What’s the Fastest Way to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent?

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Few industries reward hard work, dedication, and skill as much as real estate. With a little start-up capital and a license to practice in a particular jurisdiction, real estate agents can quickly build a lucrative career for themselves in buying and selling houses.

And unlike other professional careers like medicine, pharmacy, or law, becoming a real estate agent does not mean taking on tens of thousands of dollars in debt and spending years in school.

So how do you get into the real estate business, and what is the fastest way to get your license?

While the answer differs from state to state (not all states have the same requirements or guidelines, and each state’s path to real estate licensing will be slightly different), broadly speaking there are three important steps you need to take if you want to make the process as easy and streamlined as possible.

  1. Take a Real Estate Agent Course

Working in real estate may not require the same kind of technical expertise as practicing law, but it is demanding in other ways. Real estate agents need to be able to navigate the legal side of purchasing and selling houses, condominiums, and other properties, and are often involved in connecting people with rentals as well. Doing this successfully means having a deep understanding of how real estate law operates in your state.

Taking a course specifically designed to help budding real estate agents pass their licensing exam and start practicing is the best way to master this industry knowledge. And in many states, you can take online courses that will prepare you to become a realtor in 75 hours through detailed video tutorials and practice tests.

  1. Take Your Licensing Exam

Most online courses will have a proctored final exam that provides you with a certificate of completion of the course; in some states, the state will grant a license to anyone who has completed this exam, while others may require candidates to take an additional state exam. Generally, there is a small fee for taking this exam, and it can usually be taken at least twice in the case of failure the first time around.  

  1. Apply for Your License

Once you have passed the licensing exam, you will be ready to apply for your real estate agent license. In states like New York, this can be done through the State Department Website, but make sure to check about the process in your own jurisdiction.

A license is a vital credential that proves you have the knowledge and training to work in real estate, and it is usually impossible to get a job at a brokerage (or to become a broker yourself) without one.

Real estate is one of the few remaining career paths where a solid middle-class or upper-middle class income is available to people who don’t have at least four years of post-secondary education, which makes it one of the best ways to earn a living that doesn’t saddle you with significant student loan debt right out of the gate.

In most states, taking a real estate agent course allows you to become licensed within a matter of months, meaning you can enter quickly enter a competitive industry with high earning potential with only a minimal investment of time and energy.

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