A realtor refers to a real estate expert who is registered as a member of the National Association of Realtors (N.A.R.) and has observed the code of ethics of N.A.R. A realtor and a real estate agent are the same as far as the skills and responsibilities are concerned.
The main difference between the two is only official certification. A real estate agent might have the same abilities as a realtor but has not gone through the certification process.
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So if you are wondering how to become a realtor, here are the steps:
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Research and Understand Your State Realtor Requirements
Real estate licensing requirements for a particular state differs from another. You can get the information about licensing on your state’s real estate commission website or real estate regulatory office website.
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Each state gives its specific requirements for education requirements, age, the application process, exam eligibility, process of pre-licensing, and post-licensing qualification. So it is essential to have an idea of such information.
Take a Pre-Licensing Course
You will be required to take a pre-licensing course before being allowed to sit for the real estate licensing exam. The amount of time necessary for the training varies significantly depending on your state.
For example, in California, the real estate agents’ pre-licensing training takes 135 hours while in Virginia, it will take 60 hours. Roughly, you will require between 40-200 hours of coursework.
In this training, you learn real estate practices like how to determine a property’s value, real estate principles, economics, and legal aspects. The licensing courses can be taken online or in person.
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Choose a method that you feel will work better for your learning schedule. The better you do in your direction, the better you will do on the exam.
Take and Pass the Licensing Exam
You can visit your real estate commission’s website for instructions on how to sign up to take the licensing exam. Also, ensure you get information about hours, parking, or any materials needed on the test day.
The exam is divided into two portions. One covers federal real estate laws and general real estate principles, while the second is about state-specific rules. The exam comprises 60 to 100 multiple-choice questions.
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You can seek extra guidance from the real estate exam prep program. The program will help you to study state-specific material for your state’s real estate exam. Once you pass the exam, you get a certificate of course completion or an official transcript.
Once you pass the exam, you can submit your application and other relevant documents and fees to your state’s real estate agency. If the application is approved, the state provides you with an estate licensing certificate.
So what is the pass mark? The exam pass mark varies by state, but typically you will need to score at least 70%. Usually, the score is displayed as a pass or fail. For example, in California, you are required to score 70% or higher to pass while in Montana, you will be required to score at least 80% on the national portion and 70% on the state portion.
Build Your Career
Start by studying the market where you live. The type of work you will do varies significantly based on where you locate your operation. Also, you can research different brokers to find one who you are comfortable with. A good broker can help you find clients and guide you into a new career in real estate.
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Additionally, you can research out to your networks and bring new customers into the brokerage firm. The early you build your system, the faster you are likely to get your first sale. Ask people questions like, “Do you know anyone who is moving soon? Are you planning to buy a house?” and so on.
Become a Realtor
Being a realtor can add value to your credibility. As a realtor, you will be able to access many benefits. Such benefits include; real estate market data, business tools, statistics and research, educational opportunity, and commercial real estate.
For instance, a realtor has access to Realtors Property Resource (R.P.R.). This is an online real estate database of over 160 million properties in the U.S. built from public and assessment information. It has information on mortgage and lien data, permits, schools, and much more.
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Therefore, to become a realtor, find a real estate association in your local area. There are over 1,400 associations across the U.S., So browse a list of local boards and state associations. When you find an association that you like, contact them to learn about how to become a realtor member.
The next move is to talk to the principals in your firm about joining realtors if they are not members. Before an agent enters a realtor, the firm’s principals must be members of a realtor association.
So, if the owner, branch manager, or corporate officers are not members of the realtor association, you can encourage them to do so.
It is good to look for a position with a firm where principals are already members of an association if you intend to become a realtor.
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Finally, send your application to the National Association of Realtors (N.A.R.). Your principals will be required to sign your petition for membership. And then you agree to abide by the N.A.R.’s Code of Ethics.
To become a realtor, you start by taking pre-licensure real estate courses, which you will need to complete before you get your license. Pass your real estate licensing exam. Once you have your permission, you can find a broker to help connect you with clients. Then you can apply to join National Association of Realtors (N.A.R.)
It takes time and money to become a member of the National Association of Realtors (N.A.R.), but it helps you secure a rewarding job in the real estate industry. Remember that being a realtor can be as flexible as you like it to be.
Also, being able to use realtor on your business card and your marketing materials adds credibility. If you are a realtor, you increase your career and marketability as a real estate professional and increase your earning potential.