Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Getting a Real Estate License

Corey here while Mary is storming the Kremlin! Today, we'll take a look at what it takes to become a real estate agent. Perhaps you would like to become an agent, or perhaps you've just wondered what qualifies us to do what we do.

During the recent real estate boom, everyone and their dog became a real estate agent, and at one point there was one licensed agent for every individual looking to buy or sell a house in California. (How are they all supposed to make a living?)

The licensing requirements from the State of California are changing a bit as of October 1. California has historically been one of the easiest states to get licensed in, and these changes make it a little bit tougher. But not much.

The most basic requirements are that you must be over 18 years old, be a US citizen, and be able to pass a background check. The background check is supposedly quite stringent, so thankfully I didn't have any blemishes on my record.

Before you apply to take the licensing exam, you now must pass three classes. The first two classes are required: Real Estate Principles and Real Estate Practice. Principles covers the basic real estate laws, and the Practice class deals more with the day-to-day career of being an agent. And, third, you must take an elective class, which can be anything from Escrows to Appraisals to Real Estate Finance and more.

Once these classes are completed, you can take the Real Estate Salesperson exam, which gives you 150 questions in 3 hours. Study hard! Between the classes, the exam fees and the license fees, it will cost you about $750 to get your license.

Then comes the tough part...finding a good brokerage to hang your license at and getting those first clients. Thankfully, I'm working with Mary, who has been with Lawton Associates for over 13 years and she has many, many wonderful long term clients to work with.

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