A real estate license is required in the state in which an agent or other real estate worker is doing business. In cases where workers are close to state lines, they may be required to obtain a license in each state. A real estate license is obtained by taking a pre-licensure course, taking and passing a real estate exam and paying all necessary fees in order to earn the license. While real estate agents are the jobs most closely associated with licensure, there are several others that require the license in order to do business.
Real Estate Agent
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, real estate agents are familiar with the real estate markets in their communities and the surrounding areas. They work to develop clientele and contacts in various areas in order to match clients with properties. Real estate agents schedule property showings and host open houses. They arrange for title searches and prepare documents and homes for sale. They also act as negotiators between parties when a property's price is contested. Real estate agents often help to arrange financing and sometimes work to close a sale.
Real Estate Broker
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, real estate brokers often do all of the job duties of a real estate agent but are also licensed to manage their own real estate businesses. Brokers hire agents to work with them; agents provide services to the broker on a contract basis. Brokers pay agents a portion of commissions earned. Brokers often sell real estate to others or rent and manage properties.
Property and Real Estate Managers
Property and real estate managers are required in some states to have real estate licenses, especially when real estate managers buy and sell property to manage or maintain. These managers oversee the operation of commercial or residential properties that produce income. These managers typically handle financial operations of the property, such as collecting rents, mortgages and taxes. They also make payments of taxes, insurance premiums, payroll and maintenance bills. Property or real estate managers may make reports to property owners, advertise open properties, negotiate contracts for services such as landscaping and janitorial work and check to ensure that properties are legally occupied and meeting all necessary county, city, state and national codes.
Community Association Managers
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, community association managers do work similar to onsite property managers. In some states, they are required to hold real estate licenses. They collect monthly or quarterly assessments, negotiate with contractors, solve complaints and prepare financial statements and budgets. They typically manage the daily affairs of a community location, meet with an elected board of directors, resolve legal disputes with owners, and maintain property.