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Real estate agents

Why Your Relationships with Other Real Estate Agents is So Important

When you think about building up relationships as a real estate agent, you probably think about interacting with buyers and sellers. The truth is that many of your interactions are likely to be with other real estate agents as well. The field can be competitive, but this is no reason not to build relationships with your fellow real estate agents. In fact, you may find out that other real estate agents are valuable resources. It may come as a surprise to you that you need to focus on working with other agents, but this guide will show you why this counter-intuitive advice is actually important.

Real Estate Agents Can Bring You Referrals

Referrals for new clients often come from fellow real estate agents in your community. Building relationships with agents with diverse niches can help bring in new business for you. Just make sure to maintain a positive reputation with fellow agents and pursue continuing education to specialize your craft.

Real Estate Agents May Give you Tips about New Listings

When a fellow real estate agent learns about a new listing, you might be on the list of prospective agents with a first chance to take a peek. Even if the listing is not yet on the market, you may have access to it for your own clients thanks to good relationships you have built.

Snatch a Good Deal for Your Future Clients

Have your clients just made an offer on a house on which there are multiple offers on the line? Your good relationship with the listing agent could land your clients the deal of a lifetime. Skipping the line could mean a good reputation for you among clients (and a few referrals to boot).

Get an “In” on a New Niche

If you are breaking into a new niche, you want to have a few friends who can pass on some leads. Building relationships with real estate agents who work in different fields is helpful for this reason. You can trade leads to ensure that your clients receive the best service possible. It also pays to have somebody you can refer to when you have questions about a niche like green housing or vacation homes.

Real estate agents

Real estate agents who socialize build strong connections that may further their careers.

You Need to Build Trust

When you are a new real estate agent, you are most likely working with a real estate broker. You may be working alongside other real estate salespeople. This means that you need to vibe well, building trust. While you are working with the broker and fellow real estate agents, you also need to learn from your team members. You might be sharing commission, but you will be learning valuable lessons and building strong connections with helpful resources.

It may go against the spirit of competition to befriend and trust fellow real estate agents, but you may find that you become a stronger real estate agent when you interact with others. You can also learn essential real estate skills via continuing education courses. Contact us for more information about real estate courses that will help further your career.

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Real estate agents

6 Things You Can Only Learn with Missouri Real Estate Pre-Licensing Courses

If you are considering a career in real estate in Missouri, you have many hours of education ahead of you. The good news is that all these hours of education will prepare you for a rewarding career in the real estate industry. As you complete your required hours of education, you will also be learning unique facets of real estate that the layperson may never know. These are just a few things you will learn on your path to becoming a real estate agent.

1. How to Legally Write Real Estate Listings and Descriptions

Did you know that there is a wrong way to write a real estate listing? Using the wrong terms in a listing could lead to ethical and discriminatory practices, so learning how to write descriptions so that they are deemed legal and ethical.

2. How to Avoid Discrimination in Real Estate Practice

Discrimination is something every real estate agent needs to avoid, from the practice of writing home listings to interactions with buyers and sellers. It is important that you avoid using information like racial demographics and listings geared toward families, for example. You will learn how to use non-discriminatory language in your coursework.

3. Best Practices for Navigating Agency Relationships

When you work alongside a broker or in an agency, you may be experiencing a new type of business relationship. How do you talk to your broker about your concerns? What is your responsibility to the broker you work with? How long are you required to work with a real estate broker in Missouri? These are all questions you can find the answers to in your course.

4. How to Value Properties Accordingly

Determining the value of a property may take more work than you think. The process of taking everything into consideration is not something that you can do without the proper training. With proper guidance, you will learn how to evaluate the right price for the homes you list based on the home and the real estate market.

5. How to Complete a Real Estate Contract

Most people have never written a contract before, but real estate agents have to work with contracts every day. In your pre-licensing courses, you will learn how to complete real estate contracts. You will also learn how to read contracts so that when you deal with documents, they never stump you.

Real estate agents

You could be writing and reading real estate contracts with no problem thanks to online real estate courses.

6. Techniques for Counter-Offers

Real estate transactions are often more like negotiations than straightforward transactions. You may find yourself countering other offers placed on the house and convincing your clients to make a sell. You could also find yourself on the other end, urging sellers to accept or reject offers. Your pre-licensing classes will show you how to do this.

