How to Find a Good Real Estate Agent – Part 3
Just how important is an agent’s real estate education to the consumer? It is critical because real estate laws and rules are constantly being updated. Becoming a real estate agent isn’t a one-time educational experience over which you sprinkle in real world application – not at all. Because laws governing real estate transactions are always being updated and because the state department of licensing (DOL) that regulates real estate agents is always improving their oversight – continuing education and awareness is a building block for an agent’s success!
While the laws that directly affect agents in Washington don’t change all that frequently these aren’t the only laws that affect real estate transactions. Case law can have a huge impact on real estate transactions and federal laws frequently impact transactions especially as it pertains to the lending and fair housing regulations. The point I am driving at is how the real estate landscape is dynamic and ever-changing.
In Washington in the first two years of an agent’s real estate career they are required to take 90 hours of continuing education (30 hours Advanced Practices, 30 hours Real Estate Law, 3 hours of CORE and 27 hours of whatever other classes they choose). After their first license renewal they are required to undertake an additional 30 hours of continuing education every two years in order to maintain their license. Agents must take the CORE class each renewal period as this class deals with regulatory and legal updates or changes that affect the ability of an agent to successfully perform their responsibilities.
Consumers should also be concerned and aware of what classes their agent is taking. Are they all sales technique type classes? Or professional development? Or do they have a mix of classes which include topics on current trends, new legislation and case law that can affect a consumer’s legal rights? The more educated and informed your agent is, the better they can assist you in maximizing your outcomes.
Current hot topics are landlord tenant issues because of the impact of the Covid-19 virus. Foreclosures may well pick up in 2021 due to Covid-19 and many people are experiencing loss of jobs and income. Furthermore, lawyers see a steady flow of demand for boundary and/or easement problems and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) changes contracts all the time, either to address current trends and behavior patterns and/or to react to newly issued legislation.
A good footnote is that savvy agents will always take more than the minimum hours of continuing education required by the state to renew their license because they have a desire to excel at their profession and not simply check boxes and punch clocks.
To Continue Reading PART FOUR (final segment) of this Blog Series — Click HERE