There are several reasons why you may consider becoming a real estate agent in Georgia. The potential of a massive payday combined with the flexibility and networking it offers makes it an enticing career. But don’t be deceived by the huge numbers in commission or home sales; becoming a successful real estate agent involves investing time, money, and undergoing training.
In this guide, you’ll learn all the essential details needed to help you get your license and become a real estate agent in Georgia. Also, you’ll get to discover the necessary licensing requirements, exams, reciprocity rules, choosing a class to selecting a broker
Okay, let’s get you started.
Types of Real Estate Licenses
Before enrolling in a real estate school, you must understand the two (2) basic types of real estate licenses offered in Georgia and its cities.
- Salesperson Real Estate License
The salesperson license is the first and most common license in GA. It is the primary license you must obtain to operate as a real estate agent in the state of Georgia.
- Broker Real Estate License
The broker license is the second type of Georgia real estate license. To be eligible for a broker license, you must have obtained and held a Georgia salesperson’s license for three out of five years. Also, you must pass the Georgia pre-license broker courses and exams. To learn more about the Georgia broker real estate license requirements, click here.
Obtaining Your Georgia Salesperson License
Like other states, before you can obtain the Salesperson’s license, you must meet up specific requirements. The requirements include;
Step 1: Attain the Georgia Real Estate License Basic Requirement
- You must be 18 years and above (although if you are 17 years of age, you can sit for the exam, but the license can only be activated when you attain 18 years of age).
- Hold a high school diploma or its equivalent
- Pass a comprehensive background check
Step 2: Sign up and Complete the Pre-licensing Education
Before obtaining a Salesperson license in GA, you will need to sign up and complete a required pre-licensing education. You’ll likely be spending between $200-$400 for these classes, depending on your location or desired real estate school. Take, for instance, Brightwood College in Georgia offers these classes starting at $299.
Also, you can choose between attending a physical real estate college or opt for online classes that can easily fit into your busy schedule. Do remember to get your transcripts and a certificate that confirms the successful completion of the courses.
Above all, before you can sit for the Georgia pre-licensing exam you must meet ONE of the following Georgia Pre-Licensing Education requirements.
- Satisfactorily complete the required 75 classroom hours of approved real estate pre-licensing associate courses. You can learn more about the topics covered by the pre-licensing course here.
- Complete a minimum of 10 quarter hours or six semester hours of coursework eligible for a major in real estate from the US or Canadian accredited college or university or complete a course in real property, agency, or contracts from the US or Canadian accredited school of law.
- Alternatively, you may provide proof you completed at least 75 hours of pre-license course work approved by the real estate regulatory agency of another state or province of Canada. Be sure to obtain a letter from the agency that verifies that the course work is approved in that state or province.
Please note that once you have completed your education requirements, you must submit your official transcript from the college, university, or school of law with your application for examination to Applied Measurement Professionals (not the commission).
Step 3: Submit a Completed Application
Once you have completed the required pre-licensing courses, you’ll need to submit a completed exam application form on the AMP website, the exam provider. In addition to submitting a completed application form, you must provide the following;
- A non-refundable or transferrable exam application fee of $121. Payment may be made online by credit card OR cashier’s check or money order made payable to PSI Services Inc. While this may be a one-time payment, there are several reasons you might be required to pay a second exam fee. For example, failure to show up on the exam day, lack of proper ID’s and documentation, and rescheduling more than once.
- Criminal background check report. You must undergo a criminal background check and get a Georgia Crime Information (GCI) report or its equivalent in your state. This report usually costs $25 and is valid for up to 60 days from the issuance date. Please note that this report can be obtained at any police department in the state of Georgia. If you have been convicted of any crime—even if pardoned, do well to disclose them. Click here for more information about background checks.
- Proof of completion of the required pre-licensing education requirements
- Supported legal documents
It is essential to highlight that Georgia has reciprocity (mutual recognition agreement) with all the US states except the state of Florida. So, Florida license holders must undertake the Georgia State Exam. If you need more information on the registration or exam, you can contact the Georgia Real Estate Commission at email: email@example.com
Step 4: Pass the Georgia Real Estate Salesperson Exam
This examination is to test your knowledge, experience, and understanding of both the National and Georgia state real estate techniques, laws, practices, and mathematical aspects. The GA real estate pre-licensing exam, which is taken at an accredited PSI testing center in the presence of a Proctor, consists of a total of 152 multiple choice questions divided into two portions. The National Real Estate — 100 questions and the Georgia State portion— 52 questions, respectively. You’ll be given 4 hours to complete the test carefully.
Below is a breakdown of the topics and number of questions that make up the Real Estate Salesperson Exam.
National Real Estate Section Topics
|Agency Relationships and Contract||28|
|Real Property Ownership/Interest||13|
|Marketing Regulations (Purchase and Rentals)||10|
|Real Estate Calculations||13|
|Total Amount of Questions||100|
Georgia State Section Topics
|State Laws and Rules||16|
|Real Estate Practice in Georgia||21|
In Georgia, the required pre-licensing exam passing score is a minimum of 75 percent (75/100 for the National Real Estate section and 39/52 for the state portion of the test). In terms of passing rate amongst states, Georgia has a 61% passing rate.
What to Bring to the Exam Venue?
- A confirmation number showing the exam reservation date
- Two valid forms of identification with your signature. If your name on your registration is different from the one on your ID, you must provide proof of name change. This can be a court order, divorce decree, or marriage license. Please note that one of the IDs must be a recognized government-issued photo ID.
