The Benefits of Having A Real Estate License for Investing

  • You forgot to mention that you need to give some money to your broker or you need to be a broker to get all 3% of the commission.

    • True, there are many different ways agents and brokers get paid and state laws are all different on what it takes to be a broker or agent or combination. Many companies let agents hang their license for very minimal fees and many investors are their own broker

  • Hey Mark, why did you choose doing REOs and HUD homes as a real estate agent?

    • For a number of reasons.
      1. I like email and I can deal with almost everything through email with HUD and REO
      2. It is relatively steady income compared to retail sales.
      3. There is less emotion involved with the seller.
      4. There is a great supply of work coming in(usually) and I don’t have to call people or go out looking for business, do open houses, etc. I can farm for wok online through email, or registration sites, conferences

  • You also need to remember the rules for Agents being property managers. It has to b ok with the Broker and they get a little piece of that pie too

  • I think you are right. There are a lot more positive than negative to having your license. Thanks for the article

      • James Johnson says:

        Hi Mark
        I have 2 rental homes now and may pick up a 3rd but I also work F/T with my office job. Will getting a realestate Lic help me if I don’t buy and sell homes to others? I have been told no in CA but I can’t seem to find the facts even from the IRS. I don’t put all my time into just 2 rentals and I do keep a F/T job
        I know the$25K help when with a realestate Lic but have been told I have to be trding and selling homes active to make it work

        • Hi James,
          It really depends on how many deals you want to do. The biggest benefit to me is getting a great deal because I am an agent. That may save me $20,000 on one deal or make me $30,000 on a flip. I am also able to look at properties at any time and make offers right away. It would be tougher if I had a full time job. You would also save money on commissions, but again it will take time to find the deals and write the contracts.

  • I just got my license mainly for investment purposes but I want to go all in.
    My question is: how do I get leads if I want to sell or rent properties?
    I’m with a broker that charges me a tiny flat fee every month but the down side to that is that I don’t get any leads, support, training, etc…
    How should I go about that? Should I switched brokers?

    • Hi Helga. You can get leads on your own, but it is easier with a full service broker. A few suggestions are open houses, advertising in local house magazines or the newspaper, build a website for yourself, Facebook advertising and I have a lot more info in my E Book.

    • Helga,
      There is no way to be a professional real estate agent part time. It requires a full time commitment. There are way too many wannabee agents out there who have no idea what the real world is all about, and they tarnish the reputation of professional agents. If you are serious about this, you need to start with an agency that will offer you training and above all, support. You absolutely must have a least 9 months of all your expenses saved up before you start, as well as a large chunk of money for initial fees to the National Association of Realtors, State association of Realtors, your local association, your local MLS, and your training, If you have all this ready to go, go for it! Good luck! If you don’t have it all together, or you question whether you want to make a full time commitment, do not start because you are setting yourself up for a dismal failure! Did I mention you need money for initial signs, business cards, website and hosting, website design and maintenance. social media and search engine optimization, training again, printing, distribution, postage…. the list goes on and on. I know agents who make a lot of money, but also spend a ton of money leaving them with a net income of not much more than minimum wage. Some try to justify their income, but forget to count all the hours they put in, all the family outings they miss, all the time away from spouse and family. Remember, there is no shame in saying its not for you!

  • Thanks for your post. I really like the information which you have shared in your post about the real estate agent

  • I just got my real estate license. I was interested in bpo side business, since I’m pregnant. How can i can I find leads to do banks bpo?


    Thanks for this because I moved from ca to va to get mentored by a agent to be a investor…but he wanted me to be just a agent and I just want to be a investor, because I’m weird around people, I think I don’t smile enough and give good vibes…plus I don’t want to be tied to a desk for hours on hand and shelling out money for everything. I wanted him to be a investor, since I see he is not at the level that he should be in life as a long time agent.

    • Glad this helped I think there are benefits to being an agent and investor and it is possible to excel at both.

  • Hi Mark, I’ve been whole selling property for the last 3 years and am currently studying for my real estate license. How did you find reliable contractors for your fix and flip deals? That is the next thing I’d like to jump into. I’m pretty good at estimating repairs but am very nervous about finding good help that would finish the job on time at the right price and well. Any advice would be very helpful. Thanks, Tina.

  • Hi mark, if I get get my real estate license, do i have to sell houses outside of purchasing my own rental properties?

    • You don’t. you don’t have to sell any houses at all. Different brokers will want different things from their agents.

  • It takes a lot of skills and experience to be both agent and investor. It can work for some but as for me, I’d like to focus more on what I do best and provide my service with undivided attention.

