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9 Steps to Becoming a Michigan Real Estate Agent

How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Michigan

how to become real estate agent in michigan

If you're looking for an exciting new career, the fast-paced and lucrative world of Real Estate may be for you!

But, how do you become a Real Estate Agent in Michigan?

Well, take it from me! I'm Erik, a Real Estate Agent in southeast Michigan, but licensed to practice anywhere in the GREAT mitten state.

I put together these 9 simple and easy-to-digest steps on how to become a Real Estate Salesperson (A.K.A. Real Estate Agent or REALTOR®) in Michigan.

9 Steps to becoming a Michigan Real Estate Salesperson

Click the links below to jump to a section:

1. Research if a career in Real Estate is right for you

Being a Real Estate Agent is incredibly rewarding, challenging and fun! There's unlimited earning potential, you can make your own schedule and no two days are alike.

That sounds great. What's not to love?!

Well, it's not for everyone! While careers in Real Estate take many different forms, those who are most successful tend to be self-starters, outgoing and detail-oriented.

It helps to be a self-starter

It's your career and you're the boss. No one is going to get you out of bed in the morning, ask if you followed up on your leads or crossed XY & Z off your "to-do" list.

It helps to be outgoing

For the most part, people are friendly... but, sometimes, negotiations get heated and you'll need all your 'people skills' to diffuse the situation and reach a consensus.

You'll be constantly interacting with your clients, other agents, the City, mortgage companies, contractors ... basically, everyone!

For the most part, people are friendly... but, sometimes, negotiations get heated and you'll need all your 'people skills' to diffuse the situation and reach a consensus.

It helps to be detail-oriented

Real Estate isn't always as carefree and glamorous as it looks on TV. Sometimes it's answering your client's millionth question, combing through documents at the City Clerk's office & spending hours putting legal documents together.

Over the years, I've learned all these things myself. I wish someone had told me what it takes to be a Real Estate Agent before I started!

If you identify with most of these attributes, a career in Real Estate may be right for you!

Patient, good communication skills, confident, eager to learn, hard-working, level-headed, kind, adaptable, persistent, approachable, observant, ambitious, good listener

Please note: you must to be at least 18 years old to be a Real Estate Salesperson in Michigan. A high school degree isn't required, however, some colleges may require a GED to take their Prelicensure courses.

2. Complete an approved 40-hour Prelicensure Course

There are many in-person Prelicensure courses available at a variety of facilities around the state. There are also completely online courses that are great for people who need flexible schedules or work better on their own time.

I personally took Kaplan's 100% online Michigan Real Estate Fundamentals course three years ago and found it very thorough and easy to use.

No matter if you decide to take an in-person or online class, at least 4 hours of the course material will be dedicated to Civil Rights Law and Equal Opportunity in Housing. The remainder of the programming covers Real Estate Fundamentals.

Once you've completed the Prelicensure course, you'll receive a Certificate of Completion which you'll need for the next step.

3. Apply for your Real Estate License

You must apply with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs within 36 months of completing your Prelicensure Course.

4. Register for the Exam

Once your application has been approved, you'll receive an email from Michigan's

Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs which gives you permission to and instructions on how to apply.

You must register and take the exam within one year of applying.

Note: a $79 fee is required to register for the exam (as of Jan, 2021)

5. Study, study, study!

I suggest setting aside a couple hours each day for a few weeks to go over all your course material again, memorize vocabulary & take practice tests.

Pro tips:

  • Use official prep materials (I highly recommend these Barron's flash cards)

  • Don't skip the math problems they're on the test, too!

  • Pay careful attention to each question's nuance

6. Take the Michigan Salesperson Licensing Exam

The exam is very strict. It's a closed-book, no-notes and no-nonsense test with 110 questions and a 180 minute time limit. The exam is taken on a computer.

There's a 15-minute tutorial at the beginning that helps you get the hang of the exam's format. This tutorial does NOT count against your 180 minutes.

What to bring

  • Two forms of identification with matching names and signature, one must be government-issued with a photo (driver’s license, passport, green card, U.S. social security card, debit or credit card)

  • A simple, battery-operated calculator

What you'll get

  • Pencil

  • Blank sheet of paper for notes and problem-solving

What the test covers

  • Property Ownership

  • Land use controls and regulations

  • Valuation and market analysis

  • Financing

  • General principles of agency

  • Property condition and disclosures

  • Contracts

  • Transfer of title

  • Real estate calculations

  • Specialty areas

  • Duties and Powers of the Department and the State Board of Real Estate

  • Licensing Requirements

  • Statutory Requirements Governing the Activities of Licenses

  • Contractual Relationships

7. Pass the test

Score at least 70% and you'll pass the Michigan Real Estate Salesperson exam.

8. Find a Broker Sponsor

In order to legally practice as a Real Estate Agent, you have to be sponsored by a licensed Broker.

Once you've found a Broker to sponsor you, they'll confirm with the State and you'll receive your license!

Pro tip: if you're already sponsored by a broker at least 48 hours before your exam, you can receive your photo license at the exam site right after passing your exam!

Need help finding a Broker?

9. Set yourself up for success

There are a few things you'll definitely need to kickstart your career in Real Estate.

I recommend buying them in advance so you aren't scrambling at the last minute when your first opportunities pop up. PLEASE learn from my mistakes!

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