How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Utah
Utah Real Estate License Basic Requirements
To become a real estate agent in Utah, you need to meet the following requirements:
- You should be a minimum age of at least 18 years.
- You must have a high school diploma or equivalent.
- In the last 5 years, you should not have had a felony or any misdemeanor involving theft, fraud, dishonesty or misrepresentation in the last 3 years.
Wyoming Real Estate License Costs
- Real Estate Agent Education in Utah: $350 to $500 (approx.)
- Exam Fee: $59
- License Fee: $157
- Utah Division of Real Estate
- You can register on PearsonVUE for your Utah real estate exam. You can refer to the PearsonVUE Candidate Information Bulletin for more details.
- You can join Real Estate Express or CE Shop for your real estate pre-licensing education.
- You can prepare for your Utah Real Estate exam on The CE Shop.
STEP 1: Pre-licensing Education
To get a real estate license in Utah, you need to complete 120 hours of approved pre-licensing sales agent education. You must complete the courses 1 year before applying for a real estate license.
If you have a real estate license from another state, then you may qualify for a waiver on the education. For more information, you can check with the Utah Division of Real Estate.
STEP 2: Submit a Completed Application
The Utah real estate licensing exam for sales agents is administered by PearsonVUE and consists of 2 sections – the national and state portions. You can refer to the PearsonVUE Candidate Information Bulletin for more details.
Where to Apply
The Utah real estate sales agent examination is administered by PearsonVUE. The best way to make a reservation to schedule your exam is online via www.pearsonvue.com/ut/realestate. You need to schedule your exam at least 24 hours before the exam date. There are no walk-in exams available.
At the time of making a reservation for the exam, you must pay an exam fee of $59 via credit or debit card, electronic check or voucher. The exam fees will not be accepted at the exam venue and the fee is non-transferable and non-refundable.
STEP 3: Pass the State License Test
The real estate exam consists of two portions, general and state specific. The exam has a total of 130 multiple choice questions which must be completed in 4 hours.
The general portion comprises 80 questions of which you must get 60 correct and the state-specific portion has 50 scored items of which you must get 38 correct. You must get a score of a minimum of 70% to pass.
Topics Covered in the Test
The topics and their breakup in the general portion of the exam include:
- Real Property Characteristics, Legal Descriptions and Property Use: 9
- Forms of Ownership, Transfer and Recording of Title: 8
- Property Value and Appraisal: 11
- Real Estate Practice: 14
- Real Estate Contracts and Agency: 16
- Property Disclosures and Environmental Issues: 8
- Financing and Settlement: 7
- Real Estate Math Calculations: 7
The topics and their breakup in the State portion of the exam include:
- Definitions: 3
- Licensing: 2
- Real Estate Office Procedures: 4-5
- Enforcement: 4-5
- Real Estate Education, Research and Recovery Fund: 1-2
- Additional State Topics: 1-3
- Closing Statements: 6-8
What to Bring to the Exam Venue?
On the day of the exam, you will require to carry with you 2 forms of ID with your signature and legal name. The name on the ID must match the name on the registration exactly. The IDs must be in English.
- The 1st ID must be a government-issued photo ID with a valid signature like driver’s license, passport, U.S. learner’s permit, country/national or state ID card, military ID card, military ID for spouses and dependents or alien registration card such as permanent resident visa or Green Card.
- The 2nd ID can be your debit or credit card having your signature, Social Security card or any form of ID from the above list.
If you pass one of the portions of the other and fail the other, then you must retake the failed portion within 6 months. If after 6 months, you have not passed both portions of the exam, then you must retake the entire exam. To retake the exam, you must follow the regular reservation and scheduling procedure.
STEP 4: Apply and Obtain Your License
Once you have passed the real estate agent exam, then you must submit an online application to get your license within 90 days. You must submit the following documents along with your application.
- Completed and signed application.
- Original real estate school certificates or education waiver that has been issued by the Division.
- Qualifying questionnaire (along with supporting documents for “Yes” answers).
- Two fingerprint cards or electronic fingerprint submission receipt and signed Fingerprint Waiver.
- Fees of $157.
- Certification of Legal Presence.
Once you pass the exam, you must also complete the fingerprinting process. Digital fingerprinting is available at Draper, Orem, Ogden and Bountiful test centers in Utah. When you take the digital fingerprint, you will get a Fingerprint Receipt from the PearsonVUE center staff. The receipt must be submitted along with the license application to the Division of Real Estate of Utah. Applications without the receipt will be considered incomplete and will be returned.
If the test center where you’re taking the exam does not have electronic fingerprinting, then you must get fingerprinted at your local law enforcement agency. You must submit the fingerprint cards along with the license application. You must also submit the fingerprint waiver form that you can download from the Division’s website.
Utah has recognition agreements with 3 states i.e. Mississippi, Georgia and Alberta, Canada.
