How to Become a New York Real Estate Broker in 8 Steps

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Ready to really be your own boss? New York real estate brokers are able to operate independently and employ other agents. Find out what it takes to get your career to the next level with a New York broker license.

8 Steps to Becoming a Real Estate Broker in New York

  • Get Experience as a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson or Professional
  • Meet the Minimum Points Requirement
  • Take the 45-Hour Real Estate Broker Course (and Possibly the Salesperson Course)
  • Decide What Type of Broker You Want to Be
  • Submit Your Business Name(s) With the Division of Licensing Services
  • Pass the State Real Estate Broker Exam
  • Apply for a Broker License
  • Pay the Nonrefundable Application Fee

Step 1 - Get Experience as a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

In New York, to qualify for a broker license you must pass the experience, education, and examination sniff test. The first part, experience, comes in three forms:

  • Two years of experience as a full-time, licensed real estate salesperson.
  • Three years full-time experience conducting real estate business (buying and selling your own homes, working as a property manager, etc.)
  • Combination of working as a licensed salesperson and within real estate in general.

Step 2 - Meet the Minimum Points Requirement

In addition to getting years on the books, New York also uses a point system to determine if a person has enough experience to become a broker. Each real estate function is given a weighted score.

  • If you’re a licensed real estate salesperson you must have 3,500 points.
  • If you’re a real estate professional with 3+ years of experience you must have 5,250 points.
  • If you’re using a combination of experience you must have 5,250 points.

Step 3 - Take the 45-Hour Real Estate Broker Course (and Possibly the Salesperson Course)

If you’ve got the experience you can move onto the next step - education. If you’re an agent and have already passed the 75-hour salesperson qualifying education course within the last eight years you only have to complete the 45-hour real estate broker course. But if you’re a real estate professional without a salesperson license or you took the salesperson course more than eight years ago you’ll have to complete both courses.

You’ll be required to submit signed school certificates for both courses when you apply.

Step 4 - Decide What Type of Broker You Want to Be

You’ll need to choose what type of broker you’re going to be. It could make a difference for step 5. The options include:

  • Associate Broker - You’d still need a sponsoring broker.
  • Individual Broker - Operate under your name only.
  • Trade Name Broker - Sole proprietor that operates under a business name rather than a personal name.
  • Partnership Broker - Part of a partnership and conducts business under the name of the partnership.
  • Corporate Broker - Member of a corporation that conducts real estate business under the name of the corporation.
  • Limited Liability Company or Partnership Broker - Members or managers of a limited liability company or limited liability partnership can become a broker under the name of the company or partnership.

Step 5 - Submit Your Business Name(s) With the Division of Licensing Services

If you choose an option other than associate or individual broker you’ll have to submit your business name(s) to the Division of Licensing prior to applying. You’ll also need to file the appropriate certificate with the Office of the County Clerk in the county where your business is located.

If you plan to be a corporate broker, limited liability broker or limited liability partnership broker additional paperwork must be filed with the NYS Department of State, Division of Corporations.

Step 6 - Pass the State Real Estate Broker Exam

After completing all of the coursework you’ll be able to schedule a time to take the state real estate broker exam through the eAccessNY Occupational Licensing Management System. On exam day you’ll need to bring a current, government-issued ID with a photo and a print out of the “Summary of Your Submission” page that was generated when you scheduled the test.

You’ll have two and a half hours to complete the multiple choice exam. The results (either pass or fail) will be reported on your eAccessNY account after the exams have been graded.

Step 7 - Apply for a Broker License

After getting that coveted pass notification you can apply for a broker license online through the eAccessNY system. Fill out the form completely, including information about the school that administered the required courses and your current broker if you’re an agent. You’ll also need to include New York sponsoring broker information if you’re applying to be an associate broker.

Step 8 - Pay the Nonrefundable Application Fee

Along with the application you’ll also have to pay the $155 nonrefundable application fee. The fee should be payable to the NYS Department of State.

Once your application and fee are processed you’ll soon receive your New York broker license, which is good for two years before it has to be renewed!