Should You Become a Realtor?

Copyright 2006 Ron LeBlanc

Have you asked yourself that question lately? I did and I decided the answer was yes. Let me tell you what led up to it.

I have been using realtors to purchase some of my investment properties. The Multiple Listing Services can be a great place to find properties, and one has to be a licensed realtor in the US to access them. I’m not sure what the laws are in other countries, so this discussion will be of only the US.

Each time I buy a property, the realtor collects almost 3% at the closing, and in order to sell properties quickly, I also list with a realtor and pay almost 6%. I always assumed it was a real pain to go through the process to become a realtor, and besides, I am a real estate investor – why would I want to be a realtor?

A realtor that I used where I live in Boulder told me I should get my license just to invest in real estate. He explained that in Colorado I could do an online course for as little as $795 and take the exam then host with Keller-Williams for way under $100 per month. I never realized it would be that inexpensive.

When he also explained that after my first few deals that there was NO SPLIT on personal deals – I was sold!

One of the things we investors like to do is get cash at closing. I have my strategy to do just that now! I have a financer who does 100% investor financing and now I can collect the buyers agent commission at closing! Cha-ching!

Selling my properties is easy because I can do my own listing on the MLS and not pay a listing agent fee.

I would say an equally compelling reason I chose to become a realtor is for the access to the MLS. You might say that is not important, but even when you are buying a “for sale by owner” or FSBO, you must have a good idea what it is worth. No one can know all possible neighborhoods, so if you want to do a lot of shopping, you have to run a lot of comparables.

Some realtors may run several for you – some may run quite a few, but I like the idea of sitting down myself and doing my own market analysis. Yes, I know there are other ways of getting data, but nothing beats the MLS for convenience. I trust my own analysis over anyone else’s, so the access to data means a lot to me.

That is why I made the decision to get my license. I get more information and control and the cost is recovered in just one personal deal. Yes, there is a time commitment to a company, but it will not deter you from your investing activity.

If you disagree with me and want to use a realtor, then if you are anywhere near Boulder…by all means call me 🙂