4 Steps How to Become a Real Estate Agent in New York

By Ciprian Morariu Published: October 1, 2018

4 steps to become a realtor in New York.

This 4 part article will teach you the exact steps you need to take in order to get your real estate salespersons license in New York State. We want to start by congratulating you on taking the first steps towards entering the rewarding field of real estate.

Reasons to Become an Agent

Getting your license is more than simply earning the title real estate salesperson
As a salesperson you will have the ability to:

  • Control how much money you earn
  • Choose when you would like to work
  • Not have to work under a boss
  • And help people find their dreams homes and get rewarded in the process

You will have complete control over your time and future!

Here are a few quotes from current RealEstateU students who recently started on their path to becoming a salesperson:

"I have always had an interest in Real Estate. I am striving to create multiple streams of income for myself."

Business Owner


"I love to work with people and would very much like to be a significant part in such a huge life changing event like the purchasing of a home. Also I am a father of three kids and the flexibility of the job will help my life tremendously."

Financial Analyst


"I want to become an agent and rent apartments in my area. I think this career would simply suit me."



"I wanted to be an agent in order to sell homes. I think this is a great way to earn some extra income."

College Student



The 4 Steps

Now, in order to get your real estate license there are 4 steps you need to take

  1. Take a State approved 75 hour Pre Licensing Course
  2. Pass the school’s final exam
  3. Pass the State exam
  4. Find a sponsoring broker and complete the New York State real estate license application

So now we will focus on the 1st step. While in the next 3 following steps we will focus on taking the School and State exams and completing your license application.


Step 1: Take State Approved 75-hour Real Estate Pre Licensing Course

The Pre Licensing Courses are offered in 2 ways:

  • In person and
  • Online

In-person course

In-person course.

You can take the course in-person at a local real estate school.

  • An in-person course is typically around 20 individual class sessions, each of which is around 3.5 – 4 hours long. In the best case scenario, the course can be completed in 10 days, if you take 2 class sessions per day for 10 consecutive days.
  • In-person courses allow you to interact with the instructors and meet other students face-to-face.
  • The downside, however, is that these courses tend to take much longer to complete and are more expensive.
  • The average course completion time is around 8 weeks, since you are usually bound to whatever schedule the school offers for the individual class sessions.
  • The cost can vary from $275 – $465.
  • And the State requires a textbook to accompany the course, which may cost an additional $35 – $50.

Online course

Woman at laptop.

The alternative to an in-person course is to take the required 75-hour course online.

  • All online real estate courses must be approved by the State and a 3rd party reviewer called Arello, who are responsible for ensuring the technology used in the online course is up to standard.
  • The online course option allows you to take the course on your own time and at your own pace.
  • The course consists of lessons, after which you must complete a quiz before being able to move on the in the course.
  • Most online courses are made up of text-based lessons. The student must read the course content a few paragraphs at a time and then take a quiz to ensure they understand the material.
There are 2 major benefits to taking the required 75-hour course online

#1: You can take the course at your own pace, which means you can complete the course in as early as 1 week if you choose.

#2: Online courses are typically cheaper. You can find online courses anywhere from $99 – $200 or $250.



Step 2: Pass School’s Final Exam

The State requires that you take a proctored exam after completing the 75-hour course. This is the real estate school exam.

Once you complete the State approved course, there are three additional steps you need to take in order to get your license.

First – you must pass the Real Estate School NYC exam (the school’s final exam) and earn your Certificate of Completion for the course.

Second - you must register and pass the New York State exam.

Third - you must find a sponsoring broker and complete the new york state real estate license application.

In this step we will focus on passing the school’s final exam.

NOTE: Most schools write their final exam to mimic the State exam, meaning their exam is 75 questions, multiple choice, has a 90 minute time limit and a passing grade of 70%. Also, most school exams are actually harder to pass than the State exam. The reason being is schools want to be sure their students are ready and able to pass the State exam on the first try.

Online course

If you took your 75-hour course in-person at a local real estate school, you will take the proctored final exam at the school itself. Typically the school will offer the final exam once or twice a week at a particular time.

Online course

If you took the 75-hour course online, the online school will have a list of proctoring locations from which you can call and schedule your final exam.

Certificate of Completion

Certificate of completion example.

Once you pass the school’s final exam, you will get a certificate of completion from the school similar with this one.

If you took the course in-person, you will most likely receive your certificate of completion in the mail a few days later. If you took the course online, you may either receive the certificate of completion in the mail, or by email, or both.

