Making a career change is something that millions of Americans consider doing every year, and one of the best paths to consider taking is to become a real estate agent. Doing so can offer increased salary potential, better freedoms, and control over your life, and greater levels of confidence – and happiness.
But it’s not as easy as just calling up a broker and telling them you’re ready to start working as an agent. In order to become a real estate agent, you’ll have to go through a process that includes spending time in school, taking exams, applying for your license, and more. The process will take a commitment of your time and energy, and also an investment of money. The costs to get a real estate license are very real and well worth considering.
It’s important to remember that the costs to get a real estate license aren’t an expense – they’re an investment. Realtors need to consider themselves as a business, and investing in that business is a must in order to get something back from it. As such, it’s well worth paying the costs to get a real estate license in order to enter this career.
But what exactly are the costs to get a real estate license? This question alone is worth taking some time reviewing so those who are considering entering the field will be able to know what to expect and prepare themselves and their budget accordingly. Luckily, it may not be as expensive as you might assume at first.
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The first of the costs to get a real estate license will be one of the biggest – the price of your education. Before you can sit for a real estate licensing exam and get your license in any state, you have to complete your education. Each state has its own requirements for education – some may require as little as 60 or 80 hours of coursework while others such as California may require 135 hours or more.
Along with the difference in credit hour requirements is a big difference in the overall costs to get a real estate license education. Each state and each school will have a different cost associated with it. On average, you can expect to spend around $300 to $700 for the basic tuition to cover your real estate courses.
You may be able to save money on the costs to get a real estate license education by turning to online schools and programs. Online programs can help reduce the costs to get a real estate license education by removing the need to travel to and from classes, reducing food costs, and also by actually offering lower tuition in many instances. In fact, in some states, the difference between online and traditional campus-based class tuitions can be more than $100.
Regardless of how you go to school, covering the tuition costs will be the first major expense on the road to getting your real estate license. Be sure to shop around and compare different schools – look for a fully accredited program, but try to find one that offers the best possible value for your money since these aren’t the only costs to get a real estate license that you’ll face.
Once you have covered the tuition and completed your education, you’ll find that there are several additional costs to get a real estate license that you will have to cover. Again, these can vary depending upon the state you live and work in, but you can expect some or all of the following costs to be a factor as well:
Licensing Fees – The fee for your license will vary as well. Licensing fees range from around $150 all the way up to $300 in some states, with average licensing fees being around $200 to $250. This may be paid annually as well since licenses must be renewed regularly.
Background Checks – In some instances background checks and fingerprint registration will be included in the licensing costs, but in other situations, you may need to pay for them. Costs can range from $50 to around $100 on average but could be more in certain situations.
Any good realtor will tell you that the costs to get a real estate license are an investment in your future. But you will also need to remember that in order to really succeed, you’ll have to invest in yourself once you get your license and become a real estate agent. For instance, you may have to pay real estate membership fees to work in certain locations.
You will also need to invest in things like marketing for yourself – websites, business cards, and even billboards will all be important for getting the word out about what you do. Most real estate agents spend around $1,000 per year just on relicensing fees and marketing themselves – but they’re all very important costs in the process. You’ll want to set up a budget that includes these marketing costs to ensure that you can get your license and find real success.
It’s important to note that the exact costs will vary depending upon where you’re hoping to work as a real estate agent – certain states have higher or lower costs for education, licensing fees, exams, and more. On average, it can cost between $500 and $1,000 total just to cover the initial education, exam, and licensing fees. But from there, once you’ve covered the costs to get a real estate license, you’ll still need to budget to succeed with marketing and other costs. You’ll be investing in yourself and your future, however, and for most, it will be money well spent.
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