How To Become A Real Estate Agent / Realtor In Wisconsin
In the state of Wisconsin, there are certain requirements that need to be met, in order to become a licensed real estate agent. We will discuss what these requirements are, where you can access more information on them, and all of the steps that need to be taken to achieve your license.
1) Obtain the required real estate salesperson training
2) Take and pass the real estate salesperson exam
3) File for your real estate salesperson license with the state of WI
4) Find a brokerage that best suits your aspirations (Real Estate Nerds is great... Just saying.)
Training Requirements And Where To Get It
72 hours of approved instruction, is required by the state of Wisconsin's DSPS (Department of Safety and Professional Services). When you decide to take the first step and get some training, you'll need a place to do so. Well, have no fear, the WRA (Wisconsin Realtors Association) is here! Go ahead and take a look at their pre-license education options. (Click Here) They've been educating agents for quite some time and doing a great job of it. (It's where I got my WI real estate pre-license training) If the WRA doesn't suit your needs and you'd like other state-approved options, here you go:
Madison College's Real Estate Certificate - (Click Here) This program is considerably longer and higher in cost, but does provide quality, in-depth education.
Cooke's Real Estate School - (Click Here) They've been around for 47 years and I used them for the state of CA exam. They provide some good online/course-book training materials and information.
OnCourse Learning - (Click Here) offers another option to complete the appropriate training. They offer some good online training courses.
Taking And Passing The Real Estate Salesperson Exam
Upon completion of the 72 hours of state-required training and some good studying (I'll give you some tips), you're now ready to take the real estate salesperson exam! Yay!
Where are you going to do that? You will schedule an exam date and time with a company called Pearson VUE. (NOTE - You will have to go to the testing facility to complete the exam. The test is proctored and timed. The time limit is 4 hours and typically takes 1 1/2.) Scheduling can be done by visiting their website (Click Here) or calling them at 608-833-3991. Testing Center information - (Click Here) If you choose the online route to schedule, you will need to create a login and password. You may need to do that anyway for the receipt of your completion documents.
When it comes to the exam, don't get worried. It's not hard, as long as you've prepared properly. All of the avenues of training, mentioned above, will prepare you to pass. The one thing that I cannot stress enough, is to DO THE PRACTICE EXAMS!
PRO TIP 1 - Copy the practice exam questions and paste them into a word document (this way you can see them over and over). Go ahead and print them out. Continuously study these practice exams. This will totally help you remember the much-needed information for the exam. They use a lot of the same questions from the practice exams on the actual exam.
PRO TIP 2 - Study the WB-1 Residential Listing Contract and the WB - 11 Residential Offer to Purchase Contract. These contracts have a plethora of information. Read them over and over and over.They contain a lot of information that's directly related to questions on the exam.
Again, don't be afraid of this exam. You've studied for it and it's not as hard as you've heard. Trust me, when I say, "YOU'VE GOT THIS!!!"
How To Obtain Your License After Passing The Exam
Great job! You passed! Now that you've passed the exam, it's time to go get your license. Make sure you have the paper from Pearson VUE, showing that you passed. You will need it, along with proof of education completion that satisfies the 72 hour education requirement, a completed "Application For Real Estate Salesperson License" (Click Here), include the $75 fee and provide all of it to the DSPS (Department of Safety and Professional Services). You will notice, on the Application form, there is a page that discusses which firm you will be working for. It's a good idea to know that before filing for your license, as it will save you a whopping $10 later. It's ok to go ahead and not associate with a firm right away. You will just have to fill out a "Notice of Licensee Association With Firm" form (Click Here) at a later time and pay the $10.
Congratulations! You're a legitimate, licensed, real estate agent in the state of Wisconsin! Once licensed, you can join the WRA (Wisconsin Realtors Association), become a Realtor and utilize a list of benefits (Click Here).
Finding The Right Brokerage To Join
There are plenty of brokerages to choose from in the state of Wisconsin. Because I own one, I may be a little bit biased. ;) I will lay it all out there for you and give you some good questions to ask, prior to joining a company. I suggest meeting with multiple brokerages before making a decision. Here are some questions to ask the companies, before signing the agreement.
What is the commission split XYZ company offers new agents? How and when will it increase? (Be very cautious here. A lot of companies make it sound promising, but it can be quite hard to attain the higher splits. The higher splits are usually based on how many millions of dollars you sell, within a certain timeframe.)
Do they have desk fees? If so, how much are they and how often?
Do they charge a technology fee? If so, how much are they and how often?
Do they charge for signs or sign installation? If so, how much and how often?
Do they charge a transaction fee? If so, how much? (Great follow up question - Why? Aren't you already paying them a ton of your commission?)
Do they charge a fee to the sellers for listing their property? If so, how much? (Be cautious here too. A lot of places are charging a $285 fee, sometimes more, in the listing contract when listing a client's home. Typically, the seller doesn't think this is very cool, (FYI it's so not cool) because they're already paying a percentage of the sale price.)
Do they have a photographer that shoots your listings? If so, how much do they charge and what services do they offer (e.g. virtual tour, edited pics, etc.)?
Do they require you to be a member of the WRA (Wisconsin Realtors Association)? If so, which one? (Most brokerages require this, as this is how you have a presence and list properties within the MLS (multiple listing service). As mentioned earlier, there are tons of benefits to being a member of the realtors association (Click Here).
While I could go on and on with information, I think this is good for now. I truly hope this information helps you on your real estate journey.
If you have any questions or would like to share anything, please feel free to email us at info@WiRealEstateNerds.com