    • True, sometimes it is best to start out with one aspect and then include another once you are successful. In the case of investing in real estate I think they go hand in hand.

  • ribhisaleh says:

    hello good sir,

    thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, i think your website and info are ammmmmaazing !!

    i have a question, when you mentioned becoming a (licensed real estate agent ), what did you mean? i live in the philippines and im still new in this field and planning to start investing but im choosing to follow your advice also,
    but when i started researching about getting the license i found out that there are alot of terms that (real estate agent) might mean! for example i found that a real estate agent includes : 1- Real estate consultant 2-Real estate appraiser 3- Real estate assessor 4- Real estate broker 5- Real estate salesperson . (being a licensed broker would require more pre licensing class hours than real estate sales person) so which category should i apply to be licensed to so i can follow your footsteps sir???

    thanking you in advance and waiting your reply.

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Hi, I am talking about being a real estate salesperson who sells houses.

  • ribhisaleh says:

    thank you man

  • Thank you for the information! Answered a lot of questions for me! I am interested in becoming a real estate agent to have access to MLS to find my own deals and to learn more about the business. I have a FT job, but really can’t work for a broker selling homes due to my schedule. When you pass the test, Do you have to work with a broker to get access to the MLS? Should I tell them my true goals? I don’t have time to sell or show homes, I truly only want to invest in rental properties and fix and flip.

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Yes you have to work for a broker. i would be completely honest so you find the right broker.

  • Victor Martinez says:

    Man! This is an awesome site. I’m getting pretty hyped for school to start. I cant wait til im in this buisness.

  • What a great information resource Mark. My question to you is: Why don’t you get your own broker’s license??

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      I do have my broker license.

      • Before you got your broker’s license, where did you “hang” or activate your sales associate license in order to get the needed experience requirements to become a broker? How many years passed before you got your brokers license and what fees did you pay to your sponsor? I think this is a hurdle for future investors who want a real estate license too. You have to work several years for a broker sponsor and give some commissions to them before you can become independent.

        • Mark Ferguson says:

          I have my brokers license, but I am not the managing broker. I would rather pay him and let him handle the hassle of the office. There are many options for investors looking to get their license like limited service brokers.

  • Wow mark this site is awesome for starters. I’m really getting into being an investor you buying, flipping, and selling. My wife and I watch these TV shows and are hooked I really want to start you know leave the 9-5 and do this full time. What would you recommend on just trying to start something..?

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Hi Albert! If you want to flip houses check out my flipping articles. I also have a couple programs for investors. if you’d like to email me [email protected]

  • Hi Mark, when you start making serious money how much free time do you get like could you work a couple ours of week and still make serious money? Thank you and God Bless

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      That all depends on what your definition of serious money is. I could sit back now and work only a couple hours a day and be just fine. But I can’t do that, my personalty makes me keep driving

  • Does it make sense and is it worth to get the agent license in order to save commission money from future sales of my 3 properties, $4M, $2M in CA, and $2.5M in NY ? I don’t intend to use the license to buy/sell more properties for myself nor do transactions for others. I understand that I have to get 2 licenses for the 2 states. Is it risky to sell properties at those prices without experiences? Should I just use a real estate lawyer for a few thousand $ expense for each of those 3 transactions and do the open houses myself or with friends? I appreciate your advice in advance.

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Hi, If you are only using an agent to sell those properties and that is it, I would use an agent. They will have the experience and knowledge to get you the best price.

    • Thanks Mark for your time and energy on this article. Very important information. I just want to add that your real estate license is a major asset. Once you have it, you can go on the MLS and find all-cash buyers for properties that you’re selling when looking at the previous properties that were sold. I’ve made a great deal of money with my real estate license and wholesale real estate investing.

      • Mark Ferguson says:

        Very true!

  • Mark,
    When you become an agent, do you have access to the MLS only in your city, state, or the entire U.S? Thank you for your response.

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Most MLS systems cover parts of a state depending on how big the state is. Some work together and some do not. You won’t get access to nationwide listings.

  • hi mark,
    i’m so excited to get my license soon, thank you very much for taking your times writing this article.

  • Hi Mark,
    I just became a Real Estate agent here in NJ. My question is do you think it makes sense for me to list my own home through my Agency and I act as the listing agent?

    • Mark Ferguson says:


  • Hi Mark,
    I’ve been giving this a lot of thought, but I wanted to know if you are required to do an apprenticeship once you pass your test? My purpose of getting my license would be only for investment opportunities.

