, elements, and usage. For example, natural weathering and decay would be considered physical depreciation.
Functional obsolescence is when deficiencies or undesirable aspects of the building decrease its value, such as historic architecture or outdated facilities.
Lastly, economic obsolescence is a decrease in property value due to a change in surrounding or local economics and often has nothing to do with the property itself.
What is Zoning?
Zoning is the division of land by the local government. These laws are local regulations that dictate how the land can be used.
These decisions are based on a master plan for the district and consider a variety of factors like economic development, traffic concerns, noise or light levels, and protecting local resources.
There are multiple zoning classifications, but some of the most common include commercial, residential, agricultural, hospitality, or industrial. Zoning laws can impact property value and what type of building or structure can be built on a property.
What is a Bilateral Contract?
In real estate, a bilateral contract is a contract that involves two people, each with a contractual promise they must perform. As a result, each party is obligated to complete their tasks according to the contract.
For example, a seller will give a deed to the property in exchange for money from the buyer. Both parties are held responsible for their side of the contract.
What is a Unilateral Contract
In a unilateral contract, only one person or party is obligated to perform their contractual duty. For example, if you lose your wallet and offer a reward for finding the wallet, they’ll only get the reward if they find and return the wallet. Only one person is contractually required to perform a duty.
What does Caveat Emptor Mean?
In Latin, the phrase caveat emptor translates literally to “buyer beware.” For real estate, this means that when a buyer is purchasing a house, it is up to them to be familiar with the condition and inadequacies of the house.
While the seller will provide their own disclosures about the condition, it is up to the buyer to also get their own data to inform their decision about the property. Usually, this means that a buyer will hire an inspector to provide a first-party report about the status of the house where they can have a full picture of the property, separate from that provided by the seller.
From there, the buyer will be able to make their own decision with the knowledge they have.
What does Dual Agency Mean?
A dual agency agreement is when a real estate agent represents two people or parties on the same deal. Usually, this will mean an agent is helping both the buyer and seller, and they’ll receive the full commission.
While this is not always legal, it is in California. When you represent both the buyer and the seller on the same deal, you’ll have two principles. That means you earn the whole commission. This is different than a single agency, where the agent will only represent one party.
What does Escheat Mean?
If a property owner dies and there are no identified heirs or successors, a property can be reverted to the state upon an owner’s death.
The state will be required to take ownership of the property, since the property can’t be sitting abandoned or in limbo without any owners.
What does Intestate Mean?
If a person dies without a will, their estate is then categorized as intestate. Similar to escheat, this could mean that the individual’s property is turned over to the state to manage.
While these laws vary from state to state, the lack of a will can turn a person’s estate over to the government.
What is a Holdover Tenant?
A holdover tenant is a lessee who stays in the property longer than they are supposed to. Once their lease is up, they’re supposed to be vacated from the property.
But a holdover tenant stays in the property past their intended time. Even if the tenant is paying rent but they’re past their lease, they can be sued for being a holdover tenant.
What is a Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS)?
A real estate transfer disclosure statement, also called a TDS, is a document containing what items are included in the purchase of a home.
This is the seller's opportunity to put in writing what is included in the purchase, including all the deficiencies listed and a checklist of items that come with the house like a microwave, furniture, or any other belongings. This is often the biggest disclosure a real estate agent will utilize when working with a buyer.
What is a Voluntary Lien?
A voluntary lien is placed on property with the consent of the individual receiving the lien. For example, a mortgage is a voluntary lien because the buyer consents to the lien through the bank. Or, if you wanted to get a secondary loan or a car loan, these are all voluntary liens because the buyer asked for the responsibility that comes with the loan.
This differs from an involuntary lien, which someone else imposes, like a tax lien or a mechanics lien.
What does TRID Mean?
TRID stands for TILA (Truth in Lending Act) RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) Integrated Disclosures. This disclosure was specifically developed so that the lender has to be transparent in the purchase and provide two things.
