If you are not aware, I have a Real Estate License and pretty much just use if for the MLS Access. Even just for that purpose it was worth the $1200 a year to keep it active. The ability to get comps when ever I wanted was key in my world of limited time. Even if I had a great relationship with an investor friendly real estate agent to run comps for me, it would be a pain in the butt. Besides, you learn a lot by being able to run your own comps and run different scenarios from the MLS as you think of them.
Other Plans For My License
I had other plans to make sure I got the most use out of my license. It would allow me to make my own offers on REO’s or listed properties. I could look at any listed house by just calling up the listing agent and getting the lock box codes. Getting referral fees for sending leads to other agents or even list a few properties myself. There are lots of different ways you can leverage your license to help you make or save more money. All of which I never got around to doing.
My investing partner is currently in the process of getting his license. In fact he just finished the classes and is scheduling the test. He doesn’t have a full time job like I do, so he is going to be working as a Sales Agent as well as leveraging his license to help out our investing. The good news is that this means he won’t have to get a job outside of the housing industry and split his attention. I’m all for this move by him.
On the other hand this makes it redundant for me to have my license, since I’ll be able to have MLS access through him. The only problem is that I don’t want to just drop my license after all the work I put into getting it. Though I don’t want to just shell out $1200+ a year just to maintain it, when it will not really be needed. As an licensed agent I am also required to take continuing education classes each year and I have not. So what can I do? Referral Agent!
As a real estate agent you can have your license as being “Active”, “Inactive” or “Referral”. The problem with an inactive license is…
N.J.S.A. 45:15-9 provides that Real Estate licenses can be inactive for 2 years after the expiration date of the last license issued. To reinstate your license, your application must be completed by a currently licensed Real Estate Employing Broker.
So after 2 years, I’ll either have to reactive my license and pay all fees and take all classes needed or lose my license. On the other hand if I transfer my license to a Referral State, I can keep my license and reactive it when the time comes for a small fee. However there are limitations for being in referral status, I can only refer properties to my broker (you get paid for referrals) and nothing else. I can not list, make offers or even get MLS access.
An additional benefit, for those of us with limited time, is that as a referral agent I will not have to take the continuing education classes. I have not taken any to this point, and must complete 12 hours of class time in the next 3 weeks or stand to pay a $200 fine or even get my license revoked. I don’t have the time for that right now. So I am going to be putting my license in a referral state for the foreseeable future. Has anyone else gone this route?
* real estate license rules and regulations differ from state to state, my statements above come from this site.