One way to continue learning about the real estate industry is to pursue continuing education courses. You may have to take courses to meet all the requirements for obtaining your real estate license renewal as well. Contact us for more information about taking real estate courses and learning more about your industry

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Licensing courses

6 Things You Can Only Learn with Kansas Real Estate Pre-Licensing Courses

In order to become a real estate agent in Kansas, you might already know that you need to take two pre-licensing courses. The two 30-hour courses focus on the principles and practice of real estate. This means that upon finishing the courses, you should be experts in real estate concepts. Here is a taste of what you can expect to learn only in your pre-licensing courses:

1. Real Estate Math and Finance Principles

In the Real Estate Principles course, you will learn about basic math in the industry.  Most people not involved in the real estate industry are not as well-acquainted with appraisal and valuation of homes, but you will soon find yourself an expert. The class will also help you learn about finance terms you never gave much thought to. It may even transform the way you handle your personal finances.

2. Water and Air Rights

Have you ever given any thought to who owns the area above and below a house? What are the land owner’s rights to water adjacent to the land? Does a property owner own the air 100 feet above the home? When you work as a real estate agent, you must be prepared with answers to questions just like these.

3. Contracts

Writing contracts is no joke, and the legality of signing and writing contracts is not something real estate agents can dismiss. From listing agreements to lease contracts, you will soon know more than you ever wanted to about real estate contracts. You will be able to interpret the law much better than you did in the past.

4. How to Work with a Broker

Working with a broker is an essential component of working as a real estate agent in Kansas, and there is a lot more to this professional relationship than you might think. These courses will help you learn about proper compensation, how to show listings under a broker, and how to terminate a broker relationship. You learn how to navigate the intricacies of working with a broker or a brokerage firm.

5. Environmental Hazards

Real estate courses cover topics that may influence many of your clients. Unfortunately, environmental hazards are among them. You may find yourself answering questions about fire hazards, landslides, flooding potential, and other emergency situations you might not ever have considered. This education might also make you think again before you buy your next house.

Pre-licensing courses

You can take real estate courses online or in a classroom, allowing you to gather knowledge on your schedule.

6. Selling Stigmatized Properties

If you do not know much about stigmatized properties, you definitely will when you take your pre-licensing courses. These are properties in which events occurred that may discourage future buyers due to stigma. Examples of stigmatized properties may include those in which a homicide occurred, for example. Learning how to sell these properties is important.

The pursuit of knowledge never ends when you work as a real estate agent. In fact, it may only be just the beginning. If you are thinking about a career in real estate, the education offered in Kansas will be helpful. Contact us for more information about continuing education in the real estate industry.

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Real estate agents

6 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Get More Reviews

Feedback is an important part of any career, and the real estate industry is no different. When you are doing something right, it helps to know that you are making a difference. When you have done something your clients don’t like, you also want to know what you can do differently in the future. These reviews will help you improve your real estate practice, but the key is to encourage clients to leave them. This guide will help you reach out to clients and receive the feedback your business needs.

1. Ask Clients to Leave Reviews

Although this is the simplest way to receive reviews, it is one that real estate agents often shy away from. It is acceptable to ask your clients to leave reviews on your website, Yelp, and similar forums. Some real estate agents create their own cards to hand out with other material as part of a real estate marketing technique.

2. Make the Significance of Reviews Known

Your clients may not realize how important reviews are to your line of work. It is smart to ask your client if they found you through your online reviews as well as to mention that this is how many of your clients have discovered your services.

3. Personalize Review Requests

A phone call or video email can personalize your request for a review, especially if you drop a line after the transaction is complete. Adding a custom message shows that you took the time to consider the client on a personal basis. It shows that the client is not a faceless means of business to you.

4. Use Social Media

Social media can work to your advantage as a real estate agent, especially because you can share reviews via Facebook and Twitter. Sharing reviews that you enjoy or think will be helpful for other potential clients can be a great reminder to newer clients that you treasure your reviews. It will also remind them to leave reviews of your own.

Real estate agents

When you reach out to clients about reviews, the benefits are overwhelming positive.

