Busy, Busy, Busy

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I have been so busy with this real estate auction that I haven’t set time aside to update this blog.  The auction worked out as well as can be expected with less than a week of marketing.  We ended up with 24 homes and had 9 offers in by the end of the night.  Our next auction will be Feb 4th and a larger venue.  This time I started marketing on Craigslist and ksl.com right away.  We are also looking into facebook.  The days of the newspaper are coming to an end.  

In preparation for the auction, I checked with our county realtor board to see what I needed to do to get my real estate license active again.  They checked the computer and told me it would be about $1000 non-refundable for all the dues and fees they have.  I was relieved that I didn’t have to take all the pre-license classes again.  As time drew nearer to the auction date, I checked again and they told me it would be around $800.  I thought that was getting better.  My broker asked me to check with the state and see how much it would be just to get my license active with the state and then worry about board later.  

Since I was told I would only have to pay about $800 to get my license active again, I thought the state fee would be around $50.  I checked on line and my license was expired.  I couldn’t find a place to renew it.  I called them and they told me that I would have to take all the classes again, 90 hours worth.  I was a little confused since the local board office told me on two separate occasions that all I had to do was pay some money and take two classes within 60 days.  I thought I had two years before it expired.  I put my license as inactive in July 2007.

I was reminded that I had to take 12 hours of continuing education every 2 years if my license was inactive and I had six months after it expired to reactivate it.  It expired 11 months ago, so I was too late.  I am glad I didn’t pay the dues to the county before checking with the state.  I would have been out $800.  Remember dues are non-refundable and you have to pay for a year.  No more 6 months at a time.

It got me wondering if it is policy of the board not to check the license status of the applicant in hopes of collecting more dues.  I sure hope not.  The fees for a realtor if you sign up in January are:

  • Member fee – $200
  • County Association Dues – $320/yr
  • State Association Dues – $210/yr (Increased from $135)
  • National Association Dues – $115/yr (increased from $110)
  • MLS access – $25/mo
  • ReaderKey lease – $96/yr (Not required, but very difficult to show homes without it)
Notice how two of the dues increased this year. Times are tough for them too. In 2006 there were 1.06 Realtors, multiply that by the $110 it was then and they bring in over $100,000,000 annually.  A lot of that is spent on marketing the Realtor brand and paying politicians.  The housing market is suffering and so many Realtors are going inactive. Instead of trying to help them by lowering fees or keeping them the same, they raise fees.  The average real estate agent only sells about 6 homes a year.  Many people can’t pay $1000 at once especially since it can take a few months to get going in real estate.
Okay, I am done complaining about that.  I gave in and am currently going through the online pre-licensing program and am about 1/3 of the way through it.

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