How to Become a Real Estate Agent

How to Become a Real Estate Agent

By: Kevin Giffin - Posted in:
Real estate agents going up steps neede to take to sell a house.

A step-by-step guide on how to become a real estate agent!

So you want to learn how to become a real estate agent? Congratulations! You’ve chosen a unique path of entrepreneurship, one that will provide connections, a wide network, and a deep understanding of the real estate market. The next step can be daunting: actually figuring out how to become a real estate agent. Do you take the real estate exam? Is there a difference between a real estate agent and Realtor? Okay, let’s take this whole “how to become a real estate agent” thing one step at a time.

Every career path has a beginning, and understanding the steps to become a Realtor or real estate agent will be crucial to your planning. Knowing the reality of how to become a real estate agent—from finding mentors to passing the real estate exam—may even help you realize it isn’t right for you!

Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent

If you want to learn how to become a real estate agent, you’re going to need to the steps to become a Realtor or real estate agent. There are plenty of formal and informal ways of picking up the necessary knowledge. But if you’re passionate about your career—regardless what it is—you need to take time to become an expert. You’ll the necessary steps to become a Realtor, a real estate agent, a photographer, an astronaut, or anything else!

Here is how to become a real estate agent:

1. Pre-licensing Courses

Every state requires some some pre-licensing coursework to become a real estate agent. Some states require you complete certain college courses or fulfill a set number of hours in classes. These will lay a good foundation for how to become a real estate agent—and can give you a sense of whether or not you’re embarking on the right path if you’re still unsure.

2. Establishing a Brokerage Connection

All real estate agents must work with a broker in order to do business, so connecting with the right brokerage or getting work as a broker’s assistant can be a good step. You can learn how to become a real estate agent from a broker while getting familiar with their day-to-day. Make sure to properly vet your options and understand what each brokerage can offer. What’s the agency’s reputation? Are you a good personality fit? Do they focus on a specific type of real estate?

3. Pass the Real Estate Exam

You probably already know you need to pass the real estate exam in order to become a real estate agent. States require you pass the appropriate real estate exam before you can pass, and some states even require a background check. Take note that these costs can add up to several hundreds of dollars, so don’t let yourself get caught unprepared. Start saving up early so that you don’t have to wait on the funds to take the real estate exam. Instead, you can take the real estate exam when you’re ready.

4. Save Money and Build Referrals

Once you’ve become an agent, your work has just started. Many people underestimate the price of actually selling a home for a client. But between signage, flyers, and even staging, costs can add up.

Additionally, you need to utilize your network and give yourself a boost. You’d be surprised who you already know who may be in the market to buy or sell a home! And hey. If you’re learning how to become a real estate agent, you’re going to need to be a people person anyway.

The Difference Between a Real Estate Agent and Realtor

You need to learn the difference between a real estate agent and Realtor, as they are probably amongst the most commonly confused terms. While the steps to become a real estate agent are similar to the steps to become a Realtor, it’s important to understand the nuances when you’re learning how to become a real estate agent.

Fortunately, the difference between a real estate agent and Realtor is simple. Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and while they can be any number of real estate professions. There isn’t a separate real estate exam or anything. What makes a real estate agent a Realtor is membership to the National Association of Realtors.

As members of regional and national branches of the organization, Realtors uphold a specific code of ethics. Meanwhile, the organization offers them a certain professional credibility. Understandably, the NAR requires a few extra steps to become a Realtor. Those benefits make up the only real difference between a real estate agent and Realtor.

Steps to Become a Realtor

There is a difference between a real estate agent and Realtor, but fortunately, most of the steps to become a Realtor are the same—or similar—to the steps to become a real estate agent.

1. Pre-licensing Courses

You’re going to need to pass the appropriate training courses from a certified institution. It’s one of a few overlapping steps to become a Realtor or real estate agent, but it’ll also set up a good foundation when you study for the real estate exam.

2. Connect with a Brokerage

Not all brokers are Realtors. Consider this while you’re exploring the brokerages in your area. You can become a Realtor without working with a Realtor, but it’ll better align your steps to become a Realtor with your goal.

3. Pass the Real Estate Exam

Say hello to the real estate exam (again)! Passing the real estate exam is standard. Just like the steps for how to become a real estate agent, passing the real estate exam is one of the overlapping steps to become a Realtor.

4. Apply to Become a Realtor

This is one of the unique steps to become a Realtor. The only real difference between a real estate agent and Realtor is the membership to the NAR. Visit the site and find out if you have any outstanding requirements you may need to take care of! Fortunately for you, this is the last of the steps to become a Realtor!

411: What About the Real Estate Exam?

Now that you know how to become a real estate agent, you may still be asking, “Is the real estate exam hard? Will I pass?”

We won’t sugarcoat it: The real estate exam isn’t easy. It’s a professional exam that requires a lot of hard work, but you can pass the real estate exam if you’re prepared to buckle down.

You need to understand the ins and outs of real estate, which is one reason why connecting with a brokerage can supplement your preparation for the real estate exam. Connect with real estate professionals you know, or see if you can take an informational interview with a real estate professional and get their perspective on the real estate exam. At very least, it’ll help you succeed once you’ve already passed the real estate exam.

There are plenty of real estate exam prep options that will more than adequately prepare you for the real estate exam. Check out real estate exam prep review sites, and get real estate exam recommendations from agents or brokers, and make sure you’re studying for the real estate exam in the right state. Give yourself a few months before the real estate exam to study the course material, and don’t try to cram. From there, just practice good study habits. Those are the same whether you’re studying for the real estate exam or a chemistry final. Once you’ve passed the real estate exam, you’re off to the races.

Now you know how to become a real estate agent, the difference between a real estate agent and Realtor, the steps to become a Realtor or real estate agent, and how to pass the real estate exam. And you’ll soon find yourself taking on the career of a lifetime!

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