6 Steps to Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Atlanta, Georgia

6 Steps to Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Atlanta, Georgia

There are so many reasons why you may be looking into obtaining a real estate license. You may want to change your career path, or take the next step towards your investment property goals. Before you begin on this journey, read the following steps and pieces of advice. Assemble your group of cheerleaders and know that you can reach out to us any time if you encounter a snag along the way or need a little help at any point during the licensing process and beyond. The Sage & Grace team is here to help.


The first two questions to answer “yes” before starting this journey:

  1. Do you have a high school diploma or have you obtained a GED?
  2. Are you 18 years or older?


If you answered “yes” to both questions, you are one step closer to becoming an agent. 


1. Complete the 75- Hour Georgia Salesperson Pre-Licensing Course


Depending on your schedule and learning preferences, you can decide whether you’d like to take the course in- person or online. Because I wanted to access the pre-licensing course content in a way that fit around my work schedule, I opted to go with an online course through AREA (America’s Real Estate Academy). AREA also provides in-person classes with evenings/weekend class sessions or weekday class sessions depending on what your schedule allows. There are so many schools you may go through in order to meet the pre-licensing requirements set by the Georgia Real Estate Commission. The full list of approved schools can be accessed here.


In theory, online courses can be finished in less time because the user is free to access the content any time of day. Some online course providers boast that students can complete their pre-licensing course work in less than 2 weeks. The fine print here is students must put in 40- hours per week in order to make this happen. Regardless of which option you choose, note that a minimum of 75 hours of “seat time” must be logged before you can move on to take the exam. As you move through the online course, there is a timer in the top right corner tracking the amount of time you spend engaged as you access the course topics. 


On a personal note, it took me a total of 100 hours to complete the course content and pass the practice tests before I could schedule a time to take the final exam. The specific course I took consisted of two practice tests, each consisting of 100 questions. Students are required to pass each practice exam with 80% accuracy or higher before being granted access to schedule their final exam.


The pre-licensing course final exams consist of 100 multiple choice questions and must be proctored by PSI Bridge if taken online. For the online course I took through AREA, students are given 2 opportunities to pass the final exam with 72% accuracy or better. If the student does not pass the final exam within 2 opportunities, the student is required to start their 75-hour pre-licensing course over, free of charge. Once you pass your course final exam, it is time to schedule the licensing exam.

2. Study to Pass the Licensing Exam 


This is the point where most people start to get anxious, wondering how and what to study in order to pass the exam. The other thought that creeps into most people’s minds is, “I don’t want to keep paying to retake this exam if I don’t pass.”  These are all valid concerns. The Georgia Real Estate Examination Program Candidate Handbook does have information on what topics are covered and how many questions per topic will be on the licensing exam. 


Here are 2 study techniques that I believe helped me pass the licensing exam the first time:


  • Take practice exams without your notes or outside assistance

Once you finish the practice exam without consulting your notes or looking up answers in another tab during the test, review each question you got right and wrong. If you got a question wrong, make a note card with the term’s definition and include a real-world example. I draw pictures on my notecards to make terms stick out in my mind. These doodles are not artist-level drawings, but rather a way to make a connection in my brain.


  • Listen to podcasts 

My eyes started to cross after spending hours looking at my notecards or laptop screen to study. I found the A-Ha! Real Estate Exam Prep Podcast with Brian C. Lee to be a very helpful study tool. In a typical podcast, you can expect the host, Brian C. Lee, to introduce exam questions and model how he would use the process of elimination to come to the correct answer. Along the way, terms are defined and real- world examples are provided to help students understand complex concepts.

3. Ace the Licensing Exam 


There are PSI testing centers located throughout the state of Georgia to make it convenient for you to take your exam. Schedule online by accessing this link, choose your preferred testing location and pay the $121.00 fee. Note that some locations, such as the Marietta testing center, allow you to take your licensing exam and obtain your license same-day. Some testing centers do not have the ability to grant licenses on site, so make sure to pick the location that best suits your needs.


The exam consists of 152 questions and students are given 4 hours to complete the exam. The Georgia Real Estate Salesperson Examination consists of two portions: (1) the National Real Estate portion and (2) the Georgia Salesperson Supplement portion. In order to pass the licensing exam, applicants must score a minimum of 72% accuracy.


My testing tips:

  • Take your time

It took me three hours to finish the exam. Read each question twice to identify what the question is truly asking. Even if you saw a similar question during your practice exams, reread the question to ensure you are answering it correctly. 


  • Pick the best answer

Always try to narrow your answers down to 2 options and pick the BETTER of the two options. Both options could be “correct” but you are tasked with choosing the best option out of the field of 4. 


  • ‘Star’ the questions you are unsure of

When you are taking the test, do not get caught up spending 15 minutes on one question. Hit the star button to save the question to come back to it later. I like to review the questions I was unsure of right before submitting the exam. Many times, I am able to read the question again and see the question in a new light after spending time away from it.

4. Obtain your License

Congratulations! You have passed the licensing exam and it is time to pick up your salesperson license. In order to obtain your salesperson license once you pass your licensing exam, you must pay the licensing fee of $170.00 and submit the following documents to qualify for an active license:


  • Background Check 

I went to the Central Records Unit as part of the Atlanta Police Department located at 3493 Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy NW in Atlanta, Georgia. You will need to bring your license and fill out a form requesting a Criminal Records Check once you arrive at the office. 


Fill out your personal information before sending this to your affiliating broker. You will need to bring the signed paper with you when you apply for your license. If you do not have an affiliating broker lined up, you can still obtain a license but it will be inactive until you submit this form with a qualifying broker.


Bring this form to a UPS location- a notary is required to sign to confirm U.S Citizenship.


5. Celebrate! 


Take a few days to revel in the fact that you are on your way to starting a fulfilling career as a real estate agent. There will be so much more to learn as you start on a new career journey, but for now, acknowledge all of your efforts and be proud of yourself. You did it!


6. Post-Licensing Course


Within your first year of licensure as a real estate salesperson, you will be required to complete a 25- hour post-licensing real estate course. This post-licensing course translates to 9 hours of continuing education credits. Real estate licensees must complete 36 hours of continuing education credits every four year period in order to renew licensure. 

We are cheering for you and would love to answer any and all questions you may have! 


Kristy - Sage & Grace Realty Group

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