Tips and Tricks to Pass your Real Estate Exam

If you are like me, deciding to get your real estate license is a big deal. You’ve spent time looking for the best exam prep course for the best price and now you’re signed up to take your exam. You’ve circled the date on your calendar and the pre-test jitters are setting in. You have questions like “how much should I study? and "what should I study?” Every state's exam may be slightly different but the test taking skills you will need are universal. Here are some of the best exam taking tips to help you pass your exam.

Obviously the most important factor in passing the real estate exam is knowing the material. However, don't lose sight of the goal: passing the test! Learning is great but you can't use what you've learned if you don't pass.

  1. Start by only answering the easy questions. Read the entire exam and only answer the questions you absolutely know the answer to. This will give you a sense of progress and your subconscious will begin thinking about the questions you skipped. When you’ve got a timed test, there’s always the concern that you’ll get hung up in a section and not be able to finish the test. Don’t be one of those people--unanswered questions are marked wrong. Wouldn’t it be a shame if the last three questions on the test were easy ones— guaranteed points for you--but you wound up just having to fill in a random answer on them because you didn’t have time to actually read and think about them? By skipping through the questions you don’t know the answers to and focusing first on the questions you do know the answers to, you’re assuring yourself that you get time to answer the questions you are most likely to get right.
  2.  If you don't know it, wait. Skip questions if you don't know the answer--don't waste time on questions you don't know. For example, if math is difficult for you, skip the math problems until after you finish the rest of the exam. Occasionally, the answer to an earlier question will be revealed in a later question. It is not uncommon on the real estate license exam to have questions that relate to one another, like using the same purchase or sale scenario. These hidden answers are another reason why reading all the way through the exam once at the beginning is a great idea.
  3. Don't second guess yourself. As a general rule, once you've answered a test question, don't change your answer even if you're unsure of the answer you selected. It has been statistically proven that you are much more likely to change an answer from correct to incorrect. An easy way to get tripped up on the real estate licensing exam is to misinterpret an answer choice, thanks to complicated wording. Deceptive language is fair game on tests like this, so double-negatives, unrelated conclusions, or red herrings (especially in the math portion of the test) are common. Do your best to puzzle it out, but ultimately move on without answering if you estimate having to spend more than a minute thinking about the correct answer.
  4. There is no penalty for guessing. Once you have gone through the exam at least twice, time may be running short and now would be a good time to start guessing. The worst that can happen when you guess on a question is that you don’t get any point. The best thing that can happen though, is that you have a one in four shot at getting a point. Unanswered questions are marked wrong, and it is far better to take a chance on a wrong answer than eliminate any possibility of getting the correct answer. That being said, you can increase your odds by trying to make an educated guess--there is likely at least one answer that is obviously wrong, so don't guess blindly: read the question and answers first and choose the most likely answer.
  5. Don't compete with other applicants. You're given plenty of time to complete the exam and you should use as much of it as you need. Don't worry if other examinees finish before you do, most likely they are taking a completely different exam. All types of exams are given in one room. You may be sitting next to a plumber taking his exam or a beautician completing hers. If by chance, there is more than one real estate hopeful, remember that many students who finish quickly… fail.

Real estate licensing exams are pass/fail, there is no extra credit for a perfect score. If you’re like me, the allure of a perfect score on a test is hard to ignore, but in the case of the real estate licensing exam, we must. Remember, your goal is to answer the number of questions correctly that will get you a passing score. Use all your best energy to get to the passing threshold—anything beyond that doesn’t matter.

Bonus Tip: do as many practice real estate exam questions as you can. The test is multiple choice and you will perform MUCH better if you've been doing practice tests that mimic the exam. Use a trusted service like ours to prepare for the actual real estate exam.

