I am going to call this a public service message on how to get a real estate license. Real estate is local so this won’t be of much use to persons in other states who wish to get a license.
The great state of Minnesota requires that people who sell real estate that does not belong to them to have a license. You do not have to call a local real estate company to get started, in fact they will just explain how to get a license and work hard to recruit you if you do get one. Agents are independent contractors so we decide where we want to go and even though brokerages recruit like crazy they don’t have to pay agents and will take almost anyone who can a mirror.
Brokerages make money by taking a percentage of each agents commissions and agents make money by selling real estate but only after a successful closing. Newer agents will get the smaller share of the commissions they earn, and the broker will get the bigger share. There are also various fees that the agent and their clients will pay to the brokerage in addition to the commission split. (I really need to recruit me some agents)
All real estate sales people have to work under a licensed broker and that is what a real estate company provides. I have a Minnesota brokers license which means I can be my own broker. We can not start out as brokers but have to have a real estate license for three years and then take a class and a test. The rules and requirements can be found on the Minnesota Department of Commerce web site because they regulate the real estate industry.
The first step in getting a real real estate license is to take a 30 hour class in preperation for the real estate exam and then take the exam. After the exam there are two more courses each is 30 hours long. There are 90 hours of required training, split into three 30 hour courses known as course 1, 2 and 3. They can be taken in a class room or online and prices vary. I went to the local real estate school to take mine. Currently they charge $295 for each course. I have found the entire ninety hours of classes online for $229.00*
It costs $75 to register for the licensing exam and $135 for the license once the courses have been completed. Agents have to join a brokerage to get the license and to start selling real estate. After attending the classes most agents will not be able to fill out a basic purchase or listing agreement but will generally charge as much as a seasoned pro.
The big brokerages offer excellent training programs to get new agents up and running and how to sell real estate the XYZ company way and how to promote the brand. Did you know that most agents have to pay for those signs with the brokerage logo on them?
Brokerages require that agents join the MLS which means we join the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and can print Realtor after our names on our business cards. Joining is about signing up and paying yearly dues. There is more to it than that but I am already over 500 words.
I’ll write another article on what it really takes to succeed as a real estate agent. What I have to say may surprise you unless you are a regular reader then nothing will surprise you.
* as of the summer of 2012 I have gotten many calls about this. Right now I can only find one place to take these courses online and that is at continuingedexpress.com but the courses are $199 for each course and there are three pre-licensing course which adds up to $597 .