Considerations for becoming a licensed agent (Alabama)

6 Replies

My wife and I live in north Alabama.  We are on the front-end of our real estate business and new to the BP community.  After examining the pros and cons of getting licensed as a real estate agent we have decided that 1 of us is going to do so for a number of reasons.  As we look to start the process I wanted to have a better idea of the parameters to expect so we can be more educated in our selections.  First, generally, what is the upfront time and cost to get licensed?  Second, what should we look for in selecting a broker and what kind of ongoing fees should we expect, understanding that it varies from state to state?  Thank you in advance for your feedback.


@Brian Utley Welcome to BP! There are a lot of ways to get licensed and move forward as an agent.  The best way depends on your personality and circumstances.  I'll just tell you what I did. 

-60hr pre-license through (cost with a groupon ~$150, time total of 7-8 weeks)

-State specific book of practice tests from ($8, 1 week to go through all of them)

-Take the test (~$70)

-Join local Keller Williams office ($88/month + commission splits)

-Pay to join local MLS and NAR affiliates (~1k)

-So, I would say 2-3 months of work and $1500-$2500 cost

KW is a great place to start because they understand investors. The culture and training is great too. Hope that helps.

@Rob Drum Thank you very much for that insight!  That information goes a long way toward setting our expectations.  When it comes to connecting with a broker, like KW, are they typically receptive to agents who are licensed for the primary purpose of investing rather than serving as a traditional realtor?  I'm assuming they would be receptive because the volume of transactions would be a win for the broker, but I was curious if I should be conscious of any sort of discrimination on the front-end?      

I  don't think most brokers would discriminate against investors. I don't really know how the other big brokers are about that though. In Birmingham, we have a couple investors who also happen to be brokers, and take on agents. If you ask around I'm sure there are some like that in Huntsville.

Hey @Brian Utley

There are definitely pros and cons with having and not having a license. One pro to having a license and brokering real estate for a living is knowing the off-market. I am a commercial broker In birmingham al with Southpace Properties Inc. As you probably have seen, finding deals in a sellers market is very difficult. Anything listed for sale is usually going to be at or above market. The offmarket is really the only place to find deals.

I am in commercial real estate. In commercial, the seller or landlord always pays the commission. The buyer or tenant never pays the commission so it’s really a win win for a buyer to use a broker to find deals, negotiate on their behalf and to write up offers.

When you (or your business partner) have a license, you become liable and held to the same standards as a licensed agent or broker. In other words, you take on liability that you otherwise would not have without a license.

Just a couple things to consider. Good luck!

@Rob Drum Thank you for the feedback.  We have some friends who are with KW here in HSV, so we'll follow up with them.  

@Shepard Ager Great considerations.  Thank you very much for sharing those thoughts and helping us take our next step with even better perspective.  

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