Get a US Real Estate License With These 8 Easy Steps




get a us real estate license

Why You Should Get a US Real Estate License

To get a US Real Estate License is the only way to be considered a licensed real estate agent in the United States. It’s not as hard as it sounds, and in this article, we’ll help walk you through the 8 steps needed to get a US Real Estate License. Let’s get going!

real estate license requirements

Step 1. Know The State Requirements

Getting your real estate license starts with knowing what your state wants. Each state has its own rules for becoming a real estate agent.

  • Visit your state’s real estate commission website. This site has all the info on licensing.
  • Look for the education hours required. States ask for different amounts of learning before you can take the test.
  • Find out if you need college – level courses. Some places want you to have this kind of education.
  • Check the age requirement. You usually have to be at least 18 years old.
  • See if they need a background check. Most states want to make sure you have a clean record.
  • Learn about residency needs. Some states want you to live there before you can sell houses.
  • Check if there’s a test on national and state laws. You’ll likely need to know both for your exam.
  • Learn up on Real Estate Reciprocity and check for state restrictions.
enroll in a pre license course for a US real estate

Step 2: Take a Pre-Licensing Course

To become a real estate agent, you first need to learn the ropes. Enrolling in a pre-licensing course is your next big step. This course prepares you for the exam and teaches you about selling houses. Here’s how to get started:

  • Find where to take your pre-licensing course. You can choose from live classrooms, online programs, or learn at realty firms and colleges.
  • Look at each option carefully. Each has its pros and cons. Live classes let you ask questions in real-time, while online courses give you flexibility.
  • Check how many hours your state needs. Every state has its rules on the number of education hours for aspiring agents.
  • Consider costs as they vary. Some courses might be pricey, but they offer more resources or support.
  • Pick a course that fits your learning style and schedule best.
  • Make sure the course is approved by your state’s real estate commission to count towards your license.
  • Sign up for the course and start studying hard! These classes cover laws, types of property, and sales tips.

Here is a table with the number of pre-licensing education hours required for a real estate license in each U.S. state:

#StateHours Required#StateHours Required
3.Arizona9029.New Hampshire40
4.Arkansas60-90*30.New Jersey75
5.California13531.New Mexico90
6.Colorado16832.New York75
7.Connecticut6033.North Carolina75
8.Delaware9934.North Dakota90
13.Illinois9039.Rhode Island45
14.Indiana9040.South Carolina60
15.Iowa6041.South Dakota116
22.Michigan4048.West Virginia90
*Some states have variable pre-licensing requirements based on education level or other factors.

This data is based on the most recent available information, but pre-licensing education requirements can change, so it’s advisable to verify with the real estate commission in the specific state.

cheat sheet

Getting ready to apply for your real estate licensing exam is a big step. You need to make sure you have all the right info and documents.

Here’s what to do below:

  • Check your state’s rules. Every state has its own set of requirements for taking the real estate license exam. Make sure you know what your state needs.
  • Complete your required courses. Before you can sit for the exam, you must finish some education in real estate principles and laws. The number of hours will depend on where you live.
  • Gather needed paperwork. This includes proof that you finished your pre – licensing education, like a certificate or transcript from the real estate school.
  • Pay attention to fees. The cost to take the exam varies from $15 to $100, so check how much it will be in your state.
  • Plan for the test day. Set up when and where you will take the exam. Some places might let you choose from several dates or locations.
  • Prepare for a background check. Many states ask for this to make sure you’re ready to work as a real estate agent.
  • Think about Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance early on. While not always needed right away, knowing about E&O insurance is important since some states want agents to have it before they apply.
  • Submit your application to schedule your test – Use the official form from your state’s real estate commission or board and double-check that all filled information is correct before sending it off.
passing us real estate license

Step 4: Passing Your Exams

Passing your real estate license exam is a big step. You need to score at least 70% to pass in many places. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Know the format: Most exams have around 100 multiple-choice questions on national and state laws.
  • Study hard: Focus on national real estate principles and your state’s specific rules. Use study guides and online courses.
  • Practice makes perfect: Take practice tests to get used to the question style and timing.
  • Schedule your exam: Once you feel ready, pick a date for your test. Make sure you give yourself enough time to study.
  • Pay the fee: Exam fees can be between $15 and $100, so set that money aside.
  • Bring what you need: On test day, remember your ID and any other required items like pencils or a calculator.
  • Read carefully: During the exam, read each question well before choosing an answer.
  • Stay calm: If you get stuck on a question, take a deep breath and move on. You can come back to it later.
  • Check your work: If time allows, go back and review your answers to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
US real estate license

Step 5: Apply for Your Real Estate License

So you’ve passed your real estate exam. Great job! Now, it’s time to apply for your real estate license. This is a big step. It may feel like a lot to do, but we’ll break it down for you.