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Five Easy Steps to Get your Texas Real Estate License

So you decided to become a Texas real estate agent? That's amazing news! It’s a decision that can put you on a career path where you have more control over your schedule and income, but first, you have to earn your Texas real estate license. Getting licensed for your new career in Texas real estate might seem a bit overwhelming, but we’re here to guide you through the process. This real estate licensing information summarizes the minimum requirements established by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). To begin you must meet the following initial qualifications:

Qualifications

  • Citizen of the United States or lawfully admitted alien
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Resident of Texas
  • Meet TREC’s qualifications for honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity.

Once you meet the initial qualifications, it's time to get started on the path to a great career! Read on for a further breakdown of the path to becoming a licensed real estate agent in Texas!

Step 1: Complete your Qualifying Education

For a Sales Agent: 180 Classroom hours of the following qualifying real estate courses

  • Principles of Real Estate I (30 hours)
  • Principles of Real Estate II (30 hours)
  • Law of Agency (30 hours)
  • Law of Contracts (30 hours)
  • Promulgated Contract Forms (30 hours)
  • Real Estate Finance (30 hours)

Education course completion documents must be submitted to TREC after applying online or with your paper application.

Step 2: File Your Application

Apply Online – Submit your application and fee to become a Sales Agent ($205) using TREC’s Online Services log in now. If you don’t already have a username and password for Online Services, you’ll need to register first.

Apply by Mail – You can also apply for your Sales Agent license using TREC’s paper application. This may take longer to process, and you will need to pay a paper filing fee ($20).

*You have one year from the date your application is filed to meet all license requirements.

Step 3: Get Your Fingerprints Taken and Pass Your Background Check

You are required by law to have fingerprints on file with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) so a background check can be performed.

Step 4: Take the Exam

License exams are administered by PearsonVUE.

You will be sent a notice with instructions for scheduling the exam and obtaining a copy of the exam Candidate Handbook.

Step 5: Find a Sponsor

After meeting the above requirements, you will be issued an inactive Sales Agent license. You need to be sponsored by an active Texas licensed broker to work. You can complete a sponsorship request using TREC’s online services. Once the broker has accepted your request, your active license will be issued, and you can work as a Sales Agent!

  • 90   hours of qualifying post licensure real estate courses, including the following, are required after receiving your license and within your first year:
    • Property Management (30 hours)
    • Real Estate Sales and Marketing (30 hours)
    • Real Estate Marketing (30 hours)

 

We provide: Texas approved qualifying education that meets all of the requirements to take your salesperson exam, required post-license and continuing education courses.
All classes are HD VIDEO or FULL NARRATION with PRINTABLE TEXT

5 Traits That Make a Texas Real Estate Professional

In Texas a real estate “salesperson” is far more than a person who helps to buy or sell homes for clients. That is merely the tip of the longhorn for what they really do which includes tasks such as: analysist, advocate, consultant, negotiator, media expert, and blogger just to name a few. Being a real estate agent in Texas means making yourself into a one-person show, but for those who are tired of the 9-5 Monday-Friday and have a desire for independence, this is just what your free spirit is looking for.

With that job description how do you know if a Texas real estate career is right for you?  We have compiled the essential qualities and traits that successful real estate professionals have and listed them for you below.

  1. Problem solver mindset
    Do you enjoy coming up with creative solutions to problems or issues? Thinking on your feet and solving issues creatively is sometimes all that stands between you and making a deal.
  1. Hustle and tenacity
    Being a top producing real estate agent requires a great work ethic. You must have the tenacity to pursue every lead and the hustle to aggressively market your clients’ properties in order to have success. It’s not just about putting in a lot of time—it’s about working smart and doing whatever is necessary to close the deal.
  1. Attention to detail
    Paying close attention to the details is imperative for your real estate career. Success comes from identifying and developing a focus or niche in the local real estate market that allows you to distinguish yourself from the competition. If you are organized, follow up with leads, communicate well, and pay attention to the needs of your clients, you will close more deals.
  1. Knowledge is power
    Staying up-to-date on the latest topics in real estate and in the local market will allow you to serve clients more effectively. Continuing education and professional development are doors to opportunity that you can utilize to expand your knowledge and stay at the forefront of the real estate field.
  1. Honesty and integrity
    Your professional reputation is crucial to a long and successful career in real estate. A good real estate agent doesn’t just sell properties—they sell themselves. It’s important to show your real personality. People will respond to you if you have a great attitude, are personable and honest and have confidence in your abilities.

