How Long Does It Take to Get a Real Estate License?

Average Time to Get Real Estate License 

Acquiring a real estate license is a crucial step for those aspiring to become real estate agents.

Every state in the U.S. has its own requirements and processes for licensure, which leads many to wonder: “How long does it take to get a real estate license in each state?”

In this article, we’ll break down the process for various states, helping you to set your expectations and timeline appropriately.

Factors Influencing the Duration

Before diving into individual states, it’s important to understand the factors that influence how long it takes to get licensed:

Pre-licensing Education Hours

Most states require a certain number of classroom hours to be eligible for a license. The duration ranges widely, from a few hours to 180 or more.

Application Processing

After completing the education requirement, applicants must submit their details. This can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks depending on the state and the volume of applications.

Exam Scheduling

The next step is taking the licensing exam. Depending on availability and the number of test-takers, this might add days or weeks to the process.

Background Checks

Some states conduct thorough background checks which might extend the time frame.

Additional State-specific Requirements

Some states have unique stipulations, such as post-licensing education or sponsorship by a licensed broker. With these factors in mind, let’s examine the time frame in various states.

A Look at Specific States

Texas

Texas requires 180 hours of pre-licensing education, one of the highest in the nation. The entire process, inclusive of application and exam, often takes about 4-6 months, similar to California.

  1. Eligibility: You need to be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted alien, and a Texas resident.
  2. Pre-Licensing Education:
    • You must complete 180 hours of pre-licensing education from approved courses. This consists of:
      • Principles of Real Estate I (30 hours)
      • Principles of Real Estate II (30 hours)
      • Law of Agency (30 hours)
      • Law of Contracts (30 hours)
      • Promulgated Contract Forms (30 hours)
      • Real Estate Finance (30 hours)
    • The time it takes to complete these courses depends on your schedule and the format in which you take the courses (online, in-person, self-paced, etc.). If you took one 30-hour course per week, it would take six weeks to complete all the required courses.
  3. Filing Your Application:
    • Once you’ve completed your education, you can file an application with the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) to take the state exam. Processing times can vary, but generally, it might take a few weeks.
  4. Fingerprints and Background Check:
    • After submitting your application, you’ll need to get fingerprinted. This allows the state to perform a background check. This process can take a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on various factors.
  5. State Exam:
    • After your application has been approved, you can schedule your licensing exam. You might wait anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for a test date, depending on availability.
    • The exam consists of two parts: a national portion and a state-specific portion. You’ll need to pass both parts to get your license.
  6. Obtain Sponsorship:
    • Once you’ve passed your exam, you need to be sponsored by an active Texas licensed broker. This involves the broker associating your license with their brokerage via the TREC website.
  7. Active License:
    • After all the above steps have been completed and TREC processes everything, your active license will be issued.

While the coursework might take you six weeks if done continuously, other factors such as processing times, waiting for exam dates, and obtaining sponsorship can add to this timeline.

All things considered, it could take a few months to obtain a real estate license in Texas.

However, always check the TREC website or contact TREC directly for the most current information and any changes to the licensing process.

Washington

  1. Eligibility:
    • You must be at least 18 years old.
  2. Pre-Licensing Education:
    • You need to complete a total of 90 hours of pre-licensing education. This includes:
    • The time it takes to finish these courses will depend on your pace and the educational provider’s format (online, in-person, etc.).
  3. Schedule and Pass the State Exam:
    • After completing your pre-licensing education, you need to pass the Washington real estate examination. The exam is administered by a third-party testing company.
    • It’s recommended to make an exam reservation shortly after completing your education to ensure you’re taking the test while the information is still fresh.
  4. Fingerprints and Background Check:
    • You will need to be fingerprinted for a background check. The Washington State Department of Licensing will use these fingerprints to conduct a background check with the Washington State Patrol and the FBI.
  5. Apply for Your License:
    • After passing the state exam, you will need to apply for your Washington real estate license. Typically, you will do this within one year of passing the exam.
    • You must choose a brokerage before you can be issued an active license. Your chosen managing broker will need to verify your affiliation with their firm when you apply.
  6. License Issuance:
    • Once the Department of Licensing processes your application and verifies that you’ve met all the requirements, you will be issued a real estate license.

The time frame for obtaining a real estate license in Washington can vary based on the individual’s pace of study, exam availability, and other factors.

Always make sure to refer to the Washington State Department of Licensing website or contact them directly for the most updated information and any changes in the licensing process.

Generally, the process might take a few months from start to finish.

Oregon

  1. Eligibility:
    • You must be at least 18 years old.
    • You need to have a high school diploma, GED, or international equivalent.
  2. Pre-Licensing Education:
    • Complete 150 hours of pre-licensing education from an agency-approved real estate school. The course topics include:
    • Upon completion, you will receive a certificate as proof of your coursework. This will be needed for the state exam.
  3. Apply with the State:
    • Before taking the state exam, you need to apply for a real estate license with the Oregon Real Estate Agency (OREA). Once approved, you will receive an Applicant ID number, which is required to schedule the state exam.
  4. Schedule and Pass the State Exam:
    • With your Applicant ID number in hand, you can schedule the state examination through the testing service provider. The exam will test your knowledge on both national and state-specific real estate principles.
    • Passing the exam is a prerequisite for obtaining your license.
  5. Fingerprints and Background Check:
    • After passing the exam, you’ll be required to undergo a background check, which includes fingerprinting. This is to ensure that you meet the state’s requirements for trustworthiness and integrity.
  6. License Application:
    • Once you have passed the exam and the background check is complete, the Oregon Real Estate Agency will send you an active real estate license application.
    • To activate your license, you must be affiliated with a licensed Oregon real estate principal broker or property manager.
  7. License Issuance:

The entire process can take several months, depending on how quickly you complete the required education, your exam date, and other factors.

For the most up-to-date information and any changes to the licensing process, always refer to the Oregon Real Estate Agency’s official website or contact them directly.

Conclusion

While the time it takes to get a real estate license varies across states, understanding the specific requirements and processes of your state can help streamline your journey.

Whether you’re in a state that requires extensive hours like Texas or a shorter duration like Florida, the key is to be prepared and diligent.

Start with the pre-licensing education, stay organized during the application process, and prepare thoroughly for your exam.

In no time, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a licensed real estate agent in your state!