The work of a real estate agent is mostly independent and unsupervised, often requiring long hours and significant expenses to obtain a sale. To avoid mixing your personal and real estate expenses, a bank account for your real estate dealings is necessary. Your real estate bank account works the same way as a commercial banking account does for a small business. If you maintain a specific minimum balance every month, you will have the resources of a commercial bank account available to your real estate business whenever you need them.
Find banks in your area that offer commercial checking accounts. Commercial checking accounts differ from standard checking accounts because they offer larger daily ATM withdrawals, interest rates and credit lines. Ask your real estate colleagues what bank they use as a place to start.
Schedule an appointment with a manager at your selected bank. Opening up a commercial bank account for your real estate transactions takes more time than opening up a standard checking account. The bank must verify your real estate license, discuss the different account options available and give you paperwork to sign. If you do not have an appointment, the bank could be busy and unable to accommodate you on the day you show up.
Gather your personal identification and real estate license to take with you to the bank. The bank typically needs a driver's license, social security card number and a document that proves you are a realtor.
Fill out the bank's commercial checking account paperwork and deposit your opening balance into the account. Nearly all commercial banks require an opening deposit amount to open your real estate bank account. This amount varies from the hundreds to the thousands, depending on the terms of your account. Ask your banker about the deposit amount before signing the paperwork to avoid entering an agreement you cannot fulfill.
Ask for a card with your banking information. This card is handy if you ever forget your account or routing number when conducting real estate transactions.
Ask for checks and a line of credit, if needed. If you need to market a property before you are paid the commission for that property, a line of credit helps to cover costs. Place limits on your credit line to avoid taking out more than you can handle. For example, the bank may automatically offer a $30,000 credit line to your account when you really only need a tenth of that amount. Talk to your banker about any limits you want to set for the account.
Aaron Marquis is a University of Texas graduate with experience writing commercials and press releases for national advertising agencies as well as comedy television treatments/stories for FOX Studios and HBO. Marquis has been writing for over six years.