Agent or Broker? Also cheapest class in Mass

11 Replies

I'm new to REI and doing my homework before jumping in. I like the idea of being a real estate agent for the commissions on the transactions.

I'm not sure what other states do, but Massachusetts has an agent (salesperson) and broker licenses. Any suggestions if I should get the broker license? Or should I worry about that later? I do plan to form an LLC for the REI business.

Also, does anyone recommend a school (online/in person) in Mass?

Hello from St Louis,

I can only speak about my perspective in Missouri, but here broker's take on more responsibility aka legal risks and time spent on the paperwork/legal side of contracts.  So, first I'd look into that and make sure that's something you want to take on.  

Starting as a salesperson gives you an opportunity to see how a broker runs things, and probably allows you to focus more on the RE market and less on the administrative side.   Are you able to test for a broker's license immediately? In Missouri you must be "active" for "24 of the last 30 months" aka have a salesperson's license for two years before becoming a broker.

If you can get a broker's license it may be worth your time, or it may be better to wait.  Are you highly detailed oriented and want to have a small one-person show from the start?  Or, do you want a brokerage that can deal with a lot of the paperwork, and be there to answer questions or provide training?  If you decide to hang your license with a broker, the type of broker will depend on what you want from them e.g. more training as well as what your goals are with the license e.g. just your own transactions or helping others buy, sell, or manage real estate.

I can't speak to Mass schools, but I got the classwork done to test for my license online in about a week.  I found Real Estate Express really easy (you can look at their Facebook for coupons, but I called and asked for the discount and got it) compared to 1st Choice Real Estate School.  I asked for a refund after having many technical problems (timing out, failing to load, not recording my answers) but also less than happy with how 1st Choice wrote their questions.  There are a lot of teachers in my family and I tend to notice grammar or spelling errors (usually I notice mine just after I've hit send) so the things that perturbed me about 1st Choice may not be an issue for you.

Hi Charles.  We should connect - I'm almost next door in Scituate.

In Mass, you have to have a salesperson's license for 3 years before you're allowed to sit for the broker's exam.

I took the class on DVD at Weichert Realtors in Scituate.  Jim and Donna Chase (Donna is the owner/broker) are nice folks.  I worked there for a while after getting licensed, but have moved on to open my own brokerage.

The class in this state is 40 hours.  It took me 2 weeks to get it done.  If you do it, the best advice I can give you is to take the exam as soon as possible.

I talked to the Lee Real Estate School (www.LeeInstitute.com) and they seem to have a good operation too.

In the meantime, contact me if you're looking for flips now - I'm working with a lot of investors and would be happy to help you with properties in Plymouth, Bristol, Norfolk and Suffolk counties. 

    Hi fellow. Check out supply and demand first on real estate Realtor or agent. 101 economics we must not forget. For example if you check out how many deal State processed per this year and compare to registered licenses in the State. When you have a ration 1:1  I would not bother, because  a regressive calculation might tell  you one agent closed one deal per year!Warren buffet rules ; Do fewer thing, do they often, be great on them. 

@Maggie L. - Thanks for the info.  As you saw in @Charlie MacPherson 's response, I would need to have 3 years as a salesperson before getting a broker license.  So in the short term, I'll look at getting the salesperson license.  I'm looking to get a license so I can keep my costs down.  My focus is going to be on buy and hold properties for now.

@Charlie MacPherson - I'll reach out to you.  Yes, you're very local and I saw you post on some other threads.  Looking forward to connecting!

Hi Charles, I took a 40 hour class in Waltham, at Coldwell Banker headquarters, they charge $299, the cheapest. I attended two weekends one week apart. It worked just fine with me. If you have any question, just ask :)

It may be better to take the course with a brokerage, I actually didn't know about that.

I am getting mine at AREA real estate academy in Waltham. 40 hrs in person broken out into 8 5-hr classes. Typical charge is $350 but there are discounts depending on which type of cohort you sign up for. (I.e. $250 for Sunday classes only), I actually got the same discount for being a veteran.

I am taking classes whenever I can fit them in outside of my full time job, and they allow 3 months to complete them all from when you start. The courses are somewhat boring but you have to sit through them in order to test.

Good luck!

It may be better to take the course with a brokerage, I actually didn't know about that.

I am getting mine at AREA real estate academy in Waltham. 40 hrs in person broken out into 8 5-hr classes. Typical charge is $350 but there are discounts depending on which type of cohort you sign up for. (I.e. $250 for Sunday classes only), I actually got the same discount for being a veteran.

I am taking classes whenever I can fit them in outside of my full time job, and they allow 3 months to complete them all from when you start. The courses are somewhat boring but you have to sit through them in order to test.

Oh and if no one already said it, in MA you still have to sit in person even if you watch a video...

Good luck!