Getting Your Real Estate License
Getting into real estate means earning your license and working either for a real estate brokerage firm or hanging out your shingle as an independent contractor.
Any person who engages in real estate transactions as an agent for another must first obtain a real estate license in the state in which they will work. For the general purpose of protecting consumers, each state has its own rules, regulations, and examination for obtaining a real estate license.
Schedule Short Periods Of Focused Study
Most students and aspiring real estate agents struggle with procrastination. One way to trick yourself and prevent procrastination is by using the Pomodoro technique. Set a timer, study for 25 minutes, then take a five-minute break. Use the free Pomodoro tracker below to start timing yourself and tracking your tasks.
Pomodoro tracker online
During the study time, cut out all possible distractions and focus entirely on studying. During the five-minute break, reward yourself with ice cream, a YouTube video, or a short walk. You should also take one long break after working for more than a few hours.
Day Of Real Estate Exam Strategies
In addition to being a real estate professional and a senior writer/coach for The Close, Im also a former test prep professional. With many years of experience at Kaplan Test Prep and Sylvan Learning Center, Ive been around the block when it comes to preparing students for success on standardized tests.
You need to know the material for the real estate exam, but you can up your chances for success by using some test-taking strategy too.
Want my top strategies in video format? Watch my Secret Strategies to Ace Your Real Estate Exam below:
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Negate Drinking That Extra Cup Of Morning Joe
Energy drinks, shots, and coffee are great for helping a person wake up. They leave them feeling awake and alert for a period. However, they also promote anxiousness, jitteriness, and can even upset ones stomach. The last thing the individual will be able to concentrate on with a bunch of caffeine in their system is the real estate pre-license exam. Instead of consuming these items, consider going for a brisk walk or doing a little exercise to get the blood flowing. These activities can help you wake up as well. Plus, they will leave you ready for whatever the day decides to throw your way.
Think outside the box when it comes to finding ways to relax for the real estate pre-license exam. After all, it is one of the first steps standing between you and the career of your dreams. Prepare appropriately, and in a matter of no time, you will have your license in hand.
Real Estate Practice Questions With Explanations
Union Test Prep offers a wide selection of practice questions divided by topics that are always included on the actual state real estate exam. This is particularly helpful in testing your understanding of each topic. In addition, this practice test provides instant feedback and explanations for correct and incorrect answers.
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Take As Many Practice Tests As Possible
The real estate exam usually has a specific number of multiple-choice questions. Sometimes they are taken in a traditional manner such as with pen and paper. Meanwhile, on other occasions, they are given electronically, but the format is subject to change from time to time. However, the real estate pre-license exam will assist you in knowing what to expect. Whenever possible, candidates should take advantage of two, three, or four of these exercises. Not only will the tasks ensure that they are ready for the real test, but they will keep relevant information crisp and fresh in the persons mind.
Real Estate Exam Content Description
As previously mentioned, there is no single national real estate exam or program of study to become a Real Estate Agent. In order to qualify to take your states real estate licensing exam, you will first have to complete a state-specific prelicensing education program. The specific course curriculum and number of hours required is determined by the real estate commission in your home state.
Once you have qualified to take the exam, you will then prepare for and take a state-administered real estate licensing exam. For most candidates, this exam will include a national portion as well as a state-specific portion. For both portions of the exam, you will be asked to show knowledge and proficiency in real estate policies, practices, terminology, responsibilities, and expectations.
In general, you should expect your real estate licensing exam to be around 100-150 multiple choice questions this includes about 60-80 state-specific questions, and about 80-100 questions related to generally universal real estate concepts. You will have between 2-4 hours to complete your exam. You should expect questions involving any or all of the following content areas:
- Real Property Characteristics
- Real Property Environmental Issues
Make sure to check your states specific real estate exam requirements to know exactly what you should expect.
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Why Practice Tests Work
Practice tests help your brain get ready for the testing environment. Its important to take practice tests that mimic the format, content, and difficulty of the real test. Otherwise, you might be in for a not-so-great surprise on test day. There’s a 10-question freebie here to get you started. You can also find lots more excellent practice material on the PrepAgent website.
Top Real Estate Exam Tips For Test Day
After spending countless hours studying and preparing for your real estate license exam, its time to put your knowledge to the test. Like any big test, the days leading up to the exam will be daunting.
