Real Estate Knowledge for the Real Estate Agent

Blog Post Image
Real Estate

Ah, those dreaded 63 hours of real estate classes. Remember the overwhelming flood of information about marketing, property sales, and evaluations? We were taught how to market, price property, and understand the actual sales process, which helps us every day. I distinctly recall thinking, "Am I ever going to use any of this in my real estate career?" Well, surprise, surprise—the answer is a resounding yes! Let me break it down for you. It amazes me how often I apply the things I learned in that course.

Pricing Properties

Let's dive into comparables. Remember, if a comparable property is better, you subtract value; if it's inferior, you add value. This simple formula is my go-to tool for market analysis. It's like having a built-in guide for pricing properties. Plus, it's beneficial when explaining how we determined their home's price to clients. And let’s not forget all that investment math! Those formulas can be tricky, but they are invaluable when an investor asks how to achieve an 8% return. Many agents may overlook this, but our training taught us how to calculate investment value and use various sales approaches. And who knows, maybe we’ll even need to depreciate a property one day. Well, perhaps not that one. Principle of Substitution
My favorite phrase is the Principle of Substitution. Remember that one? This principle states that no prudent buyer would pay more for your house than a similar one in the same area. How often do our sellers want to list their houses way too high? With this added little knowledge, we can effectively tell people this is the primary source of value.


Contracts are another area where my education shines. Understanding when an offer becomes a binding contract is crucial. Knowing that acceptance and delivery are vital elements means we can ensure that all parties are on the same page and that the contract is valid. We learned that specific terms must be met for a contract to be enforceable, including mutual consent, lawful object, consideration, and capable parties. I can confidently explain these aspects to my clients and ensure all conditions are met. For example, I can clearly articulate why an offer isn't just an offer until it's accepted and delivered back to the other party. This knowledge helps me guide clients through the process, avoiding misunderstandings and ensuring that all agreements are legally sound. It has saved me countless headaches and has been an enormous help in maintaining smooth transactions.



Understanding deeds and the transfer of property has been another unexpected gem. Title means ownership, and with that ownership, you have certain rights. Knowing the ins and outs of deeds means I can confidently explain why title insurance is a must and how the type of deed impacts the sale. Even though we rely on title companies to prepare documents, our additional knowledge proves our value by enabling us to clearly explain those rights to clients. And let’s not forget transfer taxes. Even though the title company does the heavy lifting, knowing it costs money to sell or buy property has saved me—and my clients—from countless heartaches. It’s much better to prepare clients upfront than to field panicked calls about mysterious charges the day before closing—real estate taxes and prorations—oh, the joy. Though we don’t handle prorations, understanding them lets me calmly explain to buyers why they’re getting a tax bill at the end of the year. Did you know the FAR/BAR contract specifies that the closing day belongs to the buyer? I thought that was just for test purposes, but no, it's a real thing!



Save Our Homes Act
Knowing the Save Our Homes Act can help explain why the new buyer's taxes will be higher. We should also encourage the buyer to contact the county appraiser's office for accurate tax information. This act caps how much a primary home's taxes can increase—a huge source of information and a great benefit to everyone.


How We Take Ownership

Knowing the entities of title, like Tenants in Common and Joint Tenancy, allows me to offer valuable insights that set me apart from other realtors. While the title company handles much of the paperwork, understanding key concepts like the right of survivorship versus inheritability enables me to provide more comprehensive guidance to my clients. For instance, I can explain how a joint tenancy with the right of survivorship means that if one owner passes away, their share automatically goes to the surviving owner(s), bypassing the need for probate. On the other hand, with tenants in common, each owner's share is inheritable and can be passed down to heirs, which might necessitate probate. Having this nuanced knowledge reassures clients and highlights my expertise, proving my value in navigating the complexities of real estate transactions.

Brokerage Relationships and Disclosures
Brokerage relationships and disclosures will be at the forefront of real estate in the future. We need to know how we work with our customers and what our duties are with them. Knowing and applying these disclosures gives an accurate picture and can avoid misunderstandings. As we move forward, we will learn more about buyer agreements, but our real estate class taught us how to represent our principal, client, or if we have no relationship with them. One of the duties, to present all offers, was heavily emphasized, and we need to know and practice that in our everyday lives. What a huge help this understanding can be in the future.

Advertising Compliance
Advertising is enormous for real estate agents, and our class taught us how to avoid fines. Placing the brokerage's name in all ads, using your correct name, and making it clear who you work for in all advertisements—even on Facebook—are crucial practices. Applying what you learned in this area keeps you out of trouble and ensures you continuously comply with advertising regulations.

Avoiding Violations
Speaking of violations, we learned what not to do and can apply it to our real estate careers no matter where we are. We learned about blockbusting, steering, and all the scenarios that could put us in a situation we do not want to be in. The bottom line is that we learned this term and that we cannot guide anyone to any house based on protected classes or our best interests. That is not working in the client's best interest. Applying what we learned here is crucial for staying compliant and ethical.


The Finance Chapter and Mortgage Insights
Although we are not mortgage lenders, we learned several things in the finance chapters that continue to help us. First, we understand there is a primary and a secondary market. We can explain to our customers that their loans will be sold; therefore, the loan originator has to make money on origination fees and discount points. Oh, and that discount point math—who can understand why, but we know it is a way for an unqualified buyer to qualify for a loan. They can change their interest rate and now qualify. What a valuable tool to help guide the potential buyer to contact a lender. We can also understand the costs associated with a loan and the difference between Conventional mortgages and FHA. With an understanding of loan limits, we can educate potential buyers on what they should look at before even talking to a lender.


Roles of Government
Learning about government roles and real estate's local nature has been incredibly beneficial. Understanding what planning and zoning entail helps when explaining to our customers what to do with issues related to building codes, permits, and citations. Knowing who handles what and how to address these issues goes a long way in providing excellent service. We can guide clients through the maze of local regulations and ensure they know the proper steps to resolve any problems.



Using the above knowledge, we can be successful real estate agents. It’s not just about selling properties; it’s about understanding and applying what we learn. Each piece is critical in our daily operations, from comparables and investment math to title entities and contracts.


In conclusion, those 63 hours of overload have certainly paid off, and the time spent in that class laid the foundation for my real estate career. So, hang in there to anyone trudging through their real estate licensing course! It might seem like a lot now, but trust me, it’s worth every minute. Keep learning and applying that knowledge because one day, you'll look back and realize just how much it all prepared you for the real world of real estate.