Real Estate License Comprehensive Guide [2022 Updated]
If you are thinking about becoming a real estate agent, then one of the first things you need to do is pass the real estate exam in your state so that you may start your career as a real estate agent or broker. There is no way around this phase, regardless of how well or poorly you do under test-taking conditions.
In this article, we will provide you with an up-to-date and comprehensive guide for getting a real estate license.
Real estate agents and brokers are legally permitted to represent a house seller or buyer during the purchasing or selling of real estate thanks to real estate licenses, and authorizations provided by state governments. In order to participate in real estate transactions in the United States and in a significant number of other countries, real estate agents and real estate brokers are needed to have a valid license.
In order to be able to get a license to practice real estate, each state has its own set of obligatory schooling requirements. This requires successful completion of a pre-licensing education program at an educational establishment that has been granted accreditation by the state as well as an examination. In addition, in order to keep a real estate license active, states mandate the completion of a continuing education course at least once every two years.
The majority of states provide real estate licenses in two categories: sales (often known as a salesperson), and broker. In most cases, real estate salespeople and provisional brokers (also known as associate brokers in some jurisdictions) work for a designated broker, who acts as their employer and oversees their work. Some jurisdictions, including North Carolina, have what is known as a "broker only" licensing system. This means that there is only one basic kind of license available (broker), but there are many other "status levels."
Because becoming a broker often results in greater levels of freedom as well as career options, many real estate salesperson licenses make the decision to eventually complete the requisite courses and examinations to become brokers.
Since there is no such thing as a "national" real estate license, you will need to familiarize yourself with the regulations that are specific to your state if you are thinking about earning a real estate license. In this article, we will walk you through the process of locating information on the standards that are imposed by your state, the many kinds of real estate courses that are offered, and the best ways to be ready for the real estate test.
It doesn't matter whether you reside in California, Florida, New York, or Texas; in order to get licensed, you will need to satisfy the specific standards that are imposed by your state. You may get this knowledge by going online and visiting the website of the real estate regulatory authority in your state. On the website of the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials, you can also discover connections to the government regulators that are specific to each state.
Each state has its own individual requirements concerning:
Disclosure of any and all criminal histories (including convictions for misdemeanors and felonies; in the majority of states, you won't be able to get a real estate license if you have a felony record or have pleaded no contest to a felony charge.)
You may receive your driver's license in one state and use it in another state without having to take the test required to get a license in the second state since certain states have reciprocal licensing agreements with other states. For instance, the states of Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia are among those that recognize Nevada driver's licenses in exchange for theirs.
The criteria for acquiring a license via reciprocity vary from state to state, much as the requirements for normal licenses. The websites of the regulatory agencies in charge of real estate in each state include the conditions necessary to qualify.
The vast majority of real estate tests are administered through computers, and they are often divided into two components. These sections test your knowledge of state real estate legislation as well as national real estate principles and practices. In order to pass the exam, you need to get a score that is satisfactory on both of the sections that are administered by the state. Independent grading is done for each individual section.
In most cases, you will just need to retake the section of the exam that you previously failed. The questions are arranged in a multiple-choice format, and each state determines both the total number of questions and the maximum time limit for the exam.
The majority of states, but not all, contract with private testing companies to manage the administration of their real estate licensing exams. These exams, which are held on weekdays and Saturdays to accommodate a variety of schedules, must be passed in order to obtain a license to practice real estate.
After you have finished the pre-licensing course, you need to find out how to plan, sign up for, and pay for the exam that you need to take in order to earn your license. For more information, please check out the testing service provider's website. Some of the most important vendors are as follows:
Your state's testing facility will have its own guidelines for the testing procedure, including specific criteria for the types of calculators that may be used and how your identity will be validated during the exam, regardless of whether it is conducted by the state or by an outside company. These guidelines will be in place regardless of whether the exam is administered by the state or by an outside company. It is essential to go through the criteria in great detail in order to eliminate any element of surprise on the day of the exam.
Your name will be searchable on the state's website under the "Licensees" section once your application has been accepted by the state, and the state will mail your real estate license certificate to the address you provide on the application form once it has been processed. Also, remember that it is against the law to engage in real estate business prior to obtaining your license from the state's real estate agency. As a result, you should delay beginning work until you physically possess your license.
