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Monthly Archives: June 2012

The State Exam

The big day finally arrived.  I had spent a week and a half studying.  I practiced on every practice test I could find to get comfortable with the feel of taking the actual test.  I learned that I had to slow down and really consider what the question was asking for.  I also had to trust my gut and not change any answers once a decision was made.

I passed the test!!!  When I went in to take the test, my driver’s license and social security card were taken.  I had my picture taken in case I passed (they hand you an I.D. card with your picture on it to carry with you).  I wasn’t allowed to have my purse in the room.  I did take a calculator and was given a scrap piece of paper and a pencil.

The entire test was done on a computer. 120 questions, all multiple choice and timed.  You were given 180 minutes. I was done in 63 minutes.  The moment you hit end, a word pops up on the screen with the word pass or fail.  I passed the test and was given my I.D. card.

I have to say that I’m glad I studied the way I did.  I wasn’t nervous because the whole situation was so familiar. I do think I could have taken less time to study the material.  The test was much easier than the test I took at the school.  I kept hearing that there were trick questions, law questions, environmental questions, and I had none of these.  It is true that there are 6 different tests that get handed out, and I guess it’s the roll of the dice what you will get.  All I can say was it wasn’t hard, but straight to the point.

Oh yeah, quick pointer, you can bring a calculator, but it has to be the type with only the basic functions.  I had to go out and buy one.  Word to the wise, try it out before you use it.  I bought it on the way to the exam.  When I got in the room and needed to use it, I found out that half the buttons weren’t working.  I was stuck taking the exam with no calculator.  Trust me, you will want a working calculator.

In the end, I passed and will be starting work as soon as I hear back from my Broker.  I’m so excited.  It’s official, I’m ready to be a Realtor now.

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Posted by on June 28, 2012 in career, personal, real estate, state test

 

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Signing Paperwork

Yesterday I had an appointment at the real estate office I will be working at.  I’m getting so excited to start working.  When I had registered for the state test I had to put down the Broker number of the place I would be working at.  The Broker has a paper you sign that is sent to the State to verify you will be working at their office.

So I went into the office and signed that paper as well as papers that were standard for working at that office.  The whole time I was there, I just absorbed the atmosphere and thought about the fact that I would be working there soon enough.

I was shocked to find out that there are actual benefits where I will be working.  They offer health, dental, vision and disability insurance.  Because you are paid as an independent contractor, I was under the assumption that there were no benefits available.  I haven’t looked into what the benefits cover fully or how much I would need to pay, but it’s nice to know the option is there.

Back to studying now.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2012 in job, real estate, thoughts

 

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Things are Progressing Nicely

I was able to get on the internet and register for the State exam today.  I am in a lucky situation because I have a job waiting for me once I pass the test.  While filling out the registration form, you are asked where you plan to work.  If you know, you can put in the Broker’s number.  This is beneficial because it speeds up the process.  Once I pass the exam, the State will send my license directly to the office I will be working at.  You can still take the test without an idea of where you will be working.  The only downfall is that when you decide on your place of employment, it can take a week or two to get your license forwarded to your employer.  This causes a delay because you can’t begin working until the license is physically in their office.

I now have to wait 2-5 days for my pending registration to be reviewed.  The State checks your information and wants to make sure you don’t have any red flags like a criminal history.  When your registration form is approved, you can sign up to take the exam.

In the mean time, I wrote to my Broker to let her know I had filled out the registration.  She has to contact the State to approve that I will be working at that office.  Whew, lots of steps.  Anyway, I got an email back stating that I could come in and fill out all of the necessary paperwork at the real estate office.

I’m pretty excited about this; it’s one step closer to starting my new career, and I just can’t wait.

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2012 in career, job, personal, real estate, thoughts

 

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Practice Tests Are Worth Their Weight in Gold

I’ve been studying for the State exam and have found practice tests on our Michigan Government site which are terrific. I should mention, it’s important to use tests that are based on laws in your own state. The test I took today was 100 questions and said to be a 2-hour test.  The great thing about the test I took was that there is no time limit.  You can get up and stretch, read each question thoroughly and really absorb what you are doing.

