Real estate all across the country is booming right now, and North Carolina is no different. North Carolina’s real estate market is exploding, with a 26% year-over-year growth according to Zillow.
If you’re interested in exploring a new career path and want to become a real estate agent in North Carolina, now is a great time to obtain your real estate license.
In North Carolina, getting your real estate license is straightforward and simple. But it’s important to understand and follow the appropriate steps.
Here are the 6 steps required to obtain your real estate license in North Carolina.
Before you can apply for a real estate license, make sure you meet the North Carolina requirements. To qualify for an individual broker’s license, you must:
To receive your real estate license in the state of North Carolina, you’ll need to enroll in an accredited North Carolina Real Estate School that the real estate commission has approved.
Most of the time, this involves a 75-hour prelicensing course that will walk you through a variety of topics — everything from the basic principles of real estate to fair housing regulations.
An accredited course will cover both national regulations and local North Carolina rules to ensure you’re prepared to take the real estate exam.
Once you’ve successfully completed the course, your educational institution will electronically report your completion to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, which will then pave the way for you to apply for the exam.
Before you can schedule your exam, you’ll have to show the real estate commission that you are eligible for the exam. This involves submitting the necessary application and documents, as well as showing that you’ve completed the required class. Once the real estate commission grants your notice of exam eligibility, you will have 180 days to schedule your exam.
The North Carolina real estate exam is held in person at a testing facility that the real estate commission has partnered with.
To schedule your exam, you can call or go online to the PSI Services website to create an account. Once your account is created, you can enter your zip code to see a list of testing sites closest to you with the available dates.
In most cases, you should be able to schedule a test within the next 7 days. Keep in mind that there is a $56 testing fee (separate from the $100 application fee) in order to schedule your final exam. On the day of your exam, make sure to bring a valid form of identification.
You’ll have 4 hours to complete the multiple-choice exam and will take it on a computer at the test center. Once you’ve submitted your answers, you’ll immediately be able to see your results.
The North Carolina real estate exam has two sections — a national and local North Carolina section. In order to pass the exam, you must correctly answer 72% of the questions.
Finally, once you’ve completed your course, submitted your application, and passed the exam, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission will determine if you possess the requisite “character” needed for licensure.
The commission expects that every real estate agent possesses the “truthfulness, integrity, good moral character, and general fitness” necessary to protect the public interest.
This is done by disclosing all related criminal offenses, professional licensure disciplinary actions, and unpaid judgments on your application. A criminal report is part of your application, so the commission expects applicants to also self-disclose these issues. Failing to do so will also decrease your chances of getting approval.
If you’ve completed all the steps and passed, you now have your real estate license and can sign with a brokerage! Until you do so, your license will be considered inactive, but upon being hired by a brokerage, it will be placed on active status.
The brokerage will be supervised by a broker-in-charge, and from there, you’ll be ready to work with clients to buy or sell homes.
If you have your real estate license in another state and are looking to obtain a North Carolina license, you can apply for license reciprocity. North Carolina has a reciprocity agreement with all the U.S. states, territories, or Canadian provinces.
Out-of-state licensees applying in North Carolina are not required to take the 75-hour pre-licensing coursework or take the national section of the exam. However, they will be required to complete the state-specific questions of the exam.
The most time-consuming aspects of getting your North Carolina real estate license are the 75-hour pre-certification course and the test preparation that is recommended to pass the test.
It’s safe to allocate about 3-6 months to adequately prepare and complete the necessary requirements from start to finish. While that’s a realistic timeline, if you study hard and are focused, you could possibly get it done in around 2 months.
Working in real estate provides a unique career path that puts you in charge of your business.
Real estate is a popular career for many individuals for a variety of reasons, including the ability to set your own hours, be your own boss, have unlimited salary potential, and work in an exciting industry.
While it’s not the right fit for everyone, if you’re someone that is self-motivated, hardworking, looking for flexibility, and wants to make a difference in the lives of their clients, real estate could be the career for you.
As the national real estate frenzy continues, many individuals are re-evaluating their career paths and considering real estate for their next job.
Los Angeles is constantly ranked among one of the hottest housing markets and continues to be a top city for real estate agents.
If you’re considering becoming a real estate agent in Los Angeles, read on to learn how to start the process.
Becoming a real estate agent in Los Angeles is a fairly straightforward process that involves five key steps.
California requires all real estate applicants to attend an accredited real estate school and complete 135 hours of pre-licensing coursework.
These educational institutions have been accredited by the state of California and are approved to teach the coursework required for your licensure.
You can review all accredited schools on the California Department of Real Estate website.
This features three fundamental classes:
Once you’ve completed your coursework, you’ll be able to apply for the California real estate exam. To do that, you’ll have to send in an application with:
You can submit your application online, in the mail, or by faxing it to the DRE. Once submitted, it can take up to 6 weeks for your application to be approved.
You can view their current processing times on their website here. Once approved, you’ll receive a notification that you’re eligible to schedule your exam.
Once you’ve gotten approval on your application from the Department of Real Estate, you’ll be able to schedule your exam.
There is a designated testing facility in the Los Angeles area that you’ll have to schedule your exam with, as walk-in testing is not allowed.
You’ll have 3 hours to complete your salesperson exam and can opt to take it on paper or on a computer.
The exam is broken down into the following categories:
In order to pass the exam, you must get 70% of the questions right. That means out of 150 questions, 105 must be correct to get a passing score.
With a 50% passing rate, the California real estate exam is considered difficult and rigorous. If you don’t pass your exam on the first try, you’ll be able to retake the test another time.
If you pass, the DRE will mail and email you a copy of your official real estate license. From there, you’ll have to find a brokerage that wants to sponsor you.
It’s important to find a brokerage that fits your needs and supports your business goals as you start your real estate career in Los Angeles.
This can involve reaching out to various brokerages, interviewing with brokers, and connecting with other agents who are looking to grow their team.
Sometimes your real estate school can also help connect you with brokerages who are looking to add new agents.
Once a brokerage sponsors you, you can start selling and working with clients!
As with many major metro areas right now, the Los Angeles real estate market is incredibly competitive as inventory is at all-time lows and many are scrambling to find a home as rents and interest rates rise nationally.
In 2021, home sales increased 26% in Los Angeles county but appear to have slowed in early 2022.
These numbers can make breaking into the real estate industry difficult, as oftentimes seasoned agents are more prepared to deal with highly competitive markets.
Keep this in mind as you look for a brokerage to sponsor you. And above all, don’t get discouraged if it takes some time to break into the market.
Many people get into real estate because of the unlimited earning potential in sales. In Los Angeles, there are about 7,000 licensed real estate agents and the average income is about $73,000.
While this is just an average, it’s important to remember that real estate agents incur several expenses in operating their business, and it can take several years to grow a lucrative career in the industry.
However, agents in Los Angeles are top earners compared to other areas of the country thanks in part to the high property prices that are prevalent in Southern California.
The average property price in Los Angeles County in April 2022 was around $900,000. If an agent receives a 3% commission on a sale of a property, they’re poised to earn around $27,000 per transaction.
This can easily add up over multiple transactions and equate to a high-earning potential.
Between the coursework, application, and exam, there are several time-consuming aspects to becoming a real estate agent. You should plan to spend 3-5 months from start to finish to get your real estate license.
With 135 hours of classes and a processing time of around 6 weeks for the application, the time it takes can vary greatly based on your own schedule availability and the DRE’s times.
Becoming a real estate agent can be an incredibly rewarding and lucrative career for many. You’re helping guide clients through one of the biggest purchases in their life while working as your own boss.
In real estate, every day is different than the last. If you enjoy working with people, like a flexible working environment and want to be in control of your own business, real estate could be a great career for you to consider.
With median prices of homes upwards of seven figures, San Francisco is one of the most expensive housing markets in the country.
Despite these seemingly high prices, the San Francisco real estate is still a fast-paced one, with the average selling period of houses being just 2 weeks on the market.
San Francisco has a large flow of people moving and leaving the city, which makes it primed for prospects.
Starting as a real estate agent in San Francisco is tough, but it is possible.
If you want to start a career as a real estate agent in San Francisco, California, you just have to put in the required effort and time while following the steps in this guide.
Once you are 18 years old and you are eligible to work in the U.S., you can get started on your journey to becoming a real estate agent in San Francisco.
This section will cover, in detail, the step-by-step process you have to follow to get started.
You are required to complete state-specific pre-licensing coursework before you can take the real estate license exam.
For the pre-license coursework, you have to enroll in a California real estate school that is approved by the Department of Real Estate. Approved real estate schools educate and prepare you for the necessary courses ahead of the real estate license exam.
Real estate schools also provide the certification you need to apply for the real estate license exam.
The DRE-approved pre-license education is a compulsory 135-hour coursework that can be spread out to fit your schedule.
You have to complete the 3 required courses to prepare you for the license exam within a year of your enrollment.
Each of the courses has a 45-hour duration:
For your elective course, there are several options you can choose from which will result in a slightly different experience. Some of these courses include:
All of these courses constitute the core curriculum formulated by the California Department of Real Estate (DRE). They cover the topics and terminology that the license exam questions will be based on.
Once you have completed all 3 courses, the next thing to do is to apply for the California Department of Real Estate’s Salesperson Examination.
This exam is the most critical aspect of your licensing process. It is used by the DRE to evaluate your knowledge and understanding of real estate concepts and terminology.
To apply, you will need to provide the following:
You will also have to pass a background check. This is to check for any criminal history and ensure you are eligible to practice as a real estate agent in San Francisco.
If you have a criminal history, you can contact the DRE directly to see if you will still be eligible to take the exam.
After submitting your application and the DRE has approved it, you can schedule the date, time, and location for your exam.
The exam is pretty tough. It consists of 150 multiple choice questions and you need a score of at least 70% to pass.
Until you sign with a brokerage in California, you are not yet officially cleared to practice as a real estate agent. You will need to find a broker or brokerage to work under.
Getting a brokerage that will recruit you is straightforward. You can contact whichever brokerage you are interested in joining to inform them that you are a licensed agent looking to sign.
Once you sign with a brokerage, you are set to start practicing as a real estate agent in San Francisco.
The San Francisco real estate market is highly competitive. There are thousands of real estate agents throughout the city who are vying for a high commission check from the expensive land value.
It’s no secret that there’s plenty of money to be made as a real estate agent here and everyone wants their cut.
So, as you enter the market, remember that it’s important to stand out and connect with the people in your network. That’s the best way to start building experience and a reputation for yourself.
Real estate agents in San Francisco make a yearly average income of $127,179, which is about 22% over the national average.
Keep in mind that, as a real estate agent, you earn on commission instead of a salary. However, in San Francisco, you can make a decent living even by selling fewer homes because of the real estate prices in California.
In major areas of San Francisco, the median home price is about $1,200,000 and this puts your commission, using the typical 3% rate, at over $35,000 on just one sale.
It takes about 5 months to become a real estate agent in San Francisco. You have to take 135-hour compulsory coursework which will span over at least 2 months.
Then you apply for the exam and your application is processed for about 3 months before you can take the exam.
As a licensed agent in a strong real estate market like San Francisco, you could be living the life of your dreams.
While the journey may be somewhat rigorous, you have to put in the required effort and time.
Once you become licensed in San Francisco, you can make more from selling fewer homes. So is it worth it? Yes, it is definitely worth it.
With the real estate market booming in North Carolina, many people are turning to real estate to start a new career.
Before you can start working with clients and selling real estate, you’ll need to officially take, and pass, the North Carolina Real Estate exam.
