Wife or girlfriend or close friend as realtor? - Posted by Dan Simpson

Posted by Stacy (AZ) on November 08, 2000 at 11:15:01:

One thing to be sure to check associate membership to the MLS, is whether active listings are included. Associate membership usually gives access only to “sold” or “expired” listings, which may not be what you are looking for.


Wife or girlfriend or close friend as realtor? - Posted by Dan Simpson

Posted by Dan Simpson on November 05, 2000 at 14:49:41:

I have read about the success of some of the people on here in regards to flipping properties. It seems like that at least part of their success is that they have a realtor that is willing to write up all of their lowball offers and do the laymans job of delivering these offers to the sellers. My girlfriend and I were thinking that she could go to real estate school, graduate, pass the tests, and then either go to work for a broker or go back to school for the brokers course and become her own broker. If she were to do this, I could have access through her all the MLS listings, and she could present all of my offers on houses that are being sold by realtors. The advantage for us is that she would make a commission whenever someone accepts my lowball offers and I would also idealistically make a profit when I flipped the property. It seems like that there are very few realtors out there, unless they are a significant other or a very close friend, family member, etc., that would be willing to sit down all day and make my lowball offers. Their brokers and other realtors will tell them that they should be out getting listings and not sit around all day writing up offers from a crackpot investor like myself. They would tell them that they will get a bad reputation with the realtor community and possibly the public if all they did was write up lowball offers.

Isn’t it a STRONG advantage for an investor to have this type of situation? And what are the ramifications of my girlfriend and I having this type of setup? I realize that if she became a salesperson and found a broker to work for, then she would be expected to show open houses, answer the phone, etc. for that broker on a regular basis. How any broker would accept that she is only in it to write lowball offers for me and not out to get listings or to work with anyone else is the question. Some brokers may feel that as long as she gets an occasional offer accepted (1-2 a month? or more?) and he can collect some of that commission, then they may accept that.
Any comments on this from those that have been there?

Re: Wife or girlfriend or close friend as realtor? - Posted by Barbara Beaumont

Posted by Barbara Beaumont on November 08, 2000 at 21:34:35:

My significant other became a Realtor for this very reason. He can show me houses at our convenience. He never complains about how many houses we look at. Low offers don’t bother him–it’s the reason he became a Realtor. After getting his license he found a new Century 21 office in town and was up front with the Broker, SHE was fine with it. The cost of licensing, joining the Association, and having the MLS at home is low overhead for a great business–in my opinion. I saw an article posted on this site once, I believe it was Steve Cook, who said his mother became a realtor for this very reason–to do his deals.
That’s where I got the idea. If you end up doing as many deals as he does think of the extra spending money she’ll have!

Re: Wife or girlfriend or close friend as realtor? - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on November 06, 2000 at 15:10:35:

If you want her to get licensed, go all the way to broker. Then you don’t have to deal with anyone else.

I think it is absolutely awesome to have access to the MLS. You can make offers on properties the day they get listed and beat most of your competition to the punch. On top of that you can make a commission or reduce the price by the amount of the commission. This gives you an extra 3-4% advantage of others.

As someone else mentioned there are alot of costs involved. I probably spent at least $1500 between school, licensing fees, and initial Realtor fees to get started. But heck, one deal took care of those expenses and them some.

On top of that you can use your Realtor status to offer lots of ancillary services to the public. For instance, I put a seller’s property in the MLS for a small flat fee ($700 or so) and don’t do much else work until I show up at closing and collect my check. Hundreds of dollars for 2 or 3 hours of work. There is so much creativity you can do with a license. God bless America.

Re: Wife or girlfriend or close friend a - Posted by dewCO

Posted by dewCO on November 05, 2000 at 19:12:54:

Wrong. All you need is access to the MLS for sold comps, and maybe to find some properties. Get a realtor friend to pull what you need and pay them, or keep them well fed…whatever it takes! Your girlfriend would have to pay for use of the MLS any way, plus lots of other costs.

