Real estate agents assist clients in the buying, selling or renting of properties. To legally practice as a real estate agent, you must work under the umbrella of a real estate broker. This is sometimes known as “placing a license.” Since real estate agents primarily work on commission, they do not actually apply as an employee would for the job of a real estate agent, but rather they interview with prospective companies and the brokers of those companies to find the real estate company that is the best fit.
Take the prerequisite real estate pre-licensing courses for the state you wish to practice in. Although every state requires a real estate agent to have a license, the state requirements can vary significantly. As an example, real estate agents in Georgia must have 75 hours of approved pre-licensing real estate courses, whereas real estate agents in Connecticut must complete 60 hours of Real Estate Principles and Practices.
Contact the real estate agency or office that you wish to join and schedule a time to interview with the broker. Since you must place your license with a broker before you can start selling real estate, plan to start the interview process prior to graduating from the pre-licensing course. Unlike an employment interview, where the employer asks all the questions, however, it is the real estate agent that generally asks most of the questions during the interview process. These questions typically include what kind of split the broker will get from the real estate agent’s commission; does the broker require any additional training courses; and is there someone the agent can work with while she learns the process of actually selling real estate.
Pass your national and state licensing exams. There is generally a fee for both taking the exam and getting your license once you pass. Although the fee amount can vary by state, you should expect to pay at least $200 or more. Once you have your license, you will give a copy to your broker and you are ready to begin selling properties.
There is a difference between real estate agents and Realtors. Realtors belong to the National Board of Realtors, but real estate agents do not. This does not usually affect the interviewing process unless the broker requires his agents to belong to the Board of Realtors. If you wish to become a Realtor, you will need to take more training courses and there are additional fees to pay.