At the end of the day, you get out of it what you put into it. There is a certain level investment needed (time, energy, and money) to make any business venture successful. Texas real estate is no different. If you find the idea of going into real estate tantalizing but you aren’t sure how to get started, or you are passionate about real estate and have similar traits to those outlined here, you have a great shot at having a long and successful real estate career in Texas. Why not get started today?

Why YOU Should Get Your Real Estate License In Texas

Recently, cities like Austin, Houston and San Antonio have become an alluring option for young Millennials who dream of owning their own home. Young people are looking to Texas’s vibrant culture and lively economy to set down roots.

It is projected that by 2050, Texas will have a population of 54.4 million. As people flood in, the Lone Star state will become more and more urban. With more than 400,000 new arrivals each year, current Texans now have a once in a lifetime opportunity to flourish in a growing real estate market. That means that YOU should consider a career in Texas real estate and cash in on this profitable and highly rewarding career.

Getting your real estate license in Texas is easier than you may think. The Real Estate Training Institute wants to help you fast track to your new career, and our new Texas pre-license course is ready to help you do just that. Our program is fully approved by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), and it includes every subject you need in order to pass the licensing exam:

  • Law of Contracts
  • Law of Agency
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Promulgated Contract Forms
  • Principles of Real Estate I
  • Principles of Real Estate II

Making a career change can be nerve wracking, but a career in real estate is both rewarding and an opportunity to invest in your future. Our TREC approved courses are  a mix of video and text to help you study how you feel most comfortable. Additionally, our courses are available anywhere, anytime on any internet enabled device—making it simple and time effective to complete your pre-license education and get on the path to a rewarding new career today!

Mississippi Real Estate Investors Jailed After Bid-Rigging Scheme

Nine real estate investors in southern Mississippi are facing jail time and hefty fines after violating federal antitrust laws, reports WLOX. On February 21, 2019, Christopher Vaughan and Jon Gregg Goodhart Jr. were ordered four months jail time for their part in a bid-rigging scheme.

WLOX reports that Vaughan and Goodhart Jr. conspired not to bid against each other on properties at real estate foreclosure auctions between 2009 and 2017. They predetermined a bid winner and exchanged payouts to their counterparts who did not compete against them in the bidding process.

Their illegal agreement prevented competition and drove property prices down. Vaughan was ordered to pay $20,000 in fines plus restitution. Ivan Spinner, Jason Boykin, Shannon Boykin, Kimberly Foster, Kevin Moore, Chad Nichols and Terry Tolar were also sentenced in a separate part of the same investigation.

They were sentenced to four months of jail plus fines between $20,000 to $48,000 and restitution to victims of their crimes. Bid rigging is market manipulation has been illegal since the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. Experts say bid rigging hurts free market competition as well as taxpayers and consumers.

Bid rigging comes in many forms, according to Investopedia:

  • Rotating the bid winner
  • Intentionally selecting bidders to sit out of the auction process to let someone else win
  • Placing uncompetitive bids to let another bidder win
  • “Phantom bidders” that place fake bids to spur real bidders to go higher than normal

Bid rigging and other ethical and legal topics are covered in our comprehensive continuing education classes.

The classes are available online from any Wi-Fi connection on tablet, computer or cellphone.

 


ONLINE STATE-APPROVED CONTINUING EDUCATION

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Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a Broker License

Michigan is one of the only real estate markets expected to grow in 2019. If you're ready to upgrade your salesperson license, here is everything you need to know.

