As in all states throughout the country, Pennsylvania requires that you complete several steps in order to receive your real estate license. The process is made easier when you can see each of the steps spelled out clearly. This guide will walk you through the process of attending real estate classes, taking the examination, and filling out your real estate license application. You may find that the pathway to becoming a real estate agent is simpler than you think.
1. Meet Basic Real Estate License Requirements
The most basic requirements for Pennsylvania real estate agents is that they are 18 years or older. It is important to have a high school diploma or its equivalent, but no college degree or real estate experience is necessary.
You must also submit a criminal background check. Convictions of felonies and misdemeanors will be reported to Pennsylvania’s real estate commission. This background check must come from the state in which you currently reside. A criminal conviction may not disallow you from becoming a real estate agent, but it is important to note that it depends on the offense. The real estate commission must have confidence that you are not going to be a threat to clients.
2. Complete Real Estate Education
Real estate education for Pennsylvania agents is available both online and in a classroom setting. If you have a bachelor’s degree in real estate, your educational requirements may be waived. Otherwise, you must complete 60 hours of education in real estate fundamental and real estate practices.
The real estate fundamentals course covers a variety of topics you may come across as you work in the field. These topics include making informed decisions about purchases and leases as well as environmental issues in the real estate world. Real estate agents must understand legal descriptions of real estate parcels as well as terminology surrounding real estate transfers. In addition to building an understanding of concepts, students must also learn how to apply them in the real estate field.
The Real Estate Practice course will help put information to use. For example, students will learn how to specialize in a specific area of real estate and to interpret trends in the real estate market. Students will learn about laws and regulations that influence real estate practice.
3. Pass the Real Estate Examination
Pennsylvania’s Real Estate Commission requires that you take both state and national portions of an exam. The examination will allow the board to consider whether or not you are a good candidate for a real estate license. Licensees who pass the test have demonstrated that they have learned enough through the coursework to operate in a licensed capacity with clients.
The real estate exam is multiple choice and includes two parts. You must pass both the statewide and national portion in order to receive your license.
4. Work with a Real Estate Broker
The last step before submitting your real estate license application is to find a real estate broker to work with. A broker will be your leader, guiding you through the process of working as a real estate agent in the field. Building experience alongside a broker will ensure that you understand how to do your best work in helping clients.
The process of finding a broker to work with may be longer than you think, and it is important that you don’t choose just any real estate broker. It is important that you interview your prospective broker before landing on one. You should have similar attitudes toward the job, and the office should be able to handle your presence well.
When you fill out your real estate license application, the broker must agree to take you on as a sort of apprentice. A signature is required for your license to be valid, and the license is typically sent to the office of the broker in question. While part of your commission will go to this broker, you will learn a significant amount about the industry in the process of working together. Over time, you may opt to receive your broker license as well.
5. Complete the Real Estate License Application
Finally, you simply need to fill out the Pennsylvania real estate license application. The real estate applications are processed in the order in which they are received, meaning that the sooner you get your application in, the better. Still, it is important that you pay close attention to the details you provide. Any missing or inaccurate items could mean that you do not receive your real estate license.
Watch out for the most common real estate license errors. These include missing sections of the application and failing to provide information about a sponsoring broker. It is also important that you do not leave off information, especially if it relates to a criminal conviction. This could prevent you from ever working as a real estate agent in the future.
6. Continue Your Real Estate Education
The last thing you must do to keep your real estate license current is to take continuing education courses. You are required to take a certain number of hours each renewal period. This serves several purposes. Not only does it allow you to keep working with a valid real estate license in Pennsylvania, but it also ensures that you stay up to date with current trends and practices in the real estate industry. These courses will also help you focus on a specialization. For instance, you might decide that you want to take courses focused on green real estate trends or learn how to sell condos more effectively. This can give your career a boost.
You may not begin practicing real estate until you receive your license. Fortunately, you have many resources that will help you achieve your goal. With the help of education and exam study strategies, you will be ready to work as a real estate agent. Once you are licensed, you can contact us for more information about our continuing education options.