Real Estate Licensing Standards Need to Be Raised
The standards for earning a real estate license are determined state-by-state and there is no standardized nationwide test like there is for earning a securities license. In fact, the educational requirements and level of knowledge needed to earn a real estate license and to renew that license in Nevada fall far short of the requirements for a cosmetology license. Having someone who knows what they are doing when they take care of your hair and nails is important. But shouldn't the person handling one of the most expensive investments you'll ever make also have a high level of education in their field?
The sad reality is that anyone with a junior high school reading level willing to spend about two weeks studying for the Nevada real estate licensing exam can easily pass the test. Continuing education requirements are minimal as evidenced by the requirements set forth by the Nevada Real Estate Division. While a new licensee is required to take 30 hours of continuing education for the 1st renewal, for subsequent renewals the continuing education requirement is just 24 hours every two years. That’s an average of just 1 hour a month. And the cost to renew your license is so low that it is hardly a barrier to anyone wishing to stay in the field.
The minimum standards for obtaining a real estate license should be made uniform nationwide in an effort to protect buyers and sellers and to ensure a higher level of performance within the industry. The requirements to obtain a license to sell real estate should be at least as rigorous as the ones to practice in the securities industry. And continuing education requirements should be raised dramatically to ensure that practitioners remain up-to-date with the latest information and competent in their ability to write contracts and complete transactions from start to finish.
With approximately 80% of the real estate agents in our local market consummating between zero and three transactions per year, continuing education is essential to keeping on top of all of the changes with the contracts and disclosure forms. It's remarkable how often we see agents using documents that are many years out of date and unaware that the form they just gave to us was replaced several years ago.
A good start would be to require that all new agents entering the business perform a minimum one-year apprenticeship under the supervision of a broker or agent with more than 10 years of experience. This would help to provide much more hands-on training and a higher level of education before a real estate agent goes out on their own. When experienced agents mentor a new comer to the business it has positive benefits for buyers, sellers and the other agents involved when you are doing transactions.
Every agent working in the real estate business should be a highly trained professional, especially since buyers and sellers are depending on our expertise as part of their decision-making process. Imagine having 50 different sets of rules and regulations for stockbrokers and you can see why real estate licensing needs to undergo a substantial change. While agents and brokers need to learn the nuances particular to their state and local market, the general public will be much better served when the minimum licensing requirements and continuing education standards are raised dramatically and made uniform nationwide.
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Weekly Real Estate Update
Statistics gathered from the Incline Village MLS on 11/26/17
Houses Condos PUDs
For Sale 110 43 25
Under $1 million 31 30 13
Median Price For Sale $1,695,000 $595,000 $998,000
YTD Sales 2017 150 180 51
YTD Sales 2016 151 184 52
New Listings 2
In Escrow 11
Closed Escrow 2
Range in Escrow $300,000 - $1,399,000
These statistics are based on information from the Incline Village Board of REALTORS® or its Multiple Listing Service as of November 26, 2017