What Are the Steps to Becoming a Realtor?

A career as a real estate agent can be rewarding and accommodating. Representing home buyers and home sellers is a flexible career with a lot of potential for making a good living.

The Steps to Becoming a Real Estate Agent

We are going to cover the steps to become a real estate agent. Although the specific requirements are unique to each state, the overall process is the same. We will cover the basics as well as the costs to become a real estate agent.

Is getting a real estate license a good idea for you? There are some common threads that run through the most successful Realtors.

Qualities of a Good Real Estate Agent:

  • Be a self starter
  • Be organized
  • Have is a knack for talking to people
  • A willingness to learn the local market

If you feel that you meet the above requirements, you may want to read on to see all of the steps and costs involved in becoming a real estate agent.

Meet the Education Requirements for the State

Every state has a law requiring new agents to take real estate education courses through a real estate school with certification to administer the training. A person can take these courses on the Internet or by physically attending live class. Some real estate schools offer both live, in class trainings as well as provide a robust online environment.

Pass the Real Estate Licensing Test

Adults over the age of 18 or 19 may take the state exam to become a licensed real estate agent after meeting the required hours and a list of requirements. Each state dictates a particular number score to pass the test of about 60 to around 100 questions.

choosing a realtor
choosing a realtor

Upon taking the required courses and passing the state and national exam, you will have to pay the states real estate commission, choose a real estate broker and sign up with at least one local MLS.

Decide which Brokerage to Work Under

Brokers are the people responsible for governing the field. They take new agents under their wings and help them learn the field and how to navigate tricky situations like negotiating contracts. Every agent must work with a licensed broker in the state. Many states will not finalize licenses without meeting this requirement.

Pay License Activation Costs and Annual Membership Dues

There is a fee for membership in the local MLS or multiple listing service. Many real estate agents choose to become a REALTOR – which means you will be subscribing to NAR. To become a trademark Realtor means joining the NAR or National Association of Realtors.

You will pay not only the national NAR dues, but state dues and most Realtors will also pay for the local Realtor Board. Unlike what most people thing, the Realtor Board and the MLS are NOT always the same thing. In some instances, the Realtor Board may own the MLS, but they will have two different fee structures and provide different services. Although the vast majority of multiple listing services are Realtor owned, the non-Realtor owned MLS is becoming more and more popular.


Learn the Local Market Inside and Out

The most crucial part of becoming a successful agent may be how well an agent knows the area and can navigate it. It takes insight, connections, integrity, and a deep desire to be the go-to agent in the area.

Knowing which market cycle the area is in and how to adapt the sales approach is necessary for success. The more networking and research an agent can do while studying for the exam will help.

Becoming a Realtor requires constant studying and adapting as the real estate market is constantly in a state of flux. An agent has to track and overcome inventory shortages, new builder woes, changing demographics, and much more.

The goal is to train constantly and educate oneself to stay ahead of the curve. Finding out what buyers want and the best way to meet those needs will ensure a fruitful career in buying and selling property.