Is there any reason an investor should consider becoming a Realtor or getting their license?
The answers to this question can vary, and many are split on whether or not these amenities help investors. Some insist that real estate investors ought to get licensed. Others are dead set against it. So do you need to get licensed and become a Realtor? What are the real advantages of it? What are the reasons that should make you think twice?
Full disclosure, there are both advantages and disadvantages to becoming a Realtor. It really depends on the direction you want to take your business. It is definitely better for some investors than it is for others.
The Advantages of Becoming a Realtor
There are advantages to becoming a licensed Realtor. Obtaining the right credentials can present investors with clear, tangible benefits. Increased networking opportunities do come with the territory, and they are perhaps one of the main reasons investors consider getting licensed. On the other hand, investors may covet the access to the MLS that comes with the job. Of course, access to listings is great, but the real advantage comes from the agent comments section. These details show commissions being paid, bonuses being offered, and provides a lot of insight into which sellers are most motivated, and which can offer the biggest discounts. As a Realtor, investors can take advantage of those discounts. Then there are commissions and referral fees.
The Costs of Becoming a Realtor
However, there are additional costs associated with getting a license and becoming a Realtor. Some are financial, others of a more indirect nature. It is important to note that it can be a lot more expensive than most realize. It costs money to take the course and to get the actual license. There are also Realtor association membership fees. Those working with realty brokerages will find they have to invest a lot in education, branding and marketing materials.
The Disclosures & Perceptions
Once you are licensed, you have to disclose that in all of your dealings. The drawback is that this can certainly turn a lot of people off. Many individual homebuyers and sellers, as well as other investors, don’t want to go near Realtors for a variety of reasons. You’ll also have to disclose when you may make additional profits on deals, or are selling your own properties. You may be limited on the business you can do as well. Many Realtors have wound up in legal trouble for acting as investors or helping their investor friends get juicy deals. It takes a whole new level of disclosure, smoothing things over, transparency, sales, and ensuring you are acting overly openly.
There are real pros and cons to becoming a licensed Realtor, and it is always smart to check your local laws and with an attorney before deciding which way you will go.