HOW TO GET A REAL ESTATE LICENSE IN NEW YORK
Step by Step Guide How To Become a New York Real Estate Agent in 2023
By: Ciprian MorariuUpdated: 23 March 2023
In a nutshell here is how to get your real estate license in New York.
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You should not have prior convictions or be a sex offender.
- You must have a current New York State photo driver’s license or non-driver ID card.
- NY does not require you to have a highschool diploma or GED
You must complete the 77-hour Real Estate License Course. These courses must be approved by the New York Department of State.
Next, you must pass the New York Real Estate State Exam.
Once you pass the State Exam, you will have to choose a sponsoring broker for yourself.
Lastly, you can apply for your New York State Real Estate License!
Let’s get into the details of each step.
How To Get A Real Estate License in New York: Introduction
Welcome to this step-by-step guide describing how to obtain a real estate license in New York!
Do you wish to pursue a career in New York's real estate sector? From this guide, you will learn:
- Who should obtain a real estate license in New York?
- What fundamental requirements must you meet before you can submit an application for a real estate license in New York?
- What academic requirements do you have to meet?
- What costs should you expect to pay?
- How long would it take you to obtain your New York real estate license?
- and more…
This revised handbook is perfect if you want to save time and money while preparing to start a career as a real estate salesperson in New York.
How To Get A Real Estate License in New York: The Basics
In this chapter you will read about the essentials needed to get a real estate license in New York.
First, you will discover why it is essential to have a real estate broker license in New York. You will also see why having one is advantageous!
Next, you will learn how to succeed in New York's real estate industry.
Who Needs a Real Estate License in New York?
In New York, you will need a real estate license if you want to make a living by renting, buying or selling properties on behalf of others (your customers).
The state of New York offers two types of licenses that allow you to buy, rent, or sell properties on behalf of your customers:
- the real estate salesperson (or “real estate agent”) license and
- the broker license.
If you’re wondering which license is best for you, please keep reading.
All individuals looking to earn a living in real estate sales in the state of New York must start as a real estate salesperson. All salespersons must work for a licensed broker or brokerage firm (also referred to as a ‘sponsoring broker’...more on that later).
NY real estate salespersons cannot be in business on their own. Real estate brokers, however, can. Real estate brokers in NY can be self-employed and can also hire real estate salespersons to work for them.
Both licenses differ in terms of minimum criteria that you need to fulfill. That includes the pre–licensing training that you would need to complete.
In Chapter 2, you’ll learn about these differences.
A real estate salesperson working with a licensed broker will do the following:
- Facilitate the purchase and sale of property on behalf of customers
- Obtain lists of properties for sale with his/her employer (real estate broker)
- Assist buyers of real estate to locate and purchase property
A New York real estate salesperson is an individual.
A broker can be an individual, a firm, a limited liability company, or a corporation.
A broker can be an individual, a firm, a limited liability company, or a corporation.
A broker will earn a fee or commission for doing the following:
- Maintaining a list of properties that are for sale
- Selling, exchanging, buying, or renting real estate
- Collecting rent for the use of real estate
How Much Can You Earn As A New York Real Estate Agent?
Let’s look up average annual salary information for real estate salespersons in New York using a handy online resource: indeed.com.
According Indeed, the average annual salary for a real estate salesperson in New York is around $123,616.
You can also find information on the site that tells you how much a real estate salesperson earns in different cities in New York.
Take a look below at real estate agent salaries in: Manhattan, Queen, Brooklyn, Yonkers, Flushing, Forest Hills, Long Beach, and Lindenhurst.
You can look up this information for the state of New York on Indeed.com.
In the What box, type “real estate salesperson”. In the Where box type, “New York”.
Then click Search.
Now, let’s take a look at how a licensed real estate salesperson in New York earns a living.
New York real estate licensees earn most of their income from commissions on leases or sales. It is a good idea to start leasing properties in the beginning. The 5 NY boroughs have a constant flux of tenants looking for new accommodation. You will quickly gain some experience in dealing with clients.
Then you can move on to sales where the commissions are much higher.
The sales commission in New York is generally 6%, although that can change according to the type of property and its value.
Commissions are often divided amongst the:
- Buying agent
- Selling agent
Here's an example:
A salesperson takes a listing on a $2,000,000 house with a 6% commission. If the house sells for the asking price, the total sales commission of $120,000 (6% of $2,000,000) is divided equally between the listing agent's broker and buyer's broker.
Each broker then splits their half of the commission ($60,000) with their salesperson.
To keep this simple we will assume that each brokerage has a 60/40 split between the agent and broker.
The commission breakdown would be:
- Listing sales agent - $36,000
- Listing broker - $24,000
- Buyer's sales agent - $36,000
- Buyer's broker - $24,000
How To Get A Real Estate License in New York: Becoming Licensed
To get a real estate license in New York, you will need to take four steps.
