Getting Started in Real Estate - Part 2

This is Part 2 of a 2-part series on getting started with a career in real estate. To read Part 1, go here.

When we are talking with people who are wanting to get started with a career in real estate, the second most commonly asked question is “How much will it cost?” This is an easy question, with a not-so-easy answer, so let’s break it down.

The costs to get your real estate certificates (as opposed to getting a real estate degree from a California university or college) will range from about $200 - $500, depending upon the services and learning methods you prefer. The testing and licensing fees you will pay to the California Department of Real Estate, as of the date of this posting, are $305. For details, visit the DRE's Fee Schedule. Required fingerprinting will cost $49.

In California, you will need to join a local real estate board, the California Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Realtors. The combined annual cost for these three associations is around $800. You will also need to join a local Multiple Listing System (MLS) in order to view and have access to properties for sale, as well as promote listings you will take. The annual cost of an MLS membership is around $1,000.

Additional costs for Errors and Omissions Insurance and marketing costs you may incur your first year in business will range from $1,000 - $3,000, depending upon how you choose to brand and market your business. Many new agents choose more time-intensive and cost-effective methods of marketing and prospecting, while others will choose less labor-intensive and time-saving methods. You decide what is best for you and for your business.

When we add everything up, you can expect to incur between $3,500 - $7,000 for your first year in real estate.