11 Things to Know Before You Choose a Real Estate School
Making the decision to attend real estate school is the first step towards becoming a licensed real estate agent. The next step is taking real estate classes. While the thought of going ‘back to school’ may sound daunting, real estate school typically only lasts a few weeks and is an educational first step in joining the real estate industry. There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to real estate school, as the rules and regulations surrounding real estate education vary state-by-state. However, while the specifics may differ, real estate school is required by all states throughout the U.S.
While our real estate website is dedicated to helping people find homes for sale in Charlotte, we also love to help other Real Estate Agents all across the country. If you're a Real Estate Agent who is living in Charlotte we have all the detailed information you need here and all the information on real estate schools below for folks all across the country!
In this article, we’ll dive into what you should know before choosing a real estate school as well as the standards of practice for most real estate schools throughout the United States. We will answer questions like how much does it cost to go to real estate school? And how long is Real Estate School?
The real estate industry is an extremely exciting and fulfilling career path, and completing real estate school brings you one step closer to obtaining your real estate license and becoming an agent. We wrote about some of the best tips for new Real Estate Agents that go far outside what you'll learn in Real Estate School.
Common Real Estate School Questions Answered:
- How Long is Real Estate School?
- Can I attend Real Estate School Online?
- How do I Start Real Estate School?
- How much does it cost to go to Real Estate School?
- Is Real Estate School hard?
- What do you learn in Real Estate School?
- Why do I need to go to Real Estate School?
- Which states Require Real Estate School?
- Can I get a Grant for Real Estate School?
- Is the Real Estate Exam Hard?
- What Steps do I take After Attending Real Estate School?
You must be 18 years or older to attend real estate school and obtain a real estate license and you must have legal residency in the United States. While a college or graduate degree is not required, you must have a valid high school diploma.
Depending on the state where you live, you may be required to attend anywhere from 40 to 180+ hours of classes. After completing the required courses, you will then have to study for the real estate licensing exam, which may take several weeks. Altogether, the process of obtaining a real estate license typically takes about 3 to 6 months.
Some states allow the classes to be taken online, whereas other states only allow in-person classes. In the state of North Carolina, you are required to attend in-person classes and cannot complete real estate school online. However, if you live in the following states, you have the option to attend real estate school online or in-person:
New Hampshire (broker only)
If you live in the following states, you cannot attend real estate school online and will be required to attend classes in-person:
States that allow a portion of real estate school to be completed online:
If you live in a state that allows you to attend real estate school online, some of the most highly ranked real estate schools include:
Step #1: If your state gives you the option to complete real estate school either online or in-person, determine if online or in-person classes are better for your learning style. If you are a self-starter who enjoys studying and completing classes at your own pace, taking classes online may be a great option. Attending real estate school online also works well for those with busy schedules as you can log in and complete classes any day or time that works for you. In-person classes are ideal for those who enjoy having guidance and direction when learning a new industry and want in-person interaction with a teacher and other students. Attending in-person classes may be challenging for those with extremely busy schedules, as you will have to attend classes on a certain day and time. If real estate is new to you and you anticipate having several questions, attending in-person classes may be helpful as you will have a teacher available to answer questions.
Step #2: Research programs and ask other real estate agents you know how they obtained their real estate license, in person, or online. You will most likely enroll through the real estate school on their website by inputting your contact information and payment details. They will then provide information regarding the next steps. If you enrolled in an online course, you will most likely log into a private portal that will provide access to the online videos you must complete. If it is an in-person class, they will provide information regarding when and where to go for your first class, what materials you should bring, etc.
Pricing ranges state-by-state and school-by-school. Every real estate school will have its own licensing structure in place. In some circumstances, attending real estate school online may be cheaper than in-person classes, and vice versa. In addition to attending classes online or in-person, you will also most likely need to purchase study materials including a textbook, flashcards, real estate exam preparation materials, and more.
Real estate school can range in price anywhere from $100 to $500+ depending on the state where you live. In the state of North Carolina, real estate school can range in price anywhere from $300 to $500. When determining where to attend real estate school, in addition to reading reviews about the quality of the course and instruction-level, compare prices on different schools to ensure you aren’t overpaying. Some schools may have similar teaching methods and maybe equally rated, but one may be considerably cheaper than the other.
While real estate school is not considered terribly challenging, it does require focus and dedication. You certainly cannot “wing it” when it comes to completing classes. While attending real estate school, you will learn several new terms and concepts that you will have to study, memorize, and understand to pass the real estate exam. You will also learn several mathematical equations that will also be on the test. Those who apply themselves, pay attention while attending in-person or online classes, and study the terms thoroughly should not have a problem completing the class, passing the exam, and obtaining their real estate license. Those who go the opposite route will most likely spend a considerable amount of time trying to study the terms, concepts, and equations on their own.
