Getting Your Real Estate License

 Getting Your Real Estate License

Getting into real estate means earning your license and working either for a real estate brokerage firm or hanging out your shingle as an independent contractor.

Any person who engages in real estate transactions as an agent for another must first obtain a real estate license in the state in which they will work. For the general purpose of protecting consumers, each state has its own rules, regulations, and examination for obtaining a real estate license.

1.Brokers and real estates both have to take an examination to earn their license.

2.There isn't a national real estate license. The requirements vary by state.

3.If you want to earn your real estate license, you have to take classes to help you prepare for the exam.

4.Every state has specific requirements for becoming a realtor, although some, like required coursework, overlap.

5.You can retake your real estate license exam if you fail it.

Types of Real Estate Licenses

Most states offer two types of real estate licenses: sales (or salesperson) and a broker. In general, real estate salespeople and provisional brokers (or associate brokers in some states) work for and under the umbrella of a designated broker. Some states, such as North Carolina, have a "broker only" licensing system, meaning that there is only one basic type of license (broker) but with various "status levels.

Many real estate salesperson licensees decide to complete the necessary coursework and exams to become brokers ultimately, as this often provides more flexibility and career opportunities.

If you are considering getting your real estate license, you must review the requirements for your state since there is no such thing as a "national" real estate license. Here, we explain how to find information on your state's requirements, the different types of real estate classes that are available, and how to prepare for the real estate exam.

State Requirements

To become licensed, you will have to meet your state's unique requirements. You can find this information by visiting the Web site of your state's real estate regulatory office. To find the site, you can perform an Internet search for "(your state) real estate regulatory office." You can also find links to each state's regulatory agency on the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (Arello) website.

Each state has specific requirements for:

1.Age requirements

2.Application process and fees

3.Background checks and fingerprinting

4.Continuing education

5.Education requirements (such as a high school diploma)

6.Examination eligibility


8.Pre-licensing courses

9.Process for achieving the next level of licensing

10.Reporting of any criminal history such as misdemeanor and felony convictions; in most states, if you have a felony conviction or have pled no contest  to a felony, you won't be able to get a real estate license.

Some states have reciprocal licensing agreements with other states, meaning you can get your license in one state and use it in another without taking that state's license examination. Nevada, for example, has reciprocity with Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia.

As with regular licensing requirements, each state has its process for obtaining licensure by reciprocity. Qualification requirements can be found on each state's real estate regulatory agency's website.

Real Estate Classes

Every state requires you to take some real estate pre-licensing course and demonstrate that you have completed a course with a minimum number of hours before you can schedule to take the real estate license exam. Each class is accompanied by textbooks, workbooks, or online material to assist your studies. It is important to take a course that fulfills your state's education requirements, considering that there is no "national" real estate course or license.

In most states, there are several ways that you can fulfill the education requirements, including:

1.Online pre-licensing courses: All coursework is conducted over the Internet. Search "online real estate classes" to find options; not all online schools offer classes in every state.

2.Brick-and-mortar real estate "schools": In-person classes taught by real estate professionals. Search "(your state) real estate school" to find local schools.

3.Community colleges: Many community colleges offer real estate classes that fulfill their state's pre-licensing requirements. Contact your local community college for information.

ou may save money using one type of class program over another; however, it is important to choose the method that will work best for your learning style and schedule. For example, if you are an independent learner, an online class may work well. If you learn better from a live instructor and if you like to be able to ask questions, a brick-and-mortar or community college setting may be more appropriate. Choose your course carefully since the quality of the instructors and materials may directly affect how well prepared you are to take the exam.