This involves completing the educational requirements, passing a background check, and successfully passing the final exam.
Before you take the exam, you’ll need to ensure you meet the basic prerequisites. In North Carolina, you’ll need to make sure you do the following requirements:
Aside from these basic requirements, you’ll need to ensure you complete all aspects of the application process as outlined by the North Carolin Reale Estate Commission.
How do you submit your North Carolina real estate exam application?
There are several parts of the application that you’ll have to complete beforehand to be applicable to take the exam in North Carolina.
The exam is the finale of the process and after passing the exam, you’ll quickly be able to receive your license, assuming your application is complete.
Submitting your application online can be streamlined and simple by using the North Carolina Real Estate Commission’s website.
By heading to ncrec.gov, you can create an account and fill out most of the application before completing the 75-hour educational requirement. This will allow you to get a head start on the form and ensure you have all the necessary information to complete it.
While you’ll be able to start your online application, you won’t be able to pay and submit your application until you have completed the educational requirement, your educational provider has submitted your certificate of completion, and you’ve obtained a criminal record report that’s required.
Once your application is submitted, you won’t be able to review or edit it anymore, and it will go under formal review with the Commission.
If you’d prefer to mail your application in, you can email the North Carolina Real Estate Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office to request an application be mailed directly to you.
What do you include in your exam application?
There are several components that will need to be compiled when submitting your exam application. Before you can submit your application, you’ll need to satisfy both the educational requirement and pass a background check.
In North Carolina, prospective agents are required to complete a 75-hour educational course from an institution that has been accredited by the NCREC.
The commission has approved several different schools that offer both in-person and online classes depending on what is most suitable for your schedule and learning style.
The coursework is expected to cover a wide variety of topics. Students are expected to have a thorough understanding of real estate best practices and laws, including:
Once you complete your coursework, your educational institution will upload a certificate of completion which will then allow you to schedule your exam time.
Only upon completion of the 75-hours will you be able to register for the final exam. If you have a real estate license in another state, you may be exempt from the educational requirement for a North Carolina license.
North Carolina also requires all real estate license applicants to submit a criminal background report with their application.
You can apply for this online when you submit your application by clicking, “Apply for a Background Check.” This report must be conducted by the specific organization that NCREC has partnered with, and must have taken place within 6 months of your application.
While a professional background check is ordered, you will also be asked to self-disclose this information such as criminal offenses, judgments, liens, disciplinary action by a licensing agency, or similar matters on your application.
Once the background check is completed, you will receive a copy and it will also be sent to the commission.
Once your application is received, it generally takes only a few days for the NCREC to review your application and determine if you’re eligible to take the exam.
If you submit an online application, you can expect it to take 3-4 business days, or 7-10 business days if sent via mail.
If your application is accepted, the commission will send a “Notice of Examination Eligibility” signaling that you can now register for the exam and continue with the licensing process.
You can then schedule to take your exam as soon as the next business day!
If you’ve received your Notice of Exam Eligibility, you have 180 days to take your exam before your application will expire.
North Carolina has partnered with PSI Services LLC to administer the final exam at one of their in-person test facilities. To schedule your exam, you can go to PSI’s website or call them directly to schedule an exam.
However, same-day or walk-in testing is not available, so make sure you schedule ahead of time.
What’s the passing rate for the North Carolina real estate exam?
The passing rate for the North Carolina exam is 71%. You can increase your chances of passing by studying and taking an exam prep course.
You’ll need to answer 57 out of 80 questions correctly in the national section and 29 out of 40 in the North Carolina specific section.
In most cases, if you failed the exam on your first attempt you are eligible to retake the exam the next business day.
Applying for the North Carolina Real Estate exam may seem daunting, but with attention to detail and following the outline steps, you’ll be on your way to working with clients to find their dream home in no time.
Proper preparation through an educational course will provide you with the resources and materials needed to ace the exam the first time around, and swiftly move through the application process.
The real estate market in Georgia is nothing short of a booming one. To work in this market as a real estate agent, you need to pass the Georgia real estate exam.
There are certain eligibility requirements to take the exam: you have to be at least 18 years old, complete pre-license coursework, complete a background check, and finally, apply for the exam.
In this article, we will consider all the steps you need to apply to the Georgia real estate exam.
We will also take a look at a few other tips you should consider ahead of the exam. If you are looking to apply for the Georgia real estate exam, this article covers everything you need to know.
The Georgia Real Estate Commission (GREC) has set certain requirements that have to be met to take the Georgia real estate exam. To be eligible to take the exam, you:
If you have completed 10 quarter hours or six semester hours of either eligible real estate coursework or courses in principles, fundamentals, or essentials of real estate from an accredited U.S. or Canadian college, university, or law school, you will not be required to take the compulsory coursework. You just have to submit a transcript to the AMP during your application.
Once you meet these requirements, you can go to fill out and submit your exam application. There are two channels through which you can submit. These are:
You can complete and submit your real estate exam application online. To apply, log in to the portal, follow the necessary prompts, and complete your application for a new license. Once you have submitted your application, you can go on to pay for your exam with a credit card and schedule the time and location for your exam on the portal.
Applying via the online portal is only available to candidates that completed their compulsory pre-license coursework at an accredited school in Georgia.
If you did not undergo the compulsory pre-license coursework in Georgia or you are using an equivalent requirement, then you have to send in your application by mail.
If you are paying for the exam with a money order or certified check instead of a credit card, you also have to send in your application via mail.
You can find the application form in the GREC Application Handbook. Compile all your relevant documents and fees together in a manilla envelope and mail it to:
18000 W. 105th St.,
Olathe, KS 66061-7543 USA
After sending in your application, you can schedule the time and date for your exam via telephone by calling 1 (800) 345-6559. It is advisable to do this about 7 to 10 business days after mailing your application.
When applying for the Georgia real estate exam, there are some necessary documents that must be included in your exam application:
Keep in mind that cash, company checks, and personal checks are not accepted, so avoid including them in your application.
Once you submit your application, the GREC takes about 7 to 12 working days to approve your application. After your application has been approved, you can schedule your exam within a week depending on the volume of candidates. This puts the time between the submission of your application and your exam at 3 weeks on average.
During this period, while you wait for your application to be approved and your exam date and venue to be scheduled, you can take your time to study for the exam.
You can only take the Georgia real estate licensing exam in one of the four PSI testing centers in the State of Georgia.
These centers are located in Duluth, Savannah, Macon, and Marietta. The date and venue for your exam will be scheduled on the online portal for those who completed the 75-hour compulsory coursework in Georgia.
Others will have to call PSI at 1 (800) 345-6559 or by mailing in an application to the submission address.
At the venue of your exam, you will be required to show two valid forms of identification. Be sure to have them on you, with at least one of them being a government-issued ID.
The Georgia real estate exam is pretty tough, but it is not impossible. For the exam, you have 4 hours to answer 152 multiple-choice questions. The exam has two parts, the National and State portions. In the national portion, you have to answer at least 75 out of 100 questions right. While the second portion is state-specific and you need to answer 39 out of 52 questions right.
Only around 60% of candidates pass the exam. This makes it important to utilize all of the free time you have before your exam. Prepare adequately and you are good to go.
Getting your Georgia real estate license allows you to start and build your career as a real estate agent in Georgia.
While getting your license may seem tasking, it could eventually be worth every bit of the work you put in. Once you pass, you are ready to get your license.
It is all just fun and games until someone sells a house using drone footage on TikTok.
Real estate agents can leverage technology to generate new real estate leads. This article discusses using social media, drones, apps, and email to get new leads. Let's look at how we can use tech to find new customers.
We all know that open houses have been one of the most important ways to generate new real estate leads. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we can use technology to give us an edge at doing what already works well.
One of the newest ways to leverage technology to find new leads is live streaming open house events.
We can share the live stream on social media. Potential buyers are more inclined to attend the next open house in person if they see a live stream first. When people attending open houses in-person notice the event is streaming online, they'll realize there is more competition than they initially imagined.
Live streaming is a great way to expand open houses beyond the neighborhood. While joining online isn't the same as attending in person, buyers across state lines can get a good idea of what the property looks like with people inside.
In addition, broadcasting busy open houses shows demand, something buyers and sellers both love to see.
Use drone footage to set listings apart from others. New leads like to see every property angle, and aerial footage is an attractive addition to high-quality pictures. Drone footage could save buyers a trip out to the property.
Giving new buyers as many views as possible will improve their understanding of the property. In addition, you can turn your videos into ads to improve your online engagement. We should expect our ads to perform better when enhanced with drone footage.
We can use footage like this during open houses and live streams to exhibit the property features and acreage. It also shows the distance from schools and nearby attractions like shopping and dining. Drone footage can even give examples of the weather during different seasons.
New generations of homebuyers respond well to video advertisements. For example, a video fly-through is engaging content for social media. Uploading interesting footage to YouTube on a regular basis will expand your outreach and bring in more leads.
Social media is a crucial way to generate new leads. It helps us share listings in different cities and states. Facebook is almost 20 years old. There have been a lot of new channels developed along the way.
Set up free accounts on Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest. Remember to add some time to your calendar to do social media marketing every week.
Doing as little as one post a week is enough to notice a difference in new leads. Sometimes the most challenging part is getting started. Once we have a routine, it is easy to keep the content going.
Here are a few examples of how to use social media:
Besides posting content, we can leverage social media to network with other industry professionals. We should also ask for reviews from buyers and other professionals we've worked with in the past.
Social media is a great place to find ideas for content to emulate from other agents, especially if we get writer's block.
Curb appeal is fundamental to capturing the people viewing our listings and seeing our signs. It includes everything exterior to the house that makes them attractive to buyers. We'll want to work with sellers to suggest the most valuable upgrades.
A fresh coat of paint works wonders for curb appeal. Encourage sellers to pick colors that match the neighborhood and features found in nearby listings. Neutral colors appeal to most buyers.
A bright-colored door that contrasts nicely with the neutral exterior color can be a great way to draw attention. Doors are small enough to paint if the new owner decides they want something less noticeable.
Nowadays, there is an app for everything. Suggest a design app that helps homeowners get a clear timeline of how long the enhancement will take to complete.
Contractors sign up with the design apps to get their painting leads, making it easy for homeowners to find a trustworthy tradesperson. Apps like this make it easy to collaborate with sellers.
They can ask for input on the upgrades they should do before they sell the house.
Besides paint and a bright door, trimmed bushes and a freshly mowed lawn go a long way in the eyes of potential buyers.
Planting trees can be a great way to add value and curb appeal at the same time. Agents should encourage sellers to make strategic landscaping decisions that fit the community.
The idea is to make the outside look well-kept with professional maintenance. We can use apps to find the best landscapers in our areas.
One of the easiest ways to increase curb appeal is with the mailbox. Mailboxes are great ways to add flare to the exterior of the home. Antique mailboxes can be appealing in some neighborhoods.
In others, a natural wood post may be more attractive. If the mailbox is in front of the house, upgrading it is a great way to catch some additional attention. Recommend using an app to make finding a handyman easy for homeowners.
The ROI from email marketing is hard to beat. Newsletters are among the best ways to establish a relationship with new customers. Advertise the newsletter on social media channels and ask people to sign up.
Setup a scannable QR code to display at open houses and online. Make asking people to sign up for the newsletter a regular part of the sales pitch.
Once we have a list of email addresses, we'll have to get into the routine of sending them content. Draft a marketing schedule for the newsletter. Consider a different theme for each month.
