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Real Estate License Requirements

Real estate licensing courses

Real Estate is a popular career choice for a lot of different types of people. It’s actually rare to find someone that grew up wanting to be a real estate agent. With the typical Real Estate License Requirements being considered a low barrier to entry (relatively speaking), low cost to start up it’s a great business to start for entrepreneurs. Add on top of that that the you can make a great income doing it part time. It’s the ultimate side-hustle.

That being said, it’s not always what’s best for the consumer. Some States realizing this have made it a bit harder to get a real estate license than others. In a nutshell, in order to collect a commission (legally) for helping someone buy or sell real estate you must have a a real estate license and that answers the simple question of, “How Do I Become A Real Estate Agent?”

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How Do I Become A Real Estate Agent?

Answering this is much tougher than one might think, mainly because it depends completely on the state. Each state regulates their own real estate licensing process and each state has it’s own set of rules. However, there are some basic things that seem to be true of every state.

Real Estate License Requirements

To be eligible to become a licensed real estate salesperson or agent, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have legal US residency
  • Complete A Pre-License Course
  • Pass your state real estate license examination

Each state varies on the length of the course and what’s covered in Pre-license.  Once you are licensed you’ll usually be asked to take a post-license course.   Typically, pre-license covers terminology, real estate law and some of the technical processes, whereas the post license covers more day to day responsibilities of a real estate agent.

Keep in mind we’re discussing Real Estate License Requirements for Real Estate Agents, not Brokers.

Before you jump in, you might have a few questions around becoming a real estate agent.

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Start A Real Estate Career

Is A Real Estate Career Right For You?

Most people that choose real estate as a career are lured into it by the opportunity for a great income and freedom of their schedule.  However, unlike what HGTV shows or what might be perceived if you went through the process of buying or selling a home,  a real estate career is one of the toughest (yet rewarding) you could select if you want consistent income.   Even when you join a brokerage you’ll still ultimately work for yourself.   You’ll need to spend at least half of every working day making contacts with new opportunities.  The other half of the day can be spent on appointments or blocked out for paperwork.   You should decide upfront how committed you are to your income goals and dreams.   Use our directory to reach out to real estate agents near you and ask them about their day to day life.

How much does it cost to get into real estate?

Not much when compared to other businesses or franchises.  In fact, the only businesses that are less expensive are network marketing companies like Avon and Amway.   According to recent statistics, it cost the average real estate agent $1,500 to start their business.  Keep in mind even this can be off-set by a Broker.  Many Brokers are actually “recruiting” agents (vs hiring them) and will offer to pay for classes, business cards, signs and more.   Also keep in mind that if you take a Broker’s offer for “free” education it likely means you’ll be splitting a good portion of your earnings with them for some time.   For some the trade-off is more than worth it.

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How To Get Your Real Estate License

Real Estate Licensing Requirements1.  Find Out Your State’s Requirements

You can find a list of states here with their requirements.  Some states can make the process confusing by using code numbers for courses.  We tried to simplify this for you.  However, each state links directly to the state licensing authority so you can get the most accurate information.

2.  Enroll in the Real Estate Pre-license Course of your State

That step says it all.    We recommend that you sign up for a course that offers some sort of in-person cram course.  You can pass online pre-license course all day long but if it doesn’t prepare you for the state exam then you’re in trouble.  In fact, it could be said this way…

The Purpose Of the Pre-License Course Is To Be Able To Pass The State Exam.

The course will cost some money, the cram course might be extra and the test might also cost money depending on what state you are in.

3.  Take the Real Estate Salesperson Exam

Chances are good if you had a good pre-license course then you’ll know the other requirements that might come along with passing the exam (such as a background test).  Each experience in each state will be different.  Some will allow you to take it online, while others will require you to empty your pockets, before taking the test.

For as simple as most state exams are practically, they still tend to be a test that is easy to fail at.  Most of these tests are “government standardized” tests.  This means that they often have multiple right answers on multiple choice.  So it’s not enough to be right but the most right is actually right.

4.  Find a Real Estate Broker

Once you’ve passed your state exam and meet all the other requirements it’ll be time to find a broker.  Check out our blog for more about selecting the right broker.  The biggest thing to remember is that THEY WANT YOU, not the other way around.   Take your time to interview each on throughoughly.  Will they train you on sales, will they provide leads themselves, do they provide other services (such as contract to close?).  In addition, to training and support, most brokerages offer some sort of “tech” package.  Do not be enamored with this!  Most of these services are stripped down versions of products.   A Broker provided website isn’t going to do much for you other than give you a website right out of the gate.

Become A RealtorOptional:  Decide If Being A Realtor Is For You

Some Brokers will require you to be a Realtor.  A Realtor is a real estate agent (or broker) who agrees to work within a set of guidelines that the Board sets.  These guidelines are mainly just good ethical behavior that are more clear and spelled out than state licensing authorities.


Get the info on your local state’s real estate license requirements.