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      No, you would just have to have your license under a broker

  • I plan on getting my license for investment opportunities only. Would you recommend getting a licensed broker that charges a monthly fee or a split commission broker? If I had to split the commission, would the broker would still get part of the buyer/seller agent commission, correct?

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Yes, they would., I would go with a transaction fee brokerage if you are only doing your own deals.

  • Hi Mark,
    I am an experienced real estate investor, and am thinking of becoming licensed. My question is about Realtor(tm) ethics. Can a licensed Realtor locate properties not currently for sale, and make below-market offers? This is common practice for investors, but I have heard it violates the Realtors code of ethics, because they are required to divulge the full fair market value, which makes bargain hunting just about impossible. Any thoughts on this?

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      It depends on your state laws. Personally I do it, but I disclose that I am buying the house below market value. I explain why with no commissions, etc. Personally I wouldn’t feel right buying houses from people when they didn’t know the true market value anyway.

  • Hugo Bustos says:

    Hi Mark,

    I’m a new RE Investor in Az. Can u give an advise. I don’t have s.s. I’m financing my deals. I created an llc. I don’t have any credit. My question is can I get a REA license with no s.s? Can use my ein to get it?

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      I have no idea. You would need to check with your state

  • Tamika Lucas says:

    Hello Mark,
    Great article! I am an inactive real estate agent. I work a fulltime job but I am seriously considering becoming a wholesaler. Is it a good idea to activate my license again?


    • Mark Ferguson says:

      I think so

  • My wife is getting her license next week. Do you have any suggestions on what she should look for in a real estate agency? What questions to ask and what to avoid?

  • Mark Hernandez says:

    Hi I am very interested in real estate for the investment part but I have no idea on where to start and do I have to have a lot of money to start ? Or is there way’s I can do it with out having a lot of money?

  • Hi Mark,

    When you try to sell/list the house that you flip, do you give 3% commission to selling agent? Can I list the house that l flipped on MLS with zero percent of selling agent commission to max my profit? I am not sure if I can list FSBO on MLS? Thanks!

      • If all you want is to be on the MLS, there are flat fee services to get your listing there, and they are far less than paying 3% commission

        • Mark Ferguson says:

          Flat fee services are illegal in Colorado and many other states.

  • carlos cardoso says:

    hi mark .my question is,can my record make it harder for me to find a sponcer?If so what do i do to insure i get my licenc

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      DO you mean criminal record>? yes

  • Hi I was wondering, is it okay to become a real estate agent that serves a 500 km range? or just stick to one area?

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Can you be a market expert in that large of an area?

  • Daniel Hobin says:

    Hi Mark. Great video.

    I’m interested in the turnkey company that you spoke about. I live in southern California and am interested in turnkey properties in promising areas outside my area (incl Chicago, Indianapolis, and the Southeast. My contact information is below. Thanks in advance for sending me the information.

    • Mark Ferguson says:


  • Hi Mark, i’m looking to get into the business of finding distressed home and passing my information for a profit. What can you tell me about this business? And where can I find people in the business of paying for distressed houses?

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Are you talking about wholesaling?

  • Chanel Yang says:

    If I’m licensed in California, can I still gain access into other states’ MLS? Or something equivalent to MLS?

    Thanks, Chanel

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      You would have to be licensed in that state and a member of any MLS you want access too.

  • Hi Mark,
    I was wondering how it works being under a Broker. If I’m buying, flipping, and selling my own homes as a sales person; what does my Broker get out of my own deals? I wouldn’t have to split my sales would I?


    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Yes, you might.

  • Hi,

    Are you a broker, or an agent with RE license.

    Assume I become the RE agent with a license. And there’s a property that’s listed.

    Can i become the “agent for myself”and go see it, get buy side commission?
    And buy it with same name as agent’s?

    Next, when selling it – how do buyer’s perceive it when they come to know this is your own property that you’re selling as an agent?

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Yes, you should be able too depending on state laws. You must disclose when you buy or sell as an agent and I have never had any issues with it.

  • I am looking to get into the fix & flip market on a part-time basis (i.e. a weekend warrior). I already have a job that pays 100K, so I’m definitely not looking to switch careers yet. But I’m not certain if getting a license would help me much at this early starting point.

    Should I rely on a seasoned agent this early in the game instead of messing with obtaining a license?

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      I would try out a couple before you get your license.

  • This is very interesting and informative article. I am planning to start a real estate business as a side business. Is a license is important for me?
    Thanks in advance!!

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      It depends on how active you will be