Commercial Real Estate License Requirements

Do I need a commercial real estate license to sell commercial space?

1 Answer

The answer to this question depends on your status as seller. A seller who also owns the commercial real estate in question need not obtain a license to sell it. Just as home owners can sell their residences without the aid of real estate brokers, so too can owners of commercial real estate. If you do not own the commercial real estate you are selling then you do need to obtain a real estate license.

Licensure requirements vary from state to state, so in some places a person may simply pass a general real estate licensure exam and then develop a specialty in commercial real estate through experience. In other places, a person will have to pass a test specifically designed to license commercial real estate agents. Either way, commercial real estate can be quite different than residential real estate, and most real estate courses offer special classes specifically for commercial agents and brokers.

If your state requires that you obtain a specific commercial real estate license, you can be licensed as either a commercial real estate agent or as a commercial real estate broker. A broker is a person who acts as an intermediary between the parties to real estate transactions. Usually, you must first obtain a commercial real estate agent license before becoming a broker. To obtain the agent license, you must take classes and pass your state's licensure examination. After becoming a commercial real estate agent, you usually must then work for a certain period of time (typically one year) in order to become eligible to take more classes and pass a second test to obtain a commercial real estate broker license.

Commercial real estate agents should have a very thorough knowledge of the commercial real estate industry. They should develop expertise in commercial real estate and become specialists in each area of commercial estate, including: office space, industrial warehouse space, apartment complexes, and agricultural lands. They should also be keenly familiar with commercial real estate licensing law, finance, types of real property ownership, contracts and leases, agency law, transfer of title, and many other related terms of the industry.

Commercial brokers are generally responsible for all the transactions that take place for a given commercial real estate. In particular, they locate the property for a certain real estate customer, serve as intermediaries to negotiate on the customer's behalf, and help customers complete the necessary paperwork to the transaction.