Note: If you do not pass either section of the examination, you will be offered the opportunity to do it again. The number of times you are permitted to repeat an examination, the length of time you must wait in between tests, and the deadline for completing any retakes are all determined by the regulations of the state in which the examination is administered.
If your application is accepted, you will be required to submit a complete application using the appropriate forms, together with any necessary paperwork and fees, to the real estate office in your state.
You will be able to submit an application for your real estate license within six months of the date on which you successfully finish your training and exam. When you apply for a license, you will be required to provide the results of your tests, the fee associated with the application, and maybe evidence of the grades you received in the courses you took. It's possible that you won't be able to get your driver's license unless you agree to submit to a background check first.
You will submit your application to the office of the real estate commission in the state in which you now reside. Confirm that you meet the requirements to become a real estate agent in your state. In certain areas, you could be required to join up with a real estate brokerage firm as a prerequisite to submitting an application for a license and then receiving one.
Every state has licensing standards, but they differ from state to state and the fees for the exams may be anywhere from $500-$1,200 in total. The following items are often required before you are allowed to take the test; as a result, you will also need to include the costs of these items into your overall exam budget.
Every state in the United States requires anyone who sells real estate to have a license. In order to legally help other people with the purchase or sale of land or buildings, one of the numerous requirements that must be fulfilled is to pass a test. This is only one of the many prerequisites that must be completed. A state's Real Estate Commission or another governmental body is the entity that is responsible for issuing real estate licenses.
Keep in mind that these are normal price ranges; nevertheless, the specific fees and requirements may vary greatly from state to state. The purpose of providing you with this information is to give you a general idea of the cost. Make use of the Real Estate Resources area on Study.com to get information on the specific licensing requirements imposed by your state, including the associated testing expenses.
Before we get into the specific test preparation strategies, let's take a quick look at how challenging the actual real estate exam is.
Exams in real estate are purposely made to be challenging in order to screen out potential real estate agents who lack the necessary knowledge and experience. The percentage of students that pass their state's examination varies from state to state, but the national average is somewhere around fifty percent. This indicates that just around half of the individuals who take a test to get a state license are successful.
There are several possible explanations for this. There are situations when a candidate just does not do well under test conditions. Occasionally they are unable to get a real estate degree that is recognized, and as a result, they are not familiar with the subject matter. In any case, given that there is a cost associated with taking the exam, it is in your best interest to get a passing score.
Participate in a Pre-License Course
It is absolutely necessary to finish a pre-licensing course before going on to take the exam to get a license to sell real estate. During an exam preparation course, in addition to studying the material that will be on the exam, you will also get guidance on how to be successful as a real estate broker or salesperson in your state. Because of this, you will be well-prepared to pass the exam required to become an agent or broker in your state.
We strongly recommend looking for a real estate exam preparation course that is unique to your state. The real estate exam in California is different from the real estate exam in Michigan, and it is vital to understand the differences between the two in order to pass the examination.
As you prepare to take the real estate test, online real estate education might be a good solution for you as long as it is state-specific. Taking an online course in real estate might provide you with more flexibility in terms of your time commitments.
Participate in Mock Tests
If you want to know how well prepared you are for the real estate salesperson exam, you should give yourself a test similar to the one you'll be taking. You will get a taste of the kinds of questions that will be on the exam by looking at some sample questions. When choosing a pre-license course, check to see whether it comes with a sample exam that replicates the one you will take at the school.
If you need to, you should go through the practice test more than once. If you practice more, you will not only be better prepared for the real estate exam, but you will also save money by not having to purchase the test.
While you are practicing, make a note of the difficulties that you are having trouble with, and focus your study on those particular subjects. If, for example, you feel as if you may benefit from gaining more expertise in real estate math, you could boost your odds of passing the final examination by focusing your studies only on that topic.
Take and Review Notes
While you are studying for the exam, you should make many notes and note cards for yourself. To keep important information close to hand, you may want to consider using digital note-taking software. You should bring these flashcards with you and prepare for the exam anytime you find yourself with some free time. But you shouldn't allow the note cards to give you any anxiety. Make use of them as a tool to assist you in remembering the information.
Always bear in mind that practice makes perfect, and as a result, the more you study, the better you will do on the exam. While you are studying, jot down on note cards any difficult topics that you come across, and be sure to review those note cards many times.
