Three "states" to choose from for license? VA/MD/DC? Please advise.

4 Replies

So I have made the decision to get my license and become a real estate agent, both for income and to augment my REI plans. So my big question is: DO I GET LICENSED IN VIRGINIA OR MARYLAND?

My geographical situation is a bit unique. I live in Washington, DC, and have the option of working in two different states and one district. If I get licensed in either Virginia or Maryland, getting a DC license only requires a one-evening legal class and then the test, so essentially I just need to pick between VA or MD. Unfortunately, these two states do not have any reciprocity agreement.

Ideally, I want to choose the state that shows the most potential for both being an agent and for investing in real estate. I could just be an agent in DC, but I want to be involved in (and gain knowledge in) one of the states' markets, as I won't have the capital to invest in the city. I suppose for right now that the prospects for being an agent are more important to me (if I REALLY want to invest in the state I don't pick a few years down the line I can get a license there too)....I'm hoping that some of you might be willing to discuss your experiences and opinions on which state might show more promise for someone in my situation.

some personal factors that might influence my decision:

-i grew up in VA and know the northern areas of it extensively, don't know Maryland at all

-but driving to VA from DC is considerably more difficult than driving to anywhere in MD

-I will only be able to part-time until I build up a good network - and in rush-hour (when I'd be able to show homes during the week), driving about 10 miles away to somewhere in northern virginia (to show a home) could take up to 2 hours.

And another question: Is it possible to find a brokerage office in DC that does both DC and one of the states? Or even all three?

I would recommend taking the DC Class, and getting your license in DC First. Then figure out which areas you want and decide if MD, VA or both are worth getting to match your goals.

In DC you have to take the class in person so I believe you get more out of the course.  The best course in the area is the Long and Foster school.  They have many options to choose from.  

Both MD and VA have their benefits depending on what types of investments you want. VA is more landlord friendly, where as MD and DC are not. The DC market is great for flips, and there are some neighborhoods in MD as well for that. VA and DC have a very competitive residential real estate market, so getting good deals to flip will take creativity.

At the end of the day there are brokerages that serve all three areas... so you have many options to choose from.


Thanks @Shayne Brescia  ...I'm all for getting a DC license, but I'm under the impression that if I take the class and get the DC license, then decide I want to do one of the states, I have to go back and do the class in whichever state and take their test to get my license there. 

I also have been lead to believe that if I do it the other way around and get one of the state licenses first, then I can take a one-evening class in DC regarding their real estate law, then take the DC test and get licensed there, making myself only take one class and two tests as opposed to two classes and two tests. 

Is this incorrect?

I would call and ask them at the Long and Foster school just to check, they should have the most accurate information.  

Sign up in MD. Much more opportunity. DC is too hot and terribly over regulated. Don't get me wrong, you can make a ton of money there but you need a good amount to start off. 

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