There have been lots of changes in real estate since I became a licensed agent in 1996.
In 1995, we moved to Watkinsville. I applied for a few office jobs since that’s what I’d done in Atlanta, but I really wanted to try something new. I decided to become a real estate agent.
Real Estate License
The way I got my real estate license was “cutting edge” at the time. I used the Barney Fletcher Real Estate School system where I watched something like slide show presentations for each lesson on my “low speed” internet service. After reading the material, I took the test with my answers recorded on a disk. It took about 4 weeks to complete all the lesson, then I mailed the disk in to the main office for verification.
After the lessons were completed, I went to the real estate school office in Marietta for additional training, preparing me to take the state exam. That was a 2 day “cram course” taking test after test, then reviewing the areas I needed to improve.
When I took the real estate exam in Atlanta, I was a little worried to see how many people were there for the 3 or 4th try. Fortunately, I wasn’t one of them. It seemed like a good idea to start off with a small agency so I met with the broker of an agency in Watkinsville. Since there wasn’t much of a downside for brokers to hire agents, I had a job right away.
The local board of realtors provided a large book with all the listings in it. The book came out every 2 weeks so new listings just had to wait till the next book was published. The listing books were discontinued within a couple of years, even though some of the older agents didn’t feel comfortable with the change. Not having GPS was another challenge for me, especially since I was new to the area.
Over the years, we’ve seen many changes, mainly with contracts. I believe the sales contract was 3 pages long when I started. Now, they are 8 pages and that seems to increase almost every year.
It was considered bad manners to give an agent an offer without including at least 5 copies of the contract. That meant everyone could keep a copy, before and after signatures were obtained. The fax machine was an important feature of the real estate office. We could fax documents instead of driving to deliver contracts and counteroffers. It was acceptable for counteroffers to be faxed but original signatures were required on the final documents.
It’s clear that things have changed over the past 23 years… mostly for the good!