How Long Does it Take to Get Your Real Estate License in New York?

Find out how long it takes to get a real estate license in New York and learn about the factors that can shorten or extend the timeline.
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How Long Does it Take to Become a Real Estate Agent in New York?

So you’ve decided to become a New York real estate agent. Welcome to the world of high-profile deals and the highest annual real estate agent salary in the country.

But first, you have to get your real estate license. How long are real estate classes? Typically, it takes at least several months to earn a license, but that largely depends on how much time you have to dedicate to the process. Here’s a quick overview of what takes to get a real estate license in New York and various factors that can shorten or extend the timeline.

Educational Requirements

Unlike some professions, you don’t need a college degree to be a New York real estate agent. You do need a high school diploma (or GED) to take the licensing exam. However, you do have to take a number of pre-license real estate classes before you can take the licensing exam. You do NOT have to have your high school degree to begin taking your courses. If you're a go-getter, you can start taking classes your senior year, then wait to take the test when you graduate :)

Required New York Pre-License Real Estate Course

Before you can find a broker and take the licensing exam, you have to successfully complete a 75-hour salesperson qualifying education course. Just make sure you take courses that are approved by the Secretary of State. If not, it’s a waste of time and money.

Timeframe Factors for Course Completion

Each real estate class is about 2-3 hours long. If you really cram and put all your attention on completing the courses, it can be done in a matter of a week. But that’s pretty extreme. A few things that affect the timeframe include:

The type of courses you take - The courses must be approved by the Secretary of State, but you don’t have to necessarily take them in a formal classroom setting. For most people, taking online real estate courses is the quickest way to burn through through the 75 hours of required education. Taking courses in-person tends to take longer and is based on a predetermined class schedule. Usually, there are 20 class sessions within the real estate course.

Passing the school administered exam - After you complete the coursework, the state requires that you pass a school-administered proctored final exam. It’s an extra step that many other states don’t include in the licensing process. How long it will take to complete the school exam all depends on how quickly you can get it scheduled and how many times it takes you to pass. Anything 65% or higher is considered a passing grade, and you’ll get three attempts.

Keep in mind some schools have time limitations on completing courses and testing. Usually, the time limit is 4-6 months from the time you take your first class.

Taking the New York Real Estate Licensing Exam

Once you get your certificate of completion for the school exam you can schedule a time to take the licensing exam through eAccessNY, the Occupational Licensing Management System. Tests are given at local Department of State offices on a weekly basis. However, only so many spots are allotted for each test so schedule at least 1-2 weeks in advance.

The state exam is a pass/fail test that’s limited to 90 minutes. Anything 70% or higher is a passing grade, but you won’t receive your numerical score. Unfortunately, test results aren’t given the same day. Exams have to be sent to an Exam Unit for scoring, which takes an unspecified amount of time. Basically, just as soon as they can get the test scored and processed they’ll update your eAccessNY account with the result.

Like the school proctored exam, how quickly you complete this step depends on scheduling and passing. You can take the state exam as many times as you need, but if you fail you have to reschedule and wait for the next test date then wait some more for the test results.

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