A real estate agent cannot work independently, but must work for a broker who employs him/her. Brokers are responsible for the actions of their real estate agents. The requirements for obtaining a real estate salesperson's licence vary from state to state. Regardless of where you live, you must take a pre-licensing course at an accredited real estate licensing school before taking the real estate licensing exam.
The number of hours required varies by state. In California, for example, applicants must take three real estate classes totalling 135 hours. In New York and Georgia, courses last 75 hours; in Florida, the course lasts only 63 hours. And in Texas, 180 hours of coursework are required.
Costs can easily amount to several thousand dollars a year, so it is important to factor them into your budget when deciding whether a real estate career is right for you. Obtaining a real estate licence takes time and money, but it can help secure a rewarding job in the real estate industry. Keep in mind that a career as a real estate agent can be as flexible as you want it to be. You can limit your schedule to mornings three days a week or never work weekends.
The trade-off, of course, is that this will greatly limit your ability to succeed. To increase flexibility and career opportunities, you may decide to obtain your broker's licence. You may also consider the variety of real estate designations and certifications available, including those specific to mortgage, appraisal, residential real estate, commercial real estate and property management. These designations can enhance your career and marketability as a real estate professional and increase your earning potential.
Some brokerages have only in-house agents and do not offer any services. The agent is expected to answer all calls, complete all the paperwork, do all the advertising and do it all himself. These brokerages are very cheap but offer very few services to agents. Many agents choose to go this route to avoid office overhead and large commission splits to the broker.
You can be a part-time real estate agent. Licensed real estate agents can work as many or as few hours as they want, making this career path a near-perfect choice for someone looking for a flexible part-time job with excellent earning potential. Yes, clients will work with an agent on a part-time basis. Real estate clients are interested in the value you provide, the market insight you can offer them and the help you can give them to achieve their financial goals.
There is no index that tracks the number of hours spent. Your status as a part-time estate agent is nobody's business but your own. Yes, cold calling estate agents is probably your best option; but don't think of it as cold calling, because almost every estate agent under the sun is always, CONSTANTLY, actively recruiting. Are you making an unsolicited call? Technically, yes.
But, 99% of estate agents are expecting calls anyway, so it's more like a hot call. New real estate agents almost always work under the supervision of a broker. Real estate brokers offer agents marketing support and legal protections. When deciding where to hang your hat, interview at least three different brokers to get an idea of how they work.
In some cases, the listing agent has a contract with the seller whereby, if the buyer does not have an agent, the listing agent keeps the entire commission. Your choices of real estate companies to work for may be limited compared to your full-time colleagues, but there are brokerages that do hire part-time real estate agents. Once you have a vision of your future in real estate, you can start planning how you will achieve your goals. When your application is approved, the state will mail you your real estate licensing certificate, and your name will be searchable in the licensee section of their website.
If you're selling your home, being your own agent allows you to show it in the best possible light. But unlike salaried jobs, a commission-based job such as real estate agent or broker has unlimited earning potential. Sellers who act as their own real estate agents often have unrealistic expectations about the value of their home. When someone becomes a real estate agent they have to "hang up their license at a real estate broker's office".
You may find the perfect house or property to buy, but your agent is away for the weekend, which means someone could snatch it up before you can submit an offer. PT agents should find a solid brokerage that offers flexible live training and full agent support. After licensing, a real estate agent must be employed by a brokerage in order to do real estate work.