With the housing market having recuperated fairly well from the subprime mortgage crisis, now is probably the most opportune time to become an estate agent. However, helping people purchase and sell properties is not flipping burgers. Quite a few people do not realise this early enough and end up underestimating the trade and quitting the industry as an agent within weeks of joining. Needless to say, there are certain things that one should be aware of for becoming an estate agent.
Learn the Trade
There are online courses that help future estate agents get familiar with federal, state and local regulations associated with selling a property. These courses primarily cover topics such as an estate agent’s rights and responsibilities, selling a property the right way, understanding zoning regulations and laws, significance of continuing education, and consumer advocacy. The learning material is typically state-specific, meaning you would have to take the course again if you move to another state.
Real Estate License
A real estate license is essentially the validation that you have successfully completed necessary real estate studies required within a jurisdiction. To acquire the license, you must complete all your real estate classes, successfully pass the test that follows, and apply for a license. At times, based on the state, you may be required to take extra courses even post having received the license. Some brokerages, especially the bigger national brokerages, need this to make sure you’re really qualified for the job.
Is a Brokerage Required?
For consumer protections reasons, most jurisdictions make it mandatory for estate agents to have affiliations with a brokerage firm. A broker carries an extra three years of property education and training, making the broker a valuable resource for freshly minted agents. But all brokerages aren’t the same. There are certain attributes a brokerage must have for it to be deemed reliable and trustworthy. Those traits are experience, reputation, past agents and clients’ feedback, etc. Look into these aspects before zeroing in on a broker.
A lot of people consider becoming an estate agent because of the money. The amount of money you make as an estate agent is unlimited, provided you work smart and hard, inculcate people skills, learn the local market and industry in general, and connect with the right people. The commission per transaction is usually two to three percent of the price of sale. This means a $300,000 house transaction would fetch you up to $9,000 in commissions. If you manage to sell even one property a month, your annual income would be nothing to be sneezed at.
An estate agent’s job is basically round the clock. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to work 24 hours a day. It means you’ll not have any set working hours and must be committed toward your job at all times. If you want to truly prosper as an estate agent, you cannot shut yourself down at any time of the day. You must always be willing to facilitate a transaction whenever the call comes. Also, this is not a part-time job, which you can do on the side. You are either a full-time, 24/7-available estate agent or you’re not an agent.