We want to send at least one newsletter per month. Talk about new listings, market trend analysis updates, and success stories or reviews from recent customers. The newsletter is a great place to share social media accounts for people that want even more information.
Besides a newsletter with a monthly marketing plan, it is crucial to have a contact plan for buyers and sellers interested in working together. When fielding calls from new customers, remember to ask for their email addresses.
We can use various customer relationship management (CRM) platforms with automated follow-ups to make sure we're making contact after the first conversation.
We will have more emails to sort through when we ramp up our marketing with newsletters and CRMs. So take some time to organize overloaded inboxes.
Create new folders and labels that make it easy to stay organized and see who needs to follow up. Don't let new leads fall through the cracks.
We can target "For Sale By Owner" listings when looking for new homes to sell. If the listing stays on the market longer than a month, it might be an excellent opportunity to get in touch with the seller.
There are a variety of places owners sell their homes online. Zillow and Craigslist are some of the most popular online directories. Local newspaper websites can also be a valuable source of FSBO listings. We will want to create alerts for new listings and target those that don't sell right away.
Of course, we can always find FSBO listings the old-fashioned way by driving around target neighborhoods and taking pictures of for-sale signs.
But, no matter how we find them, we'll want to make sure we have our online presence on point.
Showing off a similar listing with drone footage and a recording of the last live-streamed open house could be enough to convince the sellers to use our services.
The best way to build new leads is to improve on what already works. Technology has opened the door to do our jobs better in a variety of ways.
Taking advantage of free social networking channels may be the most effective way to leverage technology to build new leads.
Whether you decide to live stream an open house, use drone videos, or record regular market updates for YouTube, the sky's the limit for reaching new leads. The best part is that using technology to build new leads is easy to learn and only costs you in time.
Since 2010, one of the fastest-growing states in terms of real estate has been Georgia. This makes it one of the most promising markets for real estate agents and brokers.
However, to become a real estate agent in Georgia, you need to get a real estate license.
The rules for getting a real estate license in Georgia mandate that you have to be 18 years or older, have a high school or an equivalent diploma, complete the pre-license education, undergo a background check, and pass the Georgia salesperson licensing exam.
While the process to become a real estate agent is similar in most states, each state has its unique steps that must be adhered to. Here are the five steps to follow to become a real estate agent in Georgia:
The Georgia Real Estate Commission (GREC) has set certain requirements you have to meet to be eligible to be a real estate agent:
To get your real estate license, you have to sign up for and complete a compulsory 75-hour pre-licensing coursework. You can take this course at any approved real estate school in Georgia.
It takes about 2 to 6 weeks for the average student to complete this coursework. There is the option to take the course online and that allows you to learn at your own pace.
The course covers:
You will not be required to take this course if you have completed 10 quarter hours or 6 semester hours of either eligible real estate coursework or courses in principles, fundamentals, or essentials of real estate from an accredited U.S. or Canadian college, university, or law school.
Once you successfully pass your coursework, your real estate school will send a notification to PSI, the company that administers the Georgia real estate exams.
After which you will be able to register for and schedule your exam. You can do this online via www.goamp.com or by phone at (800) 345-6559.
Once you submit your application, the GREC will request your fingerprints and conduct a background check.
This is important for the GREC so that they have all the necessary and up-to-date information they need about you.
Next, you must pass the Georgia real estate exam. The exam has 152 multiple-choice questions and a time limit of 4 hours.
There are also two parts: the National and State portions. The national portion has 100 questions and you must get at least 75 of them right. The second portion contains 52 state-specific questions and you need to correctly answer at least 39 questions.
The Georgia real estate exam has a 60% passing rate. You can increase your chances of passing by studying and using an exam prep package.
Once you successfully pass the Georgia real estate exam, you have to apply for your license within the following 12 months. If you fail to do that, you will have to take the exam again.
After obtaining your license, you need a brokerage in Georgia to sponsor you.
You can easily search for one on the internet and contact them if they meet your needs, goals, and aspirations. They will most likely invite you for an interview or further discussion.
To ace the interview, you should be aware of your niche(s) of interest, your plans, and strategies on how to offer value to your sponsoring broker. Be sure to leverage your strengths.
The last step is to complete a 25-hour Salesperson Post-Licensing Course that is approved by the Georgia Real Estate Commission.
Everyone has 1-year to complete their post-licensing course. But, if they don’t finish in 1-year, their license will lapse and be inactive.
Georgia has real estate license reciprocity agreements with all states. However, you must have an active license from your home state in good standing for you to become eligible for a Georgia real estate license.
If you meet these criteria, you can fill out and submit a real estate reciprocal application.
This excludes Florida residents who have to take and pass the Georgia Supplemental Exam before they can practice in Georgia.
The time it takes to get your license mostly depends on you. The earlier you complete your coursework, undergo the background check, and pass your licensing exam, the faster it takes.
It typically takes about 2-6 weeks to complete the coursework. Within 1-3 weeks, you should schedule and pass the exam. This puts the whole process from start to finish at a timeframe of about 3 to 9 weeks.
Becoming a real estate agent in Georgia will cost roughly $540 to $690 for the license alone. Here is how those costs break down:
Furthermore, to keep your license active, you can expect to pay about $145 for continuing post-licensing education and $100 to $125 every four years in renewal fees.
The Georgia real estate market is an exciting and thrilling place for real estate agents to start and even further their careers. With a personable personality, and good communication and networking skills, you are set to build a successful career.
And there you have it! These are the steps to follow to become a real estate agent in Georgia. Once you meet the requirements and you pass the exam, you are well on the way to becoming a top-tier real estate agent.
Keep in mind that you have to complete 36 hours of continuing education courses once every 4 years to keep your real estate license active.
You're well on your way to becoming a real estate agent in Texas. The next final obstacle is the Texas real estate exam. But, before you get pass it you have to submit your application.
This is your complete guide to applying to the Texas real estate exam. Following this article will walk you through step-by-step the process of applying to the exam.
There are several steps involved with submitting a complete real estate exam application, with the exam being one of the last steps in the process.
Once you submit your application, the clock starts ticking — you have one year to meet all the license requirements before your application expires.
For your initial real estate application, you can expect to pay $185, covering your license for the first 2 years. After that, you’ll be required to renew your license and pay an additional fee.
You can conveniently submit your application and pay your real estate license fee through the online portal. You’ll have to create an account first and then can walk through the application process.
If you’d prefer, you can send a paper application by mail. First, go to the website and download the application. Upon filling it out, you can use a large manilla envelope to package and send a check and the completed application to the following address:
Texas Real Estate Commission
P.O. Box 12188
Austin, Texas 7811-2188
While the application may seem pretty straightforward, there are added requirements needed to submit your application. Here's what you should include in your application to the Texas real estate exam:
In order to obtain a Texas real estate license, you’ll have to complete an education requirement before you submit your application. This involves enrolling in an accredited institution and taking the required 180 hours of educational classes.
Upon completion of the class, you’ll be asked to submit copies of your course certification to ensure the requirement has been met. The education requirement is broken down into six main categories:
Aside from the educational requirement, you are required by law to submit your fingerprints to the Texas Department of Public Safety. A fingerprint will typically cost around $40.00.
These fingerprints will be used to complete a background check, and must be specific to the TDPS — fingerprints on file elsewhere won’t be accepted. You will be notified about a potential delay if there is an investigation into your background history.
You can schedule an appointment to have your fingerprints taken at an IDEMIA facility, which is the vendor TDPS has contracted to conduct this process.
Once the above requirements are met, you’ll have to decide if you want to submit an application for an active or inactive license. Your application will be considered an inactive license until you have found a sponsoring broker.
However, once you have determined who your sponsored broker is, you are able to apply or switch your application to active. These forms can both be downloaded via the Texas Real Estate Commission's online portal.
Once all your required documents and application have been submitted, you can expect it to take two to three weeks for the Texas Real Estate Commission to process your application.
You can check how long their processing times currently are on their website. They also offer an online feature that will allow you to track the status of your application as it moves through the review and approval process.
While your application is being processed, it can be helpful to study and prepare for the real estate exam. Once your application is approved, you will receive a letter from the TREC including your candidate handbook and how to schedule your exam.
The Texas Real Estate Commission has partnered with testing company PearsonVue to administer their licensing exams. These tests are taken in person at a PearsonVue test facility and will cost $43.
It’s recommended to make a reservation online at least 24 hours before your desired exam date, as walk-in testing is not available. You can view the testing sites and requirements at Pearson Vue’s Texas Real Estate website.
On average, 62% of candidates pass the licensing exam on the first try. While certainly a difficult test, you have three chances to try and pass the test.
After the first three tries, you’ll be asked to complete another 30 hours of educational courses and then will be able to re-take the exam for your license.
The Texas Real Estate exam consists of two portions: a national section consisting of 85 questions and a Texas-specific section with 40 questions.
You’ll have a total of four hours to complete the entire exam, broken into 150 minutes for the national section and 90 for the state section.
You’ll be asked about a variety of topics based on the coursework you’ve completed. Questions could include everything from information on property use and characteristics, appropriate forms, ethics and conduct, and much more.
PearsonVue has created a study guide that you are able to download and review as well to get a better understanding of what might be asked on the exam.
Applying for the exam can be hard and confusing. The easiest way to do it is online. But, if you like the old fashioned method and want to support the post office, then by mail works too.
When you're mailing your application, make sure to include your completed ISL-10 form, check, and proof of course completion.
Finally, don't forget to get your fingerprint taken. If possible, do it before your submit an application because the TREC will do a background check when they get your application.
Oh, yeah. One more thing. Make sure the name you use for your application and fingerprint application matches the name on your driver's license. Not having a consistent name throughout the application process will only make things more difficult.
There are so many appealing things about beginning a career in real estate — especially in Texas, as the housing market continues to explode in the Lone Star State.
If you are thinking about becoming a licensed real estate agent in Texas, you can follow the steps and start your real estate career in a matter of months!
With just five easy steps, you can receive your Texas real estate license.
In the state of Texas, there are a few basic requirements that must be met before you can start your application process. You must:
The Texas Real Estate Commission requires all real estate licensees to complete a thorough 180-hour course through an accredited educational institution. The
The coursework is broken down into six different sections that each require 30 hours of specific topics:
Upon completion of your course, your educational institution will provide you a certification slip that you’ll need to copy and send in with your official application to show you’ve met the requirement.
Once you’ve filed your application and completed your educational requirement, you’ll then receive an approval letter from the Texas Real Estate Commission with a candidate handbook and instructions on how to schedule your final exam.
Texas has partnered with test administrator PearsonVue, who hosts the exams in person at an approved test facility. To schedule your exam, you can make an online reservation or call a test facility.
However, walk-in tests are not permitted, so you’ll need to schedule your exam at least 24 hours before your desired date.
While scheduling your exam, it’s also a good time to schedule your fingerprinting appointment. This is a required part of your real estate application and is done through a state-contracted company, IDEMIA.
Similar to your exam, same-day appointments are not accepted so make sure to plan ahead at least 24 hours.
In order to pass the Texas Real Estate exam, you’ll need to correctly answer 61% of the questions on the exam in order to pass.
More specifically, you’ll need to answer 56 out of 85 of the questions in the national section and 21 out of 40 in the Texas-specific section.
You’ll be given four hours to complete the exam and will be able to immediately see if you passed. So far in 2022, an average of 62% of applicants passed the exam on the first try.
If you’ve passed the exam and received approval from the real estate commission, your next step to becoming a licensed agent will be to sign with a Texas brokerage. Until you do so, your license will be considered inactive.
