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How to Become a Real Estate Agent


The process of becoming a real estate agent is fairly simple, although it does vary a lot from state to state. Here are the fundamentals of becoming a real estate agent.

a) License Requirements
Each state has different licensing laws, so you will need to look at your local requirements. However, in general you will have to:

-Meet an age requirement
-Pass a background check
-Complete approved real estate courses from a state-approved school
-Pass a state exam
-Complete an application form
-Submit various fees

Agents just getting their license work for a real estate broker. If you decide at some point to work for yourself, you will need to earn a broker license. Most new agents sign on with one of the large company brokerages. Most successful agents, even if not self-employed, treat the real estate profession as their own business, instead of just a job. This attitude will go a long way to ensuring your success.

b) What is a REALTOR®?
Many people are confused about the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®.

A real estate agent becomes a REALTOR® when he or she pays an annual fee to the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its Code of Ethics. The agent joins through the local (city) board or association. Membership in the REALTORS® is optional, but help enhance your career.

c) How much can a real estate agent earn?
Real estate agents more often than not are paid on commission. This commission is a percent of the selling price of the property. The seller will generally pay 4-6% of the sales price as the fee for having an agent handle the complex job of selling their property. The funds will often be split equally between the seller's broker and broker who finds the buyer.

As an example, if the fee for a $300,000 property is 6%, the buyer's broker will be paid 3% or $9000 and the seller's broker will also be paid 3% or $9000. The agent is paid by his or her broker, using their agreed-upon commission split. This is often 50-50 for new agents, so in that case the agent in our example would be paid $4500.

So to answer the question, the amount that a real estate agent can earn is only limited by the number of transactions that he or she can close.

Visit Real-Estate-Career-Info.com for requirements for obtaining a real estate license in your state.

This article may be reprinted if proper credit is given and all links left intact.

Copyright©2005 Real-Estate-Career-Info.com

About the Author

Andre McFayden, Ph.D., is a Real Estate Broker and contributor to Real-Estate-Career-Info.com.


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