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Becoming a realtor to buy a home

Let's start with a premise, let's make the following assertions about an individual

- They love to learn so taking a test doesn't phase them
- For arguments sake they are looking to buy a home around $1M.
- They want to look at a lot of homes

In this scenario, wouldn't it make sense for them to become a Realtor themselves? Even after paying out to a broker and the fees to be a Realtor they could still save quite a few thousand dollars and once they had their lock box key they could browse as much as they like without having to wait on anybody else.

Has anybody done this?
  • February 21 2014 - US
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Answers (4)

Key words by Mack... "they are hiring about the least qualified agent they could find!"

If your desire is for the purchase of your own house only simply to save approx. 1% of the sale price minus your fee's, due's, time... it is surely a foolish endeavor! (even at 1 mil)
  • February 22 2014
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People have done it, but most people figure that at the end of the story, they will have devoted about a month of their life to getting licensed, a decent chunk of change with all the fees, and they would "save" less than two points on the deal. Besides which, they are hiring about the least qualified agent they could find!

  • February 21 2014
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What state are you in? Each state has different requirements and you would want to do a cost-benefit analysis. In the state of Florida you would have to select a brokerage to hold your license and there are generally start-up costs associated with this. You will need to look at state application fees, the costs of the real estate school, background check/fingerprinting, Realtor association fees, E-Key rental fees . . . etc. Additionally, you will need to purchase (or work with a brokerage that provides) Errors & Omissions Insurance which may or may not cover the purchase or sale of personal property. All in all, you may find that what you save isn't all that much. Please keep in mind that in most states, the seller is the one who pays the buyers agent so it really isn't money out of your pocket.

On the other hand, you may love being a Realtor and this could be a great career change for you! Or you may decide to become referral buddies with another agent and collect a percentage of their commission for referring friends or family to them (in the state of Florida, you must be a licensed Real Estate Agent in order to collect a referral fee for a real estate transaction).

Also, please be aware that being a realtor is more than just someone providing access to homes, we are professionals well-versed in conducting real estate transactions and providing a level of expertise in the markets where we live and work. Even as an agent, you will still need to wait on someone else to view homes. After all, the seller is likely working with a listing agent and you will need to wait on the listing agent to arrange an appointment and for the seller to provide access to their home. Best of luck!
  • February 21 2014
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Profile picture for Outer Banks N C
Getting your RE license is a good thing. No matter how many homes you buy you will learn things.

Check the rules in your state, actually getting your license will force you to learn them. Once you have a license you don't have to become a Realtor, being a Realtor will likely be required to be able to use the MLS system since it is owned and operated by the Realtor Association there. This is also how you get the lockbox key.

What an agent does is like this:

House $1,000,000 with a 2% commission to buyers agency (it goes to the company not you)

So you can, if your office allows it, is make a deal with the sellers agent to wave any buyers commission. This saves $20,000 off the commission the seller will be paying and you buy the house for $20k less. Yes, I would say we do that when we buy homes. Being a newbie agent the office may or may not allow you to do this. Even if you got your regular 50/50 commission split you will save $10,000. You don't want to take the $10,000 as a commission because then you pay tax on that as income.
  • February 21 2014
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