Every agent knows that completing your continuing education (CE) classes is important. But sometimes, life gets in the way and prevents you from taking the courses as planned. If you’ve been too busy for CEs and the deadline is looming, you may be wondering what will happen. Here’s what you need to know about state rules and requirements if you don't complete your CEs on time.
Real Estate Continuing Education (CE) Requirements
Real estate trends and regulations are always changing. That’s why it’s essential for agents to take continuing education courses throughout their careers. Every state requires CE courses, but the number of hours you’ll need to complete to renew your license varies.
Although it can be hard to make time for several hours of CE every year, there are flexible online options that will fit into your schedule.
“With many states accepting live virtual classes or online classes, it has never been easier to complete CE,” says Peter Gray of Pyramid Real Estate Group. “Additionally, in each cycle, there is truly great material and it's an opportunity to meet other agents (in a live classroom or live virtual) which can be beneficial for a variety of reasons.”
What Happens if You Miss the CE Deadline?
If possible, it’s best to complete your CE courses ahead of the deadline, because the consequences of missing it are pretty steep. Most states won’t allow you to practice real estate until you get up to date on your training. If you wait too long to catch up on your CE requirements, your license could even be terminated, forcing you to retake the state licensing exam.
“In the state of North Carolina, one consequence of not successfully completing CE courses is your license goes into inactive status,” says Jaquetta T. Ragland, a licensed realtor and owner of youngandfinance.com. “Once your license enters inactive status, you are unable to buy, sell, or list any type of real estate property. I experienced this once due to missing the deadline to take my CE course.”
“In California, agents have two years after their license expires to complete their CE course(s) and submit their application,” said Ashley Baskin, licensed real estate agent and board member for Home Life Digest. After that grace period ends, you’ll have to reapply for your license and take another exam.
Baskin also mentioned that you may face extra charges when you renew a lapsed license. California, for example, charges $122 more for late renewals.
Interestingly, in Texas, if you haven't completed your CE but submit your renewal application before your license expires, you can pay a $200 fee which lets you remain active for 60 more days so you can complete it. However, if your license expires, you will have to wait until the CE requirements are met to apply. It's best to take care of it quickly because if you wait more than 60 days after expiration to complete it, you'll have to pay another late reporting fee of $250.
New York is a little more strict. If you fail to get your continuing education requirements on time, you can only request an extension if you've suffered a verifiable hardship. And if you don't meet that requirement, you won't be able to renew your license until you retake the state's written examination.
Of course, every state is different, so make sure you stay up to date on the CE rules and requirements for your specific area.
Stay up to Date on Your Real Estate CE Courses
If you miss the CE deadline, your real estate license may expire, causing you to lose out on clients and commissions. Plus, you will likely have to pay extra fees. That said, it can be hard to find room in your busy schedule to attend in-person classes.
The good news is, we've got you covered. At Aceable Real Estate School, our online CE courses are state-approved and can be completed on your phone, tablet, or computer at a time most convenient for you. Staying up to date on CE courses has never been easier!