How To Become a Realtor – In choosing a career that offers you good money, flexibility, and variety, becoming a realtor can come in handy. And a very interesting aspect of this work is the opportunity to build a profitable network and even get into the core of the business.
But getting to become a realtor requires you to follow certain steps to achieve your desired goal. And these are the steps this article will outline to help you learn how to venture into and grow in this professional path.
Table of Contents
- 1 Who is a Realtor?
- 2 Why Become a Real Estate Agent?
- 3 The Realtor’s Role
- 4 Requirements for Realtors
- 5 Guidelines for Using the Realtor Trademark
- 6 How do you become a real estate agent?
- 6.1 1. Have the required education and age qualifications
- 6.2 2. Take courses in real estate
- 6.3 3. Conduct a background check
- 6.4 4. Obtain your real estate license
- 6.5 5. Acquire real-world experience
- 6.6 6. Become familiar with the local market
- 6.7 7. Become a member of NAR
- 6.8 8. Earn a professional certification or designation
- 7 FAQ
- 8 Conclusion
Who is a Realtor?
Realtors are licensed real estate salespeople who belong to the National Association of Realtors, the largest trade organization in the country.
Every agent is not a Realtor, but most are. It’s always best to consult your agent if you want to know if they’re a licensed realtor. The legal standard of conduct for real estate agents is higher than that for licensed agents, who must adhere to a code of ethics.
Brokers and agents are both types of Realtors. Although people often confuse the terms, there are some differences between the two professions.
A broker is typically a manager. A broker runs an agency and supervises agents as salespeople. Some brokers own their own businesses, while others manage franchises. In order to maintain their state-issued broker license, they must take additional courses and pay additional fees.
As opposed to a broker, an agent is an individual who sells on his or her behalf.
Before acting as a real estate agent, agents are required to pass a written test. Different states have different licensing rules.
Why Become a Real Estate Agent?
An agent is involved in a wide variety of tasks. It won’t be the same thing every day because you’ll be working with different clients and different properties. Working in the world of real estate involves making a living, having fun, and making an important part of people’s lives easier.
A field like this is easy to enter. Real estate licensing is relatively quick and inexpensive compared to other careers with similar earnings potential, and you do not need a college degree to get started.
The Realtor’s Role
A realtor is a professional who works as a residential or commercial real estate broker, salesperson, property manager, appraiser, counsellor, or any other real estate related profession.
Approximately 1,396,575 realtors operate as of June 2020, classified as 65% agents, 22% brokers, and 15% associates. Realtor is a trademark of the National Association of Realtors. Members of a local board or association must also belong to the state association.
Agents are expected to be experts in their field and should adhere to the code of ethics of the National Association of Realtors, which outlines specific duties to clients and customers, the public, and other realtors. Realtors are required by the code of ethics not to exaggerate, misrepresent, or conceal pertinent facts relating to a property or transaction.
As part of the code, realtors must be honest in the way they communicate while portraying a true picture through advertisements, marketing and other communications. Realtors should, furthermore, ensure that all parties involved are treated with honesty so as to protect their clients’ interests.
Requirements for Realtors
There are several types of real estate agents, including brokers-associates, managing brokers, and exclusive buyer’s agents. The Realtor Code of Ethics requires members to adhere to underlying Standards of Practice in 17 articles.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) established a code of ethics in 1913 that local boards strictly enforce. Because their brokers insisted on it, Association members aren’t just obligated to follow a bunch of rules. This type of standard is more restrictive and confining compared to state guidelines that govern agents.
Brokerages that adhere to the Realtor Code of Ethics are distinguishable from others. The collection includes 17 articles and a few Standards of Practice.
It’s not clear whether Realtors are morally or ethically superior to unaffiliated agents when it comes to the Code of Ethics, but it attempts to regulate them. In any case, non-NAR agents face the same legal responsibilities.
The 17 Articles each have their own weight, but the first article dominates the rest. It sets the standard for how Realtor must conduct themselves. In this case, it does not mention that a Realtor must deal honestly with all parties, such as a listing agent when dealing as a buyer’s agent.
These are the 17 standards that a Realtor must promise to uphold:
- Buyers and sellers should put their interests ahead of their own, and all parties should be treated fairly.
- Exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of material facts are prohibited. Make informed decisions when circumstances warrant disclosure.
- When working with other brokers/agents, do so whenever it is in the best interest of the client.
- You should disclose if the agent represents family members who own real estate or are about to purchase real estate, or if you are a principal in a real estate transaction.
- You should not provide professional services when the agent has a present or contemplated interest in the transaction without disclosing that interest.
- Never take commissions from sellers without their knowledge or accept fees from third parties without the seller’s consent.
- If more than one party requests fees, refuse it without informed consent from all parties.
- They should not mix their own money with client funds.
- Be sure that all written documents are easily understood, and that everyone has a copy of anything they signed.
- Do not discriminate against anyone in any way based on their ethnicity, religion, gender, handicap, or familial status.
- Conform to practice standards and refuse to perform services for which they are not qualified.
- Advertising and marketing should be truthful.
- Agents should not practice law without being lawyers as well.
