Should I Get a New Real Estate License Since the Market is “Bad”?


November 2, 2022

“Should I go to real estate school now that the real estate market has declined?”

“With mortgage rates now sky high, does it make sense for me to get my NJ real estate license?”

“Is this a terrible time for me to start a real estate career?”

We get these questions all the time at Garden State Real Estate Academy from people who are interested in attending real estate school to get their Realtor® license, but who have heard dire predictions from the media about the state of the market.

So what do we tell them?

Real estate is, and always has been a cyclical market.

Yes, the media are making dire predictions, but just like the stock market, there have always been ups and downs in the property market. One of my favorite aphorisms is, “Real estate economists have successfully predicted 10 of the last three recessions.”

Look at the reasons people will need your services as a real estate agent:

  • People want to own a home rather than rent one
  • People need to sell their small home and buy a bigger one because their family is growing
  • People need to downsize because they are empty nesters, so they must sell and then buy another home
  • People need to sell and find another home because they are getting divorced
  • People need to sell and buy another home because they need to mover close to family or a new job
  • A homeowner dies and the family needs to sell the home to settle the estate
  • More and more people want the relatively stability of owning investment real estate to build their wealth

And whether in the boom days or 2021 or the bust of 2008, we still sold millions of dollars in real estate by providing top service to those clients.

Where is the real estate market today?

We are approaching a normal market, but if your only exposure to real estate has been in the past 18 months, you may think the sky is falling. Fact is, we are emerging from an abnormal market; one which the very top real estate agents will tell you was actually awful for them and their clients. Sellers were asking crazy-high prices and buyers were frantically paying thousands above those list prices. One agent told me of his buyer who went $87,000 above list price on a $475,000 listing—and still lost. It was the 12th offer he had submitted for that buyer.

A friend made an offer on a $939,000 condo in California and dropped out when the bidding exceeded $1.1 million!

So we don’t want those market conditions!

In New Jersey, 13.5% fewer homes came on the market in September than in the same month in 2021. 17.1% fewer homes went under contract in that period, and the average sales price dropped 9.8% compared to September 2021.

But here’s the positive statistic: 57,332 homes did go under contract in September. And almost every one of them had a Realtor® handling the sale for the buyer and the seller.

Why could that not be you?

Can I be a successful real estate agent when interest rates are so high?

When I started as a Realtor® in 1988, mortgage interest rates were 10¾%. My broker, who had been a Realtor® for years, told me “These are the good times; interest rates have been as high as 18¼% recently, so buyers are getting a real bargain now!”

And guess what? I sold so many homes in my first year as a new real estate agent that I won the company’s “Rookie of the Year” award. I say that not to brag, but to point out that yes, if you get your new real estate license today—when interest rates are in the sevens—and join a brokerage with great training and mentoring, and if you make the commitment to yourself to do what your mentor shows you, you can make a significant income from real estate in the next 12 months.

And lower interest rates will return!

The bad news and the good news is . . .

In 2007 and at every other time when there was a market correction, thousands of real estate agents quit. Many of them got their real estate license because they thought they could make a quick easy income, and when they discovered that it is not that easy, they quit. One broker told me this week how an agent on his roster who has almost never attended his training sessions or sales meetings just told him she was quitting so she could get a “real” job.

Few committed agents who are currently dedicated professionals means more opportunities for those of you who are really serious about starting a real estate career.

If you are thinking of getting your real estate license, Garden State Real Estate Academy is the state’s top-rated real estate school. If you need a New Jersey real estate license, you can choose from daytime or evening classes at and click on “Salesperson” licensing classes.

For information on the real estate school’s upcoming New Jersey licensing classes, click here:

If you need to earn a real estate license in a state other than New Jersey, Garden State Real Estate Academy also offers online self-study real estate licensing classes in 21 states through our partnership with The CE Shop. And while New Jersey does NOT allow self-study pre-licensing classes, we do offer self-study pre-licensing classes in 25 other states by clicking here:


David C. Forward is a licensed real estate broker and instructor and was first licensed as a Realtor® 34 years ago. During his career, David and his business partner sold more than 500 homes in South Jersey.  He is now School Director of Garden Real Estate Academy, has won numerous awards for real estate sales, is a much-requested public speaker who has addressed audiences on six continents. His 20th book Zero to Hero: Winning strategies for new real estate agents to become SuperStars in their first year was released this month.


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