Working as a real estate agent enables you to build your own schedule and develop a strong sense of work ethic while placing no limitations on your potential income. Real estate agents in Washington must go through a process similar to that of real estate agents in other states. In Washington, real estate professionals begin as brokers and can move up the career ladder over time. If you are interested in working in the real estate industry, this guide will help you pursue your career beginnings in Washington.
1. Complete Washington Real Estate Requirements
In order to qualify for a broker’s license, you must first be 18 years old and hold a high school diploma or an equivalent. This education will help lay the foundation for other necessary coursework, and it also demonstrates that you can follow through with tasks.
You must also submit your fingerprints for a state and national background check. You can schedule an appointment online through the state’s preferred electronic fingerprinting vendor. Additionally, you are responsible for paying the associated fees before you come in for the fingerprinting service. These fees are not refundable in the event that you do not receive your license to work as a broker.
If you are already a registered real estate professional in another state, you also need to submit your license history from the other agency. If you have maintained an active real estate license, you are only required to take part of the licensing exam as well. In some cases, the educational requirements may also be waived. When you arrive at your appointment, you need to have your state-issued license or identification on hand. The rest of the appointment itself should take no more than 10 minutes.
If you have a criminal conviction in your background, the real estate licensing board will investigate your record to examine the type of crime and level of conviction involved. A conviction in your background does not indicate that you cannot work as a real estate broker. It is a matter of the licensing board examining the potential relationship between the conviction and your professional abilities.
2. Finish 90 Hours of Real Estate Education
First, you must take a 60-hour course called Real Estate Fundamentals. This course is designed to help you understand the basics of working in real estate. You will learn the essential information necessary to develop skills as a real estate agent. You will also learn about real estate law and state policies. You will learn about the information you need to facilitate real estate transactions with ease and fluidity.
A 30-hour course in Real Estate Practices follows. This course will teach you how to apply the information learned in the fundamentals course to your real estate practice. For example, this course will instruct you on how to properly fill out all the necessary information when it is time to complete paperwork. This is the information you will need to focus your efforts on in order to improve your work as a real estate agent.
Before you complete your real estate education, you must ensure that you register with the testing vendor. Applied Measurements Professionals, Inc. is in charge of the testing process, and you can easily register online. The school you choose to attend will submit evidence that you completed your coursework electronically. It is important that you do this right away to prevent delays in being able to take your exam.
3. Pass the Broker’s Examination
Within two years of completing your real estate education, you must pass the examination. You can schedule your exam online through AMP’s website, and you can also pay your testing fees as well. The exam will cover topics you learned in your real estate courses, and there are both state and national portions you must pass. Both portions are important to your real estate practice in Washington.
When you arrive at the testing center, ensure that you bring two current forms of identification. These must include both your name and your signature, and one form of ID needs to have a photo. A driver’s license is an example of one great form of ID to bring, but you will also need one more. Identification cannot be expired in order to pass through.
If you do not pass the examination, you can retake the portion you failed within six months. If you pass either the state or national part of the exam, you do not need to take it again. This will allow you to spend time focusing your studies on one part of the test that you may tend to have trouble on.
4. Complete the Real Estate License Application
You must complete this form shortly after passing the broker’s exam. Your examination results are valid for one year following your examination. The results will be sent to the real estate commission so that your skills can be quickly assessed. Ensure that you include a check payable to the Real Estate Licensing Department of Licensing, which is located in Seattle.
It is essential that you complete your real estate license application as accurately as possible. Any incomplete or inaccurate information could mean that you do not receive your broker license as quickly as you otherwise would be able to.
5. Pursue Continuing Education
Your broker’s license expires two years after it has been issued to you. In the meantime, you must pursue continuing education to maintain your license. This is also helpful in allowing you to stay up to date on current real estate trends and new information.
Continuing education can help you create a specialization in a field that interests you. For instance, you might want to focus on issues like housing discrimination and ethics. You may find that you are excellent in studying green housing components and reducing the carbon footprint of building, buying, and selling homes.
Ultimately, continuing education may be the key to allowing you to pursue your real estate dreams. Contact us for more information about courses that will help you focus your career goals.