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How Much Will It Cost Me to Get a Real Estate License?


How Much Will it Cost Me to Get a Real Estate License

Before going to get a license for the real estate business, you need to be aware about what you are getting into. Being new to this you might be wondering how much it will cost to get a real estate license. 

You’ll require to be licensed by the state in which you plan to practice. The precise amount varies widely by state; however, you can expect a cost of around $2,000 throughout the journey of becoming licensed.

As the costs associated with a real estate license can quickly add up. So, it will not be wise to be stuck with any specific amount. We have gone through a comprehensive breakdown of different types of costs to get a real estate license.

Cost to Get a Real Estate License

There is a lot of variety of expenditures linked with getting a real estate license. It is a general misunderstanding to presume the only expenses are for the certification process. But in reality, the procedure is more layered than this. 

To get the real estate license, investors have to join in proper course work, have fingerprint/ background checks, take the test, and register. Every step will require a certain amount of investment. 

1. Class

Estimated Costs: $200 to $300

The first step towards the achievement of a real estate license is to take a state-required pre-license course. The quantity of “credit hours” varies significantly by each state, ranging from 135 hours in California to 63 hours in Florida. Each State has different requirements regarding credit hours.

The costs associated with any state’s class requirements are as diverse as the number of hours required. It’s entirely possible to have an “acceptable” course for as little as $200. However, it’s indeed true that you achieve what you pay for. 

You can anticipate a few hundred dollars of expenses on average for the classes. Let’s have a look at the costs of classes in some of the popular states:

  • Colorado: A basic real estate license course in Colorado can cost between $345 and $500 on average. These packages include sufficient training to meet the necessary 168 qualifying hours.
  • California: In California, aspiring real estate agents are required to complete 135 hours of certified real estate courses. It generally costs from $97 to $180. These charges often cover materials, practice exams, and live courses.
  • Florida: In Florida, the approximate cost of a real estate license hovers around $500. It contains 63 hours of pre-requisite classes. Though the costs can vary, agents can expect to spend between $97 and $210 in this state.

You can visit Real Estate Express, The CE Shop, or Mbition to see the current prices for your state.

2. Fingerprinting and Background Checks

Estimated Costs: $50 to $100

If you are decided to have an active real estate license, you will be made privy to valuable information. You will have to give the proper authorities with your Social Security Number and fingerprints.

As licensed real estate agents are approved access to properties that aren’t even theirs, so they are subjected to FBI background checks. And — like all else on this list — it’s not free of charge. Your costs are, thus, the processing fees related to each checking.

Try to get the background checks and fingerprinting done as early as possible, as this process can take quite a few weeks to finish. Luckily, background checks and fingerprinting aren’t that costly and should charge you no more than $50 to $100.

3. The State Licensing Test

Estimated Costs: $50 to $200 per test

The course you have taken for the state licensing exam doesn’t include the fee of the test itself. So, anyone becoming an actively licensed real estate agent requires accounting for the exam when budgeting costs.  

Luckily, the test itself isn’t as costly as the courses you took for its preparation. Your typical state licensing exam will cost between $50 and $200. However, fees related to the exam are not a one-time expenditure. 

It’s a hard test, and lots of people require two or even three tries to pass it. You should give yourself the best possible chances to pass on your first try. Succeeding on the first attempt will save your time and money and give you less stress!

Those who succeed on their first attempt are free to go to the next step. Accordingly, those who do not succeed on their first attempt can retake it, costing the same charge. It’s the point that we insist you take your pre-course seriously. It will add value to the foundation for your entire career and help you pass the state exam in the first try.

4. Registration with the State

Estimated Costs: Application fee plus $120/year

As with all other fees associated with real estate licenses, costs vary by local and state. But to provide you a common idea, Nebraska’s fee is $135, with an added $80 yearly fee, whereas the license application fee in Texas is $205.

The real estate commission of your state can give information about costs detailed to your state.

Is there any additional cost?

Yes, several additional costs are associated with getting a real estate license. Let’s have a look.

  • NAR – The National Association of Realtors Membership provides a wealth of tools to assist you to be a booming real estate agent, with listing services. It’s tough to imagine practicing real estate without this service. That’s why; your broker will require you to be a member of the NAR. Fortunately, the yearly cost of membership is only $150 now.
  • Errors and Omissions insurance is a prerequisite for keeping your real estate license active. With no insurance, you might be held personally accountable for even tiny mistakes that caused any loss. It’s most likely a good practice that the state will disable your license if your insurance lapses. For this security, you will have to pay above $400 per year.
  • You require finding a broker under which you can be able to ”hang” your license. A real estate agent is licensed to act on behalf of the broker. Once you choose a broker, you and the broker will fill up the license application and other on boarding official procedures. Once all paperwork is filed and accepted, your license can then be issued.

Besides a percentage of your commission on each sale, nearly all brokerages charge a monthly desk fee. It also can vary significantly and depends on the state and what is included. For example, one significant state realtor charges between $50 and $80 monthly, depending on locality.

  • License renewal fees are a bit costly, but as you have to renew after every four years, so the price-per-year isn’t that bad. However, if you fail to spot the expiration deadline, it will cost you extra. Though the renewal fee also varies among states, you can expect an average cost of $50 for renewal purposes.
  • Lockboxes are essential in the real estate business. These devices are used to securely access properties and open using electronic keys, only available to members. The lockbox will cost $180 to $200.

Adding It All Up

Now, let’s assess and do the mathematics to determine the maximum cost in total to become a real estate agent.

  • Fingerprinting and Background Checks- $100
  • Pre-license Education – $300
  • Exam Fee – $200
  • License Application Fee – $205
  • Yearly License Fee – $120
  • Broker Fees – $80
  • Errors and Omissions Insurance – $400
  • National Association of Realtors Membership – $150
  • Lockbox- $200

And the total approximately is: $1,755

You cost will vary depending upon the state, the company that you join and other factors unique to yourself and your decisions.

Summary

How Much Will it Cost Me to Get a Real Estate License

A real estate license in the hand of a capable investor helps to take a portfolio from good to great, though the expenditure is not as insignificant as assumed.  There are also some ongoing costs to keep the license active. Still, the cost is considered as well worth — as long as you benefit from all the advantages offered. 

We also have more information about how difficult it is to get a real estate license located here.

So, now you must have a better idea of how much it will cost to get a real estate license to practice, which is an excellent start. Good luck! 

Robert Earl

Robert Earl started in Real Estate in 2001. During his career he has helped hundreds start a career in real estate, helping them understand the licensing process and assisting them in getting their business up and running. Robert is a Coach, Mentor and also an Air Force Veteran.

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