Posted by: Kaplan Real Estate Education
Updated: May 19, 2020
Becoming a real estate salesperson can be a confusing process for many people. It isn’t necessarily a career that requires a college education, but it certainly helps. It also isn’t a career where you can simply “hang your shingle” and start doing business immediately. Becoming a real estate agent requires a license that is regulated by the state in which you wish to sell, buy, lease, or manage real estate.
Each state differs on certain aspects of the licensing process, including how much education is required, what topics are included in the required prelicensing education, the fees involved, and the type of examination. There are also different rules regarding the application process for a real estate license following the prelicensing education. We are here to alleviate any questions you might have. We have experts in place to assist you in learning more about what it takes to become a real estate agent.
Real Estate Salesperson Licensing Education—an Example
Just what is included in the real estate licensing education? It depends on your specific state, but to give you an idea, we have outlined a particular state’s prelicensing education here. See if you can figure out which state this is—the answer is at the end.
This state’s real estate salesperson licensing program consists of three courses: Real Estate Principles, Real Estate Practice, and Legal Aspects of Real Estate. Each course is college-level and has reading assignments in textbooks, assignments in workbooks, quizzes, practice exams, and final examinations.
- Real Estate Principles (45 credit hours): Become successful in your field by understanding key topics, such as time management, the listing and selling process, property valuation, closing the sale, escrow procedure, taxes, financing, and more. Topics include: Land Descriptions and Subdivisions; Acquisition and Transfer of Real Property; Liens and Encumbrances; Leases; Contracts; Unlawful Discrimination; Agency and Business Principles; Ethics.
- Real Estate Practice (45 credit hours): A real estate license does not come with an operating manual, so we have created a course that focuses on what it really takes to succeed in the business. This course will expand your knowledge of the industry in an engaging and effective forum. Topics include: The Business of Real Estate; The Art of Pricing and Listing; How to Find and Counsel the Buyer.
- Legal Aspects of Real Estate (45 credit hours): Make the law come alive and explore some of the common myths and misconceptions that affect your day-to-day activities. Find out how you can avoid legal entanglements with this exciting course! Topics include: Real Estate Laws; Contract Clauses; Influential Agency Policies and Concepts; and Disclosure Guidelines and Procedures.
The real estate licensing curriculum can be completed in a variety of ways, from live classroom locations around the state to textbook home-study and online options. To help you through this level of the real estate curriculum, schools add value to the courses with tools like study guides, study groups, instructor office hours, drill and practice questions, and exam prep courses.
Once you have completed your coursework, you will need to take your online final exam. Per this state’s regulatory body, you must wait 18 days between course final exam attempts. Failure to successfully complete you course’s final exam can delay your licensing. All college-level (licensing) final exams will be open-book and consist of 100 multiple-choice questions. You have 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete each exam. Pass rates for all licensing courses is 60%.
Once you have passed the three course final examinations, you are eligible to sit for the state licensing exam. This state’s real estate salesperson exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. You have 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete the exam. You must score 70% or better to pass.
Have you figured out which state we used in the example? The answer is…California. The California Department of Real Estate processes tens of thousands of new real estate license applications and keeps track of over 350,000 current licensees each year.
Each State’s Real Estate Licensing Requirements are Different
Because each state develops its own rules and regulations about the real estate licensing education requirements, we have developed state-specific pages. Below, you can find links to state-specific Steps to Licensing pages that outline, in simple-steps, the process required to become licensed. We also offer helpful Real Estate Licensing and Continuing Education Requirements pages that outline state-specific requirements that need to be followed in order to be compliant with your state.
To view your state's specific Steps to Licensing pages and/or your specific state Real Estate Licensing and Continuing Education Requirements page, simply select your state from the list on the real estate education landing page.