How do I get a Michigan real estate broker license?

  1. Complete 90 hours of approved real estate coursework within 36 months of application, unless licensed continuously.
    All potential brokers in Michigan must complete an approved 90 Hour course. Real Estate Training Institute offers this course online in HD video so you can fit it into your busy schedule. The onscreen instructor, Gwyn Besner is available to answer any questions you have while taking the course.
    Note: if you have been a practicing attorney for 5 or more years you only need to take 30hrs to become a licensed broker.
  2. Submit your real estate license application. Go to www.michigan.gov/icola to apply for a license. Upon accessing iCOLA, you will be asked to create an account, pay your license fee, and submit your license application electronically.
    Note: You must have at least 3 years’ full-time experience as a real estate salesperson, or equivalent experience before applying as a broker (Rule 205).
  3. Register with PSI and pay the $76 exam fee.
    To schedule your exam date, call PSI at 1-800-733-9267. Use the 24/7 Automated Registration System or speak with a representative between 7:30 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. ET. You will be informed immediately after the exam whether you passed or not. PSI will import your exam data into your iCOLA record within 48 hours of successful completion of the exam.

Where is the Michigan real estate broker exam offered?

  • Gaylord
  • Grand Rapids
  • Holt
  • Marquette
  • Southfield

What are the initial real estate licensing fees in Michigan?

Michigan operates on three-year cycles so initial licensing fees decrease each year. 2018 is the last year of a licensing cycle to fees are as follows:
Brokers & Associate Brokers: $71
Branch Office: $30

Who do I contact at the state level about getting a Michigan real estate license?

Contact Information

Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Board of Real Estate Brokers & Salespersons
Website:  http://www.michigan.gov/realestate
Phone:  517-241-9288

Licensing References

Michigan Real Estate – Frequently Asked Questions
Michigan Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons — Occupational Code


Licensing Resources

Should You Get A Real Estate License?

Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Salesperson

Why You Should Upgrade to A Broker License

 


ONLINE STATE-APPROVED 90-HOUR PRELICENSE COURSE

Why You Should Upgrade to A Broker License

If you are currently working as a real estate salesperson I have one question for you, why haven't you upgraded to a broker license? Brokers make more money and have more freedom to create their own schedules. While you must be licensed as a salesperson for three years before applying for a broker license, it is never too early to get started on your 90-hour prelicense program. Below are a few common questions and answers about obtaining a broker license.

Question 1: Why should I become a broker?

  • Be your own boss. As a salesperson, you work for a licensed broker. Getting a broker license means you can open your own practice and work alone or hire a team of salespeople to work under you. If you choose to work alone you can keep all of your commissions. If you choose to hire salespeople you can either keep a portion of their commissions or you can charge a variety of fees and allow your salespeople to keep all of their commission.
  • Make an average of $23,000 more per year. Brokers make more money whether they're working with salespeople or not. Between keeping their entire commission and receiving a cut of their salespeople's commission or yearly fees, they make an average of $23,000 more per year.
  • Increase your marketability. Individuals buying and selling high priced homes often prefer working with a broker. Brokers have a reputation for being industry experts with a strong dedication to the industry. As we all know, the higher the home price, the higher the commission!
  • Run your own property management company. Property management companies work as a middle man between tenants and property owners. Since the rental industry is hot right now, the ability to run a property management company is a big benefit.

Question 2: Why should I upgrade my license when the market is expected to decline?

Most experts are predicting a drop off in real estate sales over the next few years. Lucky for you, Michigan is expected to be exempt from the rest of the nation's decline.

Several sources believe Michigan's real estate market will continue to grow even as rising mortgage rates slow the market for sellers in other areas of the country. Home prices in Grand Rapids are forecast to grow at 8.2%, the largest home price increase in the nation. In fact, real estate resources nationwide are encouraging investment in Grand Rapids and the city comes in second for the hottest real estate markets for millennials.

