Being a real estate broker can be an excellent career choice, but it does require a lot of work and dedication. It is essentially an investment in yourself. A real estate broker’s annual median salary is $45,610, but this can vary significantly based on location, number of agents, and overall success rate. As of 2014, there were approximately 421,000 jobs.
Depending on the state a person is living in, they must first work as a real estate sales agent for one to three years before they can apply to be a real estate broker. The other requirements include: being 18 or 19 (depending on state requirements); having legal US residency, and completing education requirements.
A real estate broker can work for a designated broker as an associate broker, or they can open and operate their own brokerage. A prospective broker must complete an educational course or class that has been approved by their state. It can take several weeks or months to complete. They’ll learn about various topics, including finance, agency law, real estate law, property management, contracts and more. After the class or course is complete, a prospective broker will take their state’s broker licensing examination. In some states, to be eligible for licensing, a prospective broker may need to pass a criminal background check.
How to Pass the Real Estate Broker Licensing Exam
It should be a prospective broker’s goal to pass the exam on their first attempt. The broker’s exam will be longer than the agent exam, so it’s important to be prepared. In some states, the broker exam can take five hours to complete.
The best way to prepare for the exam is to make flashcards and use an exam preparation aid. People who don’t pass the exam can usually get their money back for the exam preparation aid they purchased.
The Cost to Become a Broker
One of the requirements to become a broker is to pay educational costs, exam fees and application fees. Depending on the state a prospective broker resides, they’ll have to pay between $300 to $2,000 for educational costs and approximately $150 to $200 for the application and exam fees. Opening and operating a brokerage can cost between $500 and $50,000 for office space, agents, marketing, equipment and more.
Passing the state’s exam and becoming licensed is the first step to becoming a real estate broker. Being successful in their career requires other skills. A broker should partner with agents, use a publicist, host open houses, have an online presence, look for leads and maintain connections with former clients.
The decision to become a broker isn’t something to do on a whim, but it can be worthwhile if you’re dedicated to making it work.
When staging a home for potential buyers, it is important to create an environment that is comfortable, while still showing off some light personal tastes. The task of creating a model-esque home may seem daunting, but here are a few simple tenants used by professionals that help to ensure a great viewing experience.
1. Curb Appeal is Everything
The first thing any potential buyer will see when arriving is the outside of the home and the surrounding land. It is also the first thing they see when finding a listing online. It is imperative that they are given a first impression that draws them inside of the house, rather than turns them away. A freshly mowed lawn is an easy step that enhances the look of any home, and a clean, well-lit porch is another way to ensure that your guests enter your home with a positive attitude. If the space permits, porch chairs and other accents can make very welcoming additions.
2. Remove any Unnecessary Clutter
Now that your guests have entered, it is important that they are clearly able to see themselves living in the home. Unnecessary personal clutter distracts the viewer, preventing any significant level of imagination on behalf of the guest. While ‘clutter’ often means treasured personal mementos, numerous personal photographs and the like, it can also mean excessive wall art and table dressings. It is okay to stick with a few statement pieces, but they should never be anything excessively personable.
3. Proper Home Lighting
A final tip that can make any home look like a professional model is proper lighting. While natural light from outdoors is preferable, it may be necessary to artificially enhance your rooms with higher wattage bulbs and more effective light fixtures. HGTV recommends 100 watts of lighting for every 50 square feet of space. A well-lit room gives the illusion of more space, along with providing guests with an area that is both comfortable and welcoming.
Staging a home can be an incredibly daunting task. While professionals on real estate shows make it look like easy work, deciding how to arrange a home for potential buyers can be a stressful process. Though not an all-encompassing list, the tips listed above can go a long way in providing visitors with an experience that will make them eager to write an offer.
About Jason Cohen Pittsburgh
Jason Cohen is a real estate investor in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He created Jason Cohen Pittsburgh, a group of real estate enthusiasts committed to helping others invest in real estate, and he has thrived in the area since 2002.
As Jason’s career has grown and flourished, so has Pittsburgh itself — transforming from an industrial “rust belt” city into a major cultural center abundant with high-end multi-family rental properties. Jason has seamlessly handled the dynamic nature of Pittsburgh and of the real estate industry in general. A research-driven professional, he consistently enables smart and profitable investments in the area, helping to transform modest properties into high-end rentals in Pittsburgh’s hottest neighborhoods.
Jason Cohen first entered the world of real estate shortly after his graduation from college. He started out by investing in distressed properties in Pennsylvania. After some experience working full-time for a real estate company, he decided to pave his own path in the industry. He has worked as an independent real estate agent and developed the Jason Cohen Pittsburgh team ever since. The team consists of highly qualified investors, property managers, leasing agents, and contractors.
Over the course of his career Jason has become highly proficient in acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships, multifamily real estate investments, asset repositioning, real estate management, real estate brokerage, and new construction. He has excelled in high-level investment strategies, but is also no stranger to “ground work” when it comes to the industry. He is well-versed in each step of Jason Cohen Pittsburgh’s unique system: researching local areas and investing in properties, performing renovations to transform these properties from dilapidated eyesores into high-end units, and ultimately repositioning the properties for maximum profit in renting and selling.
Jason Cohen Pittsburgh is the group of choice for anyone who needs advice, analysis and due diligence, and general expertise in matters of investing, whether they are short-term or long-term. Jason Cohen Pittsburgh has dealt with properties in a variety of neighborhoods throughout parts of Pittsburgh, including the South Side, Oakland, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Mt. Lebanon, and Regent Square. Each and every one of these locations, paired with Jason’s overall knowledge of real estate investing, has allowed him to play a part in restoring Pittsburgh’s place as one of the most popular cities in the United States.
This blog will share news, updates, and insights regarding Pittsburgh and its real estate market from the perspective of Jason Cohen Pittsburgh. Stay tuned!