Reality of NC Real Estate School

Last year, with the amazing push and support of my husband and family, I decided to make a complete (and scary) career change into the world of real estate. At the time, I had no idea what that would look like. I was in a job with a great company that looked awesome on paper, but wasn’t for me. After much searching, praying, and conversations, we decided I should go for it!

I still remember sitting in the chair in our living room toggling between tabs: NC Real Estate Commission website and searching for people talking about their experience in RE school in North Carolina. I found a blog of a woman sharing how difficult school was and a list of accredited schools for pre licensing. Also stumbled upon a Groupon for one of the schools on that list, so the couponer in me was pretty much hooked. And terrified.

I went from zero to full Real Estate Broker in less than 7 months. This means I completed 75 hours of prelicensing, passed a class exam, passed a state and national exam. Then I also completed 90 hours of post licensing and passed 3 exams. It was a lot, but it was so worth it!

I’m sharing my experiences with you — the good, the bad, and the ugly. This is what I wish I could have read when I was considering and preparing for this major change. My hope is that this helps you with your decision if you’re making one or at the very least gives you a glimpse into my world from June to December 2017 {aka why I was MIA for most of those months}

Prelicensing Experience

I’ve heard from multiple sources that North Carolina is one of the hardest states to get your real estate license in. So if you’re a North Carolinian, be prepared for some really hard work, but also an amazing feeling once you pass! If you’re not in North Carolina, this may or may not be similar to what you’ll experience since it varies state to state.

I took my 75 hours of Prelicensing at the Go School of Real Estate in Cary. They had a Groupon running at the time which swayed my decision greatly, but their website also made me feel super comfortable as it looked like a good school for me (laid back, technology friendly, good location, snacks available, etc).

Bless their hearts, I changed my class registration 3 times. Originally I signed up for night classes since I was working a 9-5. I quickly realized working and night classes were going to burn me out, so we made the decision that I’d quit my job. I requested to be moved to day classes. Then an awesome job opportunity in the real estate field opened up, but this meant I would need days available. Go School had a weekend class coming up, so one last time I requested a switch. My weekends from June 3rd until July 16th were spent at Go School and any other available time was spent reading/studying ๐Ÿ™‚

To be completely honest, I studied more and harder for this 6 week Prelicensing class than I did during my four years of college. I took this real estate class seriously. Our instructor shared that many people fail the class because they underestimate it and don’t take it seriously, so that wasn’t going to be me.

Our textbook was at least 3 inches thick and we covered so much material. It makes my brain want to explode thinking back to those days. We were behind from day 1 because apparently we should’ve picked up our books ahead of time and read the first 3 chapters, but nobody told us that was a thing.

This class was extremely fast paced, so I was committed to staying ahead. We had a syllabus and knew what chapters we’d cover on which day, so I always read ahead for that day and watched Travis Everette’s Youtube lecture on the subject. It helped me to have already been exposed to the material before getting to class. Through the school we had access to a site called Engrade that had virtual flashcards, quizzes, and practice tests — all extremely helpful! I enjoy learning, but I also put a lot of pressure on myself to do my absolute best so I could knock this all our the first go round (many people don’t).

There was an 80% attendance policy per the NC Real Estate Commission. I wouldn’t recommend missing any if you can help it, but it can be challenging to find a chunk of time where you have nothing going on, especially on weekends. I did miss one class as I was in one of my darling friend’s weddings, so I’d say that was a good excuse. I still stayed on top of reading and lectures. Make friends in the class! It’s a blessing to have people that can fill you in if you have to miss or help explain concepts that you’re iffy on.

We took our class exam on July 16th and I passed! The instructor graded our bubble sheets there on the spot, so we found out immediately. I couldn’t imagine having to wait to find out. It felt like such a weight lifted, but that was just the first battle. Next came the state/national exam.

This was taken at a testing center near North Hills. I had to wait a few days to be able to take this exam since the school had to report my pass and it had to be processed. I submitted my application and request for a background check weeks before we finished class, so that was all good to go. This must be done before you can sit for the state/national exam, so I do recommend getting it out of the way early. Some people wait a bit once they’re released to be able to sit for the state/national exam, but I signed up for mine as soon as possible.ย 

I was a ball of nerves leading up to the test, but I kept visualizing how awesome I would feel when it was all said and done. The computers were old and the room had an annoying buzzing sound, but I focused. The questions were more challenging than the class exam, but I went with my gut and did the best I could. On both exams I knew I could only miss a certain amount to pass, soย I skipped questions I wasn’t certain on to revisit later. These tests are timed, so I didn’t want to get too hung up on any one question or lose my confidence. Sometimes you might even recall the answer to a question because of a later question!

When I was finished, I hit submit and instead of being shown my results, I was taken to a survey for the testing center. Seriously!? Ask my opinion once I know how I did! After the survey came the results, but they weren’t easily found. I scanned the page looking for a pass/fail and spent like 20 seconds staring at it to make sure I was seeing it correctly. PASS! Praise!!! I did a happy dance in my seat and then giddily glided into the lobby to get my belongings back and proof of my pass.

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Postlicensing Experience

Postlicensing was wayyyy less intense, thank goodness! A provisional broker becomes a full broker through postlicensing education and must take at least one 30 hour class a year for their first 3 years. I didn’t want to drag this out for 3 years, so I knocked my classes out back to back to back. 90 hours while working full time — I got this. I waited about 3 months to start — the break was nice, but I was ready to be done!

I took all 3 of my classes at HPW Real Estate School with Scott Greeson who was an awesome instructor (and provided a study guide for each exam! insert praise hands emoji here). These were night classes (Monday/Tuesday/Thursday) since I work during the day and needed my weekends available for work. Many schools only offer day classes, so I was thrilled HPW was offering night classes and that I could take all 3.

The exams in these classes weren’t easy (they’re made by the commission if that tells you anything…), but I certainly didn’t study nearly as hard. I paid attention, attended every class (again, there’s an attendance requirement — don’t miss if you can help it), and knew the material from the study guides. This was enough for me to do really well on each exam. Woohoo!

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What am I doing now?

Finishing all this up was one of the best Christmas presents — I’m so happy to have my life back! It was a lot of work, but I’m glad I did it this way. It was a huge accomplishment for me and I definitely proved to myself I’m capable of anything I set my mind to. Cliche, but true!

Now I’m working for a new home builder and I’m loving it! It was a big learning curve and I’m learning more things everyday, but it’s such a good fit for me. I’m able to work out of beautiful model homes and help people with one of the biggest purchases they’ll make in their life, something they’ve been dreaming about — their home.

The beauty (and curse) of real estate is that there’s so many different areas you can explore: new home construction, general brokerage, commercial, property management, and the list goes on. There’s so much flexibility and potential with an active real estate license.ย I feel so blessed to have this opportunity. The risky jump was worth it!

Am I missing anything!? If you have any other questions, I’m more than happy to chat! Thank you so much for your support and for being on this journey with me! โค

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