By Jess Barron, Lindsey’s Inc. Realtors

It’s a great time to be in real estate. The number of members for the Newnan-Coweta Board of Realtors grew 13.6 % in 2017. The process of attaining a real estate license consists of several parts. The next few paragraphs will take you through that process.

Applying for a real estate license requires a background check or GCIC report. The Georgia Real Estate Commission/Board may deny a license/classification to any applicant who has a prior criminal conviction(s) or a disciplinary action(s) imposed by any occupational licensing body. In order to verify a background check, the Commission/Board requires all applicants to obtain and submit a Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) report, or an equivalent state-wide criminal background report from their state of residence for non-resident applicants. If you do have prior criminal convictions and/or disciplinary actions, the commission recommends that you apply for background clearance before scheduling and paying for an examination (Grec.state.ga.us).

There are educational requirements that one must meet in order to be eligible to take the state examination. In addition to being a high school graduate or obtaining a certificate of equivalency, the applicant must complete specific real estate related education. You must also be at least 18 years old. 75 hours of education is required from a school approved by the Georgia Real Estate Commission. You may also submit hours from approved universities and colleges as part of the 75 hour credits needed to Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP). 25 hours of post-license education is required within your first year of licensure (Grec.state.ga.us). There are several great schools around the Atlanta area that offer education. The GREC website has several school listed on their website. Many brokers and real estate officers offer education opportunities as well. Once you meet your required education hours, you must pass the state exam

Applicants for all types of real estate licenses must take and successfully pass a qualifying examination prior to license approval. The exam is administered by AMP and has been developed to protect the public interest by assuring that potential licensees understand basic legal requirements and business practices in the real estate brokerage industry. The state exam is administered by AMP but approved by the Commission. The examination fee is $115.00. Persons applying for a salesperson’s license must apply within twelve months of the date they took the examination; or after twelve months have passed, they must retake the examination. Once your application to sit for the examination has been approved and you have successfully completed the examination, you are eligible to receive your license on the same day you pass the examination. The cost to receive a license is $170.00 if you obtain it within 90 days of taking the exam. The fee increases to $340.00 if you obtain you license between 90 days and 12 months. If you fail to apply for your license within 12 months, you must retake the examination to qualify for licensure (Grec.state.ga.us).

Once you obtain your real estate license you can expect several real estate companies to contact you, if they have not already. Selecting a real estate broker to work for is an essential decision in your real estate career. I would look for a company where you will gain experience and training early on. An office culture that you fit into and that you enjoy is very important also. With a healthy local real estate market, it’s a great time to jump in!

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Jess Barron is an Associate Broker with Lindseys, Inc. Realtors and President-Elect of the Newnan-Coweta Board of Realtors.