When the test is completed, you are given a score for each area covered.  There are areas like agency law and financing.  Each category will show you how many questions there were, the amount you got right and wrong, and what the percentage was.  You can go back over the test and see what questions were right and wrong.  Each answer has a detailed explanation next to it so that you can understand why a particular answer was right.

My plan is to complete one test a day and review the answers.  Then I will go back to my book and read over areas that I did poorly in on the test.  I hope this strategy works well for me (I’ll let you know).

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in real estate

 

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Studying For the State Exam

First off I have to admit that I have a lot of work ahead of me.  Even worse, after a long week of studying every waking moment, my momentum has dropped to nil.  After the final on Friday I was beat.  Literally I felt like a walking zombie.  Saturday I took a day off.  My brain had turned to mush and I was hit by extreme exhaustion.  I spent the day catching up with relatives by the pool.  Not a bad way to take a day off.  Sunday, reality called to me and I took a good look around the house.  My house was trashed.  I hadn’t paid an ounce of attention to cleaning and the poor house needed an overhaul.  I spent Sunday cleaning, grocery shopping and doing bills.  It was truly a maintenance day that was badly needed.

So you would think that by Monday I would be back in full swing studying my heart out.  Well, the kids were back from their dad’s house.  There was a 4pm appointment at the dentist for my oldest daughter.  My youngest daughter has a swim party on Friday, and so we went shopping for a bathing suit.  I had looked over my paperwork, but I never got cracking on any studying.

Today I will begin studying.  I have to get this done, because I am holding myself up from making an income.  To get ready for the state test, there is an online program you need to go to for registration.  There is a $36.00 fee when you sign up.  After the state checks your background, you are allowed to register for the state exam.  It takes 2-5 days to get an approval to apply for the state test.  When you apply for the state test, it is a $75.00 fee and depending on if you pay online or send it in, it can be several more days before you can take the test.  You can’t take the state exam or even sign up until all approvals have been met and you receive a confirmation from the state.

I honestly didn’t realize how long this would take and had assumed I would be taking the test this week.  So now I have to get going and push my study efforts.  My plan is to do practice tests.  There are a million programs with free practice tests available on the internet.  You can also find practice tests through the state.  The reason taking practice tests makes sense is twofold.  It gives you the opportunity to get comfortable taking tests (being out of school for so many years, this is a helpful way of studying).  The tests are designed to rate you in a number of areas.  You actually find out what areas you aren’t fully doing your best.  Then you can go back to the book and brush up on your weak areas.

I’ll check back in later in the week and let you know what I’ve learned from studying this way.  Hope this information is helpful if you are thinking of pursuing real estate as a career.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in career, real estate, school

 

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What Going to School For Real Estate is Like

Whew, just got through the toughest week at school.  I had signed up for a one week class.  My schedule was 9am-5pm Monday thru Friday.  This one week class covered 21 chapters.  At the end of the week there was a final, and if you passed, you were able to sign up to take the state exam to get your license.

The first day of school was surprising.  There was just under 50 students in the class.  I guess the average class has somewhere around 25 students attending.  When you consider the economy, you would think that not as many people would be on board to go into real estate.  As I found out, there are a lot of people who lost jobs and $10.00 hr at any new job they find is a pretty bleak future.

The class was made up of a few 20 something’s. A majority of the people were in their late 40’s/early 50’s.  There was a few people who were even older.  The teacher was very peppy and definitely knew how to engage the class.  A lot of stories were sprinkled in with the material which made the class much more bearable.  The classes did fly by fairly quickly for the length of time you were there.  Multiple breaks were a huge help.

