How long does it take to get a real estate license? And is it possible to speed up the process? Prospective agents must take several steps before being officially licensed and getting started making money.
In this post, I’ll discuss everything you need to know about getting your license quickly, including finding the right pre licensing course, taking the exam, and what comes after you pass it.
It Depends On Your Location
There is no one-size-fits-all answer as to how long it takes to get a real estate license. On average, it could take you several months. But this will depend on what school you choose, how long it takes you to pass the exam, and how soon your state processes your application and exam.
The biggest factor for how long it takes to get your real estate license is what state you live in. Every state has its own Real Estate Commission where you can find out the rules and regulations for becoming a real estate agent in your state.
States have their own hourly requirements for pre licensing coursework from an accredited real estate school. For example, Virginia requires 60 hours of coursework, while California requires 135 hours.
If you go to your state’s Real Estate Commission website, you can see a list of recommended real estate schools.
In addition, each state will have its own process for submitting a real estate license application. Some states have automated the process of submitting your license application and taking the exam. Other states will require you to mail in your application.
You will also have to wait for your exam results to return, which could vary depending on the state.
Your state might also have some other requirements, including background checks. You must also be at least 18 years old and a legal U.S. resident.
Find The Right Real Estate School
Every state will have its own requirements regarding how many hours of real estate coursework and training you need. However, it’s up to you whether you want to do real estate school online or in person.
The benefit of an online real estate school is that you can usually complete your required pre licensing course much faster than in-person classes. Depending on what class you choose and your state’s hourly requirements, it can take three to four months to finish your pre licensing course.
An online school lets you finish the work on your own time, which is helpful if you have other obligations, such as a primary job or childcare.
The price of real estate school varies depending on whether you choose an online or in person school. But on average, an accredited real estate school can cost anywhere from $200 to $300.
Passing The Real Estate Exam
After you complete real estate school, the next step is to file your application and take the real estate exam in your state. The cost of the license exam can range anywhere from $15 to $60.
Your state’s Real Estate Commission will have instructions on how to sign up for the exam. Your pre licensing course might also have information as well.
The exam will cover state and national real estate laws, and it typically consists of 60 to 100 multiple-choice questions.
If you don’t pass the exam the first time, then you’ll be able to retake it multiple times over a two-year period. After that, you’ll have to repeat the pre licensing course. If you’re looking to get your real estate license quickly, repeating the exam will obviously add more time to the process.
Fortunately, most pre licensing courses offer practice tests, study guides, and other exam prep materials so that you can pass the exam the first time. In addition, choose a course that has a high pass rate. If the course does not disclose its pass rate, then that’s usually a sign that it’s not an effective course.
What Comes Next
After you pass your test, the next step is to officially activate your license. The activation fee costs $200 to $400. Once you do this, you are officially a real estate agent!
The next step is to find the right employing broker. Every state requires newly licensed agents to join a brokerage in order to legally work in real estate. A real estate broker is licensed by the state to enforce legal and ethical practices in the real estate industry.
So after you get your license, your next step will be to find the right brokerage for you. Look for one that fits your goals and that you will enjoy working at.
Once you get more experience in your real estate career, you can apply for your own broker license if you would like to lead your own team.
If you want to get ahead of the game and get your real estate license fast, try to talk with a brokerage early on while you’re still in real estate school. This way, you can set up an interview and get hired right away.
For example, if you see that an agent in the brokerage you want to join is hosting an open house, you can attend and introduce yourself to them. Ask the agent if the real estate brokerage is currently recruiting and what the process is like.
Another consideration you can make when getting your real estate license is becoming an official Realtor and registering with the National Association of Realtors. Becoming an official Realtor will get you benefits such as real estate market data, discounts on continuing education courses, transaction management services, and added credibility, which is especially great when you’re starting as a brand new agent.
Lastly, another important step to take care of after activating your license is paying for access to your local MLS. The MLS is a must-have for every agent because it is how you get all the most up-to-date information on the housing market in your area. Prices for the MLS vary depending on location.
So, How Long Does It Take To Get a Real Estate License?
Ultimately, how long it takes to get a real estate license will depend on your location and whatever path you decide to take. Taking online real estate school will significantly speed up the time it takes to get your license. Once your pre licensing course requirements are complete and you pass the exam, you can get started as a real estate agent!
Are you in the process of getting your real estate license? If you already have yours, how long did it take you? Let me know in the comments below!
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