What Education Is Required To Be A Real Estate Agent

Definition of "What education is required to be a real estate agent"

Levy Realty Partners real estate agent

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To become a real estate agent, educational requirements can have variations depending on the jurisdiction in the specific state. This may come with surprising differences in what knowledge needs to be acquired for licensing. Also, because of the difference between commercial and residential real estate the length and complexity of education can fluctuate. So, to be well informed, it’s important to check what jurisdiction is currently applied in the particular state you want to study and work in. The typical educational path has the following requirements.

  • High school diploma. - this is the minimum requirement for starting further studies. 
  • Pre-Licensing education. A certain number of hours of study and practice have to be completed at an accredited real estate school or institution. Those cover the most important topics needed to become a real estate agent. 
  • Licensing exam. Aspiring real estate agents must pass a licensing exam after completing the required pre-licensing education. This exam typically covers general industry knowledge, laws, regulations, and ethics. This is where specialization becomes important because, in some states, there can be a difference between commercial and residential real estate licenses.
  • Post-licensing. In some states, in order to keep a real estate license, agents need to undergo continuing education. This might require completing a certain number of hours of courses to refresh knowledge on jurisdiction and laws. 

Duration of education

The time required to obtain a real estate license can vary depending on several factors, like jurisdiction and the aspiring agent’s pace of study. So, how many years of college it takes to be a real estate agent can fluctuate. A general breakdown of education would look something like this:

  • Pre-licensing education. Depending on the individual’s schedule and the number of hours required by the institution, this can range from a few weeks to a few months. Usually, 60 to 150 hours are required in total. Some programs offre flexible options, like online and evening classes, so it is possible to take advantage of those possibilities. 
  • Licensing exam. The exam is the following step after individual preparation and reviewing the materials learned. This only takes a few hours, but to get here usually takes four to six months. 
  • Background check and processing of the applications. Depending on the jurisdiction, applicants may need to undergo a background check to see if they fit the  requments for licensing. In some cases, passing the background check is a must in order to acquire licensing. 

Differences in education for different specializations

Can a residential real estate agent sell commercial property? That is a frequently asked question. It comes from the fact that the jurisdiction and regulations for commercial real estate transactions are more complex than residential ones. Aspiring real estate professionals have the possibility to specialize in either one of them. The content and length of the courses might take longer and require more complex preparations for specializing in commercial real estate. Still, you don’t need a bachelor’s degree to sell commercial real estate, but it can definitely help. Usually, higher education is not a requirement, but a certain number of completed courses is. The exam content can be different for those specialized in commercial real estate. Questions specific to commercial property, financial analysis, and investment strategies might be included. 

The bottom line is that all agents are typically free to do both commercial and residential real estate transactions. Still, since the knowledge required for the two can be radically different in some cases, it is important to ensure that you have the necessary preparations to handle those sales professionally. It is also advised to do individual research on the particular area you’re interested in because the jurisdiction for licensing can differ from state to state.

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