STEP 5: Finding a Brokerage
As a beginner in the real estate industry, finding the right brokerage to work with is extremely vital in determining your success or failure as a real estate sales agent. Some of the aspects that you must consider while looking for a real estate brokerage to work with are:
- The reputation of the brokerage firm, locally and nationally.
- Kind of agents the brokerage wants.
- Systems and technology used by the brokerage firm.
- Support offered to the agents in terms of education and training.
- Commission split.
- Benefits offered.
- Marketing, advertising and lead generation support.
- Culture and environment conducive to the growth of the agents.
How to Find a Real Estate Brokerage in Utah?
Do an internet search and find out which are the real estate brokerage firms operating in your area. Shortlist a few firms and check out customer and employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor, Yelp, etc.
Real Estate Ads
Check out the real estate ads in local newspapers and publications and see which brokerages are advertising. Also, check the television, radio and billboard ads of the real estate brokerages in Utah. Check out which brokerage firms are represented most in the community by the “for sale” boards in yards of properties for sale.
Speak with family, friends and locals in the area to find about which are the best real estate brokerage companies in Utah. Find out which brokerage firms have the best reputation, which is doing good business and growing. Attend seminars, meetings, events or webinars conducted by various brokerage firms and increase your network. Check the website, LinkedIn and Facebook pages of the various real estate brokerages in Utah.
Types of Brokerages in Utah
If you’re starting out as a real estate agent and are wondering whether to start your career with a large national franchise or join a boutique brokerage or a virtual one, there are many aspects that you must consider along with the pros and cons of each model before making your final decision.
The most common type of real estate brokerage is the national or franchise brokerage. Some of the popular traditional national real estate brokerages are Century 21, Keeler Williams, Re/Max, etc.
- Being a part of a national franchise offers immediate brand recognition, which a lot of customers want. Brand recognition also provides the power to recruit better and experienced agents.
- Access to unlimited resources and high-level education.
- Being corporate in nature, national brokerages have more formalized and structured training programs.
- More managerial and admin support.
- They have policies and procedures offering a framework to work within.
- They are quite expensive because they have been in the business for a long time and have a large client base.
- Working with policies and procedures can be quite restricting.
- Agents have lesser freedom and have to pay higher initiation fees/or a larger part of their commission.
Boutique brokerages or independent brokerages are specialized businesses that have a customer service-centric culture. These firms may have multiple offices or only 1-32 agents. However, since they are not governed by corporate policy, they are more adaptable. Being smaller and localized, boutique brokerage firms have local authority. They have a deeper knowledge of the local area and offer a more personalized experience.
- Being a smaller and more localized brokerage firm offers the flexibility to steer the branding efforts into developing specific niche markets.
- Flexibility to focus on one community offers more independence.
- When not paying hefty franchise fees, you have a larger budget to hire tech and social media experts.
- Freedom to be creative and invest in expanding the business locally.
- It is quite tough to build your business without a large brand and reputation.
- You need a huge financial outlay to create your brand, marketing collaterals, listing presentation and website.
- Training and educational resources and office support are more difficult to find.
- May be quite resistant to change and not willing to modernize.
Virtual or cloud-based brokerages are the emerging business model that allows real estate agents and their teams to work without a brick and mortar setup and offer everything needed, from admin, marketing to training support and pass on the savings as higher commission splits and even in certain cases, revenue sharing. Examples of virtual brokerages are Real, Fathom, eXp, Dotloop, etc.
- Virtual brokerages can save a significant amount of money by reducing expenses such as monthly office rent, equipment, etc.
- The reduced overhead costs allow the brokers to pass on higher commission splits to the agents.
- The virtual model allows brokers to expand their business without a lot of issues as there is no need to lease new office space and agent training, support and oversight can be handled remotely.
- Remote access enables new agents to set up and start operating the new system very quickly.
- Offers greater freedom to work from anywhere and from any device, laptop, tablet or even your phone.
- Easy and inexpensive to join and ideal for agents living in remote areas and for people who prefer a virtual workspace rather than a physical office and for real estate agents who like to work independently.
- Clients prefer to make real estate buying and selling decisions with the guidance of a professional who they can meet face to face.
- Agents are motivated by personal support offered by brokers, team leaders, etc. Video conferences are useful, but they don’t have the same impact as face-to-face meetings and interactions.
- You are practically working alone in the case of a virtual brokerage without a physical office, no physical meetings, etc. and if you are a social person who likes collaborative working, then you may find this way of working quite lonely.
STEP 6: Post-learning Requirements
Once you receive your Utah real estate sales agent license, you must renew your license every 2 years for which you need to complete 18 hours of continuing education, which consists of 9 hours of Core and 9 hours of elective hours.
If you are renewing your license on active status after 31st December 2019, then you will need to complete a mandatory course of 3 hours available in the 3 specialties – Property, Residential and Commercial Management.
The CE Shop offers continuing education packages for $59 to $279 and individual courses ranging between $25 to $49.