Have you ever thought about becoming a real estate agent? Real estate is a fascinating, rewarding career and it’s not that complicated to get started. You complete a big real estate course, pass a test, file an application, and find a broker to work with. That’s it.
What Do Real Estate Agents Do?
There are listing agents, who represent property sellers. They advise their clients about how to best prepare to sell and how to set an asking price. The listing agent creates and implements a marketing plan and conducts open houses. They also handle offers and help sellers through the negotiation process.
There are also buyer’s agents who represent the interests of buyers. They assess their client’s needs and wants, help them get pre-qualified for loans, and locate possible houses in their client’s price range. They accompany buyers as they look at houses and answer questions. Buyer’s agents help draft a good first offer, handle paperwork, and assist in negotiations with the seller.
Why Become a Real Estate Agent?
So what are some good reasons for getting a real estate license in Texas?
- Helping people: Buying real estate is a huge financial transaction and selecting the perfect home is a personal endeavor. As a real estate agent, you’re helping people navigate one of the most important decisions of their lives.
- Analyzing property and real estate markets: If you like those house hunting and property flipping shows, you’ll probably love being a real estate agent. You assess your client’s needs and find the right property or buyers for them. You’ll be analyzing property features and market factors to decide how to price it, how to market it, and how much to offer for it.
- Not desk bound: You may have a desk in a brokerage office, but you’ll spend a lot of your time out in the field helping clients and touring property. Plus, these days, the office is mobile.
- Flexibly and freedom: While you will be sponsored by an established real estate broker, you’ll likely be an independent contractor. You’ll set your own hours, manage your finances, and handle your clients.
- The industry is rebounding from the bubble. People are looking to sell; people are looking to buy. And they need qualified professionals guiding them through the process. Home prices are rising, and areas like North Texas are really booming, with nearly 30,000 new houses expected to be built in 2016.
How Do You Become a Real Estate Agent?
To buy and sell real estate in Texas, you have to get a real estate salesperson’s license. Then after a few years in the business, you may want to get a broker’s license and open your own firm.
License requirements include education, applications, and a licensing exam.
Required prelicense education includes:
- Principles of Real Estate I (30 classroom hours)
- Principles of Real Estate II (30 classroom hours)
- Law of Agency (30 classroom hours)
- Law of Contracts (30 classroom hours)
- Promulgated Contracts Forms (30 classroom hours)
- Real Estate Finance (30 classroom hours)
Affordable, convenient education is easier than ever in the Internet age. A number of providers offer online real estate courses that you can take anytime you want wherever you have internet. Interactive, self-paced courses are easy to fit into your schedule after work, in the morning, or on weekends. You don’t even need to change out of your pajamas.
After you’ve successfully completed the education, you will submit an application and take the licensing exam, which covers topics you learned in the prelicense courses. Before you can get started, you have to get a Texas real estate broker to sponsor you as a salesperson. Your broker is required to supervise you and review your advertisements. While you will be working from the broker’s office, using the broker’s office equipment, you’ll likely be an independent contractor and be your own boss, managing your time and activities.
A real estate agent doesn’t just buy and sell real estate. She is also a guide, counselor, design consultant, architecture buff, educator, amateur economist, sociologist, local tour guide, and financial advisor. It can be a lot of fun, but there’s also a lot at stake. As a real estate agent, you are the designated problem solver worrying about all the ways the sale could get derailed. You have to deal with clients’ fears, stress, doubts, dreams, and expectations.
But if you love helping people and talking about houses, interior design, and landscaping, take a closer look at becoming a real estate agent.