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Can I Get a Real Estate License and Sell My Own Home?

When getting your home ready to sell with necessary repairs, such as a fall HVAC tune-up in Glenside, PA, you might be wondering exactly...

When getting your home ready to sell with necessary repairs, such as a fall HVAC tune-up in Glenside, PA, you might be wondering exactly how you’re going to sell your home. An experienced real estate agent can help you and even refer you to a well-respected local HVAC company that can perform routine maintenance on the property, but maybe you are interested in selling your home on your own.

For a homeowner looking to sell a home—For Sale By Owner or FSBO—it makes sense that you would want to have complete control over the sale of your home. However, when you consider how well established the real estate industry is, you need to make sure that you understand exactly what your state law says about FSBO realty transactions. Given that property laws vary from state to state, you should first consult an industry expert—a practicing real estate attorney or real estate agent in your state—to see what they think about FSBOs.

Consulting a realtor or other real estate expert is important because, as we said, some states require real estate professionals to oversee real estate transactions and the requisite paperwork. In some cases, potential buyers and their agents may be reluctant to work with an FSBO seller, as there’s a perception that these sellers may not have the industry knowledge to handle real estate business paperwork. That being said, if you hope to sell your own home, you can get some real estate sales training ahead of time and learn the trade secrets.

To help you gain some credibility as an FSBO, we explore below what you need to get licensed as a real estate agent, so keep reading, and best of luck!

1. Research your state’s real estate license requirements.

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As mentioned earlier, real estate certifications vary from state to state. Considering that it’s your home you’re looking to sell, it makes sense for you to look into your state’s unique licensing requirements. The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) regulatory agency directory is a great place to start.

2. Enroll in a real estate training program.

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Real estate courses are available through in-person real estate school instruction, online courses, and part-time classes in colleges. Once you’ve completed your hours, you’ll then be eligible to take the licensing exam. In an ideal situation, your instructor should offer guidance on how to register, schedule, and pay for the licensing exam. Don’t worry if they don’t offer any guidance on this—your state’s real estate commission website is another helpful resource you can make use of.

3. Study for and take the real estate licensing exam.

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Real estate licensing exams cover two areas: real estate principles and practices, and state-specific real estate law. The exams are generally multiple-choice, and again, the exam time and provided questions for the exam vary by state. If you fail on your first try, you can always retake the exam. However, the number of times you can retake the test depends on your state.

4. Get your real estate license and join a brokerage.

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Now that you’ve passed the licensing exam, you need to apply to your local real estate regulatory organization to get your real estate license certificate mailed to you. You cannot work as a new agent until you receive your license. Once this is done, you’ll need to join an established real estate company or brokerage to help kick-start your real estate career. The reason you’re required by law to join a real estate company is to allow you to get some mentorship from a realtor with years of experience in the industry, as well as getting some on-the-job sales training.

As a new real estate agent, working under an experienced agent will also help you build a client base of your own through referrals and learn key sales skills such as negotiation, time management, and how to close on real estate sales. An experienced real estate agent can help you grow your referral base by connecting you to well-respected local HVAC technicians and helping you take care of HVAC problems, such as a broken heater or furnace installation, that might keep you from making your first real estate sale.

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