High School Diploma Required For NY Real Estate License?

By Ciprian Morariu Published: March 28, 2024

High School Diploma For NY Real Estate License

A thriving career is on the wish list of many, but only a few make the efforts required to get there. For a career offering flexibility, job security, and good income opportunities, real estate is a good choice.

For New Yorkers, working in real estate is beneficial as the state is one of the top-growing real estate markets in the world. 

Working in New York’s real estate market is like a dream come true for any aspiring and experienced real estate agent. It offers a diverse culture and a mix of luxury homes and commercial real estate. 

Moreover, there is always a high demand for real estate in New York, thereby offering a lot of income opportunities to real estate agents.  

If one is hardworking, skilled, and sincere, one can easily make a six-figure income by working as a real estate agent. 

It is not difficult for real estate agents in New York to earn anything between $80K-$90K annually. 

Getting a license is necessary as you can then engage in the sale, purchase, and lease of commercial or residential real estate in NY.

This article will walk you through all the different steps you must follow to become a licensed NY state agent. 

Overview of New York real estate license requirements

Education requirements for a New York real estate license

The first step to getting a license is to go through the mandated pre-licensing education in New York.  

A pre-licensing course prepares you for your career ahead. It teaches you the key fundamentals and topics required to gain a basic knowledge of the industry. Below are some of the topics included in the pre-licensing training: 

  • License Law
  • Agency Law
  • Contract Law
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Land Use Regulations
  • Property Management
  • Real Estate Investments
  • Ethics and Fair Usage

Several pre-licensing education packages are available with different sets of features, benefits, and costs. 

Choose the most appropriate package based on your budget and learning style. 

Note that every package comes with the minimum training curriculum you will need to prepare for the exam. 

However, only select an accredited and state-approved provider when you buy a pre-licensing course.  

Examination requirements for a New York real estate license

The New York Department of Real Estate mandates completing 75 hours of pre-licensing training for aspiring agents. Brokers are required to go through 42 hours of coursework only.  

Typically, the cost of completing the pre-licensing training is between $100 to $650 depending on the type of package selected.  

This licensing exam tests your knowledge about the real estate industry and consists of 75 multiple-choice questions.  

Applicants must score at least 70% or above in the NY state licensing exam to clear it successfully. 

Note that if you do not pass the exam on your first attempt, you can retake it. However, you will have to wait for a few months before the next attempt. 

The exam fee for the licensing exam is $15 for every attempt.  

The NY state licensing exam can also be taken in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and Korean apart from English.  

Application requirements for a New York real estate license

As the next step, you must complete and submit your real estate agent or broker’s license application. Applicants must submit their application to the New York Department of State (NYSDOS) for approval.  

You will also need to register online by creating an account on the eAccessNY website.

Experience requirements for a New York real estate license

Contrary to what you might assume, you do not need prior work experience to apply for a real estate license in NY. 

You will be awarded a real estate license in New York after you pass the licensing exam. 

However, you have to find a broker to sponsor you before your license can be activated. 

Before selecting a broker to work with consider these factors.  

  • How many years of experience do they have in the real estate industry? 
  • How big and wide is their network?
  • What is their commission and payment structure?
  • How supportive are they towards new agents?
  • Do they use technology and the latest tools in their operations?
  • Do they provide leads and training opportunities to their agents?

Choosing the right sponsoring broker is a critical factor for your long-term success in the industry. 

Understanding what is Continuing Education for a New York real estate license holder

The real estate industry is constantly evolving and professionals have to stay updated with the changing rules and regulations. 

To do so requires active agents and brokers to complete additional training or continuing education. 

After getting your license, you must complete 22.5 hours of continuing education every two years. 

You can choose the college or course provider and decide when and where to complete the coursework. 

The following subjects are part of the continuing education coursework.  

  • Personal Credit
  • Rules for Financing a Home
  • Real Estate Safety
  • Implicit Bias
  • Code of Ethics
  • Real Estate Technology
  • Fair Housing
  • Legal Updates
  • Agency Relationships
  • Understanding the Appraisal

You can either enroll in classroom-type learning or in an online course to go through continuing education. 

Generally, it will cost you anywhere between $100 to $200 to complete the continuing education coursework. The cost varies depending on the college, course, and your preferred learning medium. 

How to Become A Successful New York Real Estate Agent

Research the requirements

If a career in real estate is your goal, then you should first start with understanding the New York real estate license requirements first. 

Complete the necessary education

Is a high school diploma needed for a real estate license in New York? Many upcoming agents and first-time aspirants share this common doubt. 

No, a high school diploma is not mandatory but you must complete the pre-licensing coursework to get a real estate license in NY. 

In addition to the above, every applicant must meet the minimum state and federal requirements: 

  • Be at least 18 years of age or older
  • Be a legally residing citizen of the United States or a lawfully permitted alien
  • Have a clean background with no history of any criminal or unlawful activity

Tips on Preparing for the NY Licensing Exam

Here’s a quick checklist of the key topics covered in the New York State real estate exam

  • Real estate laws and regulations
  • Real estate financing and basic terms
  • Lending and underwriting
  • Property valuation and real estate appraisal
  • Insurance and taxes
  • Real estate property management
  • Human rights and Fair practices
  • Commercial and Investment properties
  • Legal descriptions
  • Real estate practices
  • Types of property and their ownership
  • Land survey
  • Real estate contracts
  • Land use
  • Lines and Easements
  • Introduction to Construction

All the topics listed above are going to help you understand the industry, how it works, and what your job entails. 

Submit the application

After completing the pre-licensing coursework, apply for a real estate license in New York. You can sit for the licensing exam after your application is approved.  

Gain real estate experience

Find a broker to sponsor you at the start of your career to gain experience in the real estate industry. 

This step is a must and one of the requirements of the NYSDOS for all the agents. 

A broker will help you know about the industry and understand the state’s real estate market.  

Gaining industry experience by working with senior brokers is a good way to gain knowledge and put a strong foot forward.