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How to Get a Real Estate License

In a rebounding housing market in the United States, many people are searching for ways to take advantage of this and have set out for a career in real estate. To become a realtor, you will need to obtain a real estate license first.

Initial Details

Just to clear some things up right off of the bat, there are a couple of details you will need to know about. There is no such thing as a national real estate license as every state has their own license and you will need to go through the entire process for each state if you decide to go through multiple ones.

There are also a couple of different licenses in some states. These will be separate licenses for both salespersons and brokers, so make sure you know exactly which one you are looking for when pursuing a real estate career.

You can also expect a background check for real estate hopefuls including fingerprinting which will require you to likely visit your local police station. This may be paid for or not, depending on the state.


Each state has set aside their own rules when it comes to minimum age of application, so as long as you meet that criteria, you can get started. There will also be fees that you need to pay for the application and testing. The amount will vary by state, but it isn’t going to be running in the thousands of dollar range. Expect to pay a few hundred dollars through the process.


Some people are so good at testing that they can just brush up through some books and get the gist of what the test might contain and do just fine. That might be a way to get through college, but classroom time is required by states to obtain your license.

The amount of hours can vary greatly by state. New York, for example, only requires 45 hours of classroom time for license hopefuls. Texas on the other hand, requires a massive 180 hours in class. States are now starting to offer these classes online, which will add to the convenience factor if you are not able to fit a few hours each weeknight into your schedule. Some community colleges will also offer these classes as an alternative.

The Test

Now that you have spent many hours studying real estate, it’s time to take the exam. Many people do not pass this exam in their first attempt, but that is no reason to be discouraged.

If your classroom leader was able to provide all of the information that you can expect on the test, then everyone in that class should be able to pass just fine as the test really is used to show that you have a minimal knowledge of the key aspects in real estate.

Although all states have separate licenses, fees and exams, your first test will be vital in expanding your reach. Now that you have seen what the test looks like, you can also attempt it in another state as there are some differences, but very few of them minor.

The Next Step

Passing the test allows you to open up to the next step. There is a license fee that will have to be paid and you will need a broker to sponsor you. This is where your people skills will definitely be put to the test.

You will have to market yourself to these brokers and prove you have the education and the ability to succeed in the real estate world. No one has ever said that real estate is the easiest profession to get into, but if you have the knowledge and charisma to succeed, there is a lot to be made.

  1. Comment by Deborah P. Brown
    August 19th at 12:16 am 

    Be sure to sign on with a agency or local broker when you choose to seek after a career in real estate on the place that you are in. Not just will an org help you with getting ready for and taking the exam, you will have a spot to work when you do get authorized.

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