The first is a loan estimate that outlines fees and costs associated with a mortgage. Additionally, they must provide a closing disclosure listing exactly how they will charge and where each fee is allocated in the closing process.
The Truth in Lending Act was developed in 1968 to protect the consumer and provide transparency throughout the lending process. Shortly after, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act was developed to prevent unnecessary settlement costs and promote transparency into each fee’s purpose.
TRID wasn’t put in place until 2015, but now ensures all parties are providing the appropriate information and disclosures for both buying and selling.
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These classes must be taken at a state-approved accredited school and cover all the information covered on your exam. Programs are offered both in-person and online, depending on your preferred learning style.
Head to the Department of Real Estate’s website to see a complete list of accredited programs you can choose from.
Pass the 3 Required Courses
No matter where you decide to enroll, all pre-licensing programs in California are required to teach three main courses:
Real Estate Principles (45 hours) - In this course, you’ll have a comprehensive introduction to the real estate business and what is involved with being an agent. You’ll also learn about how to interact with escrow and title companies.
Real Estate Practice (45 hours) - This course is a high-level overview covering how to build and grow a successful real estate business. From taxation to the appropriate property disclosures, you’ll learn about the critical aspects involved in the day-to-day real estate industry.
One elective class (45 hours) - Students will get to pick their a class as an elective, but it’s encouraged to take the Real Estate Finance class since it’s prominently featured on the final exam. If you opt to take a different course, classes are offered in property management, appraisal, real estate economics, office administration, and real estate law.
Apply for the Real Estate Exam
Once you’ve successfully finished your real estate courses, you’ll be eligible to apply to take the California real estate exam. In your application, you’ll have to submit:
A copy of your valid photo ID
Completed live scan form
Transcripts and certificate of completion of your coursework
The appropriate DRE forms
Fees associated with your exam and license, usually around $305
While it’s recommended you submit all your documents and information online, applicants can also apply to mail or fax their application to:
Department of Real Estate Examination Section P.O. Box 137001 Sacramento, CA 95813-7001
The DRE will process your application and determine if you’re approved to schedule your exam.
The current application processing times are listed online, so you can know what to expect after submitting your application.
Generally, there is a 6-8 week processing time, so review processing times and plan accordingly.
Once approved, you’ll receive a notification that you’re approved to schedule your exam.
Pass the Exam
While the real estate exam is done in person at a testing facility, the exams are taken electronically. They must be scheduled ahead of time via the DRE’s website.
On the day of your exam, you’ll have three hours to complete the exam consisting of 150 questions. The exam is broken down into the following categories:
Practice of Real Estate and Disclosures
Laws of Agency and Fiduciary Duty
Property Ownership and Land Use Controls and Regulation
Transfer of Property
Since you take the test electronically, you’ll know that day - before leaving the testing facility - if you have passed or failed the exam.
You’ll need to score 70% or higher to pass, meaning you’ll need to answer 105 out of 150 questions correctly. The California real estate exam has a 50% passing rate and is considered difficult, requiring proper preparation and study.
The good news is that If you don’t pass your exam on the first try, you’ll be able to retake the test later.
Sign with a Brokerage
Once you’ve passed the exam, the last step you’ll need to complete before becoming a real estate agent is signing with a brokerage.
You’ll have to interview or reach out to brokerages to see if they’ll sponsor you and hang your license with them. If you’re unsure where to start, your real estate school can often connect you with brokerages looking to add additional agents.
During the interview process, you should find a brokerage that will help you grow as an agent and get you started in your career. In addition, finding the right brokerage will help you get a foundation in the industry and develop your skills.
How Competitive is the San Jose Real Estate Market?
In San Jose, and California as a whole, the real estate market is highly competitive. The average home sales price is up 20% year over year, with a shallow inventory.
This means that buyers have to pay more for the limited homes on the market.
As a real estate agent in San Jose, you’ll have to help your clients navigate the competition, ensuring they make smart choices when buying or selling a home.
It’s also important to note that there are over 11,000 licensed real estate agents in San Jose.