Grand Rapids isn't the only area of Michigan experiencing growth. Numbers recently released by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan's office show residential property values have increased by an average 12% in more than 90% of Detroit neighborhoods. The rest of the state is expected to experience continually growing housing prices but a declining number of homes on the market. While this may sound like bad news initially, growing home prices mean higher commission rates which can make up for the lower volume of sales.

In other words, while the rest of the country is preparing for a decreasing real estate market, Michigan can expect to see continued growth in urban areas and stable growth in the rural north. Additionally, even if the Michigan real estate market drops off after a few years, brokers are uniquely positioned to continue making a steady income since they receive a cut from all salespersons commissions.

Question 3: How do I get started?

  1. Complete 90 hours of approved real estate coursework within 36 months of application, unless licensed continuously.
    Note: if you have been a practicing attorney for 5 or more years you only need to take 30hrs to become a licensed broker.
  2. Submit your real estate license application. Go to www.michigan.gov/icola to apply for a license. Upon accessing iCOLA, you will be asked to create an account, pay your license fee, and submit your license application electronically.
  3. Register with PSI and pay the $76 exam fee

Find detailed instructions here.


Licensing Resources

Should You Get A Real Estate License?

Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Salesperson

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a Broker License

 


ONLINE STATE-APPROVED 90-HOUR PRELICENSE COURSE

Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Salesperson

Michigan is one of the only real estate markets expected to grow in 2019. If you're ready to get licensed, here is everything you need to know.

How do I get a Michigan real estate salesperson license?

  1. Complete an approved 40 hour Michigan Real Estate Fundamentals Course.
    All potential salespeople in Michigan must complete an approved 40 Hour course. Real Estate Training Institute offers this course online in HD video so you can fit it into your busy schedule. The onscreen instructor, Gwyn Besner is available to answer any questions you have while taking the course.
  2. Submit your real estate license application.
    Go to www.michigan.gov/icola to apply for a license. Upon accessing iCOLA, you will be asked to create an account, pay your license fee, and submit your license application electronically.
    NOTE: You do not need to have a broker at the time you submit the license application. If you list your employing broker’s 10-digit number when applying, please inform your employer that you have submitted your license application. Your employing broker should then access his or her iCOLA account and confirm sponsorship.  Broker information may be supplied to the State of Michigan at a later time using the Employee Broker Notification Form. Your license application will remain in a “Pending” Status in their system until broker sponsorship is confirmed, or for one year from the date of application.
  3. Register with PSI and pay the $79 exam fee.
    To schedule your exam date, call PSI at 1-800-733-9267 or register online. Use the 24/7 Automated Registration System or speak with a representative between 7:30 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. ET.
  4. You will be informed immediately after the exam whether you passed or not. PSI will import your exam data into your iCOLA record within 48 hours of successful completion of the exam.  Once your exam score is received by the Department and your broker is confirmed, the State-issued paper wall license and a pocket card will be mailed to your employing broker’s main office.

Where is the Michigan real estate salesperson exam offered?

  • Gaylord
  • Grand Rapids
  • Holt
  • Marquette
  • Southfield

What are the initial real estate licensing fees in Michigan?

Michigan operates on a three-year cycle so initial licensing fees decrease each year. 2018 is the last year of a licensing cycle and fees are as follows:
Brokers & Associate Brokers: $71
Salesperson: $62
Branch Office: $30

Who do I contact at the state level about getting a Michigan real estate license?

Contact Information

Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Board of Real Estate Brokers & Salespersons
Website:  http://www.michigan.gov/realestate
Phone:  517-241-9288

Licensing References

Michigan Real Estate – Frequently Asked Questions
Michigan Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons — Occupational Code


Licensing Resources

Should You Get A Real Estate License?

Why You Should Upgrade to A Broker License

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a Broker License

 


ONLINE STATE-APPROVED 40-HOUR PRELICENSE COURSE