Real estate license?

19 Replies

Let me answer with a question: when you want to buy a car, do you go to a knowledgeable and resourceful salesman, or do you get a job at a dealership so you can see the daily inventory sheets? Same answer with real estate.

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@Frankie Corona Perhaps I got unlucky with the first few real estate agents I worked with. Now that I got licensed, I meet a lot of agents who I would have loved to work with when I was starting out. Getting your license isn't a bad thing. For me in FL, yearly cost of having my license is around $2k. The value I got from that first 2k was I was able to learn the market at a faster speed, get into properties at my own schedule as I also work a separate full time job, offer on properties myself, and of course collect the commission. I didn't want to be licensed in the beginning, but it made sense and I don't regret it. Figure out how much it's going to cost you to get licensed and if you know you're going to at least get the commission back with a personal purchase, then I'd say it's worth it. However, if you are looking into commercial multifamily (50+ units), you are better of working with an established commercial broker.

@Frankie Corona Not sure how it is in NJ, but in FL, you have to work under a broker as a real estate sales associate. After 2 years, you can be your own broker if you wanted to. By working under a broker, you don't necessarily work for them as most agents are independent and do their own thing but you work under their supervision.

hi @Arianne l. I also live in FL, and was contemplating on getting my RE license. How did you juggle working a separate FT job and being an agent? Also, when you worked as an agent, did you have anyone to show you the ropes, or train you? Or did they just throw you out there to sink or swim?

Hi Frankie,

I was asking myself the same question a few years ago. My husband and I worked with a broker to purchase our first couple of properties. Eventually I decided to get my license and was hired by said broker. We have been able to work out a flexible arrangement. The market I am in is very competitive and things move quick. By taking out the middle man it is easier/faster for me to get access to information and view houses. It definitely streamlines the offer process and the commission check doesn't hurt. But, as @Arianne mentioned, getting your real estate license takes time and costs money! By the way, you need to work for a firm as an agent and it's a prerequisite for becoming a broker (at least that's the case in Mass). While you certainly don't need a license it can be a nice compliment in certain situations. I definitely don't regret going for it!

It is challenging to balance the two roles. Ideally, you'll need to have some flexibility at work so that you can accommodate the needs of your clients. Personally, I work virtually and my meetings are planned in advance. This allows me to be available for my real estate clients while being employed full-time. If your full-time job has a rigid schedule, it will be tricky to do both. One approach is to form a team with the other realtors at the agency. Partnering up can provide many benefits, one of them being that you can cover for each other. 

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Originally posted by @Frankie Corona :

Dana Bull
Time and money are no issues for me. The only problem I have is how I am going to work under a brokerage in a firm while I work full time. How can I manage this?

 Basically the law requires you to "hang" your license at a managing broker's establishment so they can find you should you do something horrific or what not. That also means they take some of the pay, of course, until you get a managing broker license. Anyway, you can hang your license there and work whenever you want, provided the broker has no problem with you being a part time producer.

There are some costs and advantages to obtaining the licensing. As mentioned, there is time and money involved in obtaining and maintaining your license. Most states will then require you disclose your license on marketing.

The obvious advantages have been mentioned already. I often view standard "we buy houses" investing to be about connecting with a motivated seller and helping them resolve their housing problem. Our marketing puts us in contact with motivated sellers, but often their property is in beautiful condition and they wish to sell for other reasons. In my experiece, I have not had a homeowner with a pristine SFH home willing to accept a 70% type investor offer. The right solution for these homeowners is to list on the MLS for an end user who will pay top dollar - and we openly advise homeowners that is their best strategy if they can wait it out a couple months. If you have a license, you can list the property on the MLS for them and collect commission. Of course, every business has different goals and strategies, but don't rule out being able to list properties that aren't typical investor deals.

Hi all,

99% of anything listed on MLS's is on Realtor.com. It is the only true site that has the most up to date properties that are input into the MLS. If you're only reason to get licensed is access to the MLS there is really no need. If you are truly pressed on time then get yourself a buyers agent. You should interview at least 3, and you should be very realistic with them on how you plan to buy properties and what will be your strategy. If you understand the market, and you already understand market value, contracts, the closing process, negotiations, etc.... then when on Realtor.com scroll all the way to the bottom to find out who the listing agent is and contact them directly.