This is especially true when it comes to the real estate exam, which covers a wide variety of topics, from terminology to state-specific regulations. As your exam day approaches, its important to get as much advice as possible on test-taking tips and preparation.
With that said, here are some of the best tips to help you ace your real estate exam and start a prosperous career as a real estate agent.
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Set A Timeline For Yourself
In real estate, if youre not selling property, youre not making money. As youre getting started in your career, it can be beneficial to set a timeline for the things youd like to accomplish. Whether you choose to outline your ideal first five years or would rather keep things shorter term by planning the first year of your professional career, creating a timeline can be a good way to keep yourself accountable for success.
Free Guide: Accelerate your rise to the top of your market with this free guideTrick of the Trade: Advice for New Agents.
How Hard Is The Real Estate Exam
If youre a prospective real estate agent, then one of the first steps to launching your career as an agent or broker is to pass the real estate exam in your state. Whether youre a good test-taker or a poor one, theres no skipping this step.
As a result, you may be wondering, Just how hard is the real estate exam? The answer depends on how well you do your exam prep.
The real estate exam is a challenging test that takes the right preparation to do well on. Yet in order to get your real estate license, you must pass the state exam for a real estate broker or agent. The right preparation is key.
If you would rather watch or listen to this content, check out the video or podcast below!
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Required Courses For The Real Estate Exam
Most states require college-level courses for the real estate license process. You can complete these classes at any accredited state university, private university, community college, or real estate education program. Your states Department of Real Estate is a great place to find a list of approved institutions.
Real Estate Principles: These courses are usually around 45 credit hours total.
Real Estate Practice: These courses are usually around 45 credit hours total.
Real Estate Elective Course: These courses are usually around 45 credit hours total. You are able to choose from among a list, such as the following options.
- Property Management
- Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending
- Computer Applications in Real Estate
- Common Interest Developments
Taking courses through a real estate education program can help you structure your course load, as well as connect you with industry professionals as part of your network. Most places offer the required courses through in-person or distance learning.
Passing The Real Estate License Exam
Earning a passing score on the real estate license exam is a major milestone! You are now on your way to becoming a fully licensed real estate agent. Whether you dream of becoming a trusted pro in your neighborhood or opening your own brokerage, passing the real estate license exam is the first step on your path as a successful real estate agent.
Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated on December 2020.
Any Information on this site is not guaranteed or warranted to be correct, accurate, or up to date. StateRequirement and its members and affiliates are not responsible for any losses, monetary or otherwise. StateRequirement is not affiliated with any state, government, or licensing body. For more information, please contact your state’s authority on insurance.
When readers purchase services discussed on our site, we often earn affiliate commissions that support our work. Learn More
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Create Digital Or Physical Notes For Key Concepts
As you are reviewing your notes from your pre-license coursework, consider creating notecards or flashcards with key concepts. Write them in a question format with the answer on the back. There are flashcard apps you can use as well if you want to have access to studying on your phone.
Also, its been proven that the act of physically writing things down can go a long way to help retain information.
Tip #: Utilize The State Exam Prep
If youâre a CA Realty Training student or if youâre looking for a quick and effective way to prep for the state exam, then check out our State Exam Prep. The exam prep is designed to make preparing for the state exam simple.
You also have access to the flashcards for quick terminology drills that will instill vital information. You get a mock state exam that mimics the state exam and uses similar questions and time restraints
Donât just take the mock state exams once, take them multiple times! Try to get at least 80%. If you can consistently get a score of 80% at least five times, youâre good to go.
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Stick To A Study Plan
Students usually finish their real estate prelicensing classes and then have a now what? moment. Dont try to go rogue here use a study plan that walks you through each major content area the test covers so youre not left wondering if youre missing important subjects the test will cover. Many prelicense classes offer a test prep option that flows naturally from the material youve already learned.
If you think you need a little extra study prep, dont stress Real Estate Express, our top pick for online real estate schools, offers Real Estate Exam Prep Master package with a pass or dont pay guarantee.
