How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Indiana
Indiana Real Estate License Basic Requirements
You need the following requirements to become a real estate broker in Indiana:
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You should have a high school diploma or an equivalent certificate (GED).
- Complete 90 hours of real estate education approved by the state and pass the exam.
- Pass a background check.
- Be sponsored by a licensed real estate managing broker.
Indiana Real Estate License Costs
- Real Estate Agent Education in Indiana: $350 to $600 (approx.)
- Exam Fee: $53
- License Fee: $60
- Indiana Real Estate Commission
- You can join an online real estate school such as RECP (Real Estate Certification Program), Real Estate Express to prepare for real estate agent education.
- Online resources or exam preparation: CE Shop.
- You can apply for your real estate license on the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (ILPA)
STEP 1: Indiana Pre-licensing Education
To get a real estate broker license in Indiana, you need to complete and pass a 90-hour broker pre-licensing course that is approved by the state.
The pre-licensing courses cover the following topics:
- Indiana real estate law
- Commission rules
- Real estate finance
- Real estate brokerage operation
- Real estate contracts
- Earnest money and trust accounts
- Closing real estate transactions
- Real estate loan underwriting
- Property management
To become a real estate agent in Indiana, you can complete your pre-license education by taking onsite or online courses. On-site courses are more expensive as compared to online courses, which are less expensive, more flexible and let you work at your own pace.
STEP 2: Submit a Completed Application
Where to Apply and Exam Fees
You have completed the necessary pre-liecing education need to become licensed. Now you can register to take your real estate broker exam with Indiana’s approved exam on their website along with an exam fee of $53.
STEP 3: Pass the State License Test
The Indiana broker exam comprises 2 parts – 75 questions in the national part and 50 questions pertaining to the state laws. To pass the exam, you need to answer at least 60 questions correctly in the national part and 38 questions correctly in the state-specific part.
The exam is computer based. You have a total of 4 hours to complete the entire exam, with 2.5 hours for the national part and 90 minutes for the state-specific portion. You will receive your score as soon as you complete your exam.
Topics Covered in the Test
The national part of the exam comprises the following sections and breakup of the number of questions include:
- Property ownership: 7 to 8
- Financing: 6
- Market analysis and valuation: 5 to 6
- General agency principles: 8 to 9
- Contracts: 13 to 14
- Property disclosures: 5 to 6
- Transfer of title: 5 to 6
- Leasing & property management: 3 to 4
- Real estate practice: 10 to 11
- Real estate calculations: 6
The state-specific part of the exam comprises the following sections and breakup of the number of questions include:
- Indiana real estate commission: 4
- Statutory and regulatory requirements: 18
- Licensing: 8
- Real estate office procedures: 4
- Statutes and rules governing licensees: 16
What to Bring to the Exam Venue?
You need to carry:
- 2 forms of non-expired IDs with your matching name and valid signature (e.g. passport, driver’s license, social security card, green card, credit or debit card).
- If the name of the registration is different from that on the ID, then you must carry proof of name change.
- A basic, non-scientific calculator.
You can prepare for the Indiana real estate exam by using the practice tests offered by your school. For instance, CE Shop offers real estate exam prep for Indiana and once you pass the school’s exams, you can then appear for the licensing exam with PearsonVUE.
STEP 4: Apply and Obtain Your License
The application for your broker license must be received by the licensure office within one year of the date of your passing both parts of the broker exam.
You can apply for your real estate broker license by making a payment of a license fee of $60 to the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (ILPA) via a money order or check. Your application should include:
- The original broker pre-licensing course completion certificate from an approved vendor.
- The original score sheet received from PearsonVUE after completing the licensing exam.
- If applicable, official verification of license held for any other regulated profession in any other state.
- Court documentation and sworn document for positive responses to screening questions (if applicable).
You must ensure that you include your email address in the completed broker application because your license status will be communicated via email. To apply for a real estate broker license, you should not be convicted for any crime that may cause the IREC to believe that you’re a danger to the public.
Indiana does not have reciprocity agreements with any of the states of the U.S. However, you can qualify if the state where you have got your original real estate broker license has similar requirements as Indiana.
STEP 5: Finding a Brokerage
Choosing a brokerage to work when starting out as a real estate agent is important. Picking a broker to work with can be intimidating and in this section, we have discussed a few steps which can help you choose a real estate broker to kickstart your career.
Check out the Commission Split
Most real estate brokers pay on a commission basis, which means that if you don’t sell, you don’t get paid. And, when you sell, you will need to split the proceeds of the sale with the broker. Brokers offer varied commission structures and you need to pick a broker who offers a commission split that works for you.
Usually, commissions get better with the sales volume and experience. A good commission split depends on the market, the business, the resources and support the broker has and several other factors. Ensure that you understand the commission split and how you can earn a better percentage over time. Some real estate brokerages offer salary, as well as benefits or a hybrid model and it is a good idea to shop around and join a brokerage that offers compensation that appeals to you.
Check out the Brokerage Culture
When choosing a brokerage to work for, ask yourself what type of company you would like to work for and how much support you want from your co-workers. Like any other business, brokerages also have a company culture that dictates the way they do business. So, you need to decide whether you want to work for a large national franchise, a small, family-like brokerage or a mom-and-pop brokerage. The best way to understand the culture of the company is to speak with other employees and agents working there or attend a company event.
Understand the Reputation and Niche of the Brokerage
When you’re doing your research on the various real estate brokers in the area, you can start with a Google search and see which are the brokerages that come up. Look for a real estate broker that has a good reputation and a strong market presence.
A brokerage with a high market share can help you find leads. Also, the niche that the brokerage works in is an important factor and joining the right real estate brokerage can help to significantly increase your income. The right niche depends on your lifestyle, interests and opportunities in your area.
Support Offered by the Real Estate Brokerage
While some real estate brokerages follow a hands-on approach and offer free training, extensive mentoring and marketing collateral, other brokerages may be places just to associate with while you grow your own business. Such brokerages may offer occasional training sessions or have a few monthly meetings; however, largely you are working on your own. And, they may be brokerages that have a corporate culture in between the 2 extremes. So, it is largely about finding the right type of corporate culture that works best for you.
When you are ready to choose a real estate brokerage to work with, you must keep these factors in mind. Finding the right brokerage to work with involves research and homework. It is a good idea to check out several brokers in your area and pick one that fits your business goals and learning style the best.
How to Find a Real Estate Brokerage in Indiana?
You can do a Google search in your area when looking for a brokerage in Indiana and read all reviews from Yelp and google you can find. Speak to the employees working with the real estate brokerage and get their feedback and understand more about the company culture and other details before finalizing on the company you want to work with. Check out customer and employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor, Yelp, etc.
Real Estate Ads
Check real estate listings and classified ads in the local newspaper and visit the various real estate brokerage companies in Indiana before finalizing the one you want to work for.
Local Realtors Association
Visit the Board of Realtors or Indiana Chamber of Commerce and find out which real estate brokerage firms are the best represented in the area. Look for the “For Sale” boards in yards of homes, check out the TV, radio and billboard ads to see which are the real estate companies that are doing the best business in the area.
You could check out sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and evaluate the profiles of the various real estate brokers in your area. You can attend offline meetings, webinars, etc. conducted by real estate brokerages and real estate events conducted by Indiana State REIA or the ICBR.
STEP 6: Post-learning Requirements
Within 2 years of real estate licensure, Indiana State requires the agents to complete a post-licensure course of 30 hours. After the 2-year period, you require a 3-year cycle and complete 12 hours of continuing education every year.