How Long Does It Take to Get Your Real Estate License & Become an Agent?
If you're looking to begin an exciting career as a real estate agent, now is a great time to get started. Obtaining a real estate license takes only a fraction of the time required to get a college degree, which means you'll be well on your way to a rewarding and satisfying career quickly. But just how long does it take to become a real estate agent? What are the educational requirements? How long is real estate school? Read on to learn more about qualifying for licensure, the process of getting your real estate license, and how long you can expect it to take.
Real Estate License Requirements
There are a few requirements that you must meet if you want to get your real estate license. These requirements vary by state, so it may be necessary to consult your local real estate commission to learn exactly what the process is for agents in your area. Here are the basic requirements needed to obtain a real estate license:
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You must be a legal resident of the United States.
- You may need to have a high school diploma or GED.
- You must complete the licensing educational requirements, which vary by state.
- You must pass the real estate licensing exam, which is different in each state.
- Some states require additional steps, like fingerprinting and a background check.
It's important to keep in mind that your license will expire in two to four years in most states, and you may need to complete additional coursework before you can renew your license. Check with your state's licensing office to learn more. Remember, you'll need to pay for your coursework, exam, license application, and possibly other fees as well. In total, you should set aside between $500 - $1,500 for the licensing portion of your career.
To plan ahead for the coming months and get a better understanding of how long it will take to get your real estate license, see how many real estate Pre-Licensing course hours are required in your state of residence.
Real Estate Education Requirements
Each state has different educational requirements that you must complete before you can get your real estate license. Many states require at least 60 hours of college-level coursework that covers the basics of real estate. Some states even require over 100 hours of real estate courses to qualify for licensure. In your Pre-Licensing course, you'll learn about topics like deeds, titles, property ownership, contracts, and how to best serve the clients in your community. In some states, if you have a bachelor's degree in real estate, have completed law school, or passed the bar exam, you may be able to skip parts of the Pre-Licensing requirements.
For example, in Arkansas, you must complete 60 hours of Pre-Licensing education before you can sign up to take the licensing exam. Then you must complete the real estate exam, passing with a minimum grade of 70%. After your initial date of licensure, you are also required to take an 18-hr. Post-Licensing course. In Pennsylvania, on the other hand, you'll need 75 hours of Pre-Licensing education and a 14-hr. Post-Licensing course to fulfill your licensing education. If you’re feeling nervous about your exam, we have a list of study tips available to help you feel confident about your real estate knowledge. And if you’re looking for a more hands-on way to prepare for your licensing exam and pass the first time around, look no further than Exam Prep Edge.
Real Estate License Exam
Once you've completed your state's educational requirements, you'll need to pass the state exam. While the specifics of this exam also vary from state to state, you can expect it to be between 100 and 200 multiple-choice questions that cover what you learned during your classes, including national and state real estate principles and laws. Generally, you'll have around two and a half hours to complete this exam, and if you don't pass on your first try, many states will let you retry the exam until you pass.
The requirements needed to pass are different in each state, but most require that you score at least 60% to pass. You can expect to pay between $15 - $100 for the exam. In most cases, you will sign up for a date and time to take your exam in person. On the day of the exam, you'll most likely be issued the exam on a computer while being observed by a proctor.
Real Estate License Application Process
You’ve completed the education requirements and passed your licensing exam with flying colors. What comes next? It's important to check your state's real estate commission to see whether you need Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance before you apply for your license. E&O insurance works to protect real estate agents from lawsuits and financial losses caused by their real estate work. Sometimes the brokerage you're working under will sell you the insurance you need. If not, you may be required to get it elsewhere before you can submit your license application for approval.
Once you determine if you’ll need to secure E&O insurance yourself, it's time to apply for your license. Again, this process varies by state, but you'll likely need to submit documents such as your exam results, your license application, and the necessary application fees to your state’s licensing board. These application fees are between $50 - $250 on average. If your state requires that you undergo a background check, you'll have to pay those fees as well (typically between $40 - $80).
In some states, you'll get your exam results immediately after you take the test, and you may be issued a temporary license so you can get started as a real estate agent right away. In other states, you may need to allow time for your test results to be calculated, send your application by mail, and then wait for your license to be sent to the Broker of record.
In all states, real estate agents who are just starting their careers must work under a Sponsoring Broker. Take full advantage of this relationship as working in a brokerage is a great way to get more training and mentorship from real estate experts. With the right leadership, you can start your real estate career on a positive note and build a network that will continue to serve you for years to come.
How Long Does It Take to Get A Real Estate License?
After all this is said and done, how long does it take to become a real estate Salesperson or agent? For most people, completing the educational portion will take between four and six months, though the length of time needed to finish your education, pass your exam, and complete the real estate license application process will vary by state and by student. If you choose to take courses through an online real estate school, you can complete your education at your own pace, which means you can finish more quickly than you can with traditional classes. Some people who take online classes and dedicate sufficient time can get through real estate school in a matter of weeks. Overall, online courses can help you fast-track your career. Once you finish your educational requirements, you can sign up and sit for the licensing exam.
Passing your exam and completing the licensing application process may take a little time, but with all things considered, you can expect to start making your mark on the real estate industry in just a few months. Becoming a real estate professional gives you the chance to set your own hours and dictate your own success, so don’t delay: The CE Shop can help you start your real estate career today!