Once you pass the school exam and receive your certificate of completion, you will be eligible to register for the New York State exam.

Now is an excellent time to get your license. There are over 1.5 million people in New York State who are looking to rent or buy a property at any given moment.



Step 3: Pass the NY State Exam

The State requires that you schedule your NYS Real Estate Exam online using their ‘Occupational Licensing Management System’, known as eAccessNY.

Here is what you need to know about the NYS real estate exam

  • The State exam is a written based exam, which is based on the curriculum from the 75-hour real estate salesperson course.
  • It consists of 75 multiple choice questions,
  • Passing grade of 70%.
  • You must complete the exam within 90 minutes.



You must first setup your free account on eAccessNY.

Once your account is setup, you are ready to schedule your NYS Real Estate Exam.

The exam costs $15 per attempt and you can take the exam as many times as needed until you pass.

We recommend you schedule your exam at least 2 weeks out in New York City and 1 week out for the rest of New York, in order to ensure you get the time slot and location you want.

What to bring with you at the exam:

Woman studying for state exam.

1. Valid form of a government issued ID

2. Print out of your ‘Summary of Submission’, which you will receive when you schedule your NYS Real Estate exam on eAccessNY.

3. Calculator

Here is a full list of what you need to bring with you at the State Exam.
The State will post the results of your NYS Real Estate Exam on your eAccessNY account.

Important Tip

Here is one important tip RealEstateU recommends all students do in order to drastically increase their chances of passing the State exam.

#1: You must be familiar with the key terms listed in your course glossary.
#2: We recommend you read the glossary twice before taking the NYS Real Estate Exam.

Now, you don’t have to memorize the key terms, but you should have a rough understanding of what each term means. If you can do this, you will have an excellent chance of passing.

Step 4: Find a Sponsoring Broker and Finalize the Application

In order to start selling or renting real estate, the State requires that you be sponsored by a licensed broker. Once you complete the State exam, you are only one step away from getting your real estate license and starting a rewarding career as a real estate salesperson. In this step we will discuss how to choose a sponsoring broker and complete your New York State Real Estate Salesperson Application. Here are the types of brokers you can work under.

Residential Rentals

Residential rentals.

Rentals are an excellent way to get started as a salesperson. The reason being is rentals are less complicated than a home sale and you can close the deal much faster. By starting with rentals, you can earn your first commission in less than a month.

Residential Sales

Residential sales.

Residential sales require more work and time than rentals but the commissions are typically much higher.

It’s very common for a broker to do both sales and rentals in-house.


Commercial Sales 

Commercial sales.

Commercial sales include any residential real estate greater than 4 units, which are commonly known as apartment buildings or multi-family properties. These types of sales are more specialized than single family home sales and require more experience, however, the commissions commonly exceed $100,000 per deal.

Commercial Leases

Commercial leases.

Commercial leases includes the renting of office and retail space. Like commercial sales, these types of deals require more time and experience but the commissions can be very high.

Commission Split

You should also be aware of how commissions are split between the broker and salesperson.
The standard sales commission in New York State is 6%.
In many deals, you will see the 6% commission split 50/50 between the buyer’s broker and the seller’s broker.
You as the salesperson will then split the remaining commission with your sponsoring broker.
However, the percentage you split with your broker depends on the agreement you have with the broker.

Commission split.


Commissions may be split 50/50 between the salesperson and broker, but some brokers may start you off at a 40/60 split and allow you to gradually earn a higher percentage after closing a certain number of deals.


Other brokers may give you a 70/30 split from the beginning as an incentive to work under them.


There are even brokers who offer 100% commissions, meaning they don’t take a percentage of your deals, but require you to pay a monthly fee to work under them.

Ultimately you need to find a broker that aligns with your goals as a salesperson. The key is to work under a broker who will provide you with the resources you need to succeed and will mentor you along the way.

Once you find your sponsoring broker, you are now ready to complete your real estate salesperson application.

You can complete the application online using your eAccessNY account:

  • Simply log-in, enter the license number of your sponsoring broker
  • Enter in your required personal information
  • Enter in the name of the school where you completed your 75-hour real estate salesperson course
  • Pay the application fee of $50 using a credit card
  • And click submit

Your sponsoring broker must then log into their eAccessNY account and authorize your application.


You are now officially a real estate salesperson!

Going Forward

If you are ready to start the exciting journey towards becoming a real estate salesperson, please sign up today. You can check out the course for yourself and see if it works for you. And do not worry, if you don’t like the course we have 30 day no hassle money back guarantee.

Now is the time to take action!

REU laptop.