Take Breaks & Study In Intervals
Study sessions are more effective if broken down into short intervals as opposed to long marathons of book-combing. Even a machine cant keep functioning 24/7 without breaking down, so how do you think a human would fare? An article on Forbes suggests that the secret to learning might be less studying. A human mind can concentrate for 20 minutes on one thing until it needs to re-focus on the same subject again. But after re-focusing two to three times, it needs a break.
As badly as you may want to race through the material and take your exam as soon as possible, its simply not a wise strategy. By taking breaks during your studies, youre letting your brain process and digest the information you just read. When you return to the course, youll feel energized and focused. By not taking breaks, you run the risk of getting burnt out, reaching a stage where, no matter how hard you try, information cannot be processed and store efficiently. So break your study sessions into short, productive intervals to get more out of each minute you spend with the material.
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Tip #: Create A Study Schedule
A study schedule will help you take the time to focus on the material.
Studying is all about consistency!
For example, you can schedule to study from Monday to Friday from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. You can also choose to study on alternate days of the week, such as Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The bottom line is, you have to create a schedule for yourself.
The reason why study schedules are so effective is that itâs a commitment to studying. Studying without a schedule will make you feel lost and it will make studying hard. When something is hard, we tend to procrastinate to avoid doing it.
During study hours, stay focused. Clear your schedule and free yourself from any distractions. If this means switching off your phone or finding a nice quiet place to study, then do that!
You can take it a step further and map out what to study on the exact date or time. For example, for the first two weeks of your schedule, focus on real estate principles. Then the following two weeks, study real estate practice.
Breakdown the material and schedule it out. It doesnât matter when you study, so long as itâs consistent.
Build Your Professional Profile
Theres never a better time than the present to start building your professional profile. Creating a website, social media presence, getting professional portraits taken and attending local events to establish a rapport with residents of a given city are all great steps to take. Small details like having business cards with you can show potential clients that you are prepared and organized.
If you arent inclined toward social media, there are people who can help! Consider employing the help of a social media expert who can help you build your online presence. There are a lot of freelancers looking for work in the world of digital design, and websites like UpWork or Freelancer can help you connect with experienced designers and social media experts.
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Preparing For The Real Estate Exam
Its hard to prepare for an exam if you dont know what information will be tested and covered on it.
Each states exam is a little different, but theres a general 2-part structure these exams follow.
The first part is nationally regulated and covers real estate concepts that apply across the nation.
The second part is regulated by the state and pertains to state-specific laws and real estate information.
If youre applying for a broker license, you might have a few more questions on the state-specific portion of the test.
In any case, the questions on the exam will are directly related to the real estate pre-license courses you take.
Research Your States Requirements
A national real estate license does not exist, so you must meet your states unique licensing requirements. Research your states real estate regulatory office website, which you can find by visiting the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials ‘s regulatory agency directory.
Each state has specific requirements for:
- How to achieve the next level of licensing
- Reporting criminal history
Some states have reciprocal licensing agreements with other states, which means you can get your license in one state and use it in another without having to take an additional license examination. New York, for example, has reciprocity with nine states including Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
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Use Mnemonic Devices To Make Memorizing Easier
A mnemonic device is a memory technique that uses shortcuts to recall complex information, like ROY G BIV for the colors of the rainbow. In scientific studies, mnemonic devices have helped students remember information with up to 39% more accuracy. There are already a few popular mnemonic devices for real estate exam topics, like H.E.A.R.S., which covers the area of implied covenants. However, creating your own mnemonic devices can make it easier for you to remember study materials.
Here are a few clever mnemonics teaching you how to pass a real estate exam:
Mnemonic device: Even if a lease is silent on the topic, the landlord H.E.A.R.S. these five implied covenants:
- H: Habitability
- A: Assignability of the lease
- R: Good repair
- S: Minimal security precautions
Mnemonic device: To remember the necessary steps to extinguishing an easement, use A.C.R.A.M.:
- A: Abandonment
- C: Condemnation by states exercise of eminent domain
- R: Signed writing, releasing the easement
- A: Adverse possession of a servient estate in a hostile manner, preventing use of the easement
- M: Merger by common ownership of all dominant and servient estates, because one cant possess an easement, covenant, or profit on their own property
Mnemonic device: Remember L.A.W.S. to memorize four types of negative easements:
- L: Light easements
- W: Easements regarding water use
- S: Easements of support