Real estate has always been a lucrative and stable business to start a career in.
Many young people dream of becoming real estate agents, brokers, or appraisers. That’s no surprise since this profession can often earn you a 6 figure salary! Additionally, it’s a fun job too! You get to wear suits and meet many interesting people, whether it be clients or colleagues. There are many perks to this trade that make it an enjoyable and pleasant job.
If you’re one of the many youngsters who would love to dive into this well-paid business, you may think to yourself:
How old do you have to be to get a real estate license? What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a young real estate agent? How to get a real estate license?
Well, you’re in luck, because in this article we will answer all of these questions you may have and many more, so go ahead and read on!
So, How Old Do You Have To Be To Get A Real Estate License?
The most common answer to this question is that you have to be at least 18 years old in most cases.
The reason why we say “in most cases” is because it actually depends on the state where you live or want to apply for a license.
You see, every state has its own regulations regarding real estate licensing. Hence, the requirements vary depending on where you are applying for a license.
Luckily, 46 out of the 50 states require you to be at least 18 years old to be able to apply for a real estate license. The states of Alabama, Nebraska, and Alaska require you to be at least 19 years old, and only the state of Illinois has the required age set at 21.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Getting Into The Real Estate Business At A Young Age
You probably think that all real estate agents, brokers, appraisers are older people who have a ton of experience and that you are at a major disadvantage if you start right after college or high school.
The truth is, like with everything else in life, it mainly depends on you.
Sure, there are some disadvantages, but there are many advantages to starting young too!
The main and biggest disadvantage you will face is, of course, related to experience.
Of course, people who are longer in the business have a much better understanding of how the job works than you do, but don’t be bummed out; they had to start from nothing too!
Another disadvantage is the number of clients. Older real estate agents probably have a bunch of clients who trust them, so they have more work and, as a result, more money.
On the other hand, your main and biggest advantage, bigger than all of the disadvantages, is precisely your youth!
Young people are full of energy and inspiration, so the sky’s the limit when it comes to success.
Also, younger people are more in touch with new emerging technologies, making your work faster and more efficient. You’ll pick up the tricks of the trade as you gain experience and as more time passes by.
So in a couple of years in the business, you will be on par with the older real estate agents; you just gotta work hard and fight your way to success!
Great, I’m Old Enough, So How To Get A Real Estate License?
Being the required age is just the first of many conditions you have to fulfill in order to become a real estate agent or broker.
The other necessary steps you need to complete are:
Taking A Pre-licensing Course
- Every state requires you to finish some college-level education regarding deeds, contracts, titles, and property ownership. These are all considered to be real-estate basics.
- You can take classes online or in person, but make sure your school and courses are approved by the state’s real estate licensing authority.
- If they’re not approved, your license will be useless, and you won’t be able to become a real estate agent.
- Classes are 60-90 hours total, depending on the state. You may be required to attend a set number of classes each week, or the school will let you take them at whatever pace you want.
- Of course, you’ll need to pay for these classes too. The price will range anywhere between $200 and $1000, so be sure to inform yourself about the schools and their cost. Don’t make a choice in a rush!
Passing The State Licensing Exam
- After taking these classes, your knowledge will be put to the test. This is where the state licensing exam comes in.
- Depending on where you are taking the exam, it may take between an hour and a half up to 3 and a half hours to complete.
- You’ll need to pay a fee for this, too; it will be anywhere between $15 and $60.
- After you finish the exam, be sure to get a certificate from the school stating that you have passed the licensing exam. Also, you have to get a copy of your score, which you need to include in your real estate license application.
Filling A Real Estate License Application
- When you successfully pass your exam, you have to submit an application for a license to your state’s real estate department. In this application, you will include your exam results, license application, and application fees.
- Before you apply, find out if you need to have Errors and Omissions insurance. The purpose of this insurance is to safeguard real estate agents against lawsuits and financial losses, which can be caused by their work.
- Suppose your brokerage doesn’t sell you Errors and Omissions insurance. In that case, you may be required to get it before you submit your application.
- Aside from meeting the age requirement of your state for a real estate license, you will also need a GED or at least a high school diploma.
- You have to be allowed to work in the United States, and many states will require you to be its resident if you want to apply for a real estate license.
- The application fee you have to pay will vary from state to state, but you can expect it to be from $40 up to $260.
- Many states also require you to have a clean criminal record, so you may need to pay for a background check. This will be anywhere from $40 to $90.
- After submitting your application, it will take up to 2 months for your state’s real estate commission to process your application.
Finding A Real Estate Brokerage
- So, you’ve passed your exam, paid all the fees, and gotten your license after 2 months, and you think to yourself: “Finally! I can start selling real estate property!”
- Well, you’d be wrong to think that. A requirement in most states is to work with a real estate brokerage, which will be your sponsor for your first 2-3 years as a real estate agent.
- A real estate brokerage is just another name for an agency where other real estate agents work.
- The point of finding a real estate broker is to get mentorship and advice when you’re just starting out in the real estate business. You will learn many skills which they don’t teach you in courses, and also you’ll get some tips & tricks from more experienced colleagues.
- It’s very important to find a good brokerage that will meet your expectations and needs, so waste no time searching for the right one. A good idea is to start looking for one while you’re still in high school/college so that you get mentorship from an environment that suits you.
Joining The National Association Of Realtors
- This is not a legal requirement in any state, but it is highly recommended. There are some benefits of becoming a member of this association which can be very useful.
- Firstly, you won’t be able to call yourself a “Realtor” if you’re not a member. Don’t worry, you’ll still be a real estate agent and be able to do your job; you just won’t be able to use that specific fancy name.
- The second and more important benefit is that you are granted access to Multiple Listing Services when you join. This means that you are allowed to see the listings of other realtors.
- Not having access to these listings can be a major drawback in your career because you won’t have any insight into your competition. This can mean lower earnings, so if you can, you should join the National Association of Realtors.
Renewing Your License
- This leads us to your final step of being a real estate agent. After you’ve completed all of the steps above, the last thing to do is to renew your license regularly.
- Depending on your state, you will have to do this every 2 to 4 years. You’ll be required to complete up to 90 hours of courses every 2 years.
- This will make sure that you’re informed about the national and state markets and legislation.
- Be sure to check with your state’s real estate commission what their renewal requirements and deadlines are. You don’t wanna leave yourself with a week to renew all the courses that took you 90 hours to complete!
How Old Do You Have To Be To Get A Real Estate License – Final Words
You can start pursuing your dream of being a real estate agent and getting a license as soon as you finish high-school or college.
Age is not the only requirement to get a real estate license, so make sure to check with your state licensing commission what are the other requirements you must fulfill.
Don’t be worried that if you start out at an early age, you won’t be successful. Use your youth to your advantage and outperform the competition.