As many may know, real estate is a booming industry in Vegas. Plus, it's not like people will ever stop buying homes. That’s why being a real estate agent in Las Vegas has become a popular career path for many. The road to getting licensed requires commitment and hard work. You also need to invest time and resources in planning and ensuring you’re qualified for the practice. Let’s explore the step-by-step process of how to become a real estate agent in Las Vegas.
Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Las Vegas
1. Adhere to the general requirements.
Before you can begin your application process, be sure you fit the basic eligibility rules. This includes:
- Being at least 18 years old.
- Being a US citizen or permanent resident.
- Fingerprint card from the Department of Safety.
- Proof of eligibility to work in the country.
- Proof of high school diploma, graduation, or equivalent.
You can review Form 501 and Form 549 for the specifics of the eligibility requirements.
2. Choose your area of specialty.
If you’re planning to be a real estate agent in Las Vegas, one of the most important things to consider is your specialty area – whether commercial or residential.
Each area has its own pros, cons, and opportunities for growth. For instance, commercial properties tend to garner a higher rate of return but require clients to make bigger upfront investments. On the other hand, residences attract more buyers because of lower down payments, but the return for brokers are on the lower end too.
Ultimately, it’s essential to gather information on each so you can carefully consider which one you might want to specialize in and make an informed choice.
3. Attend the 90-hour required education.
One of the primary requirements to become a real estate agent in Las Vegas is to complete the required 90-hour pre-licensing education through an approved Nevada Real Estate Division course.
The instruction has two parts: 45 hours of Real Estate Principles and another 45 hours of Real Estate Law (18 hours of which must be Nevada-specific law). Once you successfully complete these, you’ll get a certificate which will be used in the succeeding steps of getting your license.
Bonus tip: Depending on your chosen school, the cost of the 90-hour education may range from $210 (course only) to $320 (course + exam prep + business course).
4. Complete the checks.
As a highly regulated field, you must complete a background check and submit your fingerprints to the Department of Public Safety. To get your fingerprints taken, you must select from the list of approved companies by the Real Estate Division.
In addition, you may be asked some of these questions on your application:
- Have you been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor?
- Are you on parole or probation or paying any restitution?
- Have you ever filed for bankruptcy?
- Have you had any licenses suspended or revoked?
- Have you been involved in an administrative proceeding for professional or occupational license?
If you answer yes to any of these, you will be required to provide a written explanation which will be used by regulators when deciding whether or not to grant you a license.
5. Pass the licensing exam.
Once you meet the credit hours and checks, you need to register with Pearson Vue to take the Nevada Real Estate Salesperson Licensing Exam. Also, you need to pass the exam within 12 months of the application.
The test is comprised of two sections - National (80 questions in 150 minutes) and Nevada-specific (40 questions in 90 minutes). The exam covers four main topics: realty, agency, finance, and Nevada law. You need to get at least 75% correct to pass the exam.
The test itself costs $125 for one attempt. Each retake is an additional cost, and the test must be successfully completed within 12 months of application. To save time and money, you can take test preparation programs or crash courses to potentially improve your performance.
6. Get a Las Vegas broker sponsor.
After passing the licensing exam, you need to work under a real estate broker for a specific time. This experience enables you to put into practice what you have learned. They can provide the resources, training, and supervision you need to successfully grow in the field.
It also connects you with a sponsor whose signature may be required in your licensing application or asked for an official statement indicating that they will employ you after getting your license.
There are plenty of real estate companies in Las Vegas, so it helps to create a list based on your ideal market and area of specialty. If you have no particular broker in mind, your real estate school may be able to help narrow down your options.
It must be noted that some brokers require a fee for you to do any business with them or use their services. These costs vary widely, so it's best to thoroughly research your options before committing.
7. Apply for your license.
Once you’ve passed the exam and secured a Nevada-based broker, you can now turn in your application for a real estate salesperson license.
To apply, you need to bring copies of all the requirements outlined in the earlier steps:
- Certificate of completion of pre-licensing education.
- Fingerprint cards.
- Background checks.
- Passing result of license exam.
The application costs a non-refundable $125 (valid for one year). It requires information about all your previous licenses in other states, occupations and employers, and residence. Even with the background check, it may still ask you about criminal offenses, child support, and other occupational suspensions, if any.
For the complete checklist of requirements, be sure to review the details at the State of Nevada RED website.
8. Gather all documents and establish your business.
If your goal is to start your own real estate business, you also need to apply for a Nevada state business license (on top of your real estate agent license).
As such, it’s vital that you have all the necessary forms in place to simplify your submission process. Be sure you know the differences between each business type – sole proprietorship, corporation, limited liability – so you’ll know which one best suits your application.
9. Network and create new connections
Real estate can get complex and confusing, especially if you’re a new agent. That’s why it helps to have a mentor or trusted network of connections who’ll be able to guide you through the ins and outs of the industry.
Take time to attend networking events, join community groups, or reach out to professionals within your area. Connecting with individuals and groups will enable you to gain expert tips that will get you started and help you succeed in the long run.
In addition, it’s beneficial to build a strong online presence. This will help current and potential clients get a better idea of what they can get out of working with you (and your firm). Be sure to showcase your portfolio and to share relevant content about the industry.
10. Take the annual continuing education.
Passing your licensure exam is a big step to becoming a real estate agent in Las Vegas. But there’s more you need to know and learn to successfully navigate the market.
Be sure to take part in continuing education hours to consistently improve your knowledge of the real estate industry. It also helps to participate in workshops, trainings, and other programs that could help you progress in your career as an agent.
To become a real estate agent in Las Vegas (and throughout Nevada), you have to accomplish the required education and earn your license. This helps ensure that you have the knowledge and skills to thrive in the field. More importantly, you have to establish strong networks and attend continuing education to help you keep on top of the game.