Is it worth it to get real estate license just to sell one house?

7 Replies

Hi group

My family has a home they want to sell and they said if I got my license I can do the deal.  The license course takes a couple weeks of my time, and it will be about $500 to get the license (that is with courses, exams, books, and other fees).

The house is generally worth $220,000.  The family would be generous and allow 6-8% commission for me.  It is in a desirable area where houses sell quickly, and the house itself is in great condition, along with the whole neighborhood it is in great condition.  Typically houses in the neighborhood are sold very quickly.

Other costs for me are joining the REALTOR association.  Since I only plan to sell one house with this license, is it worth it to spend (possibly thousands of dollars) just to join the REALTOR association?

Also, how would it work out if I did not obtain my license, and instead, just did a referral.  If I asked for a high referral rate of lets say 35% or more, would this be more profitable that going through the other option of getting my licenses, taking the exam, mailing paperwork, and everything else included just to obtain that license?

Also, I have never sold a home before. 

This more a time and integrity decision than a commission vs cost one. Biggest question I have is do you have real estate or other business related experience that would enable you to reasonably represent family? 

A commission split aggressive managing broker won't want an agent only for one transaction, do you plan to be honest with your intentions. In addition to license, associations generally require some training time as well. 

In IL the whole process with license, tests commuting other training, meeting broker, is probably close to 120 hours minimum. 

Hi Ron, My name is Hassan I have been a licensed Real Estate Broker in IL since 2002. I would not get a license just to sell one property it would not be worth the time or money that you would have to spend. Also depending on your home state you couldn't receive a referral fee that would be illegal. What I would do is put the property under contract yourself or have them add you on the deed. Doing this will legally allow you to sell the property without a license. Hope this helps good luck
Just do a "for sale by owner" or use a listing service to get it on the MLS. If you're just getting a license for one house, you dont bring them anything of value, so why would they pay you? No offense, but that is just scamming your family to take 3% of their home value from them.

No, no and no..   

Whatever you may absorb while going to class and studying for your test, will not be part of actual the "real life" transaction..   Plus all the Post licensing classes, easily over 120 hrs as mentioned in a previous post. 

You will need hand holding from the broker throughout the entire transaction (as did I back on my first deal in 2010, you'll never forget the first one!)   

Like someone else said, you'll be doing your family an injustice and could get them in serious hot water if you make any mistakes..  Not worth it..  Interview a bunch of agents locally and pick a good one to represent your family

Oh and its not legal to get a referral fee if you're not licensed, at least in my state, probably everywhere though I'd imagine

While this may an interesting mental exercise to go through, my opinion is this would be a foolish thing to actually do. In all likelihood, your family will only "save" half the commission (~3%) as almost all properties sell with a co-broke commission.  Plus, you may likely get outsmarted on things or make mistakes that cost $$ in closing since you have no real estate transaction experience. I certainly wouldn't hire an agent who has never sold a home, not even a relative. I believe your family would be stepping over dollars to pick up pennies in this situation.

Recommend you pay a realtor to negotiate and manage the transaction professionally to closure. A good realtor (top ~5%, you shouldn't be dealing with anything less) will easily pay for their commission. 

Note that I was a realtor in the past and know the AZ requirements. I am no longer a realtor, an investor only now. 

Good luck with your decision.

I just saw a post in these forums from someone who is licensed but is part time, and they lost $25,000 because they didnt know what they were doing. Selling/buying real estate isnt a hobby. Once you become licensed you are responsible for knowing every thing about it. In this other individuals post, at least he only lost his own money instead of a clients.