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Industry Education
October 25, 2023

Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent

Deciding to become a real estate agent is a big decision and a hard one to make. Everyone has different reasons why they think real estate is the correct career choice for them. Many people enter the field of work as a second or third career. 

One question agents get all the time is: "How do I become a real estate agent?" The answer to that is, "it depends."

There are different rules and regulations from State to State, so you'll need to research the specific education requirements for the state you want to practice real estate in. But there are basic requirements that are consistent from State to State.

General Requirements

  1. Be at least 18 or 19 years old (depends on the state)
  2. Be a legal US resident
  3. Complete the required pre-license education (find your state's requirement)
  4. Pass your state license exam

Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent

The steps will vary by state, but five steps must always be taken to become a real estate agent.  

Step 1: Research Your State's Requirements

Each state's real estate licensing requirements are different. Make sure you find the correct requirements for your state.

Step 2: Enroll in a Pre-licensing Course

You can either choose to complete your licensing requirements in person or online. For convenience purposes, we suggest taking them online. There are hundreds of online real estate schools out there, but to save you time researching them, you can look at our list of the top 10 online real estate schools, ranked by us. 

Step 3: Apply to Take the State Exam

Timing is essential at this step. It is necessary to follow the application process with your state so you can take the state exam shortly after finishing your online courses. Some states also require you to submit fingerprints and pass a background check, which can take weeks to process. The application process must be complete in many states before you can register or schedule your exam date.

Step 4: Pass the State Exam

Passing the real estate exam takes preparation. Not everyone passes the exam the first time, and to prepare yourself, you'll need additional study time. Each attempt at the test will cost you more time and money. 

Step 5: Find a Brokerage

Your passing grade on your state real estate licensing exam doesn't quite mean you can practice selling real estate yet. A real estate agent must act on behalf of a broker and may not work as a real estate agent until placing their license with a brokerage. We have a helpful guide here, with tips on choosing a brokerage and a team.

We wish you the best of luck on a successful real estate career!