Once your broker has accepted your sponsorship request, you’ll be given an active license and can begin working as a real estate agent!
If you have a real estate license in another state and are looking to become active in Texas, you will still have to complete much of the Texas licensing process because Texas does not offer reciprocity from outside states.
While you won’t have to retake the national portion of the exam you will have to complete the other application requirements like the educational course, background check, and pass the Texas-specific exam.
From start to finish, you should expect it to take four to six months to receive your license depending on the amount of time you are able to dedicate to the process.
The most time-consuming aspect is the 180-hour coursework and exam prep that is recommended to pass the exam. Keep in mind that if you fail the exam three times, you’ll be required to take an additional 30 hours of coursework, adding to the overall timeline of your application and license.
You should be aware of the fees required to get your Texas real estate license. Keep in mind that these costs are an investment into your future career and will pay off in the long run!
You can expect to pay around $500 on average for your coursework, with online classes being more affordable than on-campus in-person courses.
You will have to pay a $185 application fee submitted to the Texas Real Estate Commission and a $38.25 fee for your fingerprinting.
All in all, it’s best to anticipate between $800 and $1,000 for your license.
There are so many rewarding aspects to working in real estate. And while the industry might not be for everyone, there’s a reason it’s become a popular career for many.
If you are someone who likes the flexibility and hard work required to run a business, real estate might be a good fit for you, as real estate agents are essentially entrepreneurs.
They set their own hours, run their own business, and have ultimately unlimited earning potential.
Plus, you’ll be helping clients through one of their biggest transactions in life — buying or selling a home.
According to Redfin, the median price for a home in Texas is up almost 20% year-over-year, indicating that we’re seeing a boom in the market.
With the real estate market growth over the last few years and no signs of slowing down, there’s never been a better time to get your real estate license!
Before you become a real estate agent in Florida, you have to apply for the Florida state exam.
Only after you pass the exam will you be rewarded your real estate license.
So, how do you apply to the Florida real estate exam?
This article is your guide on what you need to do to apply for the exam and which forms to include in your application.
Let's show you everything you need to know about your application.
You must meet the following requirements to be eligible to take the Florida Real Estate Exams:
All of these requirements are important to be eligible to take the real estate exam in Florida.
After meeting these requirements, you’re ready to put together and submit your Florida real estate exam application.
Your Florida real estate exam application should include the following:
You will have to fill in all the necessary details about yourself and your application in the form. You also have to provide necessary background information about yourself.
A live scan fingerprint is an ink plotted copy of your fingerprint. This is official government documentation that is used to identify any criminal history.
You can do it from any accredited Livescan vendors.
You can choose to have your fingerprints taken by Pearson VUE, the same company that administers the exam.
At the venue of the exam, you will be required to bring some important documents as part of your exam application.
You need two forms of identification:
After completing your real estate exam application, the next thing to do is to submit it to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
There are two available means through which you can submit your Florida real estate exam application.
You can complete and submit your real estate exam application via the DMPR’s online portal. All you have to do is create a new account, follow the necessary prompts and complete your application for a new license.
If you choose to submit your application by mail, you have to send your completed application, documentation, and required fees to this address:
Department of Business and Professional Regulation
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783
When mailing your application, package documents into a large manilla envelope, which you can get at any post office. Don’t forget to use a paperclip to collate the documents!
The FDBPR has a maximum of 90 days to complete the entire review and processing of license applications.
However, for real estate license applications, it typically takes them about 10 to 30 days to review and process the application.
While you are waiting, you can take a real estate exam prep course to help you study for the big test. You can do this by taking practice exams and reviewing important concepts and terminology.
Focus on a select number of tests that reflect the style of the exam. This will help to test and help you assess your level of preparation for the examination.
The Florida real estate licensing exam is administered by Pearson VUE. Pearson VUE offers several testing centers where you can schedule your date and time to take the exam.
You can schedule a date and time for your test on the Pearson VUE website or via 888-204-6289 once the FDBPR approves your application.
Pearson VUE also allows scheduling a remotely proctored exam. This is an online version of the exam that can be taken at home.
If you choose to take the remotely proctored online exam, there are some requirements you have to meet. You need a functioning laptop or home computer with:
Before you eventually write your exam, you will have to run a system test on your computer.
This is to check the compatibility of your computer with the software Pearson VUE uses in administering the exam.
Generally speaking, the passing rate for the Florida real estate exam is somewhere between 50% and 60%.
This implies that the test can be somewhat tough, however, regardless of this fact, you can pass the test if you study and prepare accordingly.
To pass, you have to score at least 70% in the Florida real estate exam. If you fail the test on the first trial, you will be allowed to take a second attempt the test within 30 days and 1 year after the original test.
Keep in mind, that the second test will not be the same as the first test – no memorizing the answers!
The real estate exam requires a handful of documentation from you – some of which you might have never heard of before.
That’s why it’s important to make a checklist and to take your time collecting everything you need. By creating a list, you can make sure nothing is missing when you apply to the exam.
Florida is the third-most populous state in the United States and is an excellent location for real estate professionals to build a career.
To work as a real estate agent in Florida, one of the baseline requirements is a real estate license.
To get one, you have to meet the necessary requirements, complete a real estate coursework, and pass the real estate exam.
Follow this through to get all the details you need to set you on the right track to becoming a real estate agent in Florida.
There are 5 easy steps you can follow to get your real estate license and become a real estate agent in Florida. Here are the steps to follow:
There are requirements set by the Department of Business & Professional Regulation to be eligible to become a real estate agent in Florida.
You must meet these requirements to be eligible to take the exams and they include the following:
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation set these requirements in a bid to ensure that the high standards and integrity of the real estate industry in Florida are maintained.
After meeting the basic requirements for the real estate exam, you can proceed to enroll in the pre-license education program.
This entails compulsory 63-hour coursework for real estate agents administered by accredited Florida Real Estate Schools.
The course covers everything students need to become real estate agents and pass their real estate licensing exam. The topics covered include:
The topics covered in the coursework are provided by the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC). You must pass the unit exam for this course by at least 70% to proceed with the next stage.
The certificate you receive on completion of this course is valid for 2 years and you have to apply, write and pass the real estate exam within this time frame.
The next thing to do is to apply to take the Florida real estate exam. To apply, you have to fill out the DBPR RE1 form.
You can submit your application via the online portal or send a printable copy via mail to the Florida DBPR. Your application should get approved within 10 to 30 days.
Once it is approved, you will be notified via email with an ID number to schedule a time and location for your exam with Pearson Vue.
Keep in mind that you will also have to submit your fingerprints. These can be taken at any accredited Livescan vendor including Pearson Vue.
The final obstacle to getting your Florida real estate license is studying for and passing the real estate exam. You can choose to take it at any Pearson Vue center or from home.
You have 3 hours and 30 minutes to answer 100 multiple-choice questions. You have to score 70% to pass the exam.
The pass rate for the exam is about 50% to 60% meaning it is a somewhat tough one. However, if you prepare and practice well, you can ace the exam in your first sitting. If you are unable to pass the exam at your first sitting, you can retake the exam within a day and a year after your first sitting.
Once you pass the exam, you will get a copy of your real estate license. You have to activate your license by submitting another application that has been filled out by a broker of your choice.
To get an interview, you just have to contact the brokerage, inform them about being a newly licensed agent, and that you will like to work with them.
The entire process of getting a Florida real estate license as a real estate agent takes anywhere between about one to two months on average.
There is the compulsory 63-hour pre-license course, which may take some students a few weeks to complete.
It may take some others a few months depending on their levels of commitment.
After completing the coursework, students will have to spend some time finding a broker to sponsor them, go through the license application process, have their application approved, then write and pass the exam.
Getting a real estate license will require both money and time.
At the end of it all, any intending real estate agent in Florida will spend about $400 to $500 to get their real estate license.
Here is a breakdown of these costs:
Being a real estate agent can be very fulfilling and financially rewarding. However, it does require putting in the work.
You would also need a lot of commitment and diligence to succeed in this field.
You will need to learn how to promote yourself, track leads, handle complex paperwork and relate with customers as real estate is a people-focused business.
If this sounds like an interesting challenge, then you should consider becoming a real estate agent.
Starting a career in the Florida real estate industry can be pretty challenging, however, you can scale through every requirement with enough gusto.
Just ensure that you follow the five easy steps that have been outlined, and this would position you on the right track to begin making major waves as a real estate agent in Florida.
It’s easy to feel the excitement of your clients when they’re first-time buyers. But, it’s also important to recognize their uncertainty.
Let’s face it, the average buyer hasn’t had all of the licensing and training we’ve had.
Without that background knowledge, everything that goes into buying a home can get confusing. It’s not a simple transaction like going to a store and just buying what you like.
To avoid your client becoming overwhelmed as a first-time home buyer, you can (and should) help them understand the process.
When a client first comes to you to help them find their dream home, you should be prepared with as many questions as they likely have.
Be ready to give a basic overview of what they can expect on the journey and what a typical home search looks like. From there, they can ask any specific questions about different steps in the process.
Affordability is a huge factor in the home buying process. Helping your client with this can be as simple as having them come prepared with their financial information to calculate how expensive of a house they can afford.
After this has been determined, you can exclusively show them homes within their price range.
To take affordability a step further, you should have a conversation with the prospective buyer about the differences between pre-approval and pre-qualified loans.
Encourage them to take at least one of these extra steps before they begin house hunting to make the actual buying process easier. Not to mention, a pre-approval will give them extra peace of mind to know that they’re able to secure a specific amount in a mortgage.
After financing has been discussed and you have a budget to work with, you need to help the buyers understand what they’re looking for in a house.
An important distinction to help them understand is their wants versus their needs.
First, your client will need to let you know things like their family size, how much time they spend at home and any home-based activities that are important to them. This will help you and them determine what their just-right size home is.
Next, you’ll want to get an idea of what type of neighborhood they’re looking for.
Living in a more rural area is completely different from a cul-de-sac. Plus, it’s important to remind them that these different neighborhoods will have different property taxes to contend with.
All of this information plays a significant role in the properties you’ll choose to show them once you begin house hunting.
House hunting is supposed to be the fun part of this journey. So, keep an upbeat attitude as you search with your clients.
When taking your prospective buyers to look at houses, you should also remind them of a few key things to make the process easier:
It’s easy to see a house and immediately fall in love with it. It could be the size, location, price, aesthetic, or any other reason.
But, your client must remember that their fate is ultimately in the hands of the seller.
If the seller receives a better offer or likes another potential buyer better for some reason, then they can decide not to sell you their house.
This is why it’s important to keep your buyer’s minds open and to encourage them to not fall completely in love with every property they see.
Looking at homes is exciting for buyers. They tend to look through rose colored glasses and overlook potential issues.
Be honest with them when you see something wrong with a property, and point out things that could be changed for the better.
To avoid them having to spend a significant amount of money on repairs, you can even show them the easy home repairs they can do themselves. They’ll appreciate both your honesty and attempt at saving them money in the long run.
Remind your client to know where they have power and where they don’t.
This particularly comes into play when thinking about the current market. With the current seller’s market, your client will have less power than they would in a buyer’s market.
Still, there are circumstances where they’ll have some power even in the current market.
This is most true with a house that’s been on the market for a long time. By accepting that there may be significant repairs needed, your client can make a lowball offer to secure the house if there’s something else about it that they love.
You can even encourage your client to gain some power as they write their house offer letter to the seller.
Including personal details and their hopes for their future in the home can help them appeal to the sentimental side of the seller and potentially gain them something they want (maybe even an inspection or faster closing).
