A Guide to Acquiring a Real Estate License in New York

By Ciprian Morariu Published: May 1, 2024

Acquiring a Real Estate License in New York

A career in New York real estate is like a dream come true for many who aspire to achieve financial independence. 

New York is one of the most premium, sophisticated, and hottest real estate markets in the country. Popularly known as the city of dreams, New York welcomes thousands of people every year. 

New York real estate markets are internationally acclaimed and draw investors from all over the world.  

The post-pandemic recovery of the real estate industry in New York has been very impressive. 

To work as a real estate professional in the state, you must have a New York real estate license.  

Having a license is the first step towards starting a career in real estate regardless of whether it is as an agent or broker.  

With so many courses and real estate colleges to choose from, finding the right one can be a bit challenging and overwhelming. 

This article will help you make an informed decision and steer your NY license preparation in the right direction. 

Courses Required for Real Estate License

Pre-Licensing Education Overview

To get the most out of any career, completing the minimum level of education is a must. The more knowledge you have, the higher your chances of success. 

Real estate is a diverse, dynamic, and fast-moving industry, especially in a highly competitive market like New York. 

Pre-licensing education is necessary to educate yourself so that you can serve clients as per their needs. Real estate is a complex field and without the right coursework, you cannot negotiate the transactions correctly. 

Completing the pre-licensing education is mandatory to appear for the licensing exam as it proves your competence in this sector. Once you pass the test, you will be issued a real estate license to practice in New York.    

To start your education, you must complete a set of New York pre-licensing real estate courses worth 77 hours.

To become a broker in NY, then you must complete 120 hours of pre-licensing coursework. It provides knowledge about state and federal laws and real estate principles and practices.  

The coursework is available both online or in a classroom environment from state-approved course providers. Their list is updated on the website of the New York Department of State.  

New York Pre-Licensing Real Estate Courses

Given below are the New York real estate courses to be completed to appear for the licensing exam.  

  • Principles of Real Estate 1
  • Principles of Real Estate 2
  • Real Estate Law of Agency
  • Real Estate Law of Contracts
  • Promulgated Contract Forms
  • Real Estate Finance

The pre-licensing courses are 77 hours duration and can either be taken online or from a state-approved real estate college in New York. 

  • Real Estate Laws: this course will provide you with an overview of the NY state laws and regulations. You will learn about the significance of the laws and the code of ethics. 
  • Principles of Real Estate (! & 2): You will learn about the principles and practices that govern the real estate industry in New York.  
  • Law of Agency: The course will prepare you on how to form a client-agent relationship, also known as an agency in real estate terms. 
  • Real Estate Finance: You will learn about the financial aspects of home mortgages, types of loans, loan tenure, interest rates, and fair lending practices. 
  • Contract Forms: This course entails details about the various contract types in the field of real estate. You will learn about the process of preparing contracts and the legalities involved. You will also learn about the rules and regulations of contract management. 
  • Land Use Regulations: This course will equip you with the knowledge of private and public land use and their respective controls. You will learn about zoning, tax land, and the different state and federal agencies involved in the use and control of land. 
  • Construction and Environments: The course will familiarize you with the knowledge of the different construction projects and their classification. 
  • Fair Housing: This course covers details about the various state and federal laws including common violations and related penalties. 
  • Real Estate Insurance: The course covers property insurance, its principles, and the different types available in the market. 
  • Real Estate Taxation: The course will provide you with knowledge of state and federal taxation principles and laws. You will learn about taxation rates, special assessments, and tax exemptions.

Continuing Education and Post-License Requirements

Since real estate is a continuously evolving profession, real estate professionals need to upskill themselves. 

Hence all real estate license holders must complete continuing education before their licenses are renewed. 

For real estate license holders in NY, continuing education (CE) of 22.5 hours must be completed every two years effective from the date of issuance of your license. CE can be completed either online or from a state-approved real estate school. 

Of these 22.5 hours of CE, 11.5 hours are for mandatory courses whereas 11 hours are for elective courses. 

In case you fail to renew your license before the deadline, your license might become void or null. 

New York Real Estate Schools

Accreditation and Recognition

In New York, there is no shortage of class-leading, well-rounded, and experienced education providers. While looking for the best schools for real estate in New York, consider the following aspects before enrolling in one. 

Ensure that the course provider is accredited by the New York Department of State (NYDOS). This is because these schools work closely with the state real estate governing body and design the courses as per its guidance. 

Schools for Real Estate in New York

Before starting real estate education, research New York real estate courses and select a state-approved school.  

But how do you decide on whether a college, school, or online course provider is right for you?

  • Check the different content delivery methods
  • Explore student reviews and alumni’s feedback
  • Make sure the education provider is state-approved and accredited
  • Evaluate the pricing of the education provider in terms of the value proposition