Cost to Get Your Pennsylvania Real Estate License

If you’re looking to get into Pennsylvania real estate, here’s a rundown of the licensing and other costs.
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So you’re thinking about becoming a real estate agent! Very exciting! There are a few hoops you’ll need to jump through first like taking a pre-licensing course, passing the state licensing exam, and getting your license. And all of those things can cost anywhere between $400-$800, which also include application fees, processing fees, and exam fees you’ll need to budget for.

This post will walk you through how much a real estate license costs and how much you’ll need to budget to be successful as an agent.

Cost of a Real Estate License: The Breakdown

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Let’s take a look at the different real estate license costs in Pennsylvania and the requirements of getting your Pennsylvania real estate license, total them up, and determine if the expense will pay off for you.

Cost #1: Pre-License Real Estate School Courses: $300 to $650

The very first step in your journey to a real estate license is to take the state-required pre-license courses. There are two required courses:

  1. Real Estate Fundamentals (30 hours)
  2. Real Estate Practice (45 hours)

As you look at real estate schools, pay special attention to:

  • Exam pass rates. How well do the students from each school do on the state real estate exam?
  • Access to the course materials. Do you have to attend courses on campus? Can you access the coursework from your cell or tablet?
  • Student support. Will there be real estate professionals available to answer your questions? Price. How much is your real estate school? Will your student experience be worth the expense?

Aceable Agent offers a completely online course for about half the cost of an in-person one. When you’re done, your test can be completed online, too. And we also offer a 100% pass guarantee or your money back!

Cost #2: Exam Fee: $40 per attempt

Once your coursework is complete, you can apply to take your Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission licensing exam. The current exam fee for the sales agent license is $40 per attempt. It’s a difficult test, and many people need two or even three attempts to pass it. This is why those exam pass rates are so important when you’re choosing your real estate school. You want to give yourself the best possible chances of passing on your first try.

Cost #3: Application & Licensure Fees: $107

After you complete your exam, you will need to file your application with the Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS). The licensure fee is $72, the application fee is $25, and there is also a recovery fund fee of $10.

Cost #4: Fingerprinting Fee: $22

In addition to the application fee, you’ll pay a fingerprinting fee of $22. Anyone who is applying for a real estate license must have a background check done to check for any criminal history.

How Much Does a Real Estate License Cost in Pennsylvania?

Around $500 to $800

Adding all these costs together, you should expect to pay somewhere around $400 to $800 total to get your real estate license in Pennsylvania, with the biggest variable in cost being which real estate school you choose.

  • Pre-License Real Estate School Courses: $300 to $650
  • Exam Fee: $40 per attempt
  • Application & Licensure Fees: $107
  • Fingerprinting Fee: $22

Other Costs to Become a Real Estate Agent

Next, let’s take a look at some of the costs associated with being a new agent.

Cost #1: Brokerage Desk Fees: Varies, around $1,200 per year

New agents must work under a broker, and some brokerages charge monthly fees to agents in exchange for office space, mentoring programs, and training. Expect to pay about $100 per month in brokerage fees.

Cost #2: Membership Dues: Varies, around $800 to $1,200 per year

You’ll want to join professional associations like the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and your city’s local real estate board. These organizations offer tools and resources that can help you succeed as an agent. Being part of your local and national chapters could cost between $800 and $1,200 per year for dues.

Cost #3: Multiple Listing Service (MLS): Varies, around $300 to $600 per year

An MLS subscription is critical to your success as an agent. A subscription fee may be part of your local board of REALTORS® membership, or you may pay it separately. Prices vary, but a subscription to the local MLS range from $300 to $600 per year.

Cost #4: Marketing Materials: Varies, around $200 to $2,000 per year

You can start marketing for free on social media. You will need to budget some money for your print needs like business cards, property flyers, signs, and mailers to advertise both you and your properties. You’ll also likely need a website and may want to spring for paid advertising in local newspapers and magazines.

Cost #5: Living Expenses: Varies

Real estate is different from many other career paths. Real estate agents are typically not employees; they’re independent contractors. This means you’ll probably work on commission instead of receiving a predetermined salary. You’ll probably have to pay for your own insurance and fund your own retirement.

It can take time to close your first deal. You’ll need to find your first clients and see that deal through to close before you collect a paycheck. This whole process can take two to six months. That means going two to six months without an income. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis,the average cost of living in Pennsylvania is $3,721 per month per person, so consider what you’ll need to budget for as you’re starting out.

What’s the Total Cost of Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Pennsylvania?

Around $3,000 to $6,000

Adding all these costs together, you should expect to pay somewhere around $3,000 to $6,000 to launch your real estate career in Pennsylvania. These are rough estimates, but it gives you an idea of what to expect.

  • Pre-License Real Estate School Courses: $300 to $650
  • Exam Fee: $40 per attempt
  • Application Fee: $107
  • Fingerprinting Fee: $22
  • Brokerage Desk Fees: $1,200 per year
  • Membership Dues: $800 to $1.200 per year
  • Multiple Listing Service (MLS): $300 to $600 per year
  • Marketing Materials: $200 to $2,000 per year
  • Living Expenses for first two to six months

Is a Pennsylvania Real Estate License Worth the Cost?

With all these upfront fees, and the slow start to your new income, you may be wondering: Is my real estate license worth it?

As long as you’re a hard-working self-starter, the answer is a resounding YES!

According to Indeed, the average salary of a real estate agent with one to two years of experience is $76,161, which makes getting a real estate license in Pennsylvania absolutely worth considering.

And one of the best things about real estate is the unlimited income potential!

If you can hustle to land lots of clients, and provide top-quality service, you can potentially make six figures every year!

The Bottom Line

It all starts with your real estate license. The upfront cost and time spent studying may be an obstacle for you to overcome, but the rewards will be well worth your investment with our Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission-approved real estate courses.

Ready to take the next step toward becoming an agent? You can learn more about how much it costs to get your license and even sign up to take a pre-licensing course today!