You’ll be joining a large group of licensees working to contend for the limited number of listings on the market. Keep this in mind when considering how competitive the market is.
How Much Money Do San Jose Agents Make?
One of the benefits of becoming a real estate agent is the limitless earning potential. Since you’re working off commission, every sale or transaction is more money than taking home as a salary.
In California, the average real estate agent earns around $76,400 per year, according to the Department of Labor.
With median home prices reaching an all-time high of about half a million dollars, the real estate market in Sacramento has grown significantly in recent times. The market is 16.1% above the previous year, and home values have been increasing each month.
This makes the Sacramento real estate market a perfect location to start and/or build your career as a real estate agent.
You must understand that the Sacramento market can be a hard one moving forward. However, you can build a successful career as a real estate agent in Sacramento if you follow the steps in this guide.
5 Steps to Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Sacramento
You are eligible to apply for and get a real estate license to practice as an agent in Sacramento once you are at least 18 years old and can work in the U.S.
This section will cover, in detail, the step-by-step process you have to follow to get started.
Enroll in a Real Estate School
One of the major requirements to become a real estate agent in Sacramento is to complete 135 hours of real estate coursework. This coursework is state-specific, and you must complete it before you can take the real estate license exam.
They also certify you upon completion and passing of the coursework. You will need this certification when applying for your license.
Pass the 3 Required Courses
You can spread the compulsory 135-hour coursework out to fit your schedule. The coursework comprises 3 required courses, with each of the courses evenly split into a 45-hour duration.
You have to complete these 3 courses and take the license exam within a year of your enrollment.
Real Estate Practice
Real Estate Principles
One elective course
You have several options to choose from for your elective course. These courses will provide you with a slightly different perspective depending on your choice. Here are some of the options available to you:
Real Estate Finance
Real Estate Appraisal
Real Estate Economics
These courses are designed and formulated by the DRE to treat the fundamentals of becoming a real estate agent in California. In addition, you will learn about the relevant real estate topics and terminology that the license exam will be based on.
Apply for the Real Estate Exam
After completing the compulsory 135 hours of real estate coursework, you can apply to take the California Real Estate Salesperson Examination.
This exam is somewhat difficult to pass, with a pass rate of about 50%, so you have to prepare diligently.
In applying for the exam, you will have to fill out an application form and pay a fee of $60 for the exam. You will also have to submit a valid photo ID, a completed live scan form, and the certificates for your coursework.
Once your application is processed, you can go ahead to schedule the time, date, and venue of your exam. You will also have to pass a background test.
Pass the Exam
Passing the real estate exam is the most crucial step you have to take. The DRE sets 150 multiple-choice questions, and you need a score of at least 70% to pass.
The exam can be stringent and demanding, but it is not impossible. All you have to do is study diligently before the exam.
Sign with a Brokerage
You cannot practice as a real estate agent until you sign with a brokerage in California, even after getting your license. You have to work under a broker. Finding a brokerage to sign you can be like the typical job-seeking process.
All you have to do is reach out to a brokerage that piques your interest. Let them know that you have just received your license, and they can schedule an interview with them. Once you scale this phase, you can start your career as a real estate agent in Sacramento, California.
How Competitive is the Sacramento Real Estate Market?
The Sacramento real estate market, is very competitive. Most homes in Sacramento receive about 7 to 8 offers on average and are sold in just over a week. This shows the influence of robust housing demands and low mortgage rates.
Areas like the Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade Metro home, Sacramento County, and Sacramento City have shown a drastic increase in value. This also makes it a perfect place to start your career as a real estate agent.
How Much Money Do Sacramento Agents Make?
Sacramento real estate agents can make between $52,964 and $101,855 a year on average, with the median income being about $87,243. However, you should understand that real estate agents earn a commission basis, not a salary. In other words, they may stand to earn a whole lot more.
The median home price in Sacramento is around $500,000, and this puts your commission at around $15,000, using the 3% rate.
How Fast Can You Become a Real Estate Agent in Sacramento?