- When charged, cooperate and provide all evidence as requested.
- The competition will not be “badmouthed” and unfounded ethics complaints will not be filed.
- Please do not solicit another Realtor’s clients or interfere in the contractual relationship between them.
- Settlements should be conducted through arbitration rather than in court.
Guidelines for Using the Realtor Trademark
Realtor trademark use is subject to strict rules set by NAR. Real estate professionals who are members of a member board may use the realtor trademarks in connection with their professional name and identify their company.
Realtor is not allowed to be used in an association’s legal corporate name. The association tells me that this is to avoid legal issues if a member’s license was revoked if they were suspended or expelled from the organization.
If a realtor trademark appears in a member’s name, it must be capitalized and separated by a period. The NAR’s guidelines state that this trademark must appear in all capital letters and be separated from the member’s name by a period.
By contrast, the NAR does not use the realtor trademark with descriptive terms or to describe the profession in the way brokers, agents, or licensees are described. A realtor trademark can also not be used to indicate a license status of a professional.
How do you become a real estate agent?
Learning about the education, experience, and licensing requirements of real estate agents is essential. To become a realtor, follow these steps:
1. Have the required education and age qualifications
The minimum age and education requirements for becoming a real estate agent are set by law. Each state has different requirements for this occupation, but generally, you must be 18 or 19 years old to work in this field.
High school education is also usually required, which could result in a GED or a diploma. Real estate agents are not required to have college degrees, but some advanced education can prepare them. You can learn basic skills as a realtor through courses in business administration, accounting, communications and marketing.
2. Take courses in real estate
Despite the lack of a degree requirement, there are still some standard requirements for becoming a real estate agent. You can usually complete your coursework online or in person, depending on the state. Classroom hours typically range from 40 to 300.
First, you need to find out how many hours and what kind of courses your state requires for pre-license. If you are interested in taking courses at organizations such as Kaplan Real Estate Education, the Center for Realtor Development, or Real Estate Express, then please review their course offerings.
3. Conduct a background check
After you complete the required courses, the next step is to apply for your real estate license. Normally, you must pass a background check before obtaining a license. States have varying requirements, but a criminal background check and fingerprints may be among them.
4. Obtain your real estate license
The real estate exam can be taken when you have passed the background check. Once you pass the real estate license exam, you receive your license. Through the Real Estate Commission or similar agencies, each state issues licenses and administers exams. Generally, the exam includes two parts.
5. Acquire real-world experience
You can begin working in the field after you obtain a real estate license. In most states, however, you must work for an established brokerage for a few years before you can work independently as a new real estate agent. These are your two main options:
Consider a job with a traditional brokerage, where you work with a team and receive on-the-job training alongside a veteran agent.
You may be able to gain more independence or focus on a speciality if you work with a non-traditional brokerage.
6. Become familiar with the local market
Getting to know your local area well is important as you gain experience. Start by getting to know your neighbourhood, your housing stock, and your commercial properties. Analyze the local market trends, and understand the local property values next. You will be more credible and better able to guide clients if you have more insight.
7. Become a member of NAR
To become an agent, NAR members need to join the association. When you join a local association of realtors, you will usually need an application and payment.
Joining NAR allows you to enrol in continuing education courses and other professional development courses. Several services and tools can help you streamline your role as a real estate agent, including market data.
8. Earn a professional certification or designation
Upon gaining a few years of experience as a real estate agent, you can decide to specialize in a specific area. A certification or designation from the NAR or another professional organization will help you master your area of expertise. You may consider:
Accredited Buyer’s Representative: This designation is awarded by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council to realtors who specialize in working as buyers’ agents.
Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager: The Real Estate Business Institute’s designation is for realtors who handle their own businesses and prioritize efficiency.
Certified Residential Specialist: The Residential Real Estate Council offers this designation to agents who work mostly in the residential market.
Real Estate Negotiation Expert: This designation is awarded by REABI to realtors who are pursuing negotiation and advocacy skills.
Residential Accredited Appraiser: This designation is available to real estate agents specializing in residential appraisals.
Seller Representative Specialist: Only agents who handle primarily seller property are eligible for this designation.
- Is being a realtor hard?
As an agent or broker, you need to work hard to be successful and to earn a sustainable income. It’s usually time-consuming, expensive, and requires substantial effort.
- How long do you have to study to become a Realtor?
A real estate license can be earned after completing real estate school for anywhere from 2-5 months. These requirements, however, can vary according to your state’s application process and whether you choose an online real estate school or traditional classroom courses.
Licensing in real estate can lead to an impressive career, but it can be expensive and time-consuming. Real estate agents have the opportunity to work in as many different settings as they wish. If you do not work weekends, you could limit your working hours to three mornings per week. As a consequence, your success chances are greatly reduced.
Though it is possible to become a real estate agent part-time, most successful practitioners treat it as a full-time profession, making themselves available to clients all week long.
Getting your broker’s license can increase your career opportunities and flexibility. In addition to the real estate designations and certificates available, you may also want to consider those that cover mortgages, appraisals, residential property, commercial property, and property management. These designations can enhance your career and marketability as a real estate professional and increase your earning potential.