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Real Estate Agent Certification and Certificate Programs

Learn about the coursework and educational prerequisites in a real estate certificate program. Also, find out about certification and continuing education options for real estate agents.

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Essential Information

In all 50 states, real estate agents must be licensed, and certificate programs in the field can provide the necessary training and preparation. Through a certificate program, you'll gain a broad understanding of the real estate market, local zoning and tax laws, negotiation tactics, financing resources and property management processes.

A year-long certificate program may offer up to eight courses and focus on real estate finance, property management and other topics. Through such education, you could develop your communication skills and a working knowledge of real estate terms while exploring the ways in which market trends impact real estate and financing methods. Professional real estate certifications are available to qualified individuals.

Education Prerequisites

Most programs don't require previous training or experience in the real estate field. However, candidates typically must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or the equivalent. For high school students looking ahead to a career in real estate, basic business and office skills courses are recommended.

Program Coursework

Real estate certificate programs typically range from 5-8 courses and take around one year to complete. You'll be introduced to common real estate practices, basic economics, business applications, industry trends and regulatory principles. Courses might cover the following:

  • Commercial property management
  • Real estate finance
  • Real estate development
  • Commercial leases
  • Market analysis

Certification and Continuing Education

The National Association of Realtors offers a number of professional certification options for those seeking to enhance their real estate resumes. You can earn certification in specialty areas, such as foreclosures, second home and international real estate.

Depending on the state, continuing education hours might be required for renewal of a real estate license. The National Association of Realtors sponsors a number of courses throughout the year in topics such as basic real estate concepts and current real estate trends. Real estate agents wishing to advance their careers also might choose to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree in real estate or another business specialty.

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