Getting a Real Estate License in Every State
To begin a real estate broker career, you must first receive a real estate license from the state’s regulatory Real Estate Commission in the state. While the sequence of the processes varies by state, the essential criteria are the same:
- Complete prelicensing courses
- Get background checks and pass the real estate test
- Locate a sponsoring agency
- obtain insurance, and submit an application
Periods, school hours, and costs may vary throughout the nation.
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Real Estate License Categories
In most jurisdictions, real estate licenses are available in two forms: sales (or salesperson) and a broker. There is just one essential sort of license (broker). Although there are other “status levels” in certain jurisdictions. Like North Carolina, where this is the case. Typically, a designated broker is the employer of real estate salespeople and provisional brokers (also known as associate brokers ).
Becoming a broker frequently offers greater freedom and job prospects. Many real estate salesperson licenses choose to finish the required courses and examinations.
There is no such thing as a “national” real estate license, so if you’re thinking about acquiring one, you should study the regulations for your state. The numerous kinds of real estate courses that are offered, and how to look for the real estate test. Where to acquire information on your state’s requirements are all covered in this article.
Steps For Getting Your RE License
Have you considered obtaining your real estate license but have been put off by the thought that there may be too many requirements? RealEstateU enables aspiring agents to complete their licensing requirements quickly and affordably from any location!
To make it simpler for individuals to develop their professions throughout the nation, remember that most states have fewer criteria for real estate agents and brokers. Who already have licenses from other jurisdictions.
Read on to understand the fundamental processes of obtaining a real estate license. Then, use the interactive map to learn about your state’s stages, regulations, and online real estate schools.
1. Meet the Legal Requirements in your State
Most states require applicants to be at least 18 years old to be eligible for licensing. You must be 19 years old in several places, including Alaska and Nebraska. The oldest age restriction is 21 in Illinois unless the applicant has completed at least four semesters of post-secondary study focusing on real estate.
Most states require prospective agents to have a high school certificate or GED in addition to age limits (General Educational Development Test). There are exceptions, such as Montana, where applicants must have completed the 10th grade, and Rhode Island or Nevada. Where there are no educational requirements for obtaining a real estate license.
Generally speaking, while it varies from case to case, people with criminal records can still get a real estate license. Applications must list all violations, provide an explanation, and provide all court records. The Real Estate Commission of each state will examine the documents to see if the applicant is qualified for a real state license.
It will be more challenging for applicants to get a real estate license if they have a felony record. Particularly one that is directly related to the duties of a real estate agent, such as fraud or embezzlement. Getting in touch with the real estate commission in your state is recommended to have them go through your application before continuing.
2. Achieved Prelicensing Training
You must finish prelicensing courses regardless of the state where you get your real estate license. Depending on the state, the minimum hours might vary from 40 in places like Michigan and New Hampshire to 180 in Texas. There are local or national online real estate schools and local real estate schools where the courses may be attended in person. Future agents’ learning requirements should be considered while selecting courses. Notably the method of instruction that best suits their needs.
If you prefer a more conventional learning style. Streaming online programs or in-person classes are the most effective option for gaining your real estate license. However, a self-paced online program can be better if you have other commitments that keep your calendar hectic or transfer from a full-time job to the real estate market. It’s also crucial that your courses have resources like flashcards, worksheets, e-books, textbooks, webinars, and conversations that may aid your success.
3. Obtain a Background Check and Fingerprints
Most states require real estate licensing candidates to submit fingerprints as part of the application process so that a background check may be done. About 15 states conduct background checks using the data you submitted in your application but without requesting fingerprints. In any case, this data is utilized with the disclosure of your criminal history to assess your past and decide if you qualify for licensing.
Applicants must travel to a local law enforcement agency or a livescan fingerprint supplier by your state’s recommended agency. Such as Identogo or Gemalto Applicant Processing Services, to have their fingerprints taken. The state and national databases are searched for fingerprints so that a complete picture of your past, including any discretions, may be obtained. The cost of taking your fingerprints varies by state and is often between $15 and $80.
4. Get Through the Real Estate Assessment
All states need a real estate test to earn a real estate license. National academic, civil, and licensing test providers PSI or Pearson VUE issue the exam. California and New York hold their tests via their real estate departments.
All of the national and state subjects covered in the prelicensing curriculum are covered in the test. Depending on your state, the test might include between 75 and 200 questions. Others, like New Jersey with 110 questions and South Carolina with 120 questions, fall somewhere in the center.
There are a few areas that are addressed regardless of how significantly one state’s exam varies from the others:
- Restrictions and laws governing land use and property ownership
- Agency and fiduciary duty laws
- Financial evaluation and property value
- transfer of ownership
- Real estate transactions and transparency
- Property calculations
Review your state’s Real Estate Candidate Handbook for exam topics and question counts. The Ohio Real Estate Candidate Handbook outlines how to schedule, what’s needed, and what’s on the test. Examine the handbook by clicking your state’s “How to” guide on the state-by-state map.
5. Sponsoring Brokerage
It would help if a brokerage sponsored you to work as an active real estate agent. You are regarded as an independent contractor, and the brokerage you choose will be accountable for maintaining your license. Consider your company interests and the sort of real estate you wish to concentrate on when choosing your sponsored brokerage. Before selecting a choice, make sure to go through the following information:
- Select the brokerage type you want to work with.
- Choose between joining a team or doing it alone.
- Review commission structures
- Check out the real estate brokerage’s reputation.
- Consider other success criteria.
6. Invest in Errors & Omissions Insurance
Real estate agents must get errors and omissions insurance (E&O) to be active agents in around 30 of the 50 states. E&O insurance shields real estate companies against errors committed while providing expert services.
Some brokerages could provide E&O to their brokers. If not, you must get it on your own and give proof of independent coverage with your application materials. Before making a purchase, confirm the coverage criteria set out by your state. Rice Insurance Services, LLC collaborates closely with several Real Estate Commissions to provide reasonable choices.
7. Make a License Application
The Real Estate Commission in your state will receive your application as the last step in obtaining a real estate license. Essential details like your name, residence, birth date, and background are included on the application form. Information on your real estate training and the sponsoring agency is also required. In most states, you may submit your application electronically using an online portal. If not, you’ll need to send it on paper.
You must also send a certificate of completion from your real estate school, fingerprints, and a background check. Evidence that you passed the test and an explanation of any criminal records in addition to your application paperwork (if applicable). State-to-state differences exist in the application fee.
Using the state-by-state map above, find the “how to” page for your state to ensure you have all the necessary documents and links before submitting your real estate license application.
Obtaining a real estate license requires time and money, but it may help you find a fulfilling position in the real estate business with room for advancement. It would help if you worked for and under the supervision of a licensed broker as a real estate salesperson or provisional broker.
You could later elect to seek a broker or broker-in-charge license for more professional freedom. To further advance your career and marketability as a real estate expert. The different real estate licenses and certificates. Such as those specific to mortgages, appraisals, residential property, commercial property, and property management may also be something you want to take into account.