So, you've made the big decision to become a real estate agent! If you're thinking right now that you're in for an exciting career - and maybe even some good money - these thoughts are true. However, before you can become a real estate agent, you need the right education.
Being a real estate agent requires a license issued by your state. The requirements, from the course curriculum, number of hours of learning, and the licensing procedures also vary, depending on which state you are located in.
The course for real estate agents is called a pre-licensing course, and has a required number of qualifying hours. Once you complete and pass the college-level course, it's time to get ready to take the licensing exam, which is also regulated by the state.
Credit hours required to become a real estate agent
The number of credit hours required and the pre-licensing curriculum vary by state. The basic requirements include being 18 years of age, at least a high school graduate, and a legal resident of the United States. Beyond this, everything else has a slight variation.
For example, in Louisiana, a person interested in becoming a real estate agent must take a 90-hour Real Estate 101 course. The course includes Real Estate Principles and Practices, Louisiana Real Estate License Law, Commission Rules and Regulations, Law of Agency (Title 9 of the Revised Statutes of Louisiana) and Civil Law (pertaining to the real estate transactions).
In New York, the pre-licensing course takes 75 hours while in Texas, the required course work lasts for 180 hours (it's one of the longest). If you live in Texas, the pre-licensing course includes 60 credit hours for Real Estate Principles, 30 credit hours for Law of Agency, 30 credit hours for Law of Contracts and another 30 credit hours for Real Estate Finance. The last 30 credit hours are for learning Promulgated Forms.
The credit hours in California for would-be real estate agents are also long, at 160 hours. The course curriculum is also comprehensive, just like in Texas. The curriculum for California pre-licensing education consists of Real Estate Principles, Real Estate Practice and Legal Aspects of Real Estate. Each of this course work includes reading assignments in textbooks, workbook assignments, practice exams and quizzes as well as final examinations.
Among these examples, the common course work is Real Estate Principles, which is also specific to each state. The subject covers various topics, such as time management, financing, escrow procedure, listing and selling process, closing the sale, property valuation and taxes. This also covers Ethics, Agency and Business Principles, Contract, Leases, Liens and Encumbrances, Unlawful Discrimination, Acquisition and Transfer of Real Property and Land Descriptions and Subdivisions.
Real Estate Practice is more about running the real estate agency while the Legal Aspects is about all the laws, rules and regulations that cover real estate.
Before you reap the rewards of being a real estate agent, which many say are greater than you'd expect from a white-collar job, be prepared to work hard. Get the proper education by enrolling in an onsite or online course for real estate agent, pass it and get ready for the license examination.