Exploring the Costs of a Real Estate License in New York

By Ciprian Morariu Published: December 26, 2023

Irrespective of where you are in your career path or where you come from, working in real estate is rewarding and fulfilling.  

For aspiring real estate agents, brokers, realtors and appraisers, New York State offers a great mix of growth and earning opportunities. 

One of the most sought-after real estate markets in the country and around the world, New York is home to thousands of real estate professionals. 

Did you know that real estate professionals in New York can make anywhere between $100K-200K in salary and commissions every year? 

To get your share of the pie and be a part of the New York exciting real estate community, you will need to get a state-approved license. 

Wondering whether is it worth it to get a real estate license? The answer is a resounding yes. 

If you are serious about making a lucrative, thriving career in New York’s real estate market, you will need a license. 

A license is a must-have if you want to engage in selling, buying, or renting a property in New York, so let’s look at the expenses required to get one. 

Now do not worry if you are not sure where to start or what it will cost for you to get a license. 

In this article, we are going to give you a detailed outline of the steps required to become a licensed real estate professional in New York, along with the cost to get there.

Costs of a Real Estate License in New York

Breaking Down the Expenses

A career in real estate can demand significant investments early on, especially if you are looking to get your first job in the industry. 

For some people getting a license, the costs and expenses can be manageable, whereas for others, it can be downright expensive. 

If you are on the fence about starting a career in real estate but are not sure how much is Real estate license in New York, then keep reading to find out more with our step-by-step cost and expense breakdown. 

Application Fees

For applicants who have already completed the New York State real estate training, the next step is to submit your application to the New York State Real Estate Commission. 

Along with your application, you will be required to pay the one-time application fee of $65 to the Department of State in New York if you are applying for a salesperson license. 

For those applying for a broker’s license in New York, the application fee costs $185 which can be paid by credit card or through personal check.   

Post submitting your application, you will have to wait for a few days/weeks to hear back from the Department of State.

Pre-Licensing Education Costs

Completing the pre-licensing course is the first step to getting a real estate license in New York. This is the most important and expensive step in your journey to becoming a licensed real estate professional. 

As per the New York Department of State, every applicant must complete 75-77 hours of pre-licensing education if you are an aspiring salesperson. 

If you are applying for a real estate broker’s license, then you must complete 42 hours of pre-licensing training to be eligible to appear for appearing in the licensing exam. 

Pre-licensing education costs in New York are generally in the range of $100 to $500, depending on the type of learning, content delivery medium, and reputation of the institution, college, or course provider. 

Pre-licensing course providers and schools have different packages and tiers with their own set of features and benefits.

You can choose the desired learning package based on how much support they provide and the type of curriculum you will need to prepare for passing the licensing exam. 

Some schools can also charge extra money for providing additional prep tests and learning resources. Real estate training can also cost more if you are opting for in-person classes, some of which can cost as much as $1000. 

Overall, the final cost for your pre-licensing education will be determined by the course provider and the type of package you choose. 

One important thing to note is that whichever course or college you choose, make sure it is approved and accredited by the New York Department of State. 

Examination Fees

So you have completed your pre-licensing coursework of 75 or 42 hours and you are now ready to appear for the New York state licensing exam. 

To do so, you will need to spend a one-time examination fee of $15. You must study hard and prepare well for the exam if you want to clear the exam in just one attempt.  

Keep in mind that in case you fail to clear the exam with passing marks, then you will have to reappear for the exam again, and pay the $15 examination fee for a new attempt.

New York Costs of a Real Estate License

Understanding Miscellaneous Expenses

When it comes to calculating the final real estate license in New York cost, there is more than just paying for the pre-licensing education and examination fees. 

As an applicant, you must keep in consideration that there will be additional expenses and charges along the way to becoming a licensed real estate professional in New York state. 

Wondering what exactly are these miscellaneous expenses? Let’s find out more in detail below. 

Background Check and Fingerprints

Becoming a licensed real estate professional in New York will require you to undergo a background check and submit your fingerprint verification. 

A federal background check is the minimum set of guidelines and regulations that must be fulfilled to obtain a license. 

As per the Department of State, every applicant is required to submit their latest fingerprints, along with any documentation related to a history of felony or criminal investigations. 

Coming to the cost aspect, completing and submitting your electronic fingerprints to the Department of Criminal Justice Services will cost a one-time fee of $75. 

As of January 2022, applicants will also be required to pay an additional Fingerprint vendor fee of $13.75. 

You can choose to pay these fees online or schedule an appointment at a state-approved location near you which can process electronic fingerprints. 

Technology and Marketing Tools

Most upcoming and new real estate agents and brokers often come across a surprising cost when they start working in the industry. 

Agents and brokers who work independently are required to buy and pay for their software and technology to manage their day-to-day operations. These include - CRM, lead management software, calendar and appointment scheduling tools, among others. 

On top of it, if you want to succeed in a highly competitive industry like real estate, you should be ready to invest in marketing and self-promotion. 

Getting leads and clients doesn’t come on its own - one must work towards building an audience and growing their network. This is why marketing your services as a real estate professional is critical to growing your income and business. 

To brand yourself, you will need to get a website. Additionally, you should also advertise your services online via paid ads in local classifieds to attract potential clients. 

Marketing tools will cost you a specific amount of money every month or year, but they will also help you generate money by becoming the go-to agent or broker in your neighborhood. 

Membership Fees

You might think that a real estate license in New York cost is a one-time affair and once you get your license, then you do not need to incur any further expenses or pay any additional fees. 

This, however, is not completely true. As you grow and advance in your career, you will be required to join state and national-level organizations and associations. 

For example - if you are a broker with some years of experience and you want to level up in your career and become a realtor, you must become a member of the National Realtors Association (NRA).

To become a member of the NRA, you will need to pay an annual membership cost of $150. Sometimes, members also choose to pay additional fees to gain a few exclusive perks. 

Overview of Renewal Expenses

Whether you are an aspiring real estate professional or an experienced one, getting your license renewed is a recurring cost you will have to pay to the Department of State. 

If you are wondering how much it costs to renew a real estate license in New York, here’s a quick overview of all the steps and their respective costs required to complete them. 

Renewal Application Fees

To keep your real estate license active and avoid getting it void, you must renew your license every two years from the date it was issued to you. 

If you are not sure how to go about license renewal, you can easily visit the New York Department of State website or reach out to your NY real estate association to find out more. 

However, when it comes to understanding the cost factor involved, you will be required to pay a license renewal fee of $65 for a salesperson’s license and $185 for a broker’s license. 

Once you have decided that you want to renew your license before the due date, you can visit the eAccessNY website to complete the renewal process online and submit the application fees alongside your renewal application. 

Continuing Education Costs

Another important component of the total cost to renew a license in NY is the continuing education costs which you must keep in consideration. 

The New York State requires every active real estate professional to continuously stay updated and abreast with the evolving laws and guidelines. This is to ensure professionals are always following the best practices and withholding the standards of the state and federal regulations. 

Therefore, you will need to complete 22.5 hours of continuing education every two years before the expiration date of your license. 

The continuing education curriculum covers both mandatory and elective courses which you must complete to keep your license active. 

Typically, continuing education costs between $100 to $150, depending on the type of curriculum and the learning medium you choose.