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Jordanna Ben…, Other/Just Looking in Livonia, MI

I will be graduating from high school this spring, and I want to become a realtor.

Asked by Jordanna Bentley, Livonia, MI Sun Mar 1, 2009

How do I get my license, and how long does it take? Do I have to go to college?

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Jordanna, it might be a real good idea to speak with a few different companies and see what they will do for you. When just starting out I think it would be to your best advantage to choose a company that will have the best constant training for you. Remember you may go to college, take the real estate classes, work hard, etc, etc---- but real life and real people's money, emotion and livelyhood take a lot of mentoring and training on your part. There are companies out there that do just this and they will even help walk you through what to do next. Best of Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 22, 2012
Hi Jordanna,

Congratulations on Graduating! You can get your Real Estate license in MI by going through training at a certified by the state real estate school. There are quite a few around the state. There are also a few online companies that allow you to do it at home on your own pace. I took it quite a while ago, but I still think it is 40 hours of class and then you have to pass the state test. You do not have to be a college graduate, or even go to college for that matter. Any real estate company that is successful will help you learn and develop into a great agent, they should provide classes and training in the different fields of real estate you are going to need. Email us and we would love to speak with you about the possibilities that you are going to have in the future. It is always a great idea to go to a couple of Realtors and ask them what they think as well, we are in the West Michigan area so its a little different than Livonia, but you should get a great idea from your area agents.

Good Luck!!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 2, 2009
Very good answers thus far. Just a few additional thoughts and comments on some aspects of your questions.

No, you don't have to go to college. However, I'd strongly recommend it. And, really, not so much in order to reach your goal of becoming a Realtor, though it won't hurt. But if you change your career focus, it may become extremely important to have a degree. And even if you stay with real estate, there are many benefits to college beyond just the absolute knowledge you'll pick up. Look: Do both: Go to college AND become a Realtor. People do that, too.

You ask about practice exams. Yes, there are books full of practice exams and practice questions. There are even computerized programs. I don't know how it is in your area, but in Virginia the exams are on computer. The practice exams simulate that experience exactly. Further, the computer practice programs are neat because you can specify a greater emphasis one one area or another (an area you're weak in) of real estate. And the practice exams will show you your strengths and weaknesses. Also, when I went through the process (with a real estate firm), the firm required that all prospective agents take and pass a practice exam from the firm before taking the real thing. That was part of the 60 hours of state-mandated education we were required to take. So: Don't worry about practice questions and exams. There's plenty of that.

As for whether someone will take you seriously. It'll be more difficult than if you were, let's say, 40 years old. But not impossible at all. I've known some very successful agents in their 20s. I'm also active as a real estate investor, and I know plenty of investors who started off in their late teens. In fact, that's what my son--now 19--is doing. On the one hand, it's true that people can make quick decisions about someone's competence based, in part, on the person's appearance. On the other hand, what buyers and sellers ultimately are looking for is someone who knows what he/she is doing. And, from a sales perspective, they're looking for someone they can trust and have confidence in. If you know your stuff and come across as a true professional, age is not a major barrier.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 2, 2009
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
Your continued education is the most important part of this equation. I would go on to college and take a major and take some additional real estate classes. Real estate is not a job that you are guaranteed an income every week. It is a slow process to learn what you need to know, develop a business plan and build your sphere.

In this economy it is important to write a pro and con list as someone else mentioned. It is also important to have at least a 6 month savings to fall back on if things do not take off at the beginning. This is no doubt the hardest economy to think about getting into this line of work.

Baby steps......
Gather information
Sign up for college or technical school
Incorporate real estate along with your education
Upon graduation make a decision which line of work you would like to be in or maybe try both at the same time.

Good luck and remember-your education is the most important thing you should consider after high school.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 2, 2009

Real Estate is interesting, but it is not for everyone. I advise you to interview some agents and learn more about the business, and from there make an extensive pro and con list. Only you can make the decision, but be sure to have as much information as possible. I would be happy to answer questions and provide you some advice.

Best wishes!

Derek Bauer
Real Estate One (was in the Livonia office for 7 years, and just moved to our Farmington Hills / West Bloomfield office this summer)
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 1, 2009
Hi Jordanna,

I'm a Realtor in the Livonia area. Although college isn't necessary, I'd always encourage someone your age to go, and Schoolcraft is a great place to start.

The closest real estate licensing training is the Michigan Institute of Real Estate at 5 Mile & Haggerty (see link below). That's where I took my classes when I started in the business.

They have classes during the day and evening. If you take classes during the day, you'll be done in a week, night classes will take you about 5 weeks. You'll get a big workbook with lots of practice questions to prepare you for testing. Then it's a matter of studying for the exam, which is computer-based.

As Maureen says, it's an interesting career, but the downside is that it's a commission-only don't sell, you don't eat. I'd be happy to answer any other questions you have so feel free to give me a call at 248-974-6210.

Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 1, 2009

You'll need to take the 40 hour course to pass for the state requirement. There is a class I know of locally in Livonia and one in Southfield. Last I knew, it cost around $200.

Then, you have to apply and take a state exam to obtain your license. Then, you have to have that license held by a local broker who will "hold" your license for you.

No college is necessary...but I'd advise it at some point, as many people skills/sales skills are learned there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 1, 2009
Jordanna --

I get asked this all the time (I started the business at 25) and had to overcome many obstacles...mostly, clients asking me "just how old are you exactly?"

As it is now, I have worked really hard and I'd love to sit down and share some stories/recommendations with you. In fact, this year is off to a great start and I had three closings last week.

I'm now 29 and in Canton. Check out my website and give me a call or an email. We can sit down and I'll talk with you and give you some recommendations as to what worked for me.

Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 1, 2009
Thanks for all the info! It really helps.

Are there any practice exams I can take before the real thing? What kinds of questions will they ask? How many questions?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 1, 2009

Being a Realtor is an interesting career. I am glad you think you would like to be one.

You don't have to go to college but you do have to pass the state exam and take a prelicensing course.

Do you know that most Realtors work on 100% commission. We get paid when we sell a house (or rent one). There are a number of expenses that you will incur to get started, in addition to paying for your license and prelicensing class. Amongst them, MLS dues, board membership, purchasing business cards, lockboxes and signs and paying for e & o insurance. So you need to have a bit of money saved for those things in addition to having a cushion, because most people don't sell a home in there first month of business.

Set up an appointment with a local broker, and go from there. Maybe you could even get a part time job as an assistant before you graduate so you can get a better sense of the business.

Good luck!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 1, 2009
Maureen Fran…, Real Estate Pro in Birmingham, MI
Though I'm not in your area, I am a Broker/Owner and you do face an uphill battle at your age. You would probably benefit by coming on board alongside a seasoned Realtor as an assistant. That way you would learn the ropes and see how getting a license, though it helps you know what it takes to sell RE, is just part of the art of selling. You will learn with that "mentor" how to be successful and not get burned out too early.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 1, 2009
Thanks! I'll look at that.

Do I have to be a certain age? I'm 17 now, but will turn 18 in April. Will people actually want to work with someone my age, or do they prefer older, more experienced agents?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 1, 2009

Look for the Real Estate One office closest to you and set up an appointment to talk with the Branch Manager. Also, look at their site at and

The required 40 hours can be acquired in a classroom setting or online.

Let me know if you have any Realtor related questions.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 1, 2009
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