How to get a real estate license

Becoming a successful real estate agent is a combination of investing time in pre-licensing education, passing the state and national real estate licensing exam, and finding a broker and resources to help you kick start your real estate career. Note that each step to getting your license may vary slightly by state, so it's important to check your state's requirements.

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3 steps to becoming a real estate agent

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Real Estate License Course

Step 1. Take
the licensing course

No matter what state you live in, you must take the real estate pre-licensing course from an accredited real estate licensing school. Each state's pre-licensing course topics and hours will vary. Once you complete the course, obtain the official real estate transcripts or a certificate of completion from the school, which is required for your license application.

Real Estate License Exam

Step 2. Pass
your real estate exam

Soon after you complete your pre-licensing course and pass your final exam, you'll schedule your state licensing real estate exam. While some of the questions on the state exam are outlined in your pre-licensing course, you will be on stronger footing if you take a real estate test prep program to ensure you're studying for the right exam material and have access to practice exams.

Real Estate License - Career

Step 3. Launch
your real estate career

Finding the right real estate brokerage and resources to launch your career is essential. Visit our Real Estate Career Hub for tips on selecting the best brokerage for your career goals, as well as other free resources for newly minted agents.


Complete your real estate pre-licensing education

Once you understand your state's licensing and education requirements, you'll need to complete your real estate pre-license course. Keep in mind:

  • It's important to enroll in an accredited school, licensed in your state
  • If you have a degree in real estate, are a licensed attorney, or have a real estate license in another state, your education requirements may be different. Please contact your state Real Estate Commission to learn those requirements.
  • Upon course completion, it's important to obtain your official real estate transcripts or a certification of completion from the school, which will be required for your license application. These can be printed from home in most states.
File the application and pay the fees

To obtain your real estate license, you must complete your state's real estate license application and pay any applicable fees. Most states have forms and fee information on their website. Real Estate Express customers may access their Student Tools for important information and links to resources. When it comes to filing the application and paying the fees, you'll need to know the following:

  • Filing date deadline
  • If you are required to obtain Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance prior to applying
  • If you need to provide a background check and fingerprinting prior to applying
  • If you need to have a sponsoring or managing broker in place before you submit your application
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Launch your real estate career

The Real Estate Career Hub offers a wealth of information to help you get your real estate career off to a strong start. Explore how-to guides, learn from the experts and tap into the latest news that's moving the real estate profession forward.


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