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How Difficult is It to get a Real Estate License?

By Tess C. Taylor
Updated Feb 18, 2024
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Obtaining a real estate license is not a difficult option for anyone interested in starting the exciting career of real estate management. Generally speaking, getting a real estate license to become a realtor takes the same determination and hard work that obtaining a license in any other career field involves. By following a few simple steps, even the novice real estate professional can earn a real estate license in relatively little time.

One of the best ways to get a real estate license is by taking classes designed to teach real estate fundamentals. Attending courses that cover areas such as real estate management, housing values, market trends, sales techniques and customer service can create the groundwork from which a highly skilled real estate professional will be able to build a successful career. Be sure to select courses with reputable providers within the region that will be the focus of your career.

The real estate courses taken will prepare you for a real estate exam that is required in order to qualify for being licensed. In most regions, having a real estate license allows property management, real estate rentals and sales to take place. The precise information needed to pass the exam varies by region, so be sure to look into this in advance. The coursework offered by a regional real estate school should be enough to cover all the basics to pass this test, however additional studies may be desired in order to score higher on the actual exam.

Some real estate agents successfully take online classes or self-study programs in order to obtain the preparation needed to take the real estate license exam. While this can be a more convenient method to study for the test, again it is always prudent to review regional or state real estate license requirements beforehand to avoid any gaps in information needed to pass. In cases where there is doubt, contacting a local real estate agency should answer any questions you may have about what topics need to be covered.

In a majority of cases, a fee must be paid in order to register for and take the real estate licensing exam. The fee varies by region, but is usually very affordable. Once the fee is paid, you may take the exam on the designated date. If you don’t pass the exam the first time, you will be allowed to take again at a later date. Test takers are normally notified quickly as to the status of pass or failure. A real estate license is then granted within a few weeks. Real estate licenses are good for four years and can be renewed.

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Discussion Comments

By Logicfest — On May 01, 2014

@Vincenzo -- what to do after passing the exam also involves doing some research. In most areas, you can have a real estate license and it will do you little good when it comes to selling residential real estate. Why? Because you have to join the National Association of Realtors, your state Realtors association and the local one in order to access the multiple listings service -- the "go to" spot to search for homes.

Without that MLS access, becoming a residential real estate agent is a tough row to hoe. While thinking about a real estate license, then, you'd better get ready to research what you'll have to do in your local area to access the markets that you'll need to list and show properties.

Again, the test is rather easy. What comes after it is much tougher.

By Vincenzo — On Apr 30, 2014

Passing a real estate exam is, as the article points out, not terribly difficult. In my state, people can go from their first day in class to passing the state administered exam in about six weeks.

People thinking about becoming agents should think hard about what they will do after passing it, however, as the number of agents that wash out of their careers within a few years is staggeringly high in most states. If you know plenty of people where you live and have some contacts you are certain can turn into clients, you'll probably do OK.

Going into that career with no advance planning usually wind up in bad shape. Passing the test is the easy part -- the hard part is making a living by selling real estate.

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