How Do I Become a Real Estate Agent?

How Do I Become a Real Estate Agent?

Residential News » Q & A with Dottie Herman | By Dottie Herman | May 27, 2015 8:00 AM ET

Q & A with Dottie Herman

Question: How do I become a real estate agent?

Answer: In order to become a Licensed Real Estate Sales Agent, you must attend an accredited school that offers the courses required by the state in which you live. There are also courses that qualify on-line, but it is generally preferable to take them in a classroom environment where you can ask questions. You must successfully complete the course of study and pass both the course test and the State Exam. Before you take the State Exam, you will need to research a Brokerage Firm with which you'd like to affiliate, if you haven't already, and ask them to sponsor you. Once you have a sponsor in place you can schedule the State Exam. Good luck!

Question: I just placed my house on the market. We got an offer immediately. A few days later we received a call from our broker that the buyers couldn't get financing. Shouldn't this have been looked at before they placed an offer and we accepted it? How do we make sure this doesn't happen again?

Answer: When you evaluate an offer there is more to the process than reaching a price agreement. Your Broker should ask the prospective purchaser to provide you with a Mortgage Commitment Letter/pre-qualification letter from their lender and proof of their financial condition in terms of income (employer's letter, tax returns), and other assets, so that you can make an informed decision.

Question: My home is recently listed with a top broker in our area. I really feel like they are listing my home for too low of a price. My husband and I feel the value is much greater. How would we go about doing some of our own research?

Answer: Fortunately, comparable data is available on-line. You can search properties that are currently on the market in your area to compare the current availabilities, feature for feature, with your home. You chose your Broker because of their experience, and pricing should have been discussed in depth. Properties that are priced correctly, are more likely to sell faster.

Question: How do I know if a coop or a condo is right for me? What are the main differences?

Answer: The major distinction between Cooperative Ownership and Condominium Ownership is that in a Co-Op, you are purchasing shares in a corporation and in a Condo, you own the fee and receive a Deed. Financing the purchase of a Co-op is different from a Condo in that the Cooperative itself sets the percentage of financing permitted which varies from co-op to co-op. Most condos permit 80-90% financing.  In addition, the by-laws of Co-Op Corporations and the Proprietary Lease you receive upon purchase, are, for the most part, more restrictive than those imposed on Condo Owners. For example, most Co-Ops do not permit or have very restrictive sublet policies; Condos may have limitations to duration, but they do, allow sub- leasing. In addition, as part of the purchase process, both Cooperatives and Condominiums require a purchase package which comes with Application Fees and the need for personal disclosure, but in the case of the Co-Op, disclosures can be much more intrusive and Applicants are usually invited to a personal interview. Condos usually do not require a Personal Interview and are, generally, less intrusive.

You will have to decide which type of ownership best meets you financial picture and your lifestyle. If you are purchasing for investment, Condo is the way to go. If you are purchasing a prime residence, cooperative may better suit your needs.

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