Should You Get Into Real Estate

Have you ever watched those TV shows about flipping homes and wonder about whether real estate might be a good career fit for you?

After all, you could get the inside scoop on buying and selling for yourself.  Or maybe you just want to have a side job to generate income for special projects or investments.


Well, here is the process you need to take.  If you are still inclined when you finish reading, give me a call to discuss your next step.


Education:  Most states require that in order to obtain a license to sell real estate, you need to complete an educational course.  These courses can be taken online or in person.  Make sure the course is provided by an approved vendor.  You will learn all the legal and technical parts to be an agent, however, this does not prepare you to actually sell property.  That comes later in the process. 


Testing:  After obtaining your certificate, you can register to "sit" for your exam.  In Virginia, the agency who regulates our licensing is DPOR.  There is a minimal fee and the exam is split into two components...a state and a national exam.  Don't be alarmed if you don't pass both pieces on the same day. This happens a lot.  Just remember that each time you retake the test, you will be charged that fee again.  Once you pass this part, you will be vetted by DPOR with finger printing, etc.  


Making Money:

In order to sell real estate as an agent, you need to select a brokerage.  Select a few, call their office and ask to speak with a broker so that you can explore what they have to offer.  To make this decision, keep in mind what I said previously about education...while you will know the legal and technical pieces of the job, you need to be trained to do your job.  Every office offers a variety of training, but not all offices continue that training for new agents.  Each brokerage has regular monthly fees that are charged to agents.  Some fees include personal office space rental, leads, signs and websites.  Each broker also varies as to their "splits."  Splits are the percentage of the commission that you keep and what the broker keeps.  So, select carefully.  I recommend putting these all down on a spread sheet or paper to compare.  Once you have made your choice, the broker will prepare the paperwork to "hang" your license with them. 

But, wait...that's not all....  


Spending Money:

Before you can actually do your job, there are a variety of upfront fees to be paid so that you can have access to the tools of a realtor.  There are MLS fees, Association fees, and Lockbox access fees.  In addition, you will need to pay these fees on an ongoing basis...the good thing is that some of them are paid quarterly.   Most agents typically budget these costs when they receive their commission checks.  If you want to know a ballpark figure of what to expect, please give me a call.  


Final thoughts:

I've been a Keller Williams Agent for eight years.  There are many reasons I have chosen to continue to work with them.  

Training:  It is so important to a new agent to have the training to make this a successful career.  This is what KW offers.  In addition, every week there are new classes to help improve our education and our skill level to help buyers and sellers.  

Low Fees:  This helps our bottom line.

Atmosphere:  It truly feels like a family environment with all agents and brokers willing to stop what they are doing to help when there is a need!

National:  Yes, Keller Williams has been around for a long time and continues to grow not only nationally, but also internationally.  This brand recognition is important to clients when selecting an agent to help them buy or sell.  In addition, KW has amazing tools to market our listings!


So, what do you think?  If you want to discuss making a new career move, give me a call!




Kim Harkess - Realtor
Keller Williams Midlothian
(804) 380-2683