5. Incentivize Reviewing

Honoring those who leave reviews with special events or monthly raffles is a great token of your appreciation. You can reward all types of reviews, not simply the most positive. That shows that you value honesty, which in turn will help you gather necessary feedback.

6. Address Concerns and Negative Reviews Quickly

No matter how professionally you conduct yourself, it is possible that you may receive reviews that are not as positive as you would like them to be. Responding to them may actually work in your favor if you do it professionally. Most importantly, it is essential that you take steps to correct any potential issues that might come up again later in the course of your work.

There are so many ways to address the idea of real estate reviews. In fact, reaching out to clients can help to bolster your reputation. There are many other techniques that can strengthen your work as a real estate agent, continuing education course being among them. Contact us for more information about pursuing real estate courses that will boost your career.

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Real estate agents

Can Real Estate Agents Ever Go ‘Off the Grid’?

Real estate agents work on a schedule that is different from much of the rest of the working world. When others go home after a long day at work, real estate agents often contend with emails and phone calls well into the night. Although one of the benefits of working as a real estate agent is the ability to set a personalized schedule, it may become apparent that clients have their own ideas about office hours. This guide will help you find ways to unplug without losing clients and leads.

The Need to Unplug

Real estate agents often need to work more than full-time in order to maximize income. Setting up open houses, responding to emails from leads, and creating a plan of action for sellers can be draining and eat up hours throughout the day. There is no doubt that real estate is a busy career field.

At the same time, you cannot discount the benefit of relaxation for your physical and emotional health. Running yourself ragged every day could actually set you back in the long run. As counter-intuitive as it may sound, regular vacations and days off keep you going. They refresh your mind and your body, allowing you to approach work with a new outlook when you return.

All too many people find themselves checking emails each day, even on days off and while on vacation. Does this count as unplugging? Certainly not. When you are “off work,” take this seriously by truly letting yourself go off the grid. This will allow you to truly reap the benefits.

Does Going Off the Grid Lose Leads?

Obviously, disappearing without warning for days on end is likely to result in losing clients quickly. If a lead does not hear back from you in a professionally fast manner, he or she is likely to turn elsewhere. Nobody wants to work with somebody they believe could easily disappear off the face of the planet at the drop of a hat, right? This is how leads will be influenced by your unplugging.

There are a few things you can do to avoid losing leads. If you have leads waiting to hear back from you, warn them about your vacation as early as possible. You can easily do this by sliding a quick comment into your email or text message. A simple, “I also just wanted to let you know that I will be traveling next week. I will be back in the office on (date) to answer any questions,” will suffice.

One of the best ways to avoid losing leads is to vacation when the market is slow, typically during the cold months. Of course, everybody is tempted to go on vacation in the summer when the weather is typically most desirable, but this is also the time when people want to move. Clients want to get into their new homes before the holidays and the school year, after all.

As you can see, there is no need to lose clients and leads if you handle your upcoming vacation ahead of time. Planning ahead is important.

Real estate agents

No phone ringing? No tablet buzzing? Even a real estate agent can get a full night of sleep on those terms.

Tips for Balancing Unplugging and Business

One thing to remember is that social media can go far, even if you can’t. Facebook and Instagram with schedule posts can prevent potential clients from believing you have gone off the grid completely. Apps like Buffer can help you schedule content while you are away from your phone or computer. This means that people reading your social media will never even realize that you are out of town and not at work.

There is also benefit to working with other real estate agents and brokers. Splitting a commission may not seem enticing at first, but when you realize that you will be able to take a vacation every once in a while, you might be intrigued. When you are not the only person bearing the workload, it can seem much simpler to handle everything.

Of course, working with a broker or real estate partner is not for everybody. In some cases, a personal assistant is the most helpful solution. You can even find virtual assistants online to help you unplug even for just an hour or so each day. This will allow you to have some time to unwind with the family. If you want to have eyes and ears on your business while you are at home or perhaps even overnight, a personal assistant may be key.

Establishing rules and settings for forwarding is helpful too. To start, you can establish your own ground rules about when to respond to people. For example, you might want to set a rule that you only check your emails twice each day. Additionally, you can select quiet hours during which you can tell your phone not to ring.

