How to Get a Real Estate License: A Comprehensive Guide – Earn Higher Income and Job Flexibility with a Real Estate License

How to Get a Real Estate License

Obtaining a real estate license can open up a world of opportunities for anyone looking to pursue a career in the industry. It allows individuals to buy and sell properties, manage their own real estate businesses, and work with clients to find their dream home. However, getting a real estate license requires a specific set of steps that vary from state to state. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to get a real estate license, including the educational requirements, exams, fees, and other important considerations. We will also offer tips from experts, highlight the benefits of having a license, detail common mistakes to avoid, and compare different approaches to obtaining a license.

A Step-by-Step Guide

The process for getting a real estate license generally involves completing a certain amount of education, passing a state exam, and paying fees. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you obtain your real estate license:

Step 1: Check Your State’s Requirements

The first step in getting your real estate license is to check your state’s requirements. Each state has its own education, examination, and licensing requirements that must be met. Some states require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalent, while others may require a specific amount of post-secondary education or work experience. You can find detailed information about your state’s requirements by visiting the website of the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) or contacting your state’s real estate commission directly.

Step 2: Fulfill Educational Requirements

Once you have determined your state’s educational requirements, you should enroll in a pre-licensing course that is approved by your state’s real estate commission. These courses will teach you the fundamental knowledge necessary to pass the state examination and obtain your license. The length and cost of these courses may vary depending on your state’s requirements and the institution offering the coursework. Some states also offer online courses, which can be a more convenient option for busy individuals.

Step 3: Pass the State Examination

After completing your pre-licensing coursework, you will need to pass a state examination to obtain your license. The exam will test your knowledge of topics such as real estate principles, property valuation, contracts, and agency laws. You will typically need to pay a fee to take the exam, which may also vary depending on your state. Be sure to study thoroughly for the exam, as it is typically challenging and requires a passing grade of around 70% or higher.

Step 4: Obtain a Sponsor

Many states require new licensees to work under the guidance of a licensed real estate broker. This is typically done as an apprenticeship program, which allows new agents to gain valuable experience and learn from established professionals in the industry. You’ll need to find a broker to sponsor you in order to move on to the next step of obtaining your license.

Step 5: Submit Your License Application

After completing your apprenticeship program, you will be ready to submit your application for a real estate license. Be sure to include all necessary documents, such as your education and examination certificates and proof of sponsorship. There may also be additional fees associated with your application.

Step 6: Complete Any Additional Requirements

Some states may require additional steps to obtain your license, such as passing a background check or completing additional coursework. Be sure to check your state’s requirements to ensure you have completed all necessary steps to obtain your license.

State-Specific Requirements

It’s important to note that each state may have their own specific guidelines and requirements to obtain a real estate license. Some states may require a different amount of educational hours, specific classes to take, or additional steps in order to qualify for a license. Be sure to research your state’s specific requirements in order to avoid any misunderstandings or wasted time.

Tips from Experts

Many real estate professionals have already gone through the process of obtaining their license. Here are some tips that they have shared in order to help guide you through the process:

Tip 1: Find a Mentor

It can be beneficial to find a mentor in the industry who can guide and support you throughout the licensing process. Mentors can help you understand the nuances of the industry, offer practical advice, and connect you with key players and opportunities.

Tip 2: Stay Organized

The process of getting a real estate license involves completing and submitting many different documents and requirements. It’s important to stay organized and keep track of everything in order to avoid any missed deadlines or incomplete tasks. Use a calendar or planner to keep on top of your schedule and use a filing system to keep important documents organized.

Tip 3: Make Connections

Real estate is an industry that relies heavily on networking and relationships. Make an effort to attend industry events, conferences, and seminars in order to network with other professionals and learn from experts in the field. You can also take advantage of social media platforms such as LinkedIn to connect with other professionals and expand your network.

Detailing Benefits of Having a Real Estate License

There are many potential benefits to obtaining a real estate license. Here are some of the most common reasons why people pursue a career in real estate:

Potential for High Earnings

One of the most attractive benefits of working in real estate is the potential to earn a high income. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for real estate brokers and sales agents was $50,730 as of May 2020. However, top earners in the industry can make well into the six figures.


Real estate professionals often enjoy a high degree of flexibility in their work schedules. This is particularly true for independent contractors who have more control over their own time. Many real estate transactions, such as open houses and property showings, can be scheduled around other commitments, making it a popular choice for busy professionals.

Opportunities for Personal Growth

Working in real estate can be a personally rewarding experience, providing opportunities for personal and professional growth. Real estate professionals often develop a wide range of skills, from communication and negotiation to problem-solving and conflict resolution. They also have the opportunity to work with a diverse range of clients and properties, which can lead to a more fulfilling career path.

Highlighting Common Mistakes

There are several common mistakes that people make when attempting to obtain their real estate license:

Mistake 1: Procrastination

Procrastination is a common pitfall for many individuals attempting to obtain their real estate license. This can lead to missed deadlines, incomplete coursework, and a delayed timeframe for completing the licensing process. To avoid procrastination, it’s important to create a study schedule and stick to it, breaking down the requirements into manageable tasks.

Mistake 2: Failing to Research

Another common mistake is failing to adequately research the real estate industry and the specific requirements for obtaining a license in your state. It’s important to fully understand the educational and licensing requirements, as well as the current state of the industry, in order to make informed decisions throughout the licensing process.

Mistake 3: Lack of Preparation for the Exam

The real estate exam is challenging and requires a great deal of preparation in order to pass. Many individuals fail the exam on their first attempt due to inadequate preparation. It’s important to set aside enough time to study for the exam and take practice tests in order to gain confidence and familiarity with the questions.

Comparing Different Approaches

There are several different approaches one can take to become licensed in real estate:

Online Courses

Online courses offer a convenient and flexible option for obtaining a real estate license. These courses can be completed at any time from any location and are often self-paced. However, online courses may lack the personal guidance and feedback that comes with more traditional classroom-based learning, which can be a disadvantage for some learners.

Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeship programs offer new licensees the opportunity to gain valuable experience and learn from established professionals in the industry. These programs can provide hands-on experience and practical guidance for beginning a career in real estate. However, there may be additional fees associated with the program, and it can take a longer amount of time to complete.

Self-Guided Study

Self-guided study involves individuals taking responsibility for their own education and preparation for the real estate exam. This can involve reading textbooks, taking practice tests, and seeking out guidance from mentors and experts. While this approach can be self-paced and flexible, it may lack the structure and guidance that more formalized education programs provide.


Obtaining a real estate license can be a fulfilling and rewarding step in anyone’s career. It requires a commitment to education, preparation, and hard work, but the potential rewards are numerous. By following the steps outlined in this guide and taking advantage of the tips shared by industry experts, you can set yourself on the path towards a successful career in real estate.

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