So, you want to become a real estate agent but aren’t sure how? Truth be told, the process will take some time and some mandatory requirements. However, once you have your license, a whole new world will open up to you as you build a business and a brand.

Today, we will take a look at the qualifications needed to obtain your license, as well as what you need to do to retain your license long-term.

Qualifications For Obtaining Your Real Estate License

When you begin the process of obtaining your real estate license, it is important to note there will be both state and education requirements. It is also important that, much like gaining access to the MLS (Multiple Listing System), you may need to file for different licenses when working across state lines.

State Requirements

The pre-licensing course requirements will vary by state. The best way to know what is expected of you is to get in touch with your local real estate commission. The pre-licensing course is mandatory for filling out your license application. Before you can submit your application, you must attend a certain amount of hours of education. The time you will need to complete, as well as the topics, will vary from state to state.

Education Requirements

When you go to take your pre-licensing course, it is critical to note that you will be obligated to pay for the course, as well as be available for the course’s core hours. The pricing of these courses will vary between states but should range between $200 and $1000.

Pre-licensing courses will also vary in structure. While some may require a rigorous schedule, others may allow you to take the course at your own pace.

Steps to Obtain Your Real Estate License

Once you have completed your pre-licensing course, you are ready to take your state’s real estate license exam. Below, we have outlined three steps to obtain and use your license.

01. Pass Your State Licensing Exam

This exam can cost between $15 and $60 and will require at least 1.5 hours of your time to complete. It will include around 100 multiple choice questions, covering both state and national laws and principles. To pass the exam, you will likely need to score 60% or higher, depending on your state.

02. File Your Real Estate License Application

To file for your real estate license application, you must have an official real estate transcript or certification of completion from your pre-licensing school and a copy of your state licensing exam score. Your application fee will range between $50 and $150, unless you undergo a background check which will cost extra.

Depending on your state, you may also be required to have E&O Insurance or Errors and Omissions Insurance. This covers you when it comes to lawsuits filed against your real estate work.

The more basic requirements for obtaining your license include:

  • Being 18 or 19 years of age (depending on your state)
  • Have a GED or high school diploma
  • Authorized to work in the United States of America
  • Your state may also require you to be an in-state resident

After you complete your application for your real estate license and submit it, you will typically hear back within one week to two months.

03. Get Employed

Yes, you finally made it! You have your real estate license -- now what? Now, it is time to find a brokerage and apply to join the firm. Just because you have your license doesn’t necessarily mean you can start selling houses, no matter how great your pitch may be. This will ultimately come down to your state and whether it requires you to work with a real estate agency. Many states will want you to be “sponsored” by an agency for at least two years before you can go out on your own.

Once you find a real estate agency to work under, you will be ready to begin your marketing journey. This involves setting up your brand as an agent and beginning to promote yourself on social media. The earlier you build your platform, the better for when you break off from your agency.

Upkeep For Your Real Estate License

Depending on your state, most real estate licenses expire every two or three years. The last thing you want is for it to expire and to go through the whole process again (essentially putting you out of work until you do so).

You can upkeep your real estate license simply by renewing it often and staying in-the-know on your state’s requirements. In fact, some states will even require you to complete at least 22 hours of coursework before you can renew. By staying up-to-date, you won’t find yourself having to cram.

Altogether, getting your license and upkeeping it is real work. If you are interested in becoming a real estate agent, then you should acknowledge the effort and finances you must put into it before you get anything in return. Many wannabe agents find themselves tripping over the idea of doing a pre-licensing course, not to mention the amount of work it will take to create an image for themselves once they have their license.

But, if you commit yourself, anyone with a dream of being an agent can do so.