Finance & Real Estate

Essential Steps to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in the USA

A significant commitment is required to become a licensed real estate agent. Choosing a broker who can sponsor your license and help you build your career is vital.

First, aspiring agents must complete pre-licensing courses and pass the state’s licensing exam. These requirements vary by jurisdiction. For example, New York requires that salespeople work under a broker.


Pre-Licensing Education

In some states, becoming a licensed real estate agent requires completing a Department of State-approved 77-hour pre-licensing course. You must also find a sponsoring broker to oversee your real estate career and ensure you follow all relevant laws. Once you have completed your course, you can schedule a date for the state licensing exam. You have 90 minutes to answer 77 questions and must pass with at least a 70% score.

Some real estate schools offer exam prep courses that help you prepare for your state’s licensing test. These are typically more expensive than the pre-licensing course but can significantly affect your chances of passing.

Obtaining a License

You will work with clients to buy and sell properties as a licensed real estate agent. Many agents also work with property management, which involves finding tenants, arranging maintenance and repairs, collecting rent, and distributing profits to the owners. Depending on your state, you may have to take a 75-hour pre-licensing course and pass, for instance, the real estate exam Massachusetts before becoming licensed as a real estate agent. Check with your state’s real estate licensing authority to determine which courses and schools are approved by the department. Becoming a real estate agent can be a great career choice for those who want almost unlimited earning potential. Some states require you to be sponsored by a broker before you can apply for your license, take the test, or work as a real estate agent. In these cases, brokers oversee real estate salespeople and ensure they adhere to state and national real-estate laws. They also provide guidance and support for their agents.

Brokerage Sponsorship

Once you’ve passed the exam and completed all licensing requirements, you must find a broker to sponsor you as a real estate salesperson. The state licenses a broker to oversee real estate transactions and ensure that real estate salespeople follow the appropriate legal and ethical standards. When choosing a broker, consider how they will help you build your career and whether they provide the training and mentorship you need to succeed. Also, look at their commission structure and other valuable resources like marketing tools and lead generation systems. Once you’ve narrowed your list of sponsoring brokers, interview them to understand their culture and company practices. You should also review their reputation both locally and nationally. 

Passing the State Exam

Becoming a licensed real estate agent is possible after passing your state exam. Most states have an online portal where you can submit your license application and pay the appropriate fee. Almost all states ask questions about your personal and professional background, so ensure you’re prepared to answer honestly.

Applicants should also review their state’s real estate laws before taking the exam. Some states also require Errors and Omissions insurance, which protects you from financial losses or lawsuits that might arise due to your real estate activities. Usually, brokerages will sell this coverage to their agents. Becoming a real estate agent can be the best career choice of your life! Getting licensed is a big step that requires time, attention, and dedication. However, the benefits of being a real estate agent can be substantial, including unlimited earning potential and the ability to be your boss.