Real Estate License: Requirements and How to Get Real Estate License in 6 Steps
The decision of becoming a real estate agent is a very good one, as it is a very lucrative business. Therefore, it is a very good move in terms of one’s career journey. But just as any other business or profession requires licensing. Therefore, an agent cannot work without obtaining a real estate license which is issued by the state.
However, the requirements for a real estate license vary from state to state but there are general steps to follow in order to obtain a real estate license. Therefore, in this article, we provide information in detail on the requirements and guidelines on how to become an agent or obtain a real estate license.
What is a Real Estate License?
A real estate license allows agents and other professionals in the real estate industry to legally buy, sell, lease, and manage the real estate to prospective clients on behalf or under the inspection of a real estate brokerage firm. Therefore, an agent will need to obtain a real estate license in order to be able to work legally in real estate. Moreover, the requirements for getting a license vary by state. Therefore, the license should be obtained in the states where you want to work.
Benefits of Obtaining a Real Estate License
Although becoming a real estate agent can be a very lucrative career as it can be rewarding and exciting too. It will be a good idea to take time to carefully research opportunities in your area and find out everything you can on the career choice, before jumping into a career in the real estate industry.
However, having a real estate agent as a career offers an amazing deal of variety. Aside from the fact earning potential is limitless in real estate and it offers you a lot of financial freedom by becoming your own boss. You also get to meet and work with different clients and different homes. But being a real estate agent and enjoying the benefits and satisfaction starts with getting your real estate license.
How to Get a Real Estate License in 6 Steps
Although the requirements for obtaining a real estate license varies state by state, we have outlined the general step every applicant must follow in order to get a license and become a real estate agent. These steps include:
- Research and understand your state’s requirement for real estate licensing
- Take a pre-licensing course
- Pass the real estate pre-licensing exam
- Apply for a real estate license
- Join a brokerage
- Renew real estate license regularly
1. Research and Understand Your State’s Requirement for Real Estate Licensing:
The real estate licensing are regulated by each state across the nation, therefore you must meet your state’s specific requirement. You will have to start your research at your state’s real estate commission website which will list the licensing requirements. Moreover, you can find your state’s real estate commission by searching your state’s real estate commission e.g. Texas real estate commission.
However, the requirement for each state varies specifically in terms of the following:
- Age requirements
- Formal education
- Pre-licensing and post-licensing requirements
- Licensing examination
- Application fees and process etc.
These aforementioned requirements more typically vary from each state. You can also find the requirements of your state by visiting the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO).
2. Take a Pre-Licensing Course:
However, as part of the pre-licensing process, you will be required to take a pre-licensing course from a well-accredited real estate pre-licensing school. The required number of hours varies by state, ranging from 60 to 180 hours of coursework. Moreover, there are several ways you can choose to fulfill your real estate pre-licensing course requirements. These options range from online real estate classes to local real estate schools, universities and community colleges, etc. Also, the cost of the course is usually between $350 and $1000 depending on the school and state.
3. Pass the Real Estate Pre-Licensing Exam:
However, the fee and duration for the exam also vary depending on your state. For the fee, you will have between $1oo to $300 and the duration will be between 1 and 4 hours. Ensure to check your state’s real estate regulatory authority’s website for details, although your course instructor should enlighten you on how to register and pay for the licensing examination. The test will be a multiple-choice format but the number of questions differs per state. It consists of two parts: the national and state section, which cover real estate principles and state laws respectively. You must receive a passing grade that is usually above 60% in order to pass the test.
4. Apply for a Real Estate License:
Once you have successfully passed the licensing exam, the next step is to submit an application and the required fees and documents such as the certificate of your pre-licensing course completion and your test scores to your state’s real estate agency. The estimated costs for the license application is between $200 and $400. Your state will mail your real estate license certificate to you upon application approval.
5. Join a Brokerage:
Although you have been successfully registered as a licensed real estate agent, you are required to be associated or work under the supervision of a broker or brokerage firm. However, a broker is a real estate agent who is licensed by the state to supervise real estate transactions to ensure that agents follow the required laws of the state. Just like we said, a broker is a real estate agent but has more qualifications than other agents. The broker runs an agency where real estate agents work. However, you are not allowed to work without the supervision of a broker who will have to sponsor your first 2 to 3 years of working as a real estate agent. This is because the license you were issued with by the state only allows you to act on behalf of a brokerage and not as an independent real estate agent
6. Renew your Real Estate License Regularly:
You are now a fully licensed real estate agent, but you will have to renew your real estate license regularly. Ensure to check your state’s real estate licensing commission to learn their specific renewal requirements and also to see when it expires. Most times depending on the arrangement you have with brokerage, you may have to pay for renewing your license and also other one-time and ongoing expenses.
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Best Online Real Estate Schools
However, you can take your pre-licensing course at your convenience at your home or anywhere you wish just with your mobile device when you enroll with an online real estate school. Registering with an accredited online real estate school offers courses in various formats and also has qualified instructors who can provide additional information on real estate licenses from applying, getting, and renewing your license.
As part of the pre-licensing process, you will have to take a pre-licensing course at a well-accredited real estate school. Therefore, we have outlined the best online real estate schools you can enroll with that can offer convenient classes. They include:
1. Real Estate Express:
Real Estate Express was founded in 1996, they offer pre and post-licensing courses throughout the United States.Real Estate Express is among the best options for candidates looking for career guidance in real estate, this is because of their affordable rates. They are well accredited in offering comprehensive pre-licensing courses and career path information.
Kaplan was founded in 1938, and it is among the largest online education companies. The company presides in more 28 countries and offer their courses in all 50 states. Kaplan have a higher price compared to others on the list, but they offer the best interactive courses.
360 Training was founded in 1997, and is based in Texas and has over four million worldwide users. The company offers pre-licensing, exam prep, post-licensing, and continuing education courses with the lowest prices.
Mbition is a nationally approved school and was created by experienced instructors. The company offers pre-licensing, post-licensing, and also textbooks that you purchase individually to help you with your real estate training. Mbition is the best when it comes to test prep.
The Center for Real Estate Development is an online real estate school for professionals in the real estate industry, who want to further their career by taking niche market certifications. It is the best for niche practices, and the courses ranges from real estate technology, green real estate and other alike courses.
The aforementioned real estate schools all have reputation with their course offerings. Most of them have accreditation from the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO), International Distance Certification Center (IDECC). However, there are major requirements you will have to meet which also represent what it takes to become a real estate agent such as: You will have to at least 18 or 19 years old, have legal US residency, complete your required pre-license education, and pass your state’s real estate license education.