I’ve been considering becoming a real estate agent in IL.
The main reason being able to sell my own property, providing consulting services and access MLS for investing opportunities.
Is the cost to be an agent virtually the same? Seems like education is abundant, but do I have to ultimately work with an agent first in the beginning?
There are costs associated with education to obtain your license, taking the test, licensing with your state, and joining a board to become a Realtor (if you want to be able to claim the title).
Then, you will need to hang your license with a broker. It sounds like you are interested in an office that will cost you the least because you will not require much from them in return (you want to do your own thing). So, I would look for 100% shops or boutique brokerages that may charge a low flat fee to hang your license there.
You will need to have E&O insurance (sometimes the Broker provides) for deals you do outside of your own.
It will also cost you to join the MLS and obtain a lock box key for entry into homes.
You just need to determine whether the expense of obtaining and maintaining is worth the savings you will receive from commissions on your deals. Sometimes it is, especially if you are planning on doing several transactions within a short period of time. Other times it isn't. So that is something you will need to decide for yourself.
IL 90 Hours pre license, figure $500 to $1000
State test $100? appropriate
Signing up with all the boards,
start up + first year $1500-
Ongoing costs boards n continue ED about $1200 per year
If you join a 100% office plan on close to 1K per year plus fee on every transaction.
Nearly every listing office is taking 200-400 off the buying agents commission, just something to think about.
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