Real Estate Agents
A real estate agent is a person who works under a licensed broker to represent buyers or sellers of real property. A real estate broker can be an individual or a company of a higher licensed level than a real estate agent and works to negotiate or arrange real estate transactions.
For example, Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited Brokerage specializes in buying and selling historic, recreational, rental, farm, waterfront and beach properties across Ontario. They have established many office locations to reach and serve a wide range of clients. To become a professional real estate agent, legal requirements and steps must be taken depending on the country or state.
Becoming a Real Estate Agent
There are several general requirements to becoming a licensed real estate agent in any state. The legal age is at least 18 years old, be a legal resident at the respective state or country, complete a pre license course and pass a real estate examination.
Working as a real estate agent has great financial and non-financial benefits. In the United States, the least annual earnings for a real estate agent was $45,000 and this amount has increased by 10% over the years.
It is a versatile job as an agent often works with different clients and different homes. In most countries, a college degree is not a requirement to become a real estate agent, making it a quick and inexpensive process. It is necessary to keep in mind that becoming an agent requires a lot of investment in both time and money, demanding a lot of patience. In any case, having a Bachelor’s degree in real estate can also make one a real estate agent.
Taking a Pre Licensing Course
The course costs $150 to $350 depending on the state. It involves an individual training from a well known institution before sitting for the licensing exam. Training hours are different and vary by jurisdiction. In Virginia, training is 60 hours while in California, training is 135 hours.
The course teaches real estate principles, practices like determining the value of a property and legal prospects of the business. The course can be taken online or in person depending on preference.
Taking the Licensing Exam
It is necessary to visit a real estate commission’s website (if available) to know how to sign up and take the licensing exam. The price range is $100 to $300 depending on class or online course. The exams are divided into two; General and Federal real estate laws, and the second on specific laws of the state.
They both consist of 50 to 100 questions with multiple choices, including math questions like calculating takes for a specific property. If an individual fails in the first trial of the exam, he or she can always take the exam as often as he or she wants for a period of two years. Once the two years lapse and an applicant does not pass, he or she must retake the pre licensing course.
If an applicant passes the test, he can start engaging with clients almost immediately. The individual must activate his license through the real estate commission’s website. The activation fees is between $250 to $450. A membership fees can be paid to the local multiple listing service. The system service is used to list properties, get property tax information, learn market trends a nd find listings before they go on the market.
Become a Realtor
A licensed real estate agent who becomes a member of the National Association of Realtors gains the title of a Realtor. The National Association of Realtors is the biggest trade association in the United states. It represents millions of brokers, agents, appraisers, property managers and counselors.
The association offers great benefits, like accessing real estate market, offering discounts on education courses and offering services that manage transactions. It also offers an individual to use the title ‘Realtor’ on business cards and the marketing materials add credibility.
Join a Brokerage
To legally practice real estate as an agent, it is necessary to work under a supervising broker. They oversee real estate transactions and ensure that agents stick to the required ethical and legal standards. They limit agents from conducting illegal activities and provide a safe zone to them.
Brokers pay on commission therefore one should not expect an hourly or monthly salary. In other terms, payment is received after an agent completes a transaction. Joining a well known broker like Chestnut Park opens opportunities for agents in the real estate world since they have many clients who trust their services.
Qualities of a Good Real Estate Agent
A qualified real estate agent must be able to save time and be very efficient. Property inspection, viewings and completing legal paperwork must be done as quickly as possible. Avoid making small errors that could lead to great losses like losing clients.
They must have a broad knowledge of the community and have information on the housing prices, demographics, local politics, public transportation, Schools, Crime statistics, and recreational centers. This will help convince a clients of trusting their real estate property in the right hands. An agent should be able to estimate realistic price ranges to a client when buying or selling a property.
An overrated price will throw off a client and an underrated price will make a client suspicious. Closely following market conditions in the real estate industry will help in the process of buying or selling. Data collected will determine the average sales prices in an area, total number of homes sold in the area and time spent by homes on markets.
In case a client wants to sell a house, a real estate agent must be able to advice the client on the highest price to sell the property at in a short period of time. The advice can include advertising the property and using media coverage. A good agent should be able to use his or her networking opportunities with other agents, clients and professionals. This will enhance their marketing skills and create great relationships and opportunities in the real estate market.
Working with clients requires the utmost confidentiality to increase their trust. An agent should not be emotionally attached to a property and should be able to negotiate best deals in a calm way without revealing personal information. Fine details should not be overlooked in order to complete a smooth transaction.
A good real estate agent will continue to work with a client even after receiving a commission so as to ensure that the client receives the highest level of customer care. Meeting and satisfying client needs keeps a real agent on top of potential sales and referrals. Satisfied customers refer other clients which helps in building an agent’s reputation and expanding their work circle.