How Do I Become a Leasing Agent in Pennsylvania?

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Are you thinking about becoming a leasing agent in Pennsylvania, but don’t know where to start? Aceable is here to help.

Becoming a leasing agent is a great way to start off a career in real estate. You can get experience in the field with the security and stability of a salary.

It’s a promising field with a high probability of work opportunities. And with the real estate market continuing to climb in Pennsylvania, there’s no time like the present!

Let’s clarify a few things before we get you started on your journey to becoming a leasing agent. This page helps you understand how to get a real estate license in pa.

What’s the difference between a leasing agent and a real estate broker?

While a leasing agent and a real estate broker both work in selling real estate, a leasing agent is an employee of a specific landlord, apartment complex or brokerage firm. Leasing agents are responsible for showing the property, screening tenants, and coordinating the lease signing. Typically, they do not have as many responsibilities or independence as a real estate agent would.

A leasing agent deals strictly with properties that are being leased or rented out by an owner.

There is also a difference in how the two make money. Real estate agents generally work off of commission, while leasing agents usually have a fixed salary set by their employer based on the area you live in and the property being leased.

Currently, the average leasing agent salary in Pennsylvania is $37,845, which is 10% above the national average.

What is the cost of a Pennsylvania real estate license?

For as little as $500, you can cover your pre-licensing course, exam, and all other fees associated with starting your new real estate career.

Do I need a license to become a leasing agent in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania state law requires that you obtain a license to assist in the purchase, sale, rental or lease of real estate on behalf of anyone other than yourself.

However, there are some exceptions.

If you work for a specific property manager that is licensed, and your job responsibilities are limited, you may not need to be licensed.

You do not need to be licensed if you do not:

  • Negotiate lease terms
  • Hold money belonging to tenants other than on behalf of the owner
  • Enter into leases on the owner's behalf

If the owner holds all of that authority and makes those decisions, the employees may show apartments and provide information on rental amounts, building rules, and regulations and leasing determinations.

But you will be confined by those restrictions.

To sum it up, you may not need a real estate license in PA if you want to work for a specific employer and have limited agency, but if you want to be a free leasing agent, you need to be licensed.

Which leasing activities require a real estate license?

These specific activities require a real estate license:

  • Leasing or renting a property
  • Offering to lease or rent a property
  • Placing a property for rent
  • Listing places for rent
  • Soliciting for prospective tenants
  • Collecting rents from real property or improvements
  • Negotiating rental leases

If you have a desire to move up in your real estate career or to take part in any of the activities listed above, then you need to get your Pennsylvania real estate license.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s go over exactly what you need to do to become a licensed leasing agent.

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5 Steps to Becoming a Leasing Agent in Pennsylvania

Follow these steps to begin your journey as a Pennsylvania leasing agent!

Step #1: Do your research

If you are serious about becoming a leasing agent, you need to do your research first.

Although you will have to complete a pre-license course that will help you prepare for your licensing exam, do some preliminary research of your own so you know what area of real estate you would like to go into and to make sure this is the right career path for you.

Some topics to look into include:

  • Sales
  • Real estate market analysis
  • Residential report writing
  • Fair housing regulations
  • Contracts
  • Principles of real estate management

You also need to be at least 18 years old and be a high school graduate or equivalent to qualify for a leasing license.

Step #2: Sign up for and complete a leasing license course

According to Pennsylvania law, you must complete 75 hours of pre-license education before taking the state real estate exam. After passing the exam, you must take an additional 30 hours of post-license education within the first year of being an agent.

Luckily, there are now convenient online options like Aceable Philadelphia Real Estate School that make your real estate license course a breeze. You can complete it on your own time and go at your own pace. There’s no traveling to a classroom. Instead, you’re learning from the comfort of your own home!

Once you have completed your pre-license education, you should be ready to take and pass your exam.

Typical topics covered on the exam include:

  • The real estate laws of Pennsylvania
  • Real estate appraisal
  • Real estate finance
  • Human resources
  • Business law
  • Business economics
  • Financial management

Step #3: Background check

Before your license can be issued, the Real Estate Commission requires you to complete a background check by the Pennsylvania State Police. Pennsylvania background checks may be obtained on the PATCH website or from the Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository.

There will be a fee for the background check, and the results only stay up-to-date for three months.

If you do have a criminal record, in Pennsylvania or anywhere else, you should be aware that the Real Estate Commission may not grant you a license even after you have paid the fees and passed the exam. The commission licenses people on a case-by-case basis and takes many different factors into consideration.

Step #4: Take and Pass the Pennsylvania Licensing Exam

After completing your background check, it’s time to take the exam!

First, you will need to apply for the exam on the Pennsylvania Licensing System website. After creating an account and applying for the exam, you will schedule an appointment to take the exam at a PSI testing center.

When you go to take your exam, you will need to bring:

  • Certificate of Completion for the required courses
  • 2 forms of identification (valid, government-issued ID)

The exam consists of a National portion and a State portion. You must answer at least 60 out of 80 questions on the National portion and 23 out of 30 questions correctly in order to pass. You will receive your scores immediately after the exam, and they will be printed out for you on-site.

While your pre-licensure courses will cover all the material you need to know to pass your exam, studying for the real estate license exam is highly recommended in order to pass.

Step #5 Apply for your Pennsylvania State Real Estate License

Once completing and passing the exam, you will need to apply for your license.

The Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission will provide you with a licensing application. You will need to fill out, sign, and submit the application. There is also a fee of $107 that you need to pay to apply for the license.

You will also need a sponsoring broker to help you submit your application by mail. In order to receive your license, you need to be sponsored by a currently-licensed real estate broker.

Once your application is received and approved, your license will be mailed to your sponsoring broker.

And once you receive your license, you are a free leasing agent!