Automatic replies will provide information for potential leads. If you do not want to scare away new leads who might email or call you while you are on vacation or a long weekend, you can utilize automatic replies that will address them immediately. Leads will appreciate the information about when you will get back in touch.

Finally, don’t be afraid to set boundaries on a daily basis. You have the right to an unplugged personal life just like each of your clients do. It is acceptable to address clients during reasonable hours during which you do business.

Getting away, even in short doses, is essential to your real estate career. When you come back from a session of going off the grid, you will feel motivated and ambitious. You will feel ready to come back to your clients and reach out to leads in potentially unexpected ways.

When you feel the need to unplug, don’t forget about those required continuing education courses. They can actually help you learn a lot about working in the real estate industry more efficiently, allowing you to save time where it really matters. Contact us for more information about real estate continuing education courses.

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Real estate agent

Housing Prices Surge in Europe, Asia

If you are a real estate agent in the United States, it likely comes as no surprise to you that the market is diverse. No two neighborhoods sell at exactly the same pace, even within the same city or county. When you look at the concept of real estate on a broad scale, you see similar differences from state-to-state and even country-to-country.

Most recently, it has become clear that certain parts of the world are experiencing a real estate surge. Why is this happening? What does this mean for your real estate career in the United States? Where should you be focusing your efforts? This guide will help you figure this out.

Europe’s Real Estate Price Surge

As of 2016, most of Europe’s real estate markets were on the fast track. In fact, 18 out of 23 were unabashedly booming. Iceland became the country with the strongest real estate market in the entirety of Europe, and it also zoomed nearly to the top in a look at the entire world. While home prices in Iceland had increased nearly 7% in 2015, the increase was over 12.5% in 2016.

Why Iceland? Why Europe? Likely factors leading to house pricing surges here are the strong demand and a supply of houses that is not growing quite fast enough to meet it. This is especially true in Iceland’s capital of Reykjavik, a city with a growing desirability. In analyzing the figures on a city-by-city basis, it will become much more clear that supply and demand is a significant reason for these changes.

Asia’s Real Estate Price Surge

House prices are not just surging in Europe. Asia is also seeing quick changes in home values and pricing. China is leading the pack in this area, with Shanghai seeing swift growth. In 2015, the city saw an increase in pricing of 9.3%, and just last year the prices were increasing by 21.3%.  It would appear that there is a much deeper disparity in real estate markets throughout Asia in comparison to markets in Europe.

In China, much of the reason for this sudden growth is linked to new measures implemented by the government to help the housing market. In other countries, such measures have not necessarily been implemented. In fact, some countries in Asia are in fear of a housing bubble burst, which will have a significant impact on housing affordability and the real estate market as a whole.

Real estate agents

As strange as it may seem, housing price changes that happen throughout the world may influence buying practices in our own country.

What Do International Pricing Surges Mean for the United State?

Now, all of this does not mean that real estate agents in the U.S. need to be afraid of any sort of significant decline. The biggest declines in housing prices occurred in countries like Montenegro, Russia, Qatar, Brazil, and Mongolia.

Pricing surges often lead to bubbles, as we have seen in the U.S.A. as well. One thing that real estate agents can do is arm themselves with knowledge about the world’s markets. Understanding the signs of a real estate bubble and the pros and cons of housing price surges means that real estate agents know how to plan ahead. Continuing education courses can help to supply you with this info. Contact us for more information about real estate courses that can help you stay on track.

 

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Inspections

Pre-Listing Inspections: A Great Assist for Agents

Any real estate agent knows that sellers are often looking to sell quickly and affordably, but bringing up the idea of a pre-listing inspection may explicit some reluctance. The truth is that pre-listing inspections could be the key to securing a quick sale. In fact, the inspection may calm the buyer’s fears all the while ensuring that the seller receives the best price for the home.

Why Should the Seller Pay for a Pre-Listing Inspection?

There are several reasons why a seller should pay for a pre-listing inspection or why the listing agent should pay for the listing on behalf of the client. For example, the pre-listing inspection can help the seller pinpoint potential repairs they should fix before selling the home. If a buyer performs the inspection, they may find ways to knock a few dollars off the price. If the seller knows the deal ahead of time, he or she can choose which issues to address before listing, obtaining quotes from contractors before a buyer even knows there was an issue to begin with. Ultimately, this leaves a sense of control to the seller.

