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Real Estate Agents

How Long Does It Take to Get a Real Estate License?

If you're considering a career in real estate, it's important to understand the necessary steps involved in obtaining a real estate license. Becoming a licensed agent requires completing state-specific education and passing a licensing exam. However, before you can start helping clients buy and sell properties, it's crucial to understand the regulations and rules of your state's real estate industry to ensure you're protecting consumers and conducting business ethically. Once you've earned your license, you can choose to work with a brokerage firm or start your own business as an independent contractor.

So, how long does it take to get a real estate license? In this blog post, we'll dive deeper into the process of obtaining a real estate license and the responsibilities that come with it.

Factors that Determine the Duration of the Real Estate Licensing Process

The process of obtaining a real estate license can vary in duration depending on several factors. Understanding these factors can help you plan accordingly and ensure a smoother and more efficient licensing process. In this section, we will explore the different elements that impact the length of time it takes to get a real estate license.

1. Course Hours and Education Requirements

When it comes to obtaining a real estate license, the educational requirements can vary depending on the state you're in. The educational period for obtaining a real estate license can be completed in four to six months in a traditional classroom setting, but this can be decreased significantly by choosing an accredited online real estate school. Online courses can be taken at your own pace and offer more flexibility, allowing motivated individuals to complete the coursework in mere weeks.

Regardless of the mode of education, each state has specific educational requirements that must be met before you can qualify for licensure. This can range from a minimum of 60 hours of real estate courses to over 100 hours in some states. The Pre-Licensing course typically covers topics such as deeds, titles, contracts, and property ownership. In some states, if you have relevant academic qualifications, such as a bachelor's degree in real estate or a law degree, you may be exempted from parts of the Pre-Licensing requirements.

For instance, Arkansas requires you to complete 60 hours of Pre-Licensing education and pass the real estate exam with a minimum grade of 70% before obtaining your license. After the initial licensure, an 18-hour Post-Licensing course is also mandatory. On the other hand, Pennsylvania mandates 75 hours of Pre-Licensing education and a 14-hour Post-Licensing course.

2. Real Estate License Exam

After completing the required educational coursework, the next step in obtaining your real estate license is to pass the state exam. The format and content of the exam can vary depending on the state you're in, but generally, you can expect it to be a multiple-choice test consisting of 100 to 200 questions. The exam covers what you learned during your real estate classes, including national and state principles and laws. You'll typically have around two and a half hours to complete the exam, and if you fail on the first attempt, most states allow you to take the exam again until you pass.

In order to pass the exam, you'll need to meet the passing score requirement set by your state, which is typically around 60%. The cost of the exam can range from $20 to $150 depending on the state. You'll also need to schedule a date and time to take the exam in person, usually at a designated testing center. On the day of the exam, you'll likely take the exam on a computer while being monitored by a proctor.

3. Length of the State Application Process

After successfully passing your state's real estate exam, you'll need to apply for your license within the designated time frame, typically 6 months. Applying for your license involves filling out an application form, paying an application fee, and providing documentation of your test results and coursework grades. You may also need to pass a background check before your license is issued.

The application process varies by state, so it's important to check with your state's real estate commission for specific requirements. In some states, you may be required to affiliate with a real estate brokerage before applying for your license.

Depending on your state, you may receive your exam results immediately or need to wait for them to be calculated. Some states may issue you a temporary license so you can begin working as a real estate agent right away, while others will require you to wait until your official license is mailed to the broker of record.

Final Thoughts

The length of time it takes to become a real estate salesperson or agent can vary depending on a few factors. The educational portion usually takes around four to six months for most people, but the timeline for finishing your education, passing the exam, and submitting the license application will differ by state and by individual student.

Choosing to take courses through an online real estate school can allow you to study at your own pace and complete your education faster than traditional classes. Some individuals can even finish their coursework in just a few weeks with dedicated time and effort. Ultimately, taking online courses can accelerate your real estate career. Once you complete your educational requirements, you can register and sit for the licensing exam.

Overall, becoming a real estate agent is an achievable goal, but it’s not something that happens overnight. It requires dedication and hard work to get your license, but the rewards can be great. With the right attitude, you can get your real estate license in anywhere from 6 weeks to 8 months. Don't forget to stay informed on industry trends and regulations in order to stay ahead of the competition. So if you're ready to take the plunge and become a real estate agent, get started today!


1. Is a real estate license expensive?

Obtaining a real estate license can come with a substantial cost, which can vary depending on the state you reside in. Typically, you can expect to spend over $1,000, covering expenses for coursework, exams, and licensing fees.

2. What states have the hardest real estate exams?

UpNest reported in 2021 that obtaining a real estate license in Colorado and Texas is considered more challenging than in other states. The requirements for coursework hours can vary significantly among states, which may impact the level of difficulty in obtaining a license. Additionally, the pass rate on the licensing exam may also differ by state. However, it is worth noting that the content covered in most licensing exams is generally similar.

Rahul Agrawal

Co-founder and Chief Business Officer at Styldod

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