While in real estate school, you will study various legal aspects of real estate as well as important industry practices. You will study the processes behind buying, selling, closing, escrow, taxes, mortgages, and more. You will also learn about the various land descriptions along with how to acquire and transfer property. You will study the legal disclosure policies that apply to your state and will be educated on legal and illegal practices in real estate. You will also study some mathematical equations, such as how to calculate acreage and square footage. While these equations are not difficult, they will require memorization in preparation for the real estate exam.
You will also study the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits real estate discrimination based on religion, gender, age, ethnicity, race, nationality, gender identity, veteran status, sexual orientation, and marital status. You will study how to avoid unethical situations and learn how to ensure all clients are treated equally and fairly.
Real estate school is the first required step towards acquiring your real estate license. It is necessary to attend real estate school to learn the legal aspects of the industry, anti-discrimination practices, and laws, as well as the various details that go into buying and selling a property. Real estate school is the foundation for a successful career as a real estate agent. All real estate agents are also required to take continuing education courses in the years that follow after they have obtained their real estate license. In some states, real estate agents will have to take continuing education courses one or two years after obtaining their license. In other states, you will have to take continuing education courses every three years. Those who fail to complete the required continuing education courses will run the risk of losing their real estate license altogether, meaning they would have to re-attend real estate school, re-take the exam, and pay all of the licensing fees a second time to reactive their real estate license.
Licensed real estate agents in North Carolina must renew their real estate license by June 30th every year. To do so, they must take an 8-hour, state-approved course.
You will have to attend real estate school in every state throughout the U.S. Some states allow online classes, whereas others – such as North Carolina – only allow in-person classes. Additionally, several states allow “license reciprocity.” After obtaining your real estate license in one state, license reciprocity involves applying for a real estate license in a second state without having to attend real estate school and complete the pre-licensing courses in that state.
For example, the state of New York has reciprocity with Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. This means that those who hold a real estate license in New York state can practice real estate in any of these states without having to take pre-licensing courses. They will have to file the required reciprocity documentation prior to practicing real estate in these states, however.
Some real estate agencies may be willing to provide grants to assist in paying for you to obtain your real estate license. However, they may require that you work for their office for a certain period of time after obtaining your license, so ensure you are confident you want to house your license with their office.
Another way of obtaining a grant for real estate school is by applying for Federal Student Aid, which is offered by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The process can be completed online and the application is free. After completing the process, search for real estate schools in your area through the portal, select the school you wish to attend and submit the request to FAFSA. The earlier you can apply in the year the better, as grants are provided to real estate agents on a first-come, first-serve basis. Some real estate schools offer grants directly – they should have the information included on their website. All schools have specific eligibility and criteria you will need to adhere to.
The real estate exam will be extremely challenging if you do not study or pay attention to the terms and concepts taught in class. You cannot simply “wing” the real estate exam, studying is a necessary component. Considerable memorization is also necessary when preparing for the exam, particularly when it comes to the sections that involve mathematical equations and the many legal terms. Additionally, many answers appear to be correct, making the test all the more difficult to pass simply by guessing.
After completing real estate school, you will begin preparing for the real estate exam. You may want to give yourself some time to study after completing the class, but don’t take too much time because you want to take the exam while the concepts you learned in class are still fresh in your mind. You will also have to pay the associated fee to take the exam. After passing the exam, you will then pay the associated fees to file your real estate license application, which varies by state. You will have to house your license with a brokerage office, so you will most likely want to meet with several brokerages to determine which office you want to work from. Some individuals know which brokerage they want to work with even before they obtain their license, whereas others will spend more time interviewing with various offices.
Ultimately, it is important to work with a brokerage who can provide the guidance, direction, and support needed – especially because you’re a brand-new real estate agent. Some brokerages may have mentorship and/or training programs in place for new agents. You will also want to get detailed information on their commission structure. Some brokerages are willing to offer marketing budgets for newer real estate agents to help them grow their brand and attract new clients. After deciding on a brokerage and joining the office, it is also advised to join the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), which provides members with resources to help agents strengthen their professional skills and maximize their earning potential. You will also be required to renew your real estate license every two or three years depending on the state where you live.
While attending real estate school certainly requires hard work and dedication, it is not designed to be terribly difficult to complete. Those who pay attention to the courses, study the terms and concepts that are discussed, memorize the mathematical equations, and have a strong understanding of the real estate laws and Fair Housing policies should not have a difficult time passing the test. If you do happen to fail the exam the first time, most states will allow you to pay a fee and take the exam a second or even a third time. If you have a friend or family member who is in the process of obtaining their real estate license as well, team up with them to study the terms and concepts together. Having a study buddy makes the process much easier and less stressful.
Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.