Items you will need
- Real estate school
- Realtor membership
The difference between a Realtor and a real estate agent is simply a membership with the National Association of Realtors. Realtor and real estate agents complete the same coursework and take the same licensing exam. They perform the same job duties, but a Realtor must comply with the Code of Ethics set forth by the Association of Realtors, while real estate agents do not. Warranted or not, the public seems to hold Realtors in higher regard than real estate agents.
Locate a real estate school within your state that is accredited by the Real Estate Commission. Community colleges and technical colleges often offer real estate classes. If you have a difficult time locating a real estate school, visit one of your local real estate agencies and inquire about what real estate school it recommends. Some real estate agencies offer their own classes. While not guaranteed, if you attend a school through a real estate agency, you're likely to find employment with that agency after graduation.
Attend all classes, complete all coursework, and pass your final exam. Attending a real estate school is fairly inexpensive and usually doesn't last any longer than two months. While in real estate school, you learn about the ins and outs of the real estate world, with an emphasis on specific housing laws. You can also attend real estate courses online. Check the online school's accreditation before enrolling. Accredited schools want their prospective students to know that their school is accredited, and they usually advertise their status throughout their website. If you do not see the online school's accreditation status, click on the "About Us" tab or "Why Us" tab. The information is usually found there. If you cannot find the school's accreditation status, it is most likely not accredited.
Contact your state real estate commission and schedule your licensing exam. Pay the small fee and take your licensing exam. The test will take several hours to complete. Once it is determined that you have passed your test, you will be awarded your license. Your real estate school will help you to contact your state's real estate commission. If you are taking classes online, your school will likely have a list or each state's real estate license commission. You can often find the information under "Licensing Requirements." The verbiage will vary by school and website.
Contact the National Association of Realtors. You can contact the organization via the Internet or through one of its local chapters. Once you pay your membership fee you are considered a Realtor.
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images