I would suggest you meet with some local offices and discuss your plans. Many Franchise companies have their own schools to help you obtain your license and have recommended programs to get you started. There are definitely start up costs, but depending on whom you choose to work for they will vary.
In most cases you'll need cards, signs, a computer, gas money and a reliable car. Continuing education both in the classroom and ideally being mentored by a senior agent who is busy.
Before you pay for your class, talk to some offices. Best of luck.
I'd like to connect you with our team leader there who can answer all your questions.
If you want to drop me your contact information I can have them set an appointment with you.
You might also want to look at my link on careers in real estate.
Try to pay as you go. Don't spend a lot of money in the beginning. See how you can do everything without spending money. For example if you have no money for a car or gas, is this 100% needed for a real estate agent?....could you take the clients car, have them come pick you up at the office and use their gas? Could you work in an area with a lot of high rise condos and walk to appointments. Could you work for a builder with a golf cart selling new homes in a new development. Lots of different ways to work. Can you walk and hand out flyers vs mailing them. Can you use office phone instead of cell phone?..etc....lots of ways to get started without spending lots.
Plus if you ask the team leader we set you up to see for a copy of the "red book" chances are you'll get one for free and it is a step by step guide to make a million...even for a single mom.
There may be opportunities for being a real estate assistant or buyer's agent where you can earn a salary, and have help getting leads, while you are learning the business.
Feel free to contact me and I'd be happy to give you some more tips and pointers.
Best of luck,
Keller Williams Realty
Here's what you do: Many real estate companies have introductory sessions for people interested in becoming agents. The sorts of questions you're asking are answered there. Such as: Do you need start-up money? Yes, probably a couple of thousand dollars for all the paperwork, membership in the national, state, and local Realtor's association, business cards, and so on.
So, go to a couple of those introductory sessions. Listen to what they have to say. Ask questions. Find out if it sounds like something you'd be interested in.
But please do that before proceeding farther.