Self-care is Important
In the days leading up to the real estate exam, you should prioritize getting a sufficient amount of sleep and maintaining a healthy diet. Try to resist the temptation to stay up late the night before to cram information. It doesn't matter how well you've prepared for the test if you're too tired to do well on the day of the test.
Get at least a few hours of restful sleep the night before the test. Your chances of passing the test will improve as a result of this more than they would have under any other circumstance.
It’s Not a Race
A real estate license is not a competition. Others will complete the race earlier than you will, while others will cross the finish line later. Maintain a steady pace so that you may complete the task within the allocated time, but try to avoid making it become a race to the endpoint.
Keep a Good Attitude
Your success will eventually be significantly impacted by how you approach challenges. Try not to let yourself become distracted by the pass rate in your state or the minute complexities of the pre-license curriculum you are taking. Always have a positive attitude and give your best effort. When you go into the test with the right frame of mind, you dramatically improve the likelihood that you will pass it.
It is not the end of the world if the worst-case scenario plays out and you don't pass the test. You are allowed to retake the real estate exam if you feel it is required. Take another class at a real estate school, think carefully about what went wrong, and then give it another go.
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Your real estate career may begin after you have finished all of your working hard and passed the real estate test. However, it might be challenging to start a successful career.
Firstly, you will be required to apply to the state agency that regulates real estate in your state along with any documentation that is required and the application fee, which normally ranges from $200 to $400.
After the state has reviewed and approved your application, a copy of your real estate license certificate will be sent to you, and your name will be included in a database that other license holders may search through. It is important to keep in mind that you will not be able to function as a real estate agent unless the state's real estate authority has issued you a license.
An excellent time to start looking for a sponsored broker is now. A managing broker who will supervise your work as a novice agent is known as a sponsored broker. They assist you to locate listings and customers while boosting brand awareness for your company.
After a period of working as a real estate salesman with a sponsored broker, you may want to think about continuing your education to help you hone your real estate abilities. You will soon be prepared to begin your own real estate profession, if you so choose, and to work as a REALTOR without the guidance of a sponsor.
A requirement for obtaining a real estate license is passing the real estate test. You will have a decent chance of success if you put in the effort to study thoroughly and utilize test prep courses as support. If you have trouble, keep in mind that you may retake the course and the test to reinforce your learning.
Your pre-licensing class may be completed online, but the exam for your real estate license must often be taken in person and with the assistance of a third-party proctor. On the other hand, certain states let you take it online. Get in touch with the Real Estate Commission in your state if you want additional information about the options you have.
The real estate exam consists of a segment that is unique to the state as well as a more general piece. There are several options available for each of them. The questions in the state part are multiple-choice and number between 60 and 80, while the questions in the general section number between 80 and 100.
PSI Exams Online, AMP Testing Center, and Pearson Vue are the three principal testing centers that are responsible for the administration of the real estate exam. You have your choice from among hundreds of locations of these centers located all around the country. As soon as you become qualified to take the exam, you will be able to schedule it at one of these locations. Your state's real estate commission should be able to provide you with more information on the date, time, and location of your exam.
You normally have anywhere from thirty minutes to three and a half hours to complete both the state and the national sections of the real estate exam, but this all depends on the state in which you are taking the exam.
According to UpNest's research, the states of Colorado and Texas will be the ones in which obtaining a real estate license would be the most challenging in the year 2021.
In certain places, getting your license may be more difficult than in others due to the number of hours of needed education. In addition, the percentage of people who pass the test may also vary from state to state. The majority of the real tests cover comparable ground with their content.
To get licensed as a real estate agent, you will need to complete around 75 hours of training in the field of real estate, in addition to passing a licensing examination. According to the accounts of some real estate professionals, the licensing process may take anywhere from 2-5 months or even longer.
The acquisition of a real estate license takes both time and money, but it may increase your chances of landing rewarding employment in the real estate industry that also offers opportunities for promotion. If you want to become a real estate salesperson or provisional broker, one of the requirements is that you work for and are supervised by a licensed broker.
In the end, you can decide to get a license so that you have greater flexibility and better career opportunities. To further advance your career and marketability as a real estate expert, you may also want to take into consideration the numerous real estate designations and certifications, such as residential property, commercial property, and property management. These certifications and designations are available in a variety of real estate niches, which help further enhance your career.