People wishing to become a real estate agent in California must take various steps to accomplish the dream. It can be a profitable profession, but things like the housing market and economy can throw everything out of whack. Of course, just like any other business, wages vary from place to place. For instance, research from salary.com revealed that as of September 1, 2018, salespeople of Etna, California bring home a modest $37,628 per year. Meanwhile, the same study reported that agents working in Los Gatos make $50,062 annually. However, there are many additional benefits that agents have access to and many get into things such as rental properties of their own, investment properties, flipping homes, and getting great deals on homes that the general public never knows about. Money is one of the main reasons a person chooses to become a real estate agent in California.
The real estate industry is not like most. It is no 9 to 5 regular job. After you become a real estate agent in California, you should expect to work irregular hours. Often, salespeople must cater to the needs of clients and schedule showings or open houses in the evenings or on the weekends. Plus, these professionals don’t tend to bring home weekly paychecks. Instead, they make their money via commissions. So, if sales are far and few between, there may be a substantial amount of time where no money is flowing in. However, if you are willing to put forth the effort and accumulate a client base, the sky is the limit.
Every state’s Commission of Real Estate has its own set of stipulations, including the California Department of Real Estate, which is also commonly referred to as the DRE. First and foremost, to become a real estate agent in California, the candidate must be at least 18 years old. The person needs to have a high school or equivalent diploma as well. But wait, there is more. People wanting to become a real estate agent in California must also enroll in a DRE-approved school to take pre-licensing courses. They need 135 credit hours in Real Estate Practice, Real Estate Principles, and an authorized elective.
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Candidates must submit to fingerprinting and a background check. If there is something in their past that appears dishonest such as a felony conviction, the applicant may be denied their license. Not all crimes disqualify a person, but some of the more notable ones that do include but are not limited to…
For more details on items that could lead to disqualification, feel free to check out the DRE website. It has plenty of useful resources to assist interested parties. There may be a way around this rejection though by petitioning the court for a Certificate of Rehabilitation or expungement. The board can’t deny a person their license due to past crimes if they have one of these documents. So, it is possible for almost anyone to become a real estate agent in California.
The test-taker must pass this test with at least a 70% to become a real estate agent in California. It features 150 multiple-choice questions, which have to be completed in a 3-hour and 15-minute session. The topics covered include basic math, English, economics and financing, contracts, laws of agency, and real estate practices and principles. Applicants should expect to go to Oakland, San Diego, Fresno, Los Angeles, or Sacramento on a weekday to take the examination. There are study courses available at colleges as well as a DRE Real Estate Guide to help you prepare for the big day.
When a person has finally met all of the requirements and passed the exam, they will need to submit an application to the DRE for their license. To become a real estate agent in California, the candidate must also present the establishment with proof of college course and examination completion. Of course, don’t forget the applicable fees and fingerprint card too. Once everything is said and done, you will be issued a license that is valid for 4-years. As the expiration date approaches, the DRE sends out reminder notices. However, not getting one is not an excuse for completing your renewal obligations. Licensees must participate in a continuing education program to renew their credentials.
To work and perform real estate duties in California, salespeople must have a sponsoring broker. This individual is responsible for the agent’s actions. The right brokerage can make all of the difference in the world. It can provide you with the resources needed to make it in the industry. Don’t just settle for the first one that offers you a job though. Keep a few things in mind and ask questions during the interview to ensure that you and the company are a good fit. After all, there is nothing worse than trying to plug a round peg into a square hole. Queries to ask, include things such as…
Avoid being gullible and accepting the broker’s word for everything. Take the time to research the company thoroughly. Asking friends, teachers, and even other real estate agents about the business can prove to be useful. Although these professionals are supposed to be truthful and honest, people will say all sorts of things to try and attract top-tier talent. You will have to pay them a percentage of your sales, so touch on this topic adequately. Failing to do so can leave you quite surprised when that first sale finalizes. Don’t let folks take advantage of you just because you are new to the scene. You worked long and hard to become a real estate agent in California and deserve your total worth.
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