Real Estate License MD?

16 Replies

I have listened to mostly all of the BP podcasts, and one thing keeps continually being brought up, "Get you real estate license". So I was thinking, why not, it can't hurt. However after investigating a little, it looks like to get a license in MD you have to be somehow associated with a agency. Unless I am mistaken. Has anyone here from Maryland gotten their license without being "associated"?

Yep. The rumors are true😀. I'm preparing to do the same thing. I plan to interview different brokers to find an investor friendly spot to land. I believe one must be a salesperson for three years before you can apply to become a broker and then you must sit the exam and complete an additional 3 hours in ethics.

@Tamara V. One thing I would caution with the smaller "investor friendly" brokerages, (and I have previously been at one of these places) is that many agents from these places get themselves into trouble in the market place. They have little broker supervision and training, so they never learn how to properly and legally operate in the market place.  

@Russell Brazil Ahhhhh, good to know. A friend of mine who is currently salesperson with a very well known firm told her broker about my REI plans and said they would love to have me in their office. My concern is the split. Is this negotiable?

@Scott Barth Some brokerages may charge you a monthly fee, and others will not. All of them are going to have you purchase Errors and Omissions insurance. Most will require that you get MLS access, and most will require that you become a member of the National Association of Realtors. There are brokerages out there that will let you just hang your license with them, and then you can do nothing with it, or just let you do your own deals.

I actually do not think all the costs and the time associated with being an agent are worth it if you are doing say 4 deals a year or less. At 5 or more I do think it is possibly worth it. Once you start doing a lot of deals, then again it will become not worth it, as your time will then be more valuable to the investing side of the business and you wont want that time commitment involved in maintaining your license.

If you are going to get your license, I do think it is beneficial to be at a big brand name brokerage. If you are operating in DC, it is a bit easier operating out of a small boutique place, but I still prefer the branding that comes from the big name guys. I have been at two big name brokerages, and one small "investor friendly" place. I just think what you can learn being around other top agents, and the training available is more than worth the worse commission split you will get. Also as someone who works as a retail agent, the brand name is quite important to my business, but I would be with the big guys anyways even if I were just doing my own deals.  There is a sort of respect that comes from being with them, that makes dealing with the agent on the other side of the deal easier.  When you are at a no name place, the agent on the other side of the deal may not take you as seriously...which can be an important factor when you are trying to close that deal.

On a different macro level too, even amongst the big name brokerages there is a bit of hierarchy.  There are 3 of the bigger names that are more respected than the other I feel. Each have different philosophies as to how to operate. I chose one that works for me.  The other big name ones I feel carry certain preconceptions with them. Brokerage X may be known for low caliber agents that are easy to bully in negotiations. Brokerage Y is known for under pricing their properties. etc.

@Russell Brazil Thanks for all the info. You have a great perspective on this. I think at this point I will just keep chugging along like I have been. It seem to work so far. Also, thanks to everyone else that replied to this post. It's good to know that people like to help.

Originally posted by @Tamara V. :

@Russell Brazil I have a question: if an agent is licensed in DC and MD do both licenses have to held with the same brokerage? For example can one license be with KW in DC and another with LF in MD.

That's a great question Tamara! I hope Russell Brazil will answer. I just passed my exam and I am looking forward to working with Exit Realty as they are investor friendly and encourage their salespersons to invest in real estate themselves.


Originally posted by @Tamara V. :

@Russell Brazil I have a question: if an agent is licensed in DC and MD do both licenses have to held with the same brokerage? For example can one license be with KW in DC and another with LF in MD.

 Im 95% sure this is accurate. If a given brokerage operates in multiple states, and you are licensed in those states, I believe you have to have all your licenses with the same brokerage.  If the brokerage does not operate in a state, you can hang your license with a different brokerage.  The caveat of that is your brokerage will likely have a rule in place that you can not have that other license with a competitor.

So in essence...if you have a DC/MD/VA license they have to be with the same brokerage. If you have some weird other license, like I do in can be with someone else, but the internal rules of my brokerage do not allow me to hang it with a competitor, thus that one needs to be with a brokerage that only operates in MA and not in other states.

As an investor you should become an agent; you need to understand the culture of the general agency business. 

Some folks become agents because they are bored, they want to get out of the house, they want to meet people, they want to earn some extra money. *And some like me (about 40 years ago) became an agent to learn how to invest (that didn't work, I had to take outside courses (lots of them) to learn how to invest properly and ethically.

