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Can You Get a Real Estate License Totally Online?
If you’re interested in a stable, yet exciting career that allows you to be your own boss and make almost unlimited income, you might consider becoming a real estate agent. Real estate agents help people buy and sell real estate, helping them list properties, helping them explore properties for sale, providing them with advice, and helping them through various stages of paperwork and legal action.
Being a real estate agent also has benefits for you, since you’ll be able to make better educated real estate investing decisions and get broader access to properties listed on the market. However, before you can become a real estate agent, you need to obtain a real estate license.
Is this something you can do completely online?
The Path to a Real Estate License
Let’s start by talking about the path to becoming a licensed real estate agent. This gets tricky because each state does things a little bit differently. You’ll find different requirements for each state, though some states have a reciprocal relationship, so if you get licensed in one state, your license can transfer to another.
That said, the path to getting a real estate license is usually very similar.
· Education. Most states require you to have a specific educational background. To start, you must have a high school diploma or an equivalent, like a GED. From there, you must attend a specific number of hours of real estate education, as described by your state.
Usually, these educational requirements are broken down by topic and number of hours; for example, you might be required to study real estate principles and practices for at least 40 hours, with at least 20 hours of real estate appraisal education.
You’ll also be required to undergo a total number of real estate education hours, like 240 hours. For the most part, you can do all of this education online and receive a certificate that proves your completion of the course.
· Getting a sponsoring broker. In some states, you’ll be required to have a sponsoring broker before you’re allowed to submit an application for a real estate license. Essentially, this means an existing broker must vouch for you. You can probably find a sponsoring broker online without much hassle, even if you’re new to this industry.
· Submitting an application. At this point, you’ll be ready to submit an application to your state. You’ll need to provide proof of the education you underwent, personal information about yourself, and money for any fees that apply to you. Again, these will vary depending on the state in which you live.
· Scheduling your test. The last step of the process is to schedule your test; you must pass your state’s real estate licensing exam to obtain your license. Historically, this test has only been given in person, but many states have begun to offer their real estate licensing exam online in recent years. You may have the option of choosing the format of test you prefer.
Certain states list other requirements for becoming a real estate agent, like:
· Be honest and truthful. Most states only want honest, truthful people operating as real estate agents, operating in good ethical standing and working on behalf of their clients. Some states have written this into the requirements, giving them grounds to deny applications of people they feel are dishonest or unscrupulous.
· Be 18 years or older. Generally speaking, you’ll need to be 18 years of age or older before applying for your real estate license.
· Have no criminal record. You may also be required to have no existing criminal record.
· Other state requirements. Always be sure to consult the requirements of your state for any other surprising requirements that may apply to you.
Becoming an Experienced Real Estate Agent
Remember that getting your real estate license is only the first step to becoming a real estate agent. You have plenty of education to support you and official licensure from your state, but you don’t have as much experience as the people you’re going to be competing with. That means you’re probably going to struggle in your first few years on the job.
Work closely with mentors and advisors as you gain more experience and learn more about this industry. The more time you spend improving your knowledge and refining your approach, the better results you will start seeing.
The Bottom Line
So what’s the bottom line here? Now that real estate licensing exams are increasingly offered online, it’s increasingly possible to apply for your real estate license and receive it, all from the comfort of your home office.
You can pursue your real estate education online, submit your application online, and even take the test online.