This real estate primer covers complex topics at a high level. The sources below will help you stay on top of the industry and learn about real estate in greater detail.
Best industry news sources
There are not as many industry news sources as you’d think on agents/ brokerage, but here are the top two I’d suggest following.
- Inman: A news site for agents and brokers. It covers traditional real estate and the newest in real estate tech. There is a subscription fee but some Realtor association memberships cover it.
- TheRealDeal: Focused on New York, LA, South Florida, and Chicago. But it also covers national news. There is a subscription fee but many articles are available for free.
Brokerage and agent rankings
Every year, different publications compile brokerages, agents, and real estate professional rankings. Here are a few worth paying attention to.
- REAL Trends 500 (Brokerages): This ranks the top brokerage firms by volume and sides. If you want to know who the most important brokerages are, this is one of the best resources. There is also a competing list by Swanepoel called the Mega 1000.
- REAL Trends The Thousand (Agents): REAL Trends ranks the top thousand agents and teams by sides and sales volume. They even provide an Excel download option to make it easy to analyze the data.
- Swanepoel Power 200: This list provides a ranking of the “most powerful leaders” in residential real estate. It is a good starting point to learn about emerging companies. Often the leaders of new tech disruptors appear here.
The process of buying and selling a home
I've found Redfin's buying/selling guides to be among the most practical resources. The articles push Redfin's services but are still focused on explaining processes objectively. Below is what I’d suggest reading to get started.
Buying a home
- How to buy a house: A very short overview of the steps involved in buying a home. It is worth taking a look if you haven’t purchased a home before but will be working in real estate.
- First time home buyer FAQ: This will have some redundancy with the content on how to buy a house. But is helpful for details on important terms, especially on the financing side.
- How to get a mortgage: For most buyers, the mortgage process is as important as the real estate purchase. Even though the real estate agent isn’t involved in the mortgage, it’s good to understand the process.
- Mortgage pre-approval: Additional detail on the mortgage process as it relates to pre-approvals and qualification.
- How closing works: This explains the 40 to 50 days that happens from home inspection to final paperwork. It is boring but essential coverage of things like earnest money, contingencies, home inspections, and title.
- Closing costs: An overview of the additional costs that occur on closing.
Selling a home
Important trade associations, laws, and data sources
Verify real estate agent and brokerage licenses
In virtually every state, you can verify agent licenses online for free. This is a great way to compile lists of agents or brokerages in your market. Here are two examples.
Real estate schools and licensing information
I provide a short overview on the licensing process in my post on real estate agents. I also cover launching a brokerage and expanding to new states in my post on how to start a real estate brokerage. The links below offer more detail on how to choose a real estate school and how state reciprocity works.