How can I get a Real Estate License?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2019
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In the United States, it is necessary to obtain a real estate license before you can earn money selling real estate. Each state has specific licensing requirements. However, every state requires prospective real estate agents to complete a training course. Furthermore, every state requires prospective agents to take and pass a licensing exam.

Though all states require would-be real estate salespeople to obtain adequate training, each state had different specific requirements for the amount of training that must be received. For example, New York requires prospective agents to secure 75 classroom hours of real estate training, while Texas requires 180. Maryland and Pennsylvania, on the other hand, require 60 classroom hours of real estate training.

In addition to requirements pertaining to the length of study, each state has approved methods of training for a real estate license. Many states maintain lists of approved real estate courses or training providers. Some allow for distance learning or study via the Internet, while others do not. There are even some home study real-estate courses that can be accomplished in as little as three weeks. Though such courses may require intense study over a shorter period of time, they are said to provide adequate preparation for taking a license exam.


Often, community colleges offer real estate license courses. In many states, such programs can be completed by taking classes just a few hours per week, for three months or less. This low-level time commitment can be advantageous to an individual seeking a license while working in another field or pursuing other interests.

When considering a real estate course, it is wise to keep in mind that not all courses are created equally. Some are less convenient and more costly than others. Also, the percentage of graduates that pass the real estate license exam may vary widely, depending upon the school or program in question. As such, shopping around for the right program is an important step in successfully earning a license.

After you've passed the exam, you must pay a fee to obtain your license. Finally, you’ll need to find a broker to sponsor you. Don't be so sure your schooling is over, however. Many states list continuing education as a condition for renewing a real estate license, usually on an annual basis.


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Discuss this Article

Post 23

33 percent of those tests are designed for people to fail. They want your money.

Post 22

I'm looking to get my real estate license in New York. Can someone point me in the right direction? I'm looking for a school that offers classes to get a real estate license.

Post 18

Do you have to have a sponsoring broker in PA to get your license, or can you do without one and become an "independent" agent? Thanks.

Post 17

do the state of florida and new york cooperate with each other?

Post 16

I'm in germany now. does someone know a real estate school for free in New york or one that is not very expensive?

Post 13

Thanks for the article. I agree with Jesdon. It is good to see the industry turning around. Just in time for me to get my real estate license.

Post 12

If I have my real estate license in NY how hard is it to get a real estate license in California?

Post 10

Thanks for your article. I'm working as a real estate agent with license from Sweden. Can I work as a real estate in California? What I need to do to complete my license?

Post 9

If I am not a resident of the USA, can I get my real estate license? How can I do it? Thanks, Sofía.

Post 8

I am a chinese, now I am living in Guadalajara city of Mexico,so I can speak mandarin, spanish and english fluently. Owing to the insecurity of this country, we, my husband and I, are planning to move to Tucson, Arizona for my daughter's future. Now my question is Can the person who isn't citizen of United States qualify to get a real estate agent license? thanks Sandy

Post 7

i am only 17 years old, but I want to be a real state agent, can i be a real state agent right now? when can I get a license? where here in the philippines has a school for that?

Post 4

There are lots of prep courses that will help prepare you to pass a real estate license. Taking one of those courses, especially if you aren't test savvy, is generally recommended.

Post 3

I am a Canadian. Can I get my real estate agent license in New York State? Mary

Post 2

Can a person use their classroom training hours for two different states, For example get training for 180 hours and get licensed in Texas and then use those hours again to get licensed in California?

Post 1

Thank you for the wonderful article! I know that at this time there is a lot of bad mojo floating around about the real estate industry, simply because of the current economic situation. Though I will say that there really is no time like the present to get your real estate license.

Real estate agents are making money now, I know a one agent that sold four houses while he was out of town on vacation, so there is still money to be made, you just have to work for it, and of course thinking a little creative never hurt either :)

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