What do you have to do to become a licensed realtor in most states?

There are some people who are said to have the calling for real estate. However, to become a real estate agent, this is not enough. Becoming one is the result of the combination between a good education, passing state and national licensing exams, and finding a good broker to work for. 


Here are the basic requirements to become a licensed realtor:

  1. Depending on the state, you must be a certain minimum age. In most states, you should be between 18 and 19 years old.
  2. You must have a legal residence in the US or Canada, depending on where you will be operating your business.
  3. You must complete the pre-license education. The number of working hours for this will also depend on the state. 
  4. You must pass your state and national real estate license examination. 

How to Obtain a License

In most states, to get the proper real estate education, all you need is your High School diploma. In some states, you do not even need this, the age requirement is enough. You do not need to take any post-secondary exams to become a licensed real estate agent.

  • Pre-licensing. This is a requirement in all states. The states real estate commission in every state dictates the number of required hours and the course curriculum. In order to qualify for the state licensing exam, many states require you to take a post-course exam.
  • Post-licensing. Once you have passed the real estate licensing exam, most states require you to complete a post-licensing education requirement.  
  • Education requirements. After you have completed the above steps, you will be required to complete a specific number of state-approved hours of continuing real estate education over a defined period of time.  

Obtaining a License

Prior to getting your real estate license, most states require that you to take a state-administered real estate licensing examination. The state and national portions of the test include knowledge in practices, terminology, and real estate policies.  

Once you obtain your license, you are still not allowed to operate as a realtor until you find a certified broker who accepts you into their office. To learn about any other state-specific requirements, refer to your state's real estate commission.