In Ohio, you can begin your path to becoming a real estate agent as soon as you turn 18 and have a high school diploma or GED. As a real estate agent, you will work with clients to buy, sell or rent properties. As a part of this service, your duties include finding clients, showing and listing properties, marketing properties, advising clients on topics such as housing prices and market conditions, mediating price negotiations and preparing the required legal documentation.
Agent Education Requirements
You must complete the required training for real estate agents, which includes 40 hours of study in the principles and practices of real estate, 40 hours in Ohio real estate law, and 20 hours each in real estate appraisal and finance. Although agents do not have to complete a full degree program, the real estate courses must be completed at a school that offers at least a two-year higher education degree to count toward the Ohio real estate licensing requirement. The cost for the classes varies by school. As of publication date, one school offered the training, books and preparation for the licensing test for $1,399.
Note that if you complete the education program, you may not qualify to become a real estate agent if you ever have been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude or a felony. You also will be disqualified if you have violated any real estate-related civil rights laws within the previous two years.
Other License Requirements
All real estate agents must find a broker to sponsor them before submitting a license application. Brokers frequently recruit new agents; check job boards at your school and watch real estate ads to find brokers who need agents to work with them. In researching local brokers, consider factors such as their specialty, their advertising methods and the number of agents in the office. Ask about the commission split or if they offer any employee benefits or mentoring. After completing your research, select the broker that best fits your career plans and sign an agreement.
License Application and Testing
Once you complete your education and reach an agreement with a sponsoring broker, complete a Salesperson Examination Application and send it to the Ohio Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing along with your school transcripts. As of the date of publication, the application was $60. After submitting your application, you will receive instructions to schedule your examination.
You must pass the real estate exam with a score of 70 or higher to become a real estate agent. The test consists of two-part multiple exams taken on a computer, which allows you to receive the results immediately following the test. The national portion of the exam is 80 questions and covers general real estate practices such as financing, market analysis, property ownership, title transfer and contracts. You have 120 minutes to complete this section. The state portion of the exam has 40 questions and covers real estate topics specific to Ohio, including rules of the Ohio Real Estate Commission and state laws pertaining to real estate.
Real Estate Agent Skills
As a real estate agent, you must have excellent interpersonal skills to understand and meet the needs of your clients. Sales skills give you the edge you need to close deals on properties. Clients must feel that they can trust your recommendations and judgment. Many brokers offer training programs for new agents to help you develop these skills.
Although you will be working under a broker, you will likely be an independent contractor, so you need the necessary business skills to manage a business. You must be organized and an excellent problem solver. For example, part of your job is to ensure that the complex legal and financial documents are completed correctly and on time. In addition, you must manage your own schedule to fit in meeting clients and showing properties while still making time to research properties and prices, complete paperwork and market your business.
2016 Salary Information for Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents
Real estate brokers and sales agents earned a median annual salary of $46,810 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, real estate brokers and sales agents earned a 25th percentile salary of $30,850, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $76,200, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 444,100 people were employed in the U.S. as real estate brokers and sales agents.