How to Become a Realtor

If you are interested in the lucrative business of buying and selling real estate, you may want to know how to become a realtor. As a realtor, you'll also work long hours, including evenings and weekends. While you can set your own hours, you will also be on your client's time and they will in a sense control much of your time. Even though people often use the terms "realtor" and "real estate agent" interchangeably, the requirements for the two are slightly different. A real estate agent is licensed to help people buy and sell various types of real estate whereas a realtor is a real estate agent who is both a broker and member of the National Association of Realtors.

Education and Licensing

To become a realtor, you'll have to be at least 18 years old and have either your high school or GED (General Education Development) diploma. You will need to enroll in real estate school and take the required classes and number of hours. The amount required is usually about 21 hour and will be specified by your state. Sometimes you can take these classes online. After you have completed your coursework, you'll have to pass an exam and then apply to become a licensed real estate agent. Since each state has different requirements, you'll have to check where you want to sell real estate to find out what you need to do.

Once you have your license, think about apprenticing with an experienced realtor for approximately two years to learn as much as you can about the business. After that, you should take a renewal real estate course to get you ready for your broker exam. Once you have passed this test, you can become a licensed broker.

You will need to gain as much experience as possible buying and selling real estate and take any additional broker training available to you. Then you should apply for membership in your state's association of realtors. When you are accepted, you'll get your realtor designation and be able to use the trademark symbol by your name on your business cards and other business realtor correspondence.

Cost and Hours

Becoming a realtor is expensive and time consuming. The cost of licensing is high, and you will have to pay a fee to join the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as well as one to join your local board of realtors. Usually you'll also have to pay quarterly or monthly fees to your local real estate board as well.

Some other expenses you can expect include office overhead like phone calls, postage, copies, and advertising. It's also important for realtors to have a nice four door vehicle with adequate auto insurance to cover your passengers. So you can expect to spend quite a lot of money before you see a profit.