Closing will be the most confusing part of the home buying process for your client. With so many legal aspects involved, it’s easy to understand why.
Be patient with them at this stage, as their mixture of confusion with the process and excitement to move into their new home will often get the best of them.
If they show an interest, try to explain more in depth about what’s happening at this stage. Otherwise, offer a high-level overview to keep them informed.
Communication will be of the utmost importance here. Especially if things get complicated.
You should try your best to both explain and actually add in contingencies on the sale of the home. Adding in even one of the most common real estate contingencies into your client’s contract can help protect them.
You should also remind them that closing is equally dependent on the seller to complete their part of the agreement.
Knowing that you have their best interest at heart will help make them more accepting of any delays in closing.
First-time buyers are equally excited and nervous about beginning the home buying process.
As the expert, you can help to calm their anxieties and keep them from becoming overwhelmed by simplifying the process for them.
Sometimes all it takes is spending time to explain what’s happening and what they can expect. By doing that, you can all find the process to be successful in the end.
According to Statista, the United States is home to a massive mortgage market, valued at $11.9 trillion in 2021.
This financial sector is divided into two separate markets. These are known as the primary mortgage and the secondary mortgage markets.
Different mortgage markets serve a particular need for homebuyers and investors who put money into the mortgage market.
This article will take a deeper dive into the primary and secondary mortgage markets, comparing and contrasting the two.
The primary mortgage market is the loan market, where homebuyers obtain their mortgage and borrow directly from lenders.
The National Association of REALTORs® has reported that nearly 75% of all home buyers financed their home purchase in 2021. This financing generally came from mortgages obtained through the primary market.
Homebuyers and those looking to refinance can obtain direct mortgage loans through various sources that make up the primary mortgage market, including:
The secondary market allows investors to buy into existing mortgage loans to turn a profit.
Selling a mortgage is commonplace for most banks and primary lending institutions. It is a way to regain capital and continuously offer loans to borrowers.
As a result, several organizations operate in the secondary mortgage market by purchasing existing loans from primary lenders and reselling them to mortgage investors.
The mortgage investors ultimately keep the market going as they provide funds and the lenders’ guidelines.
This constant financial flow keeps the market afloat by ensuring that lenders have enough money for borrowers and allowing more home buyers to secure loans.
When a borrower obtains a mortgage, they primarily work with a lender. First, they apply for the loan, and once approved, they receive the money needed to purchase or refinance.
Then, the borrower pays back the loan and interest until the debt is paid overtime.
If lenders were to rely exclusively on the monthly mortgage payments, they would not have enough money to offer other potential borrowers.
That’s where mortgage investors come in. Lenders sell mortgage loans to investors through the secondary market, allowing them to secure the funds necessary to issue more loans.
As borrowers pay off these mortgages, payments are distributed to private investors that bought mortgage-backed securities on the secondary market.
Various factors determine mortgage rates. Some factors are within a borrower’s control, and some are not.
Lenders will adjust their mortgage rates based on loan risk. The riskier a loan is, the higher the interest rate.
In determining risk, a lender will consider the likelihood of the buyer’s failure to repay the loan and how much the lender stands to lose should the borrower default.
There are two significant factors in this consideration, including:
Market forces ultimately set the overall mortgage rates. Rates increase and decrease daily, based on economic indicators such as inflation, unemployment rates, job growth, and the economy’s overall strength.
The Federal Reserve also plays an essential role in mortgage rates. While the Fed does not set mortgage rates, they set short-term interest rates based on economic forces.
Because mortgage rates fluctuate based on these same forces, Fed rates and mortgage rates typically move in tandem.
The way that the primary and secondary mortgage markets work together is necessary for borrowers to continue accessing the funds needed to purchase or refinance a home.
The relationship between the two markets is symbiotic.
Primary mortgage markets give borrowers access to the funds needed to purchase a home.
The secondary mortgage market replenishes those funds by allowing lenders to sell those mortgages to Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mac, Freddie Mae, and other private investors.
It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved, and it is the engine that keeps the housing market alive.
California offers a lot in the way of prime property and is definitely one of the top areas of attraction real estate-wise. Now, you would expect that given such a back story, property taxes would be through the roof.
You would be wrong. California home/property owners pay way below the national average.
So, how do property taxes work in California? Your tax is determined using the purchase price of the property since the purchase price usually equates to the assessed value. From here on out, your assessed value sees an increase annually based on the inflation rate.
The inflation rate comes from changes in the California Consumer Price Index.
In the simplest terms possible, property taxes are levies attached to owning real estate by the government. Taxes are mainly levied at state, county, and local levels. By way of some ancient history, property tax has been for the longest time and can be traced back to the 6th century B.C.
In the U.S., property taxes were levied even prior to income tax. All states, as well as Washington D.C., levy a property tax while certain states do not even levy an income tax.
Owning real property in California implies that you would mandatorily have to pay real property taxes. It really doesn’t matter if you own rental property or if you got the property as a gift, you would pay property tax all the same.
Similarly, payment of property tax isn’t designated by property price. In other words, whether you have a $60,000 or a $6,000,000 property, you would still pay based on the respective home values.
There is a possibility that you purchase property mid-year, and when this happens, your real estate agent would likely negotiate to split the real property tax payment for that calendar year with the seller.
To confirm whether this is the arrangement made, review your mortgage interest statement.
Assessment of property and calculation of property tax is determined by California's Proposition 13, passed in 1978. The basic principle for calculating is that you multiply the tax assessed value of your property by the tax rate.
The proposition also determines that the standard state tax rate is set at 1%.
The proposition states that property taxes may not exceed 1% of home value. From this, we can glean that property owners pay 1% of their property’s value in the way of real property taxes. This is an ad valorem tax, implying that taxation is done according to value.
Similarly, the value cannot go up to an amount beyond the rate of inflation that the Consumer Price Index measures. That limit being 2% per year.
The sales price listed on the deed is used to determine the base year value upon initial property purchase. Assessed value may also see adjustments in the face of home improvements or when the home is sold.
Assessors consider value changes in similar properties within the neighborhood as well as prevailing market conditions.
Tax day comes around pretty fast and if you’re not careful, it might meet you unprepared. In addition to filing your income taxes, you should keep an eye on your property taxes too. The State of California’s fiscal year begins on July 1st and runs through to June 30th.
Property taxes are assessed and collected by the county your home is located in.
First off, it is essential to remember that there are two installments due, as well as recall the date of these installments.
The first installment runs from July 1st through December 31st and tax payment is slated for November 1st, and only becomes delinquent on December 10th. Failure to make a payment by 5 p.m. on the delinquent date attracts a penalty of 10%.
The second installment is due by 1st February and becomes delinquent on 10th April. To recall, just have the mnemonic “No Darn Fooling Around” (representing the first letter of each month) ringing in your head and you would remember for sure!
Remember that failure to pay property taxes as at when due see your penalties rising consistently.
If you pay your property taxes alongside your mortgage, you would not have any unpaid balance by November 1.
Now, this is a question that many property owners ask. What happens to all the property taxes that you pay? Well, your property tax is what keeps the state and local governments functioning. They comprise a bulk of the revenue that goes into funding public safety, infrastructure, public schools, as well as the county government.
Particularly for public schools, it is easy to find that the best public schools are located in municipalities that have highly-priced homes and as a result, significant property taxes.
County projects are funded by some states, while others leave the counties to carry out the levying and tax use without interfering. This implies that the county has only property taxes as its source of funding.
Here’s a summary of public services that your tax dollars go towards funding:
You've probably heard the terms property taxes and real estate taxes used multiple times, and you're wondering if there's a difference? Well, the key difference between property taxes and real estate taxes is that there is no difference. They are identical and used interchangeably. So, next time you hear these terms being used within the same frame of conversation, you know that it's pretty much the same.
Property taxes are necessary for running the county and state by extension, and this is why they are so important. You can easily calculate your property tax ahead of time and now you know exactly where these funds go. And if you ever forget the dates, remember, No Darn Fooling Around!
Real estate agents earn a living working on commission rather than working for an hourly wage or a set yearly salary. As a result, full-time real estate agents must learn to maximize their time to increase earning potential and how to best manage their commission earnings to ensure that they can survive on an income that has the potential to be irregular at best.
There is no limit on the commission real estate agent can make in any given year. However, most real estate commissions checks don’t exceed 6%-7% of a home’s selling price. Some agents make millions of dollars a year by selling luxury homes. The sale price of the property you represent will ultimately determine your commission.
As an example, consider an agent who sells their home for $1.5M. A typical commission breakdown might look like this:
So, at the end of the day, what do you do with $18,000? Here are 6 smart ways you can invest your commission check.
As a real estate agent, you know the industry like the back of your hand, and you also recognize the value of investing in real estate, especially property that you can use to create passive income.
You can potentially use your commission to make a down payment on an investment property. When you’re working with a conventional loan or an FHA loan, the percentage you have to put down on a house is only a small portion of the home’s value. This makes purchasing property more accessible.
Some agents will use their commission checks as down payments and then turn the property they buy into a rental. That way, they can make a steady stream of passive income to finance the loan and take home some cash. This is a simple way of turning your commission check into a steady stream of income.
Generating new leads and building influence around your real estate career can often mean the difference between success and failure.
You’ll need to spend money on marketing efforts, professional expenses, and other costs to ensure that that happens. Most in the industry agree that agents should commit about 10% of their commission to marketing and other related business expenses.
Smart agents will look for ways they can automate and scale their business. That way, they can focus their attention more on where they can have the most impact and earn even more commission.
Since most real estate agents are independent contractors who are not subject to tax withholding, they are generally required to pay estimated taxes to the IRS quarterly.
Generally, it is wise for real estate agents to put aside 30% of each commission check to cover taxes.
Saving a portion of each commission check to use toward quarterly tax payments is a wise decision so that you can ensure that you are not scrambling to cover your income and self-employment taxes when they are due.
Because agents work on commission and their weekly, monthly, and yearly salaries can be unpredictable, real estate agents should be careful to create a budget that will allow them to live comfortably, even in the lean months.
The nature of the real estate industry is such that you may go through a dry spell occasionally and will have to dip into your savings to cover your expenses. That’s why it is essential for anyone working on commission to put a portion of their income into a rainy-day savings fund.
Reinvesting in yourself is one of the best ways to grow personally and professionally. Although you are not required to take continuing education until it is time to renew your license, you can grow your business and take advantage of new opportunities when you enhance your knowledge and skill set through continued education.
If there’s a conference that would be a great networking opportunity, a training on cold calling, or even an online course that will teach you a new skill set, education is a vital part in growing yourself so you can grow your business.
If you have taken all of the responsible steps outlined in this article and are confident that you have enough money set aside to live securely, grow your business, and cover your expenses, perhaps you should consider letting your hair down and doing something for yourself.
As a real estate agent, you spend a lot of time looking out for the well-being of your clients, and maybe your next commission check can be used to splurge.
Whether it’s a mini-vacation, a shopping spree, or just spending the day doing something you love, focusing on your well-being every once in a while is just as important as every other activity outlined above.
Just like folks earning a steady paycheck at a traditional 9 to 5 job, there are countless ways to use your commission check once you have it in your hands and are ready to go to the bank and cash it out.
However, because of the nature of the real estate industry and the fact that commission checks are not as steady as paychecks from more traditional careers, real estate agents should think about how they can best maximize their commission checks.
With proper planning, you will be able to pay your bills, grow your business, and quickly work at a pace that will allow you to live comfortably and turn your career in real estate into a lucrative career.
