A career in real estate can be an exciting opportunity for many people. While becoming a real estate agent doesn't necessarily require a college degree or any specific work experience, industry professionals are required to have a thorough understanding of principles, laws, and the practice of representing buyers and sellers in the transaction process.
What Is the Purpose of Real Estate School?
In order for prospective licensees to gain the requisite knowledge of the industry and get a real estate license, they must take pre-licensing courses from a state-approved real estate school. The purpose of these courses is to help students gain knowledge, have a successful career, and pass the state and national portions of the real estate exam. However, each state has different requirements for licensing education including the total number of required credit hours and the topics presented in each course.
What Topics Are Included in the Real Estate Pre-Licensing Courses?
While each state has different qualifying education requirements, there are many topics that remain consistent, including:
- Modern Real Estate Practice
- Real Property
- Home Ownership
- Real Estate Brokerage and Law of Agency
- Fair Housing Laws
- Ethics of Practice as a Sales Agent or Broker
- Legal Descriptions
- Listing Agreements
Example State Programs for Pre-Licensing Education
Example 1: Colorado Pre-License Education
The Colorado Real Estate Commission (CREC) requires six courses: Law & Practice, Contracts & Regulations, Closings, Record-Keeping & Trust Accounts, Legal Issues, & Practical Applications for a total of 168 hours.
Law & Practice
The real estate principles course (referred to in CO as Law and Practice) covers the national portion of real estate pre-licensing principles (those areas which are common to all states). You will learn the basic principles of real estate, real estate law, and the practice of real estate.
Contracts & Regulations
This course covers Colorado Real Estate Contracts and Regulations and will take the student through license laws, statutory relationships, Sales and Listing contracts as well as addendums, disclosures and other related forms.
This course covers the basic skills necessary to properly close a real estate transaction, including responsibilities from the contract through and after the closing, plus accounting for all funds received and disbursed as well as a comprehensive review of the legal documents prepared by the broker.
Record-Keeping & Trust Accounts
This course covers the proper record-keeping procedures required by the Colorado Real Estate Commission to maintain and account for funds belonging to others.
This course introduces the student to real-world problems that have been handled by the Colorado Real Estate Commission. Real examples of audits, complaints, legal cases and legal responsibilities with regard to lead-based paint are all included.
This course helps provide some guidance to new brokers by discussing the importance of setting up personal goals and a business plan as well as how to go about getting started on marketing. The course objective is to protect the public by providing an overview for new real estate brokers in the application of laws, rules, and standards of practice. Other practical information, such as working with sellers and buyers, showing property, writing an offer, and the closing process, are also addressed.
Example 2: Texas Pre-License Education
The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) requires six courses: Principles of Real Estate 1, Principles of Real Estate 2, Real Estate Finance, Law of Contracts, Law of Agency, & Promulgated Contract Forms for a total of 180 hours.
Principles of Real Estate 1
Students will learn basic real estate principles, and begin your introduction to real estate law, the important aspects of real estate licensing requirements, distinctions between personal and real property, titles to and conveyance of real estate, ethics of practice as a license holder, federal, state and local fair housing laws, the content of the Texas Real Estate License Act, legal descriptions, important elements of real estate contracts, how various interests in real estate are defined, including deeds, encumbrances, liens, how titles to real estate are held and conveyed, and the ethical standards you are expected to meet as a license holder.
Principles of Real Estate 2
This course includes all the state-required topics, including an overview of licensing as a real estate broker and salesperson, ethics of practice, titles to and conveyance of real estate, legal descriptions, deeds encumbrances and liens, distinctions between personal and real property, appraisal, finance and regulations, closing procedures, real estate mathematics, and instruction on federal, state, and local laws relating to housing discrimination, housing credit discrimination, and community reinvestment.
Real Estate Finance
In this course, the student will study monetary systems, primary and secondary money markets, sources of mortgage loans, federal government programs, loan applications, processes and procedures, closing costs, alternative financial instruments, equal credit opportunity acts, community reinvestment act, and state housing agency.
Law of Contracts
This course includes instruction related to the elements of a contract, offer and acceptance, the statute of frauds, specific performance and remedies for breach, unauthorized practice of law, commission rules relating to the use of adopted forms, and owner disclosure requirements.
Law of Agency
This course discusses the principal-agent and master-servant relationships, the authority of an agent, the termination of an agent's authority, the fiduciary and other duties of an agent, employment law, deceptive trade practices, listing or buying representation procedures, and the disclosure of agency. Upon completion of the course, students will understand the role agency relationships play in a real estate transaction and be able to properly apply law, rule, and policy to their practice.
Promulgated Contract Forms
This class provides knowledge of the forms and the terminology necessary to deliver properly completed contracts and forms during the course of a real estate transaction.
Example 3: Florida Pre-License Education
The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) requires one courses: 3-Hour Sales Associate (FREC 1) for a total of 63 hours.
63-Hour Sales Associate Course
In this course, students will learn about the topics required by the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) to get a Sales Associate License and pass the exam. Topics include license law And qualifications for licensure, commission rules, authorized relationships, duties and disclosure, brokerage activities and procedures, violations of license law and penalties, property rights, titles, deeds, and ownership restrictions.
Always Check Your State's Requirements!
Due to the fact that each state has its own rules and regulations regarding its real estate licensing education requirements, it is important that you check your state's real estate commission website to understand what education you need!
Written and Published by: VanEd