9 Steps to Becoming a Licensed New York Real Estate Agent

If you’re in New York and want to become a licensed real estate agent, follow these nine steps.

Is real estate calling your name? There’s no question that real estate is a flexible, fulfilling career with many benefits, but sometimes getting started (like with most things in life) is the most overwhelming part.

Luckily, the process of becoming a licensed real estate agent is easy if you know what steps you need to take. If you’re in New York and want to become a licensed real estate agent, follow these nine steps.

Step 1: Check your eligibility

Before you even begin your journey to becoming a licensed real estate agent, you first must figure out if you’re eligible to get your license. To become a real estate agent in the state of New York, you need to be at least 18 years of age, provide proof of US residency, and have no felony charges on your record.

Step 2: Take the pre-license coursework

Now that you’ve determined your eligibility, you’re ready for the fun part: the coursework. The state of New York requires the completion of 75 hours of coursework from a course that’s been approved by the Secretary of State before applying for your license. There’s only one exception to this requirement. For those who may have completed the 45-hour salesperson course prior to July 1, 2008, all you have to do now is complete the 30-hour remedial course to apply for your license.

Before you get started, you may be wondering what exactly you’ll be going over in these courses. The education that you’re required to work through will comprise of the following topics:

  1. License Law and Regulations
  2. Law of Agency
  3. Legal Issues
  4. The Contract of Sales and Leases
  5. Real Estate Finance
  6. Land Use Regulations
  7. Construction and Environmental Issues
  8. Valuation Process and Pricing Properties
  9. Human Rights and Fair Housing
  10. Real Estate Mathematics
  11. Municipal Agencies
  12. Property Insurance
  13. Taxes and Assessments
  14. Condominiums and Cooperatives
  15. Commercial and Investment Properties
  16. Income Tax Issues in Real Estate Transactions
  17. Mortgage Brokers
  18. Property Management

It’s important to note that once you complete these courses, they’re valid for eight years. This means that if you aren’t ready to take the exam right away or aren’t in the right stage in life to obtain your license, you have plenty of time to make it happen.

Step 3: Study up!

Before you take your exams (yes, plural -- you’ll see why in a minute!), it’s crucial to get in a good amount of studying time. While you’re going through your coursework, take note of which topics you struggled with or want to spend more time on. There’s no rush to take the exam as soon as you’re done with the coursework -- after all, you have eight years, remember?

What’s more important is that you ensure that you understand the course topics and how they translate into your position as a real estate agent. You’ll refer to your education and carry all of the knowledge you learned with you throughout your career -- so truly soak it all in before diving into the exam(s).

Step 4: Take the school-administered proctored exam

In addition to the qualifying exam administered by the Department of State, you also need to take a school-administered proctored exam. This step ensures that you successfully completed your required coursework and that you understand the subject matter. Think of this exam as your preparation for the qualifying exam.

At AceableAgent, we take care of this requirement by partnering with BVirtual to professionally proctor all of our final exams. We want to make sure that each of our students is given a fair opportunity to pass the final exam and feels prepared for the qualifying exam that lies ahead.

Step 5: Schedule your qualifying exam

To schedule your exam, visit your account on New York’s Occupational Licensing Management System, eAccessNY. This is where you’ll be able to schedule your exam, pay for licensing fees, and apply for your license.

Once you schedule your exam, you’ll be prompted to print your “Summary of Submission.” This page includes all of your exam information and you will need to bring it with you on exam day.

Step 6: Ace the qualifying exam

After taking the school-administered exam earlier (and maybe getting in some more studying time), you should be more than ready to take your qualifying exam.

The written exam will be in a multiple-choice format and will cover everything you learned in your 75-hour coursework. You will have one and a half hours to complete this exam. Your exam score will be listed as either passed or failed and can be found online through your account on eAccessNY. It’s important to note that if you pass the exam, your results are only valid for two years.

Step 7: Find a sponsoring broker

When you apply for your real estate license, you’ll be required to submit which New York State licensed real estate broker you’ll be sponsored by. A sponsoring broker is someone who’s been in the industry for a few years and who will oversee the formative stage of your career. They will be responsible for your sales and guide you through pricing and listings, so it’s important that you find a sponsoring broker that you feel comfortable working with.

At AceableAgent, we ease the stress of finding a sponsoring broker with our guaranteed broker placement. We connect potential agents with a community of experienced brokers to ensure that you’re matched with someone who will guide you through the beginning stage of your career and can lend a helping hand in the years to come.

Step 8: Apply for your license

You’ve taken the courses, passed the exam, and found a sponsoring broker -- you made it! Now it’s time for the moment you’ve been waiting for: applying for your real estate license.

To apply for your license, visit your account on eAccessNY. It’s here where you will submit proof of your completed requirements, like the coursework and exams. You will also submit a fee of $55 for your license application. Your license will need to be renewed every two years in order to stay active, which will cost $55 each time.

Step 9: Start making sales!

Congrats! You did it. After all of your hard work, you are officially a licensed real estate agent in the state of New York. You are now ready to take on the world of real estate and start making sales. Good luck!

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