If you are currently taking or planning to take your real estate licensing course, you probably already know that you will need a firm grasp of certain real estate concepts to pass the California real estate licensing exam.
The most important acronyms to know for the real estate exam are:
This article is going to breakdown these acronyms and tell you when and how to use them to get the correct answer on the exam. Let's get started!
U.P.T.E.E. is an acronym that you can use to remember the five rights associated with a buyer’s bundle of rights:
The term “bundle of rights” refers to a set of legal privileges (U.P.T.E.E.) afforded to a buyer, which comes with the transfer of title.
To have value, a property must possess four essential characteristics:
These characteristics need to be present for a property to have value, but they are also used to determine that value.
Since most people fund real estate investments through mortgage financing and because most buyers borrow money to purchase property, lenders want to know what the property is worth before they loan money to the buyer.
M.A.R.I.A is an acronym used to remember the elements that determine if something is a fixture:
When a person vacates a property, their personal property goes with them, and the real property that goes with the real estate is left behind.
A fixture is a term used to define a personal property that later becomes real property. It may have once been associated with the owner (personal property), but it is now part of the real estate transfer because of its association with the property.
A great example would be a hanging chandelier or a toilet.
P.I.T.T. refers to the four factors used to determine joint tenancy:
Joint tenancy is a type of ownership in which more than one individual enters into an ownership agreement through a property deed.
The parties involved in the joint tenancy may be relatives, friends, or business associates.
You can remember a real estate agent’s fiduciary duties using the O.L.D.C.A.R. acronym:
Real estate agents are expected to follow a set of ethical rules, also known as fiduciary duties. They are outlined in the OLD CAR acronym.
That may involve disclosing all material facts to a client, including bringing all offers to that client and refraining from dual representation in a single transaction, among other things.
P.E.T.E. is an acronym you can use to remember the four powers government has over property:
The four central government powers outlined in the P.E.T.E acronym allow the government to control certain aspects of real estate, including how structures are built and where and the government’s ability to levy taxes on a property.
When it comes to preparing for the California real estate exam, acronyms can be extremely useful in helping you to remember key concepts that you will need to learn in order to pass your exam. One of the best study tips you can use to learn the material is creating acronyms because it helps you easily remember important concepts you’ll be tested on.
If you are currently taking a real estate licensing course and are preparing for your real estate licensing exam, be aware that you will need to understand the concepts of joint tenancy and tenancy in common.
This article will explain these ownership options and other related issues in greater detail. Please be aware that, although the word "tenant" is commonly used to refer to an individual who rents property, it refers to ownership in the context of this article.
Several ways exist in which more than one individual can own a property together. The most common include joint tenancy and tenancy in common. Although both ownership options recognize the parties as joint property owners, there are several critical differences between them both.
Joint tenancy refers to a type of ownership where more than one individual enters into an ownership agreement through a property deed. The parties involved in the joint tenancy may be business associates, friends, or relatives.
Consider, as an example, a married couple who purchases a home together and chooses a joint tenancy ownership option. In this case, the property deed will name both individuals as owners or joint tenants.
Because each individual is named, they both share in any property benefits. Should they decide to rent or sell that property, they are both entitled to 50% of the profit. However, the relationship goes both ways. So, each party is equally responsible for maintenance, property taxes, mortgage payments, or any other associated fees. Should one party fail to meet its financial obligation, the other named party will be required to assume responsibility.
A joint tenancy agreement features what is known as right of survivorship. Essentially, a right of survivorship states that should one named party die, the remaining party or parties automatically assume full ownership. A right of survivorship eliminates any need for probate. It also eliminates the need to transfer the deceased party's assets to their estate.
A tenancy in common (TIC) is also an arrangement where more than one party shares property ownership. Each owner is independent and may control either equal or varying percentages of the entire property. Unlike a joint tenancy, when one of the tenants in common passes away, their share passes along to their estate, giving them a right to divest their share to the beneficiary of their choosing.
Tenants in common have equitable privileges and interests related to the property, but co-tenants may have different shares of ownership interest.
Consider, as an example, a property owned by three individuals. Doug and John may own 25% of the property each, while Greg owns 50%.
Unlike a joint tenancy agreement, individuals can enter into a TIC agreement at any given time, even years later.
Using our example, Doug and Greg could have each owned a 50% share of the property initially as tenants in common, but, at some later date, Doug could have chosen to bring John into the TIC agreement, splitting his 50% share with him. This move would have created a TIC agreement with a 25/25/50 ownership split.
Parties named in a TIC agreement may also independently borrow against or sell their share of ownership.
The state real estate licensing exam will likely ask you to list the four factors determining joint tenancy.
These four factors (which create the acronym "PITT") are as follows:
As you can see, these four factors apply only to a joint tenancy and not a tenancy in common. Therefore, to remember the difference and the four factors that determine joint tenancy, remember to use the acronym "PITT."
For an individual to terminate a joint tenancy, one of those above factors must be undone. That may be accomplished if one party conveys their joint tenancy interest to a third party, either through sale or gift. Once the joint tenancy has been terminated, a TIC forms between the third party and the remaining co-tenants. Interest may be transferred unilaterally, without any knowledge or consent from other joint tenants.
Tenants in common can get out of a TIC agreement by transferring their property interest to another party. A transfer may be done at any time and in several ways. Tenants in common can do so by gifting, selling, or divesting their interest through a valid will.
In most cases, a tenant in common may not transfer the property interest of another tenant in common.
The best way to remember the difference between a joint tenancy/right of survivorship and a tenancy in common is to enlist the help of the PITT acronym listed above. It is important to remember because there will be several questions on the exam where you will need to know the difference between the two.
Again, in a joint tenancy, the four possession factors of interest, time, and title must be present. In a TIC agreement, parties do not necessarily possess equal rights or equal interest, and they certainly do not have to acquire the property simultaneously or under the same title document. Therefore, PITT separates a joint tenancy from a tenancy in common.
In today’s competitive real estate market, who you work with matters — especially when it comes to buying and selling your own property.
But what if you don’t want to work with another agent and instead, are looking to represent yourself in a real estate transaction? While it is often legally allowed, if you’re considering getting a real estate license so you can buy and sell a property without working with another agent, there are some things to understand first.
Can a real estate agent sell their own house? The simple answer is yes – as a licensed agent, you can represent yourself in buying or selling real estate for yourself, so long as you disclose that you representing yourself upfront in the deal. But it’s not as easy as just getting your real estate license!
Just having a license is not enough to buy or sell your own property – you have to make sure you also are affiliated with a brokerage. To begin that process, you need to find a local real estate company, interview with them, and subsequently, get hired to hang your license there. Keep in mind that a brokerage will often take a percentage of the commission you receive in exchange for being affiliated with them.
If you’re planning to represent yourself, it’s important to look into each state’s legal requirements around buying and selling your own real estate as a licensed agent. Almost every state has laws that require agents to disclose their role and relationship to the property if they are planning to purchase it for themselves. Ensure that you fully understand what laws are in place so you can avoid any legal trouble during the process.
Despite the logistics and legal requirements, there are certainly benefits to representing yourself when buying or selling real estate.
Buyer’s agents generally split a 6% commission with a seller’s agent. When acting as your own buyer’s agent though, that 3% commission would go directly to you, resulting in potentially thousands of dollars back in your pocket instead of another agent. Keep in mind that by being associated with a brokerage, you will have to split your 3% with the commission based on the agreed split and also finance brokerage related fees.
Another benefit to representing yourself is cutting out the middleman to guarantee you have full control over the transaction. Generally, the paperwork, listing appointments, negotiating and more would funnel through your buyer’s agent. But by representing yourself, you can directly communicate and coordinate without relying on another agent who might be juggling multiple clients. Handling this on your own can be valuable if you are an effective communicator, and comfortable with the process.
Even if you are legally allowed to represent yourself in a real estate transaction, it might not always be a good idea. There are several factors to be cautious about when considering if you should represent yourself when buying or selling a property.
First off, consider how much experience you have — not only in the real estate industry but in the market you are transacting in. If you are a newer agent, you might not be familiar with the legalities, the Escrow process, disclosures, and documents required to ensure the transaction goes smoothly. If mistakes are made, or the correct processes aren’t followed, there could be legal and financial consequences to pay. If you’re new to the industry, ask yourself if this is a risk you’re willing to take.
Consider partnering with another agent if you are initially getting started in the real estate industry or are newly licensed. By splitting a 3% commission with a more experienced agent, you will have a mentor to guide you through the process, allowing you to learn but also earn some income from the transaction. From there, you’ll have some experience and knowledge for future deals where you can potentially pocket the full 3% commission on your own.
Enlisting the help of an agent that is familiar with the area can benefit you if you are moving to a new market, or looking to purchase in a neighborhood you might not be familiar with. Working with an agent who knows the nuances of the area will allow you to understand the pricing of the property and ensure important factors like safety, return on investment and any upcoming neighborhood developments are known before you purchase the home.
However, if you are a seasoned agent with previous experience, representing yourself carries fewer risks. You will save on commission while adding sales volume and transactions to your real estate portfolio. Just be sure to comply with state-wide real estate regulations and check with your managing broker or sales manager to confirm it’s permitted at your brokerages.
Even if you have real estate experience, buying a home is one of the largest investments you can make — and it often becomes emotional. It still might benefit you to work with another agent who can prevent any emotions from impacting decisions or actions taken in negotiations.
There are certainly pros and cons to getting your real estate license with the sole purpose of buying or selling your own property. Aside from saving money, you can also grow your network and potentially discover a new career path.
If you’re ready to make the time and money investment into getting your license, consider how this will benefit you not only right now, but also in the future. Once you’re licensed and affiliated with a brokerage, you’re able to represent yourself, but also you can assist family and friends when they’re ready to buy or sell a property.
One thing to remember is that there are fees associated with keeping your license active. Unless you’re generating a regular influx of commission annually, having your license may be costing you more than it’s worth. If you’re going to go through the process of studying and passing the licensure exam, consider whether you want to explore this as a new career path!
Representing yourself in a real estate transaction can be a great opportunity to save money and take control of the transaction. If you’re considering getting your real estate license for this purpose, understand that while there are many benefits, it’s important to invest the time and energy to ensure you are properly educated and prepared for the transaction.
With the right experience and mindset, representing yourself in the real estate process is a rewarding way to utilize a skillset and potentially discover a new career path!
If the thought of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on the purchase of "virtual land" sounds absurd, well…
Okay, it does sound a little ridiculous. Still, when you consider the fact that there has been growing interest in cryptocurrency investments and NFTs (non-fungible tokens), it's not surprising that investors have gotten on board the virtual real estate train.
Recently, significant virtual real estate investments have been made inside the metaverse.
For example, one individual paid $450,000 to own a plot in Snoopverse, a virtual world developed by Snopp Dogg in conjunction with The Sandbox, a virtual metaverse where users build, own, and monetize their own gaming experiences using the Ethereum blockchain.
Meanwhile, Metaverse Group, the first real estate firm focused exclusively on the metaverse economy, bought a plot of land in the Decentraland virtual platform for a whopping $2.43 million.
The metaverse refers to a growing collection of platforms giving users real-time interaction capabilities. A metaverse has its own economy that allows users to buy, sell, and trade objects or mine crypto coins.
There is incredible value in virtual land for those serious about sandboxing, especially when it is in short supply.
Most popular platforms are known as "sandbox worlds," which allows users to build whatever they can dream of within the program's constraints. One such constraint, and the driver behind the value of virtual land, is that limited land is made available for purchase.
