How to get a real estate license

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I publish this every year because this is the time of year people think about getting a real estate license and some of the local brokerages publish information that leads people to believe that they have to connect with a brokerage before they get a license.  

While it is true that to sell real estate a Minnesota licensee has to work under a Minnesota licensed broker no one is required to have a broker to get a license.  

Being licensed is a State of  Minnesota requirement for people who sell real estate for others for a fee. Real estate is local and regulated at the state level. Persons interested in licensing in other states should check with their own state department of commerce for information. 

All real estate sales people have to work under a licensed broker and that is what a real estate company provides.  I have a Minnesota brokers license which means I can be my own broker.  We can not start out as brokers but have to have a real estate license for three years and then take a class and a test.  

The rules and requirements can be found on the Minnesota Department of Commerce web site because they regulate the real estate industry.  Most consumers do not understand that most real estate agents are independent contractors who work on a 100% commission basis and only get paid upon the successful closing of a sale. 

The first step in getting a real real estate license is to take a 30 hour class in preperation for the real estate exam and then take the exam.  After the exam there are two more courses each is 30 hours long.   There are 90 hours of required training, split into three 30 hour courses known as course 1, 2 and 3.  They can be taken in a class room or online and prices vary.   I went to the local real estate school to take mine.  Currently they charge $259 for each course.   As an alternative there is also MN Realty School.

It is now possible to take all of the pre-license classes online which is a wonderful alternative for some. They will cost about $199 per class.  See  

It costs $75 to register for the licensing exam and $135 for the license once the courses have been completed.  Agents have to join a brokerage to get the license and to start selling real estate.  After attending the classes most agents will not be able to fill out a basic purchase or listing agreement but will generally charge as much as a seasoned pro. 

Getting a real estate license does not make a person a Realtor®.  Realtors belong to the National Association of Realtors.  Most local brokerages require that their agents belong to NAR.

Amazingly this article will get a lot of traffic, comments and questions from people who are looking for general information. I am always happy to help. . . .which is why I publish this or something similar to it every year.  

Even though the number of Minnesota real estate licensees has been declining in recent years there is no shortage of agents.  Agents who contact me asking for more information on how to get a licence are often searching for the least expensive way to get a license and amazingly their is a high failure rate among agents and one of the top reasons for quitting is because they run out of money.  

Some new agents keep their daytime job as they start up and those agents also have a high failure rate.  Being a real estate agent is expensive and it is a full time job. 

Also see The Future of Real Estate Agents

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3 Replies to “How to get a real estate license”

  1. Hello, im 18 years old, and ever since i was a little kid, ive always dreamed about someday owning my own business in the real estate industry, any advice, or information you could give me to help me accomplish my life goal/dream?

  2. Right on. If only I had the courage.

  3. […] Also see: How to get a Minnesota Real Estate License […]

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