- Lawful presence notarized affidavit
- Your Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) report
Step 5: Apply and Obtain Your License
Upon completion of the real estate examination, you’ll be eligible to obtain your salesperson real estate license at any of the four PSI testing centers in the state of Georgia. We advise that you apply for it as soon as you pass the exam. This is because if you obtain the license within three months of passing the exam, you will pay $170. But if you do so after three months but within one year of passing the exam, then the fee is $340. In addition, if you apply for your license beyond the 12 months period, you will have to retake the exam
Step 6: Work with a Real Estate Brokerage
While you may have received your real estate license, your license status is still ‘inactive. As a new real estate agent, you’ll need to find a sponsoring broker and inform the GREC using the Sponsorship Broker Statement Application to activate your license. Do not rush into choosing a brokerage to partner with, but instead find a mentor that understands the Georgia real estate sphere to aid your growth.
Step 7: Complete the Salesperson Post-Licensing Course
During your first year as a licensed real estate salesperson in the state of Georgia, you are required to undertake 25-hours of post-licensing courses. If you fail to take the classes, there may be a lapse in your license status.
In addition to the post-licensing education, as a new agent, you must undertake nine hours of continuing education annually, or a total of 36 hours every four-year renewal period. This usually costs between $150- $300 depending on your location and learning methods.
Identifying the Right Real Estate Brokerage to Work With
Choosing a brokerage to work with as a new real estate agent can be a dicey decision. With hundreds of brokerages scattered across the state of Georgia, finding the right one that suits your career goal is essential. Most new real estate agents tend to focus on the commission split, leaving out other important factors.
In your search of a right brokerage, ask yourself the following questions;
- What is the type of training offered by the brokerage?
- Will working with them improve your marketing and closing skills?
- Do they engage the use of the latest technology in their day-to-day workflow?
- What are the brokerage business model and company culture?
- What is their commission structure?
- Do they provide new agents with leads?
- What are their retention rates?
The type of brokerage you work with at the early stage of your real estate career will go a long way in influencing your principles, marketing skills, and prospects transactional experience. Just because a brokerage is recognized doesn’t make it the best for you to partner with. It should sync with your career goals and personality.
3 Simple Ways to Find A Brokerage in the State of Georgia
- Online search: With the advent of the internet, you can easily find real estate brokerages online. Read reviews about the brokerage on multiple search platforms such as Yelp and Glassdoor (highly recommended if you want to learn about the company from their staff).
- Local Realtors Association: Another great place to find a brokerage to partner with is through your local realtors’ association. Find out the top members of the association and search for the brokerages they partner with online.
- Networking: Today, you can easily network online via social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn groups or offline by attending networking events. A great offline networking event is the Atlanta Real Estate Connections that brings together over 300 to 500 real estate individuals every month. Attend these events, ask questions, and build connections with the right mentors.
Types of Real Estate Brokerages in Georgia
- National Franchise Brokerage
These are large national companies that sell the right to use their expertise, name, branding, and business processes to brokers. They have a massive presence across the country and handle thousands of transactions yearly. Upon selling a franchise to brokers, the brokers, in turn, pay a specific commission for each deal they seal. A good example is the RE/Max and Keller Williams.
Pros of working with a National Franchise
- You get instant credibility based on the reputation of the companies
- Easy access to tech support and access to the latest transaction management technologies
- Comprehensive training programs. National franchises like Keller Williams have well-organized and impactful training programs for new agents. As a new real estate agent, you get access to pre-packaged marketing solutions such as direct mails, website development tools, advertising templates, and design strategies.
Cons of working with a National Franchise
- Due to the size of the average national franchise, you may not get a one-on-one development experience.
- Unfavorable commission split
- Boutique/Independent Brokerage
A boutique brokerage is a local brokerage usually small in size and managed directly by a single broker. While they may be small, some of the most successful brokerages with massive sales volume are boutique brokerages.
Pros of working with a Boutique Brokerage
- Personal relationship and one-on-one training are easily attainable due to its size
- Credibility and brand identity. Since boutique brokerages are localized in nature, you can quickly gain credibility and trust amongst the locals.
- Flexibility to practice different marketing and prospect transactional strategies.
- Less competition for prospects/leads
Cons of working with a Boutique Brokerage
- Low marketing and advertising budget
- If they are minimal, using brand recognition to your advantage might be difficult beyond your immediate location.
- Lack of access to the latest top-shelf marketing techs for agents
- Virtual Brokerage
The virtual brokerage or Cloud brokerage is a new type of real estate brokerage not just in the US but around the world. As the name implies, it is an online-based brokerage without a physical location. With the advent of the internet & Software as a Service (SaaS), the virtual brokerage is fast becoming a viable option amongst seasoned independent real estate brokers.
Pros of working with a Virtual Brokerage
- Higher commission split
- Better access to the latest tech tools
- Freedom and ability to experiment with different business models since you are the boss.
Cons of working with a Virtual Brokerage
- For a new real estate agent, it may be challenging to gain grounds immediately
- Working on your own and from the comfort of your home may not be the right choice if you thrive in a lively office environment.
Our Ending Thoughts,
Becoming a real estate agent in the state of Georgia is a big decision that requires money, time, commitment, and dedication. Notwithstanding, becoming a real estate agent comes with a lot of benefits—financial, networking, and helping people achieve their dream homes.
If you strongly believe that becoming a real estate agent is the right career path for you, then the best time to start is now. You can visit the GREC website to find a real estate school close to your location.
So, what are your thoughts regarding becoming a Real Estate Agent in Georgia? Please share your thoughts
Elijah is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors). When he’s not writing or editing, Elijah enjoys reading, preaching, and teaching personal development courses.