Re: Getting a real estate license - Posted by John Behle
Posted by John Behle on November 15, 1998 at 16:50:58:
As I mentioned, the licensing course really only gives agents enough information to be dangerous in some ways, but at least in our area, it covers many hours of real estate law. Most beginning investors do not know those laws and run some huge risks. Reading those laws from a book or over the internet would be very difficult for the average investor. I feel the explanation, case histories, etc. presented in class are valuable.
I forgot to mention a couple reasons I recommend the course. 1) It helps to familiarize you with how agents think (and don’t). If you deal with agents, you can run into some pretty wild ideas. I’ve had them tell me “Contracts” were illegal or that certain types of offers I present are not legal - when they are totally full of BS. It can be nice to know the truth and put them in their place. It doesn’t take a great mind to pass the exam and most agents have little more skills than a appliance salesman. That being said, they mis-interprete what they hear in the licensing course or make up their own laws if it is convenient. It’s nice to know their ethics and procedures so you can call them on that too. Of course the licensing course isn’t the only place to learn that, but learn it somewhere. As I mentioned, you can take the course and choose not to license. If there is a question here, go to one of the schools in your local area and look at the materials to see how much you know or not.
Second, many new investors are at least a little intimidated by agents and brokers. Once you’ve been in the business a while you say “WHY!” I think the licensing course can help a great deal with the confidence to deal with agents if that is your strategy. It also helps you to deal with them successfully if you know when they are playing games with you, the seller, the buyer or the lender.
The MLS has been an incredible source of deals, but like Jim mentioned, it may be a matter of strategy. I’m not refering to just “Paper” deals either, but some of the most profitable deals can be through listed properties. It takes a different strategy and more sophisticated techniques than are taught in most of the courses. Most of the time I structure deals to sell outside the MLS to avoid the costs, but on some properties I find the MLS very valuable for re-sale - though I will usually use another agent that has more exposure in the particular area or type of property.
In my state, there are not any restrictive laws for agents. I know California has some due to some of the problems they have had - particularly in the area of foreclosures.
I abolutely agree that whether you are perceived as “Real” or not as an investor has little to do with a license. It helps some, but like Jim pointed out, being an agent doesn’t necessarily mean acceptance or respect as an investor. I believe it can help in areas like vocabulary and knowledge of laws and practices. Agents have some different terminology than you will find in seminars and vice versa. The better the communication, the greater the chance of success, but being perceived as “real” has to do with a lot of factors besides just knowledge.
Again, like I mentioned before, most of these items can be accomplished without the license, yet I see these as being reasons people argue for or against licensing. At times I would have dropped my license if it were not a broker’s license. It’s a lot more work to get. Another factor is personal transactions. I do some exchanging on my personal portfolio and for select clients. I need the license for that.