Requirements to Become a Real Estate Agent

Mary Gormandy White
Become a Real Estate Agent

Are you interested in finding out the requirements to become a real estate agent? If you are interested in pursuing a career that involves helping clients purchase or sell commercial or residential real estate, you must first become licensed to perform this type of work in your state.

State Requirements to Become a Real Estate Agent

Every state in America, as well as the District of Columbia (D.C.) requires real estate agents to hold a valid professional license. This means that state licensure is an essential requirement to become a real estate agent. While you do not have to hold a college degree to become a real estate agent, it is not possible to gain entry into this field without completing a formal program of real estate study as specified by your state as a prerequisite for licensure.

Real Estate Training Programs

While the exact educational requirements for real estate agents vary from one state to another, pre-licensure training programs typically range from 30 to 90 hours of classroom training. Some states allow potential licenses to complete their training online while others require classroom study. When searching for a place to complete your training, look for a program that is approved by the real estate commission in your state as well as by The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO).

There are real estate training programs in most medium to large cities. Some community colleges, universities, and private postsecondary schools offer real estate education programs. In some cases, real estate companies and local professional associations establish separate divisions to provide this type of training to people who want to enter the profession.

Real estate pre-licensure training programs generally include the following topics:

  • State specific real estate law
  • Contract law
  • Deeds
  • Fair housing regulations
  • Laws related to agency relationships
  • Marketing techniques
  • Mortgage requirements and regulations
  • Property interests
  • Property valuation
  • Real estate financing
  • Sales skills
  • Additional topics

Examination Requirements

Completing a training program alone is not sufficient to become a real estate agent. Individuals who want to become real estate agents must pass an examination in order to become licensed. Specific test requirements vary from one state to another. In some states, two exams are required. In these areas, potential licensees must successfully complete an initial exam upon completion of the prescribed program of study as well as a post-licensure test within a specified timeframe following initial licensure.

Continuing Education Requirements

Ongoing continuing education is generally required in order to maintain licensure. The exact requirement varies from one state to another. Generally, real estate agents can expect to be required to complete between 20 and 30 hours of state approved continuing education courses every two years. Continuing education courses are generally available in seminar and conference formats, as well as online.

Verify State Requirements

Do not enroll in any program of study without first verifying that it meets the state requirements to become a real estate agent that apply to you. In order to find out the exact requirements for your state, you will need to contact the agency responsible for overseeing real estate licensure in the area where you live. The best way to do this is to conduct an online search for "state real estate commission (insert name of your state)". This should direct you to the website for the agency that can provide you with details specific to your situation.

Requirements to Become a Real Estate Agent