I'm a former realtor and yes I sold some properties my first year BUT you need to understand some realities of the industry first BEFORE you sign up for classes to get your license:
1. Realtors are independent contractors (self employed) who are working under a broker. They are NOT employees and DO NOT get regular paychecks.
2. Your income is based on your sales and you get paid when a real estate transaction closes. Not every transaction closes and you need to be prepared for spending time with clients who don't buy or sell and therefore you don't get paid at all.
3. You will need to spend money as soon as you get your license. You will be required to pay: broker fee, errors and omission fee / legal fee, MLS fee, lockbox fee, training fee & possibly desk fee. In addition, you need to spend money on advertising yourself, business cards, photographer, supplies, gas, cell phone data plan, etc. Sorry, but none of this is free.
4. How much money do,you have in savings? With all the expenses in #3 and the fact that you will not get a commission check for at least 6 months after you get your license, how will you support yourself and your 4 children for 6 months without a paycheck?
5. It is very rare for a new realtor to close a sale within the first 3 months after getting their license. In most cases this only happens because the new realtor had a family member who was buying or selling and refused to work with an experienced realtor who is not family. The majority of new realtors make their first sale after 1 year. This means no paychecks for the first year AND plenty of $$$ spent on business expenses.
6. There are some new realtors who had very strong sales and marketing experience in their previous experience (like me) who are successful in their first year. BUT I will be the first to admit that if I didn't have my strong background in sales and marketing, I would have never made a single sale. Another type of experience is if you owned a business before - especially if you worked in financing, property management or a real estate attorney's office.
7. As a Mom & I was a SAHM for 12 years too, I would get a regular job with a regular paycheck and hold off real estate until your children are finished with school. Right now, they need a mother with a steady income. Real estate does not give you a steady income.
8. As for controlling your own schedule - sorry, but you don't have your own schedule in real estate. You are working for buyers, sellers and renter's. They are your clients and paying you to be there at their convenience - not yours. Sorry, but in real estate you are always on call. If you plan to work part time or set your own hours, be prepared to lose some clients quickly. In the Internet age, buyers and sellers have other agents to go to and they don't care if they dump you.