An Inspection Provides Opportunity for a Return on Your Investment

Typically, a home inspection costs less than one percent of the home’s overall value. On the other hand, the results found during the inspection can help to increase the value of the home. This is because there are many things the buyer might find and feel that they will need to pay to fix. If you fix these things ahead of time, you eliminate this factor.

Which Inspection Items Should You Fix?

Once your seller receives the results of the inspection, what choices should you make? There are some changes that are more worthwhile to fix than others before you list the house on the market. For instance, you should always fix electrical issues that could later become safety issues. In fact, it is smart to fix any safety issues, including broken staircases and handrails. Anything inexpensive and simple will add value to your home too, including things like broken drawer handles.

Inspections

As a real estate agent, learning the inspection process can help you save clients time and money.

Which Inspection Items Should You Leave?

Of course, there are also plenty of things you can leave for the buyer to fix without losing out on a potential return on investment. These are cosmetic issues that the buyer might want to personalize, like the roofing or flooring. You can also leave issues related to energy efficiency and appliances to the buyer.

Ultimately, there are many advantages to completing an inspection before the listing a home, including accurate pricing. In fact, many sellers find themselves able to ask for a higher asking price based on findings. There are no surprises to you or your client.

As a real estate agent, providing advice that sellers may be hesitant to take is part of the job. Fortunately, you will be guided by knowledge and expertise when you do this. One of the best ways to stay up to date with current market information and trends is to pursue continuing education. Contact us for more information about courses that will help you reach out to clients effectively.

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Real estate license

How to Get Your Real Estate License in New Jersey

In order to operate as a real estate salesperson in New Jersey, you must first obtain a license. This is par for the course across every state in the country, and the requirements are quite similar. When you have all the steps laid out for you, obtaining your license can be simpler. It is well worth the time for many individuals, as real estate work can be financially, physically, and emotionally rewarding. This guide will help you complete all the steps so that you can obtain your real estate license in New Jersey.

1. Understand New Jersey’s Basic License Requirements

The first requirement to obtain a New Jersey real estate salesperson license is to be at least 18 years old. You must also have completed high school or pass an equivalency test. While a college degree is not at all required to work as a real estate agent, it is often beneficial to have.

You must also be willing to undergo fingerprinting and a background check. The fee for this service is not refundable if you do not obtain your real estate license. The background check will look for a criminal history, but it is important to know that simply having a criminal history does not mean that you are not going to receive your license. There are some circumstances in which the real estate commission will discuss your eligibility based on the type of offense and how long ago it was.

It is also important to know that New Jersey does not offer reciprocity with any other state regarding real estate sales licenses. This means that if you took the real estate course and passed an exam in another state, you are not automatically eligible to apply for a license in New Jersey.

2. Complete Pre-Licensing Coursework

All New Jersey real estate agents are required to complete 75 hours of pre-licensing coursework. This coursework may be taken online or in person, and online classes are typically more affordable options than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. You will take quizzes and perform reading online to learn more about the real estate industry. These courses will help you work toward a bright career.

All coursework must be taken through a licensed institution. These institutions will be listed on the New Jersey Real Estate Commission’s website. If you do not attend a licensed institution, you will not receive credit for your hard work, and you will have to take the courses again.

In these courses, real estate sales agents will learn about practices, principles, and laws as approved by the New Jersey Real Estate Commission. You will learn about housing ethics and discrimination on top of other topics, such as how to price homes. In these courses, you will learn how to list houses and best practices for selling to different types of buyers.

3. Pass the New Jersey Real Estate Exam

Your next step is to take and pass the New Jersey real estate examination within one year of completing your coursework. You can reserve your spot on the web via Pearson VUE. Through this website, you will also be able to pay for your New Jersey real estate exam.

When you arrive at the testing center, ensure that you bring your certificate of course completion. You also need to bring two forms of identification, one of which should have your photo on it. Both pieces of identification need to be current (not expired) and have your name. If you arrive with inadequate identification, you will not be able to take the exam.

You will receive your examination score report immediately after you complete the test. If you pass, you will be able to move forward in the process of obtaining your real estate license. If you do not pass, you will be eligible to retake the test.

