How to Become a Realtor®

Wanted: Business owners, entrepreneurs, marketers, business managers, and aspiring executives

Are you ready for a successful career in real estate?

Imagine working for yourself in a flexible career where you can be your own boss, set your own schedule, work and play in an industry with unlimited income potential, and shape the future of your community by helping others achieve the American dream of owning a home.

Whether you are an emerging or seasoned professional, there’s a bright future for entrepreneurial-minded, motivated individuals who want to reap the rewards of a successful career in real estate. The industry offers a wide variety of opportunities, including those in brokerages and leasing services for homes, office buildings, industrial properties and farmland, as well as property management, appraisal, and counseling. Which one is right for you?

  • Residential Brokerage
  • Commercial Brokerage
  • Industrial and Office Brokerage
  • Farm and Land Brokerage
  • Real Estate Appraising
  • Property Management
  • Land Development
  • Urban Planning
  • Real Estate Research
  • Real Estate Counseling

Here are some of the reasons why a career in real estate might be a great fit for you:

1. Getting started is quick and painless

Real estate brokers and sales agents must be licensed. To become licensed, candidates must be high school graduates, at least 18 years old, and complete a particular number of hours of real estate courses. In Pennsylvania, you can complete the required training, become a licensed real estate agent, and start a new career in just a matter of weeks or months. Check out these real estate licensing schools in your area that can help you prepare for and pass the licensing exam.

Suburban West (Malvern, PA)
Bucks County (Warminster, PA)
Lehigh Valley Real Estate Academy (Bethlehem, PA)
Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors® (Enola, PA)
Realtors® Educational Institute (Pittsburgh, PA)
Pocono Real Estate Academy (Stroudsburg, PA)
Lancaster County Association of Realtors® (Lancaster, PA)

2. You are your own boss

As a real estate agent or broker, you’re an independent contractor and control your own book of business. You make the decisions. With a good attitude, a lot of motivation, and a solid work ethic, there are virtually no limits for the growth of your real estate business.

3. Your potential for earned income is unlimited

As a Realtor®, your income is largely determined by the time you invest—which means you could make a lot if you work hard or only a little if you don’t. Top producers earn a lot more than the average real estate agent and those ranges vary greatly, anywhere from $25,000 to $300,000 annually according to most estimates.

4. Your hours are yours to keep

Realtors® work flexible hours, no mundane 9 to 5 schedules here. When you work is up to you and your clients.

5. You make a difference

As a Realtor®, you help clients achieve the American dream of owning a home, which is, for many, one of the most important decisions they will ever make. Most Realtors® report a high level of on-the-job satisfaction, knowing they are helping to build strong communities and families.


What is the difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor®?

Realtor holding 'Open House' sign, portrait

Anyone who earns a real estate license can be called a real estate agent, whether that license is as a sales professional, an associate broker, or a broker. A real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, which means that he or she must uphold the standards of the association and its code of ethics, is called a Realtor®, and is entitled to all of the benefits of membership associated with the trademark.

A real estate broker is a person who has taken education beyond the agent level as required by state laws and has passed a broker’s license exam. Brokers can work alone or they can hire agents to work for them.

Others real estate career choices include:

  • Residential Broker
  • Commercial Broker
  • Industrial and Office Broker
  • Farm and Land Broker
  • Real Estate Appraiser
  • Property Manager
  • Land Developer
  • Urban Planner
  • Real Estate Researcher
  • Real Estate Counselor

What does a typical day look like for a Realtor®?

Virtually every day is different for a Realtor®, especially considering the wide range of occupations within the field. Some of the tasks associated with a real estate agent might include the following:

  • Solicit potential clients to buy, sell, rent, and develop properties
  • Advise clients on prices, mortgages, market conditions, and other related information
  • Compare properties to determine competitive market prices
  • Generate lists of properties for sales, including details such as location and features
  • Market properties through advertisements, open houses, and listing services
  • Take prospective buyers or renters to see properties
  • Present purchases offers to sellers
  • Mediate negotiations between buyers and sellers
  • Ensure all terms of purchase contracts are met
  • Prepare documents such as loyalty contracts, purchase agreements, and deeds

How do I get my Pennsylvania Real Estate license?

  1. Complete your required education and exam prep.
    • You must successfully complete 75 hours of approved real estate education, and be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or an equivalent.
    • Find a licensing school.
  2. Complete a background check.
    • You must obtain a Pennsylvania report of your criminal history. Obtain yours here or from the Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository, 1800 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110, (717) 783-5593
  3. Take the Pennsylvania and National Licensing exam
    • Successfully pass both the Pennsylvania and national portions of the PSI Salesperson Real Estate exam.
  4. Apply for your license.
    • Complete, sign, and submit the licensing application provided by the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission along with the required fee.
  5. Begin marketing your new business to prospective brokers!
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