I have my license, but how do I get started buying with it?

8 Replies

I'll start by saying that I am a FT property manager for a nationwide property management company, and they sponsor my real estate license. I've had my license since 2013 but haven't done anything with it. I see the benefits of being licensed when purchasing properties and want to put it to use and also have MLS access (this isn't really an option with my current sponsor). I currently own 2 houses but used an agent for those purchases.

So, my question is, how do you know which RE brokerage firms are "investor-friendly?" Since I currently work FT for someone else, I need flexibility and the ability to work under a sponsor, have MLS access and be able to learn how to prepare a contract. Does anyone have any tips on how to find a good sponsor and what steps I need to take to put my license to work for me when I purchase my next property? At this point I am obviously not confident enough to use my license, and not even sure that I could use it for purchases with my current sponsor.

Thank you in advance!

If you are currently licensed, you can purchase anything that is listed. You are bringing the buyer (yourself) and will earn a commission for bringing the buyer. If you run into a bargain on off market properties, you won't use your license to earn a commission. More than likely, you will need to disclose your licensed status in any listed or off-market property transaction. I just had an offer accepted yesterday and it was off-market. To cover myself, I put something to this effect in the contract: "purchaser is a licensed sales agent, buying for their personal benefit, below market, and with a profit motive. Consult your attorney." Though this is a bit more explicit than "buyer is a licensed real estate agent" I feel putting in the additional terms makes my motive 100% clear and would make it nearly impossible for a seller to claim they were not "informed" or some other claim that they were not fully informed.  As to your question of how to pick a brokerage, interview them. Write out questions that are important to you and submit those to different brokerages to find out which might be the best fit for you. Use that license! You paid for it. You got your education. You earned it.

If you're working as a property manager and performing activities like leasing properties, then you probably can't move your license to another broker. Check your state law.

Fred, in my state the license is only required if you do not work for the owner.  I work for the owner and not a 3rd party management company so I don't NEED the license to do my job.  I think I'm safe there but I will double check the law.

@Kathryn Dillon I assumed you work for a traditional third-party PM company. If your employer owns the properties you manage, then a license is not required. 

I should've specified that! :)  

You just want to call the brokerages and feel them out. Be 100% up front about what it is you want to do with your license. Some may not want to bring you on but I imagine you will find a few that are more than happy to have you join their team.

I second calling around to different brokerages. If you want to be an agent full time, then consider one that is set up like a team, just know you will probably have them taking more of your commission but at least they are feeding you leads. If you want to be completely independent, then I would look for a brokerage that lets you keep nearly your entire commission, just know that you won't get much of education. 

Great, thank you for the tips John, James & Colin!

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