Is obtaining a real estate license worth it for a new investor?

9 Replies

Hi All! 

I am new to investing, looking to get into flips initially and then potentially work my way into buy and hold properties. I was thinking about obtaining my real estate license (Pennsylvania) in order to learn a bit more but more importantly, access the MLS. From my understanding, I would have to hang my license under a broker in order to be active and access the database. At the moment, I have my current full time W2 job while also actively pursuing my own investment properties and flips, so dedicating additional time to a broker sounds daunting. I've done my fair share of research and some may say "waste of time, find an agent for the MLS automated listings"- but wouldn't it be helpful if I could do myself? Any insight or guidance here? Any and all information is appreciated. [I'm located in Philadelphia, if that helps :)]

Thanks!

-Stephanie

I have done it both ways, I have bough a lot of properties before I became licensed and we are still activly buying since I quit corporate, work as a full time agent and grew a team. 

In theroy you can list all the benfits, access to information etc. and it seems to make sense. But in the real world if you don't do this full time, you don't know what you are doing and are better off to outsource this part.

You could also get your plumbing license; you could do all your own plumbing and save a ton of money..   

The issue is that most agents (maybe over 95%) are not active investors, so they are of little help (well, too many are of litte help for anything) - so you will need to spend some time to find someone who knows more than you do and therefore can provide value!

@Stephanie Althouse

You should get your real estate license if you want to help buy and sell houses for other people. 

If it’s only for your flipping business, I would suggest you get the flipping business running first. When you have that down and are doing a healthy number of flips per year, maybe it would be worth getting your license to make commissions on acquisitions and dispositions. You will need to find a broker who will let you do that as most just want you to sell and earn commissions for clients in the traditional fashion.

No. Absolutely no value in doing it. (I used to have one too.) Waste of time and money and gives you zero advantages. Even when I occasionally have access to the MLS, I prefer to use other platforms that have better search parameters and format.

If you want a real advantage, go get a General Contractor's license....but even then it's dubious if you're just working for yourself....

@Stephanie Althouse

Depends if you desire to be a real estate broker and represent Buyers/Sellers to make commissions. It sounds like your preference is to be an investor though.

If you’re trying to save on the purchase price by representing yourself, my advice would be to simply not obtain a Buyer’s broker. The Seller’s broker will be more motivated to award you the deal (sometimes not at the highest offer price) because the Seller’s broker will make more commission without an outside broker involved. I wish it didn’t work this way but it happens.

I own properties in PA if that is where you are looking to invest. Happy to connect and share ideas if you would like.

Best luck!

Originally posted by @Spencer Hogan :

If you’re trying to save on the purchase price by representing yourself, my advice would be to simply not obtain a Buyer’s broker. The Seller’s broker will be more motivated to award you the deal (sometimes not at the highest offer price) because the Seller’s broker will make more commission without an outside broker involved. 

Yes, that is the only reason to get a RE license for an investor. You act as the buyer's agent, and then when you sell your flip, you act as the sellers agent. A little risk, but not unsurmountable. Just do your research......or you could take the courses to get the knowledge...

There is no right or wrong answer it depends on the person and what they have going on with their life. You can get your license but there is a cost. You have annual dues and fees, (MLS, realtor, insurance, etc). If you are not doing enough business to cover these costs it is not worth it. If you want immediate access to what is on the market find an agent that can set you up on their company website to have you get immediate notification of anything that comes on the market that fits your needs. If you don't want it immediately you can set it up for different times during the day to send the information to you. If you are intertested in something like that let me know. I can set you up to have that capibility. It will save you time and you can make money.

Hi Stephanie! 

If you are primarily looking at just investing and are not interested in representing buyers and sellers I wouldn't recommend getting licensed. 

I do have some good resources to help you learn more that won't cost you any money. On YouTube, there are two people that you can learn so much from regarding flipping, and finding properties to buy and hold. Look up Pace Morby and also Ryan Pineda. I've learned a lot about real estate from these two people and I'm sure these would be great resources for you as well!

I hope this helps and good luck to you!

thank you all for your input, I appreciate it. A ton of back and forth here. I did ultimately decide to enroll - I'm excited to get started with an additional angle of learning for investment opportunities. Here goes nothing!