I disagree, most here aren’t real estate agents, or at least fell into this after they already had their license, is what I’ve read.

Re: Wife or girlfriend or close friend as realtor? - Posted by Angela

Posted by Angela on November 05, 2000 at 17:34:06:

My husband is a builder and a creative investor. I am a real estate agent. We help each other out. It does take money to get into real estate, so be prepared. I wanted a real estate career. Have you asked your girlfriend if this is what she wants to do? Real estate careers are time consuming and sometimes overwhelming, but the rewards are great. States differ on broker’s license. You have to have a real estate license for two years in my state to take the broker’s exam.Good luck !!!

Re: Wife or girlfriend or close friend as realtor? - Posted by Carmen_FL

Posted by Carmen_FL on November 05, 2000 at 16:11:54:

I am a Broker, and the only reason I got my license was so I would have access to the MLS. I have no interest in doing “realtor-type” work (showing houses, etc.) My husband has a company through which we put offers in. He always lists me as the selling realtor. This is not a bad idea, as long as your girlfriend/wife doesn’t mind going through all the trouble and cost of getting the education.

As for working under a broker - in Florida, you must be under a broker for a year before you can become a Broker yourself. I found a few brokers who, as long as you listed your license with them, didn’t care if they never saw you again. These brokers were not the “big name” firms; they were one-man shows and not very good brokers, at that - I learned nothing from them. But they served their purpose. For the year I was a Realtor under them, I saw them only when I delivered the checks from the closings, and then only to collect MY part (all checks were made out to the broker). I’m sure, if that’s the way you want to go, you could find some of these guys out there too.

You must understand that there are costs involved in getting into this, though - the classes, and a yearly MLS fee (here in Florida it’s $600+ a year). Also, Errors and Ommissions insurance, which most brokers make you pay for yourself (and, of course, you have to pay for yourself once you’re a broker).

It may also be possible for you to access the MLS through an “associate” membership to the Board of Realtors - call information to find the one(s) in your county, and ask their membership director - that way, no one has to get a license. However, you also would not get any commission. But you could put offers in directly to the selling agent.

Take all of this into consideration before going out and getting a license. I’ve never regretted it; even one little commission on a rehab more than makes up the costs of getting and keeping the license.

Re: Wife or girlfriend or close friend as realtor? - Posted by tarheelt

Posted by tarheelt on November 05, 2000 at 15:30:50:

That is a hard question. I would not attempt this unless your gf had a natural desire to be in the re busuiness. Why not get a brokers license yourself?

Re: Wife or girlfriend or close friend as realtor? - Posted by ScottE

Posted by ScottE on November 08, 2000 at 14:53:41:

What’s the time investment in obtaining a RE license (both agent and broker)?

Where would you suggest someone go to obtain the education/license?


Re: Wife or girlfriend or close friend as realtor? - Posted by Dan Simpson

Posted by Dan Simpson on November 05, 2000 at 17:41:47:

The associate realtor idea is one I am going to look into. All I want to be able to do is access the MLS and to make my own offers to realtors if I should have to. I hate running around trying to get comps through a realtor when I would like to study all the information myself. It is not really fair that the average Joe cant access the MLS on their own without being a realtor and having to go through one. I don’t mind paying an MLS fee as to me it is worth it.
It also stinks that in my city the MLS is all computerized now. No more MLS books. I cant go looking through dumpsters anymore!
Thanks for your reply,

Re: Wife or girlfriend or close friend as realtor? - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on November 08, 2000 at 18:44:05:

The time frames and costs depend on your particular state. Each state has different laws.

Florida requires a 45 hour pre-license course, a state exam, and a 45 hour post-license course to get the agent’s license. After being an agent and working under a broker for 1 year, you can apply to be a broker yourself. Broker requires a 60 hour pre-license course, a state exam, and a 60 hour post-license course.

For more info on where to take classes, look up “real estate schools” in the Yellow Pages of the phone book. Many real estate companies will assist you with the class fees to be an agent, if you agree to work for them.