  •  Real estate agents for the most part are not investors, they don't understand what it takes to invest, they haven't taken the time to educate themselves (they are too busy with agency stuff, they do not understand alternative financing, many agents don't l like to work with investors (they see them as time wasters).  They are too busy serving clients and customers and trying to 1. protect themselves and their broker from being sued,  2.  trying to earn their next commission 3. busy taking continuing educations (required), attending office meetings, socializing in the office, playing office politics, sitting on floor duty.  Don't get me wrong, I am a broker and own a real estate and auction company.  I respect real estate agents and you should also. (having more fun as an investor with more free time and cash).
  • Agents work long and hard for small fees (the commission is split too many times) Investors make way more than agents more often.
  • Agents can be your best asset, make friends, be the first to look at their listings. Let them know that you will make offers on their properties.
  • Be kind to agents and generous, carry $50.00 bills with you, give an agent a fifty for his time, for all the expired listings he is sending you, buy lunch. These little things go a long way to cementing relationships.
  • Suggest you associate with a small real estate office, get to know the system, listen to the chatter of other agents, understand their goals (usually listing and selling and anger of other agents). 
  • Don't educate, don't show off your investing knowledge (you spent time and money educating yourself).  Agent sometimes will mistrust you if you chatter too much about your success and how smart you are when it comes to making money. Talk less and listen more.
  • You can act as a referring agent and receive a fee if you don't want to act as a full time agent.
  • Don't get involved into agency stuff (listing, selling, open houses, floor duty) this will only sap your time and energy from your real goal; making offers, making money, building your real estate empire and creating a giant net worth.
  • Understand their contracts, they are usually about 30 pages. Read and understand every clause and what that statement will do to harm your client or benefit your client and know what to include and exclude in the Realtor's contract of sale.
  • Agents often say, "I've got to write a contract". False!  Unless you are a lawyer or representing yourself, agents do not write contracts....... they fill in the blanks.
  • Study the business, get really personal with the MLS, search for Expired Listings, set up system where you follow certain listings, keep a journal of commercial listings, make it a habit to preview properties, learn your market, values and why an agent listed the property too high. If you are on a listing appointment NEVER tell your seller, "Let's list it higher, we can always come down!" No, list it at a price that will sell the listings. By listing too high, agents miss prospects who would have made an offer if the property were listed at the right price, at the price the seller wants. Don't miss that initial bounce when it comes on the market, list it right.
  • When reading a listing, don't miss the following, DOM (days on the market) this will give you a hint of potential motivation of the seller, look at how many times the price has changed (more motivation) always read the remarks, they will give you an indication of seller's motivation, look for key words; seller anxious, needs some work, owner financing, sold in as is condition, will consider buy like rent, option, agent bonus, low down payment....etc.

Real estate is a wonderful business, investing working with clients, marketing and making deals......... in my opinion being in real estate is a lot better than working for a living.

Charles Parrish

It might not be worth it to get a license for a few deals a year, but what is worth it in my opinion is making offers. No real estate agent will want to put in offer after offer for you when your offers are way below asking price. Having a license affords me the ability to make as many offers as I want. Just an FYI I am in the process of getting my license.

I suggest y'all listen to BP Podcast 136: Building an Incredible Real Estate Pipeline with Shawn Holsapple. It reinforces what I said here.

I am of the opinion, and this is just my opinion, that the license does afford you certain tools that could make investing easier.  You learn how to evaluate home values using hard data that is available to you as a licensed Realtor.  Zillow and the other automated valuation systems out there do not use the same calculations an appraiser uses and as a Realtor you learn (that is if you take the time to learn) how to properly access a home's value so that your numbers are closer to the appraiser's. This is important if you are looking to sell to an end user who will be getting financing to purchase the property from you (not so much if you are wholesaling).  You don't want to overestimate the "AVR" when you purchase because of bad numbers you got from one of those systems.  Being a licensed Realtor also gives you early access to foreclosure and short sale properties as if you or someone on your team or in your office takes a "distressed property" listing you get first dibs on it.  And how about it you speak to a homeowner about cash for their home and they want more than what you calculations will allow you to pay,  you can list their home on the market and get a commission when it sells. And that brings up the next point.  As a Realtor, you can make a commission in addition to sale profit when you sell your home or you can lower the price of your home because you are willing to waive your side of the commission.  In the end it is up to the individual.  I believe knowledge is power and for that reason, I'm glad I have my license.  I am learning a lot about Real Estate.  

Wow!  #Charles Parrish and #Russell Brazil slammed it!  Very informative.  I personally do not do floor duty, or go the office, that is not why I got my license again.  I manage my own business, investing.  With that said, since I am "part of their group" its easier to talk with them, and maybe, possibly get a good deal before it goes public.. 

And yes, I have seen listings over priced and just shake my head. It truly is an injustice for the client.

Enjoy the site!

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you