Real estate license in New Jersey

Selling adorable New Jersey homes is just one reward for completing all the steps in the licensing process.

4. Obtain a Sponsoring Broker

A sponsoring broker is required to sign your real estate licensing application before you send it in. You can think of the sponsoring broker as a type of mentor. This person will provide you with the opportunity to work under their supervision for the time being as you learn the ropes of real estate.

Because you will be working with the sponsoring broker on a regular basis, it is important that you choose this person wisely. It is acceptable to call and talk about the opportunity with several brokers in your area while you make the decision regarding which broker to work with. You should also visit the office ahead of time to ensure that the working environment is right for you.

5. Submit Your Real Estate Application

Next, it is time to submit your real estate application. This application must be completed accurately and thoroughly. If it is not, it may be either sent back to you or declined. Make sure you do not leave anything out or misrepresent yourself in any way.

As part of the application process, the New Jersey Real Estate Commission will determine the basis of your character due to the results of the background check. The commission must trust you to be honest and trustworthy, especially as you will be handling financial transactions and other personal information. Your application may be denied if you are on probation or parole.

6. Maintain Your License with Continuing Education

In New Jersey, you must complete 12 credit hours of continuing education during each licensing term. Of these credits, six must include coursework about core topics, including ethics. The other six credit hours are electives. You may use these credits to focus on a niche that interests you or that you think will bolster your real estate career.

Continuing education requirements will help you pursue your career and focus on new niches. If you want to learn more about pursuing continuing education and real estate license renewal, contact us for more information.

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Real estate license

How to Get Your Real Estate License in Washington

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.

Real estate license

Washington is a prime location for buying and selling real estate, especially with large cities such as Seattle on the map.

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.

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Real estate

Zillow Hit with Lawsuit Over “Zestimate’ Valuation

Recently, an Illinois homeowner filed a lawsuit against Zillow, specifically the website’s tool called “Zestimate.” Zillow has been useful in the past with the help of tax data and other records to determine the value of a home. Barbara Andersen is the homeowner filing suit. She also happens to be a real estate lawyer. If you have been curious about this legal case, this guide will fill you in.

What Is a “Zestimate”?

Zillow allows anybody to type in an address and see the value of a home. Even if the home is not currently on the market, photos and prices may be available on the website. It also allows potential buyers to make assessments, accurate or not, about the neighborhood as a whole. Ultimately, people will often use Zillow and its resources to make decisions about major purchases.

Using Zillow’s Zestimate tool, users are generally able to see a home’s value. The price estimate feature is accused of lowballing homeowners, especially because of its limitations.  Many homeowners feel that their properties are fairly showcased on the website’s tool, which could lead to problems later on when they opt to sell.

What Is the Zestimate Lawsuit?

In this lawsuit, Andersen is claiming that Zestimate is intentionally marketed as a tool for buyers with estimates based on market value. According to Andersen, this means that Zestimate is legally an unlicensed appraisal tool. This could change the way Zillow is allowed to operate on the web.

Additionally, Andersen claims that Zillow’s online real estate resource has made it more difficult for her to sell her home. While Andersen values her home in the $600,000 range, Zestimate’s tool places the home in the $500,000 range. Andersen claims that the data simply is not accurate for the home’s location, and it could lead to potential buyers believing that she is asking for more than the house is worth. In spite of this, Andersen claims that houses in her neighborhood are actually selling for much more than her asking price.

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Could lovely homes be devalued simply because of the way they are listed online?

Is There a Case Here?

That depends on a lot of factors. While Zillow includes a disclaimer on the website that estimates should not replace appraisals, it is not clear if this will hold up in court. In examining the law, lawyers for Zillow claim that auto-generated estimates are an exception. How the court might actually rule is a big question.

Additionally, homeowners at any time are able to claim a house on Zillow. Homeowners can then update the home’s information on the database, which leads Zillow spokespeople to claim that the lawsuit lacks merit.

Ultimately, Andersen is not asking for money. Instead, she is merely asking Zillow to either remove or fix the listing. She would also like Zillow to have to ask for permission before listing certain information about the home.

Do you want to learn more about valuing houses accurately? Doing so can help you prevent a situation like this. Contact us for more information about continuing education that will help you learn more about home evaluation.

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