While the platforms in the metaverse might look a lot like just another game, and they can certainly offer hours of gameplay, there is no limit to what you might do in these virtual worlds.
Some people simply log on and socialize or attend special events, such as parties or concerts.
If you want to purchase metaverse real estate, you're going to have to join one of the popular metaverse platforms. These platforms include Axie Infinity, Decentraland, and The Sandbox, to name a few. You'll also need to ensure that you have a very fat digital wallet.
Cold hard cash can be converted to cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum or whatever native currency is associated with your preferred metaverse. You can then store the cryptocurrency in a digital wallet.
Using the metaverse ecosystem, you can rent, buy, sell and flip properties in the digital world.
Messing around in the metaverse is one thing, but becoming an investor in virtual real estate is quite different. While history has demonstrated that virtual real estate has the potential to gain significant value in time, there's an equal chance that the metaverse platform you choose could go bust.
As an investment, metaverse real estate is extraordinarily speculative. Investors need to believe that the platform will exist long enough to yield a profit. While that is possible, the concept remains shaky, so much so that even its members have trouble defining themselves uniformly.
Knowing which metaverses will succeed or fail is anyone's guess, and it is impossible to tell if the hype around virtual real estate is driving the prices instead of long-term interest.
Digital real estate and the metaverse as a whole operates, for the most part, free from government regulation. However, don't expect the metaverse to be the wild west forever.
As cryptocurrencies and metaverses grow stronger and step on the toes of world governments, you can expect governments to exert more influence. For now, most legal issues connected to the metaverse involve intellectual property disputes, which aren't unique to the metaverse.
If you are already a real estate agent or interested in becoming one, perhaps you can become an agent specializing in metaverse real estate. It's certainly not unheard of. For example, Tal and Oren Alexander, two of Douglas Elliman's top brokers, now sell real estate in the metaverse.
To advertise a digital property, many agents use Facebook Ads and other types of sponsored content to reach prospective buyers.
Currently, those selling property in the metaverse are not required to have a real estate license, but taking some online real estate courses may not be such a bad idea.
If you have money to burn and love dealing with risky investments, buying and selling virtual property in the metaverse is right for you.
However, you should proceed with caution because investing in virtual real estate is nothing like investing in real estate here in the real world.
Unlike real estate in the real world, folks in the metaverse don't need a virtual property for survival. They don't require a roof over their family's heads or a place to raise livestock or build a business.
Virtual real estate isn't necessarily the way it is here on Earth, and that has to count for something.
Becoming a real estate agent in California is more accessible and affordable than you think. You don’t need a college degree to start your real estate career. But, you are required to take 135-hours of real estate school courses approved by the state.
Once you have taken the required courses, you can apply to take the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) licensing exam, also known as the real estate exam.
If you pass the exam and complete the state’s licensing application process, including a criminal background check, you will become a licensed California real estate agent.
Easier said than done… or is it? In this article, we’ll show if becoming a real estate agent in California is actually hard.
There are 5 steps to becoming a California real estate agent. These steps are as follows:
To obtain a real estate license in California, students must take 135-hours of courses from providers accredited by the DRE. Courses are available in person and online. Some online courses are self-guided, while others are live classes via video conferencing.
The California DRE requires anyone who wants to become a real estate agent to take these courses:
Once you’ve completed your courses, you can submit your real estate license and exam application.
The application will include:
You will have to pass the California real estate exam to obtain your license. The exam tests the applicant’s knowledge of California real estate law and practices. It will cover economic, ethical, financial, legal, and practice topics. Think of it as a final exam for your 135-hours of coursework.
In California, a real estate agent is required by law to work beneath a supervising broker. The brokerage is essentially the business organization through which all the real estate transactions will flow.
They provide their real estate agents with the support, resources, and a network that allows the agents to do their job. In exchange, the brokerage will typically take a small percentage of each agent’s sale.
A real estate education will be challenging, especially if you don’t have prior experience. The courses you take in a California real estate school are college-level, so there is a degree of difficulty, particularly for some students. Because everyone is different, everyone will have different experiences.
The California real estate course requirement is 135 hours with a minimum of 54 days. Some real estate schools will allow students to finish in 54 days exactly or take longer.
The quickest way is through an online program, which lets you take the courses on your own time, not dependent on other schedules.
In addition to the required topics of real estate principles (45 hours) and practice (45 hours), students can choose an approved elective. These electives offer a range of real estate topics, including property management, finance, economics, appraisal, business law, general accounting, escrow, real estate law, office administration, real estate computer applications and software, common interest development, and mortgage brokering and lending.
How hard is the real estate exam? If you can grasp the college-level courses in real estate school and use the available study materials, you should successfully complete the California real estate salespersons exam. But, without studying or understanding the concepts, it can be hard.
The California real estate exam can be tricky, and the questions are designed to trip you up. Less than half of the people who took the exam in 2019-2020 were able to pass the exam.
There are several reasons why the California real estate exam is so difficult:
The California salesperson exam has a 3-hour time limit and it consists of 150 questions in a multiple-choice format. To pass the exam, applicants must score a 70% or above.
There is no shortage of real estate brokerages looking for agents, but you will want to find the right fit for you. You’ll want to determine which type of brokerage you’ll want to work for, such as a boutique firm, a national chain, or a virtual brokerage.
You’ll also want to consider what commission split the brokerage offers its agents, the support and services it provides, and its reputation.
Being a California real estate agent is not without its challenges. Here are some of the most complex parts of the job:
Because real estate agents work on commission, if they don’t sell, they don’t get paid. There are always ups and downs in the real estate market, which means that pay can be irregular. That uncertainty can be difficult for some people.
Agents have a contractual and fiduciary duty to clients. If an agent breaches that duty due to negligence or other reason, they may be held liable. In some cases, they can be liable to the other party in the transaction.
To be successful, a real estate agent needs to generate leads. A lead in real estate is the contact information of a potential client. For a real estate agent, generating leads can be a full-time job in and of itself.
Real estate agents can count on experiencing failure and rejection at some point, particularly early in their careers. It is imperative that, after every rejection, a real estate agent picks themselves up and tries again. Continuing to move forward is the only way to be successful.
While all laws, contracts, and legal work associated with real estate transactions may be daunting. Most agents will have a good grasp on these topics after taking an accredited California real estate course and taking the exam.
While becoming a California real estate agent will be a challenge for some people, it is not impossible. Thankfully there are so many resources out there, including real estate school, that can help you pass the California real estate salesperson exam and get you on the road to a lucrative career in real estate.
San Diego's real estate market is one of the most competitive in the country, with a Redfin Compete Score™ of 83. According to Redfin, the median home price in San Diego is $800,000, up 16.1% compared to last year.
According to Realtor.com, San Diego County is a seller's real estate market right now, which means more buyers than active listings.
If you've been thinking about obtaining your San Diego real estate license, there has never been a better time than right now, as these trends should continue in 2022.
To become a real estate agent in San Diego, you'll need to get your California real estate license. The licensing process is relatively easy, affordable, and well worth the time, effort, and expense, especially considering the opportunity to build a lucrative career in the San Diego real estate market.
This article will explain, in detail, the steps you will need to take to obtain a San Diego real estate license.
There are essentially four simple steps you need to take to obtain your San Diego real estate license. In most instances, the process will take approximately 6-months to complete.
The steps are as follows:
Here are the steps in greater detail.
To obtain a San Diego real estate license, the State of California requires candidates to complete 135 hours of college-level coursework before they can qualify to take the state's real estate agent exam.
While there are some in-person real estate schools, most are offered online through live instructor-guided or self-guided instruction.
The DRE requires that candidates take the following courses:
Once you have completed all 135 hours of course material from a DRE-approved real estate school, you will receive a certificate of completion and a transcript of the courses taken that you can use to apply for your California real estate exam and license.
Qualified applicants can submit their real estate exam and license application online, using the DRE's eLicensing portal, mail, or fax.
You will be required to include the following:
It typically takes the DRE six weeks to process the application. Once the DRE has processed your exam application, you are allowed to take your exam at one of the state's five examination locations, including a San Diego real estate licensing exam location. You will need a valid form of identification issued in the last five years. Due to the pandemic, all sites are currently administering the exam in electronic format.
When you take the exam in electronic format, you will receive your results upon completion. If you take the exam in a paper format, results will be mailed to you within five business days from your exam date.
Although it is possible to apply to take the licensing exam and apply for the licensing separately, each application can take up to six weeks to process. So, you can save two and four weeks on the entire process by applying for both simultaneously.
According to Indeed.com, the median yearly salary of a San Diego real estate agent is $94,776.
Agents with a San Diego real estate license earn their salary based on commission from sales. Based on the current housing market and the median price of a home in San Diego ($800,000), a selling agent can expect to make approximately $9,600 per home sale, which breaks down as follows:
That means that to reach the median real estate agent salary in San Diego, an agent must sell at least ten houses in a year. But, since a significant number of homes sell at a higher price than the median average, and commission percentages will change in your favor as you gain experience, the ability to earn a bigger salary selling fewer homes is possible within the first couple of years.
According to Redfin, home prices statewide were up 14.6% this year, and the median home price in the state is $725,000, which slightly lower than the median home price in San Diego ($800,000).
Also, indeed notes that the median salary for an agent in California is $99,550, although this is slightly higher than the median salary for a San Diego real estate agent ($94,776); both are near the national average for agents across the county, which is $95,193.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, the current real estate market is hot right now, according to Redfin, which also notes the following key facts about the San Diego real estate market:
That makes for an incredible seller's market and is good news for San Diego real estate agents.
The real estate market in San Diego should remain active as the demand for housing continues. While we may not see a sharp rise in home prices, dramatic decreases are not anticipated. Even if there is an increase in availability due to additional foreclosures, the current demand should balance it out.
But, nothing is a guarantee. Hyperinflation or recession could negatively affect the market. Prices could also increase so dramatically that buyers get cold feet. On the other hand, if San Diego experiences a significant surplus due to foreclosures, a flood in the market may cause a sharp price drop.
So many variables are at play, and so much is unforeseen, but now remains the best time to become a San Diego real estate agent.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment for sales agents in California will grow by 4% in the next decade. Although that growth rate is considered slow across all occupations, the agency expects 47,500 job openings a year for both sales agents and brokers.
Based on those statistics and the median salary for San Diego and California real estate agents, coupled with the low cost of obtaining and maintaining a real estate license, getting a license may be worth it. But, it would help if you still weighed the pros and cons.
Only you can decide if obtaining a California real estate license and breaking into the San Diego market is right for you.
There are many clear advantages to having a California real estate license which can bring incredible earning potential if you work at it. Based on the current market trends and future forecasts, there has never been a better time to break into the market and take advantage of all the benefits of being a licensed real estate agent.
To become a licensed real estate agent in California, you can expect to pay, on average, between $500 and $1000. That includes exam and licensing fees and the cost of enrollment in state-approved mandatory pre-licensing courses.
Obtaining your real estate license is just the first step in launching a real estate career in California. You’ll need to spend more money and time to maintain your license and gain membership to professional organizations that will aid in your success.
Still, it’s a small price to pay when you consider how lucrative a career in California real estate can be.
This article will break down the costs of obtaining your California real estate license and maintaining it, as well as review the cost of remaining competitive in today’s market.
To obtain a California real estate license, you will need to complete the following steps:
These steps will determine the final cost of obtaining your real estate license. Some of the costs remain fixed, like the exam and licensing fees, while others, like pre-licensing tuition, will vary.
