1. Home  » 
  2. Business

How to Become a Realtor? How Long Does It Take to Become a Real Estate Agent?

To become a Realtor, individuals need to meet their state's age and education requirements, complete a prelicensing course, activate their license, and consider joining the National Association of Realtors (NAR) by adhering to its Code of Ethics.

by Tamilchandran

Updated Dec 07, 2023

Article continues below advertisement
How to Become a Realtor? How Long Does It Take to Become a Real Estate Agent?

Who is a Realtor?

A Realtor is a real estate professional who guides clients through the process of buying, selling, or renting residential or commercial properties, ensuring that their needs are met. These professionals, as members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), adhere to high standards and ethics, exemplified by the NAR's strict Code of Ethics.

Realtors play a crucial role in drafting contracts, negotiating with buyers and sellers, hosting open houses, conducting market research, and building client networks. Pursuing a career as a Realtor involves meeting specific educational and licensing requirements, and the process typically takes about four to six months, depending on location.

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

How to Become a Realtor?

It's a great choice if you enjoy helping people find homes or business spaces. Before you start looking for real estate jobs, you need to understand what's required. This includes things like education, licenses, and other qualifications.

Realtors guide people through buying, selling, and renting homes or commercial properties. To become a Realtor, you must meet the age and education requirements set by your state. You can specialize in different areas of real estate, but you'll need to understand the educational and licensing requirements. Here are the main steps to become a Realtor:

Investigate Your State’s Criteria for Real Estate Licensing

To become a Realtor, you need to meet your state's specific licensing requirements as there is no national real estate license. Explore the website of your state's real estate regulatory office, typically found on the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO)'s directory.

Every state has its own rules regarding age, education prerequisites, prelicensing courses, exams, and more. Make sure to check for reciprocal licensing agreements if you plan to practice in multiple states, saving you from additional exams in certain cases.

Enroll in a Prelicensing Course

Irrespective of your location, you must enroll in a pre-licensing course, typically costing around $350 from an accredited real estate licensing school, before you can attempt the real estate license exam.

Course durations and requirements vary by state; for example, California mandates three classes totaling 135 hours, while New York and Georgia require 75 hours, and Florida demands only 63 hours. Most states provide online or in-person classes through real estate schools or community colleges.

Your instructor will guide you on scheduling, registering, and paying for the licensing exam, which generally costs $100-$300. The exam comprises a national portion covering general real estate principles and practices, along with a state-specific section addressing your state's real estate laws.

Activate Your License as a Real Estate Agent

After passing the exam, the next step is to submit an application, required documents, and fees (typically $200-$400) to your state's real estate regulatory organization.

Once your application gets approval, the state will send your real estate license certificate, and your name will become searchable in the licensees' section of its website. It's important to note that you cannot practice as a real estate agent until your license is officially issued by the state's real estate authority.

Explore the Option of Becoming a Realtor

While the terms real estate agent and realtor are often used interchangeably, there is a distinction. Realtors, unlike regular agents, are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and adhere to its stringent Code of Ethics.

The NAR, with over 1.5 million members, is the largest trade association in the U.S., encompassing various real estate professionals. While joining as a realtor is optional with a fee of around $185, it can enhance your credibility and provide access to valuable resources, including business tools, market data, educational opportunities, and discount programs.

Realtors also benefit from the Realtors Property Resource (RPR), the largest online real estate database in the U.S., offering extensive information on properties and related data.

Align Yourself with a Real Estate Brokerage

As a real estate agent, you operate under the guidance of a licensed supervising broker who oversees transactions and ensures adherence to legal and ethical standards. Typically, you earn a percentage of the commissions collected by the brokerage from your transactions, rather than an hourly salary.

The specific terms with your brokerage may involve costs like desk fees, tech fees, marketing materials, and business-related expenses. You'll also encounter one-time and recurring costs such as license renewal, continuing education, lockbox fees, and MLS memberships. Joining a brokerage typically incurs a monthly fee ranging from $25 to $500.

MarketsHost, your trusted online companion, invites you to step into the captivating realm of Business. Discover an array of insights, strategies, and success stories within this vibrant landscape as you navigate your entrepreneurial path.

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

How Long Does It Take to Become a Real Estate Agent?

Becoming a Real Estate Agent is a process that typically spans four to six months, although the timeframe can vary depending on your location. The key steps involve completing a real estate prelicensing course, successfully passing the licensing exam, activating your license, and joining a real estate brokerage. This comprehensive process ensures that aspiring agents meet the necessary qualifications and requirements to operate within the real estate industry.

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

How Much Do Realtors Make in the USA?

In the United States, the average base salary for a Real Estate Agent is $95,544. This figure represents the earnings typically received by individuals in this profession and may vary based on factors such as experience, location, and the specific real estate market conditions in different regions of the country. Real Estate Agents have the potential to earn additional income through commissions based on successful property transactions.

How Do Real Estate Agents Differ From Realtors?

A real estate agent is a licensed professional involved in buying and selling property, while a Realtor is a trademarked term for an agent who is an active member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The NAR is the largest trade association in the U.S., and Realtors adhere to its strict Code of Ethics. Despite the distinctions, people often use "Realtor" as a convenient term for anyone in the real estate business, even though both agents and Realtors have specific meanings and differences.

How to Become a Realtor - FAQs

1. What's the difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor?

A Realtor is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and upholds a strict Code of Ethics.

2. How long does it take to become a real estate agent?

Becoming a real estate agent typically takes 4 to 6 months, but it varies based on factors like location and education format.

3. What is the highest-paid type of real estate agent?

Luxury property agents and commercial real estate agents often earn the highest incomes, depending on location and market conditions.

4. How much do Realtors make in the USA on average?

In 2022, real estate agents earned between $85,597 and $112,309 on average, but earnings vary widely based on factors like experience and location.

5. What is the Realtor Code of Ethics, and why is it important?

The Realtor Code of Ethics sets high standards for ethical conduct in the real estate industry, ensuring professionalism, trust, and integrity among members of the NAR.

Disclaimer : The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.