The class was tough I won’t lie.  Even if I hadn’t taken the accelerated class it would have been tough.  I have taken law classes and was grateful to know about contracts, property laws and such.  It was incredibly helpful to have some familiarity with these concepts.  An example of the fast pace, were discussions about contracts that lasted half an hour total.  I took a contract class for a semester and the law professor said we were skimming the surface compared to law school.  In law school, you will have several classes in contracts.  I don’t know how people without some familiarity with some of the concepts we were learning were able to absorb the information.  These are hard topics and not easy to process the first few times going over it.  There is just so much to wrap your head around.

A good amount of people in the class had some background that touched on real estate.  There were people from banks, title companies and insurance companies.  There was a person who had a job, but took her one week vacation to go to school.  One man had licenses in 4 other states and flipped homes.  A few people came from families that had several members in real estate careers.  There was even a woman who was finishing a Master’s Degree in Psychology, worked in a real estate office and wanted to get a license.  It was fascinating to hear about people’s backgrounds, why they were getting a license, and what there plans were once they got it.

A typical day for me would be to begin class at 9am.  We would get a break at 11am for 20 minutes.  We would continue on until 1pm.  At this time we would get a practice quiz to take with us on our lunch break.  The quiz wasn’t graded.  It was an opportunity to test ourselves on what we had just learned.  We had 45 minutes for the break and then it was back to class.  We would have one last break at 3:30pm for 20 minutes and when we got back we would go over the quizzes and ask questions.  Our day ended at 5pm.  Each day we would have covered 4 to 5 chapters.  When I got home I would study until midnight and then go to sleep.  It was an intensely exhausting week.

Friday afternoon we took the final.  Wholly was it hard.  There were 75 questions and I swear they were from a book we had never looked at.  There were also some trick questions where you truly had to know what you were reading to get the answer. The school has a 70% passing rate and now I know why.  Here is the crazy part, you were allowed to use 2 pages of notes.  It didn’t matter what size paper (even poster board was acceptable).  I didn’t have one thing in my notes that was useful on the quiz.  Other people said the same thing.  I had gone over the notes of the two woman in front of me before class started and although they both passed, neither had notes that worked in their favor either.  The hard thing about notes was that we found out on Thursday that we could use them.  Instead of doing practice tests and rereading chapters, you would be going crazy scribbling notes onto paper.  It felt like you weren’t studying.  I think my grade would have been higher if I hadn’t worried about messing with notes.

The good news, I passed!!  The bad news, it was by the skin of my teeth.  I had planned to take the weekend to cram for the state exam and take it at the beginning of next week.  After taking the final, I will be taking a full week to study before I attempt the state exam.  I’ll keep you posted on what the state exam is like.  Thanks for stopping by.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2012 in career, people, real estate, school

 

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Why Real Estate?

My family is thrilled that I am going into real estate.  The consensus has been, “it’s about time.”  I have been mulling over the idea of a real estate career for years.  I avoided jumping in mainly because of the amount of money you have to invest while months may go by without any income flowing in.  In the last few years the housing market became such a mess that realtors I knew were jumping ship (these were people who were making a decent living in the field).

I had worked in a factory on the line for one of the big 3 for seven years.  I was making great money and thought I would retire off the job (and have a nice pension to boot).  The plant closed down and I was out of a job.  Finding another job as a 40 something with a family depending on my income was rough.  All I had was an Associate Degree and it was in Liberal Arts.  The jobs I qualified for were $10.00 an hr nothing jobs that high school students could easily fill.  There was no place to move up and I couldn’t see myself working for almost minimum wage for the rest of my years.

I do have a sales background and loved working and socializing with people.  Finding ways to fill a need was thrilling to me and I was good at it.  I always had a knack for being able to help others in an honest, hardworking way and developed a good following.

My passion for homes is well known.  I am a real estate junkie who needs their daily fix of looking at what homes are on the market and what homes are selling for.  I would research anything I could about short sales, foreclosure, land contract and so on.  I did this just for fun because it interested me so much.

So here I am biding my time until Monday arrives and I can get going with classes.  I guess I’ll spend some time and look at what houses are for sale or recently sold in my neighborhood.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2012 in career, real estate, school

 

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