  • Get together all your paperwork. You’ll need proof that you finished your pre – license education and passed the exam. Also, grab your identification documents.
  • Fill out the application form from your state’s real estate commission. Each state has its own form, so make sure you have the right one.
  • Pay attention to background checks. Most places will want one before they give you a license. You might need to get fingerprinted too.
  • Check if you need E&O insurance now or later. This insurance helps protect you if someone says you made a mistake while working as an agent.
  • Pay the application fees. Remember, these can be between $50 and $250, depending on where you live.
  • Send in your application package to the state real estate commission or board that gives out licenses in your area.
  • Wait for approval. This can take some time as they check over everything you sent them.
how to get a real estate license in the US

Step 6: Look for a Real Estate Brokerage

Getting your real estate license is a big step. Next, you need to find a place to work. Here are some key points:

  • Know the types of brokerages. You can choose from national chains, small local shops, and online offices. Each one offers different benefits.
  • Look at the commission plans. Some places let you keep more of what you make, while others share profits in unique ways.
  • Find a mentor or training program. Many brokerages help new agents learn the ropes.
  • Check the culture and values of the brokerage. Make sure it fits with what you want in a workplace.
  • Ask about fees and costs for working there. Some brokerages charge their agents for office space or marketing tools.
  • See if they offer technology and support tools like websites or customer management systems to help grow your business.
  • Think about location and market area that the brokerage covers to ensure it matches where you want to sell homes.
  • Learn about client leads — whether the brokerage provides them or if you must find them yourself.
  • Choose a brokerage with a good reputation and strong presence in your target area to boost your career start.

Joining the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is a big step in your real estate journey. It’s not just about having a title—it opens doors to tools and perks that can boost your career.

  1. Get the title of Realtor – Once you join, you can call yourself a Realtor. This title shows clients and others that you follow high professional standards.
  2. Access Multiple Listing Services (MLS) – Being part of NAR lets you use MLS listings. These listings are where all the home sales info lives. You need this to do well in real estate.
  3. Use of NAR Tools – NAR has tools and data just for members. These help you understand the market better.
  4. Educational Resources – You get more learning options with NAR. They offer courses that can make you a better agent.
  5. Networking Opportunities – Meet other real estate pros at NAR events. This can lead to new business chances.
  6. Discounts on Services – Members get discounts on things like insurance and software.
  7. Advocacy Support – NAR fights for policies that help realtors and homeowners.

So, joining NAR is more than a membership—it’s a way to grow your skills, find new opportunities, and give your clients the best service.

realty lists hub office work

Step 8: Never Forget Real Estate License Renewals

Getting your real estate license is just the start. To keep working as an agent, you must renew your license often. Usually, this happens every two or four years. Here’s how you do it:

How Long Does It Take To Get A U.S. Real Estate License?

Sure, stepping into the real estate world requires some planning, especially around costs and time. Here’s a breakdown to help you get a handle on what to expect:

AspectCost RangeTime Needed
Pre-licensing Education$200 – $6003-6 months
Application Fees$50 – $150Varies
Fingerprinting and Background Checks$50 – $1001-3 weeks
State Licensing Exam$100 – $3001 day (plus study time)
License Fees$100 – $400Varies

Money-wise, becoming a licensed real estate agent can set you back a few hundred to over a thousand dollars. You’ll spend this on courses, applying, and taking tests. Time-wise, you’re looking at about three to six months to get through it all.

Courses can be online or in person. Each state has its own rules on what you need to learn. After classes, apply for your test. Pass it, and then you can apply for your US Real Estate license.

Remember, costs vary by state. Also, how you choose to learn can change the cost. Online might be cheaper than in-person classes.

Pros and Cons of Getting a U.S. Real Estate Agent License


  • Access to MLS listings
  • Networking opportunities
  • Legitimacy & Protection
  • Opportunities for Collaboration
  • Enhance Knowledge in Real Estate
  • Discounts on Software & Insurance


  • Time and Money Spent
  • Annual License fees

Tips for Success in Your Real Estate Career

Always keep learning. The real estate world changes fast. So, taking courses and attending workshops can help you stay ahead. This is not just about knowing the latest trends. It’s also about understanding your state’s specific rules and how to use new technology that makes your job easier.

Build strong relationships. In real estate, who you know is key. Make connections with other agents, clients, and people in your community. Use social media to share helpful tips and show what makes you different from others selling homes.

Good relationships mean more people will think of you when they want to buy or sell a house. And happy clients often tell their friends about you too! Who knows, your name might someday be on our lists here soon at Realty Lists Hub!


1. How do I start to get a real estate license?

First, you’ll need to take a real estate course that meets your state’s requirements. After finishing the course, pass the real estate exam in your state.

2. Can I use my license in another state?

It depends on if there’s a reciprocity agreement between states. Some states let you transfer your license easily, while others may have different rules.

3. What does continuing education mean for real estate agents?

After getting licensed, agents must complete ongoing education courses. These keep them informed and up-to-date with laws and practices.

4. Do all states require the same steps to become an agent?

Nope! Each state has its own set of rules for becoming a licensed agent – from the type of courses you need to how many hours you study.

5. What should I do after passing my licensing exam?

Find a broker willing to hire new agents; they’ll help guide you as you start your career… Also remember to submit any final applications or paperwork required by your state’s real estate commission.

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