California requires the completion of three college-level real estate courses to qualify for a real estate salesperson examination.
These include courses on Real Estate Principles, Real Estate Practice, and another subject of your choice from an approved list, for a total of 135 hours of coursework. The cost of tuition for a pre-licensing program varies, depending on the provider, and can range from $125 to $700.
The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) exam fee of $60.
The live scan is a background check that uses your fingerprint to perform a California criminal and Federal criminal history. You can expect to pay a $60 fee directly to the live scan service provider.
The DRE’s real estate licensing fee is $245.
In California, real estate agents must renew their license every 4-years and participate in 45-hours of continuing education courses before they can apply for a renewal.
Continuing education consists of 45-hours of DRE-approved courses. These include an 8-hour course covering Ethics, Agency, Fair Housing, Trust Fund Handling, Risk Management, and Management and Supervision.
Real estate agents may also choose to take classes on those subjects separately; 18-hours of courses on consumer protection; and the remaining hours on approved courses related to consumer service or protection. The cost of these courses is relatively low, with packages offered for around $60
The DRE’s real estate licensing renewal fee is $245. But, you only need to renew your license every four years.
As we mentioned earlier, there are other fees that you will likely need to pay if you want to have a successful career in California’s real estate industry.
While none of these fees are required, you will find that, to stay competitive, they may be well worth the cost.
In California, licensed real estate agents must work for licensed brokers.
Brokers will charge a fee to the real estate agent each time that agent makes a commission from a sale. The commission between new agents and their broker is usually 50/50. More seasoned agents can strike a deal of a 70/30 or an 80/20 split.
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is the most recognized and widely used database for real estate listings. For agents, MLS is crucial to success in real estate.
Real estate agents can post to the local MLS as members of a local Realtors® association and local MLS. Fees vary by association and MLS database but typically cost between $20 and $50 a month.
The California Association of Realtors® (CAR) is a nonprofit association that helps develop programs and services to enhance a member's business ability through competency and integrity.
To join, you must be working under a broker that is a REALTOR® member. Yearly dues are just under $184, but there are additional fees associated with the application, including your national membership dues, and other related expenses, including new member fees
Being a member of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) is a nonprofit organization that gives agents the chance to build their expertise and reputation as ethical real estate professionals.
As a member of NAR, you enjoy member benefits such as continuing education opportunities and discounts. To be a NAR member, you must first join your state or local association of Realtors®. The cost to be a member of NAR is $150.
According to Indeed, the average salary for a real estate agent in California is $99,581 per year. Still, the possibilities are endless for making money in the California real estate market.
Real estate agents receive a commission based on the property's sale price. The commission ranges anywhere from 1%-6% of the sale price in California. However, other factors affect the final commission amount, including the broker split and the split between the listing and buying agent.
Still, a successful California real estate agent can far exceed the state's median salary in no time.
There are a lot of varying costs associated with obtaining and maintaining a California real estate license and jump-starting your real estate career. It is a small price to pay when you consider the earning potential that awaits you as a licensed California real estate agent.
It doesn't take long to recoup the money you spent upfront, and when the money starts rolling in from your first few sales, you will be happy you took the leap and obtained your California real estate license.
According to the National Association of Realtors®, 5.64 million existing homes were sold in 2020. And, US Census Bureau data shows that in 2020 alone, 822,000 new construction homes were sold.
With that in mind, there has never been a better time to get in on the action and get a real estate license.
According to Indeed, a real estate agent’s current average base salary is $94,914.
Yet, there is no limit to how much money a real estate agent can make once they have completed their state’s real estate licensing requirements and started their career.
A real estate license is a state government-issued authorization that allows brokers and agents the legal right to represent a buyer or seller during a real estate transaction.
State licensing ensures that the real estate agent meets specific fiduciary standards. It assures the buyer or seller to work with someone who has the minimum real estate expertise.
Although the requirements for obtaining a real estate license will vary from state to state, the general steps are as follows:
If you want to learn how to get your real estate license in California, this is a great place to start.
Once you have obtained your real estate license, it opens the door to a unique set of career and money-making opportunities unmatched in most other industries.
Being a real estate agent offers you the chance to work with lots of different people, the opportunity to be autonomous in your career, and the satisfaction of being able to help the people that you ultimately represent.
But, the benefits of being a licensed real estate agent don’t stop there. Here are a few other ways that having a real estate license can come in handy:
There are many career opportunities throughout the real estate industry nationwide. To qualify for most real estate jobs, you must have a real estate license. Some of the most common real estate jobs that you can get with a real estate license include:
A licensed real estate agent can represent themselves when buying or selling, generally speaking. But, a proper disclosure is required, and the agent should be mindful of any conflicts of interest.
It is best to consult a real estate broker or attorney before representing yourself in a transaction and be sure that you have reviewed all of your state’s laws concerning the matter.
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a private database that helps facilitate transactions between brokers.
Because it is owned and operated by a collective of Realtors®, MLS only grants access to its members due to security concerns and the operational costs of running the massive database.
Once you have obtained your real estate license and began your career, you have an opportunity to have early access to the MLS database. Access to this database will give you a chance to get early access to high-demand properties for investors before the listings go public.
In addition to the jobs that require a real estate license as a qualification, being a licensed real estate agent is a great way to stand out in the job market, regardless of the career you are pursuing.
Because states hold licensed real estate agents to a certain standard of integrity and honesty, potential employers can be confident that the person they are hiring meets this threshold.
Also, having a real estate license is a mark of expertise in the field. So, any industry that even remotely deals in real estate will be happy to have a licensed agent on their team.
Having a real estate license under your belt can be helpful if you’re looking for a job at an attorney’s office, an investment firm, certain government agencies, and in any number of industries.
Even if you don’t pursue a direct real estate career, having this credential on your resume is a plus, no matter how you look at it.
A referral commission, also known as a referral fee or a finder’s fee, is a commission given to the middleman in a real estate transaction. The referral commission varies and is usually a percentage of the property's final sale price.
Suppose you are a licensed real estate agent and work for a broker. In that case, you can receive commissions whenever you facilitate a successful relationship between a client and another agent.
Making money based on referral commissions is the perfect side hustle, especially if real estate isn't your full-time job.
While the licensing requirements for a real estate agent and a Realtor® are essentially the same. To become a Realtor®, the agent must be a member of the National Association of Realtors®.
To call yourself a Realtor®, which is a nationally recognized and respected title, you must meet the following requirements:
Real estate brokers are licensed agents who have passed a broker exam and obtained a real estate broker’s license.
The fundamental difference separating a licensed real estate agent from a licensed real estate broker is the fact that a broker is permitted to own a real estate firm or act as an independent real estate contractor.
A licensed real estate agent may only operate under the direct supervision of a licensed broker.
Choosing to pursue a career in real estate, either as a licensed real estate agent or as a licensed real estate broker, can be financially rewarding.
It can also be a challenge.
The good news is that so many unique opportunities exist in the industry for licensed professionals. Obtaining a real estate license offers the chance to become an agent, an appraiser, or even an investor. You can find your niche working exclusively with residential properties or commercial buildings.
The sky is truly the limit.
Remember that success in the real estate industry will take hard work, but the payoff can be incredible.
A real estate license is a great way to open more career opportunities for yourself.
That's because a license helps you become eligible for work that's not just representing property buyers and sellers.
In fact, with a real estate license, you can start a career as:
In this article, we'll explore what it's like to work in each of these jobs to help you decide if a real estate license is a worthwhile investment for you.
Buying a house is probably the most significant investment in anyone's lifetime. For this reason, a residential real estate agent works in an emotion-based business. Often, this can lead to little routine because it can turn on a dime any hour of any day.
Realtors® of this sort can stage a home to show that house the same day. Also, they can arrange for appraisers to inspect the property, help negotiate contracts on behalf of clients, prepare offers and counter-offers, check on financing arrangements, and obtain lease information if the property has rental units.
Also, they actively market the houses through websites, social media, networking, and advertisements in publications.
Beyond this, they research similar properties to confirm that listing prices are reasonable. The agent ordinarily works under the supervision of a licensed broker.
To become a California residential real estate agent, you must be 18 years old and be eligible to work in the U.S. Also, you have to complete a pre-licensing program, also known as real estate school.
Once students finish their real estate classes, they must apply to the real estate exam, complete a background check, and pass the exam. Then, the Department of Real Estate in California will mail them their real estate license.
Real estate is a commission-based business. Commissions average between 5-6% of the home's sales price. Of that 5-6%, the commission is split with the agents involved in the transaction and their corresponding brokerages.
Typically, the agent will walk away with 2% of the final sale's price.
Some new agents earn millions while others never make a sale. Personal traits like work ethic, consistency, social skills, and organization drive many successful Realtors®. Market conditions and brokerage support also influence a budding career.
Commercial Real Estate differs from residential in that almost all buildings are commercial properties and not residential.
The commercial agent is involved in a broader range of issues than the residential agent – environmental reports, population studies, and income analysis for the subject property and its neighborhood.
Becoming a commercial real estate agent is the same as becoming a residential real estate agent. You have to undergo pre-licensing requirements and complete the real estate exam.
Commercial agents often want to get more education in finance because they are dealing with more valuable properties.
Commissions are customarily between 4-6%. They follow the same model as a residential agent, meaning they split their earnings with other agents and their respective brokerages.
But, commercial agents will make more money than residential agents. The reason is that a commercial property's value is greater than residential property's.
A real estate broker is an agent who has obtained their broker's license. They perform the same duties as a real estate agent, except they have additional freedom to own and operate their brokerage.
They can represent clients independently from signing a brokerage. They possess this ability to represent clients without another brokerage. Also, they can hire other agents to work beneath them at their established brokerage.
It's not uncommon to own a broker's license and work at another brokerage. In this instance, the broker working at another brokerage is called a Broker's Associate.
Becoming a real estate broker is similar to becoming a real estate agent but you will need more experience and education. They must have 2-years of experience as an active, licensed agent unless they possess a bachelor's degree in real estate or an approved, related field.
Either way, a candidate must complete real estate courses in practice, law, finance, appraisals, and accounting before taking the real estate broker exam.
A broker gets paid the same way as an agent. But, they benefit from not splitting their commission with a brokerage. Since they are the brokerage, they can keep half of the commission.
Typically, the commission of 6% is split between each agent involved and then split again with the respective brokerage. In this case, a broker can keep their commission share.
A California real estate license can qualify a person for other related professions. One of these is the property manager. A property manager takes care of a property on behalf of the owner.
Typically, a landlord will own many properties and hire a property manager to manage the properties for them.
A real estate license isn't required to become a property manager. BUT, you are at a significant disadvantage without one. Property managers are restricted in signing on new tenants and discussing contracts with them.
That's why we always recommend getting your real estate license if you want to become a property manager. After that, you become even more qualified and in demand.
The average salary for a real estate property manager is over $60,000 in California. They may also get lodging within the property unit in some cases.
A leasing agent works exclusively within rental units. Like a real estate agent, a leasing agent represents a client to help them find prospective renters for their unit.
In addition to getting your real estate license, you will also have to get a leasing agent certificate. A certificate solidifies your expertise and makes you eligible to represent clients.
Average statewide salary numbers for leasing agents put annual income between $30,000 and $40,000.
A real estate license is a great way to open yourself up to opportunities. If you're seeking a career in real estate, a license will separate you from other candidates. That's what makes a license so wonderful.
Not only that, you can have a license in your back pocket, ready for use when you want to use it. Just because you are a property manager doesn't mean you can also be a residential real estate agent.
The employment opportunities are truly limitless.