In this chapter, we will discuss each of them in detail.
Let’s dive right in!
Complete the 77-Hour Qualifying Education Course
Time Commitment: 1 - 2 months
Before you can apply for your New York State real estate license, you must first complete a 77-hour qualifying education course. This course is also called the ‘pre-license course’.
You also need to pass a NYS Real Estate Salesperson examination, but more on that in Step 2.
For the qualifying education course (or pre-license course), you can choose from two types of courses: a course that is entirely online or a classroom-based program.
Most people prefer the flexibility offered by self-paced, online courses.
Further down in this chapter, we will compare the benefits between online courses and classroom courses.
Qualifying education courses are only offered by providers who are approved by the New York Department of State. You will find a list of approved course providers on the New York Department of State website.
You can ensure that the school you are looking for is part of the list before signing up for their New York Real Estate Qualifying Education course.
Online Courses vs Classroom Programs
There are many advantages and disadvantages to taking your NYS real estate license course online or as part of a classroom program.
While you may prefer a classroom setting, the cost of the course is far greater than that of an online course.
Here are some of the pros and cons of studying online or attending classroom-based courses.
Types of Instruction
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Proctored Course Final Exam
After you have completed studying for the 77-hour qualifying education course, you will need to pass the proctored course final exam. This course exam has 75 multiple-choice questions, and you will need to answer 70% of the questions correctly to pass the exam.
Do not confuse the course final exam with the New York real estate State Exam. These are two separate exams that you need to pass.
The course final exam is proctored and the NY RE Law requires students to choose a pre-approved physical proctoring location. Generally every school that offers the NY real estate license course has their own list of pre-approved proctoring locations that you can choose from.
After you pass the course final exam, you will be able to schedule the New York Real Estate State Exam.
Pass the New York Real Estate State Exam
Time Commitment: 2 - 3 Hours
After you pass your qualifying education course final exam, you will need to schedule your New York real estate state exam.
To schedule your state exam you need to create an eAccessNY account with the NY Department of State.
There are a few simple steps you can follow.
A. Visit the NY Department of State website and click on the ‘Apply’ tab.
B. Next, click on the ‘Create My Account’ link.
The ‘Create My Account’ link will take you to the eAccessNY website. Again, this website is owned and hosted by the New York Department of State.
C. Fill in your personal information.
D. Once you have created your account, you can then schedule your NYS real estate State Exam at one of the 11 exam sites.
You can choose a location that is closest to you.
Note (Pro Tip Later):
Later in this guide we have some cool pro tips for you, which will allow you to save time in your licensing process. So, make sure you read the entire guide!
E. After you have selected the exam date and location, you will need to pay the $15 exam fee. This fee can be paid by check, money order, or credit card.
If you prefer paying by credit card then you will need to fill up an authorization form and attach it with your application. No cash payments are accepted by the Department of State, New York.
The NYS real estate State Exam is a multiple-choice exam. You will have 1.5 hours to complete the exam. Your exam results will be available on your eAccessNY account.
You will receive a pass/fail notification; NOT a grade.
To verify your exam result you will need to log in your eAccessNY account.
If you fail you can retake the New York real estate state exam as many times as you like. But, you’ll have to pay the $15 exam fee each time you take it.
Choose a New York Sponsoring Broker
Time Commitment: Varies, based on your research and interviewing process
Licensed real estate salespersons in New York are required to work under a sponsoring broker. This simply means you need to be employed by a licensed broker or brokerage firm in New York.
If you don’t know where to start, then you might want to look up real estate brokerage firms in your area. You can find this information on the New York Department of State website.
Visit the Department of State website and log in to your account.
You will be led to the next screen, which helps you narrow down the choices of a broker by name, license type, license number, city, and county.
If you search by city you will be led to the next screen, which is where you can choose what kind of license type you want to search for.
After selecting ‘Individual Broker’, the next screen will show you all the brokers/brokerage firms registered with the Department of State, New York.
Upon selecting a broker of your choice, you will get all the information of that particular broker, including license number and address.
Most New York real estate brokerages are looking for new salespersons.
Types of Brokerages
There are 3 types of brokerages that you can choose from. They are:
- National Brokerages - A national brokerage has offices and operates across the entire United States. They are firms that handle a large volume of transactions a year and work with enormous budgets. Joining a national brokerage will bring you immediate recognition just by the name of the brokerage. Some examples are Keller Williams, RE/MAX, or Coldwell Banker.
- Local and Boutique Brokerage - Local and boutique brokerages are smaller, local firms. They work on a personal level with their clients. They are a great starting point for aspiring young salespersons to advance their career. Since boutique brokerages are smaller and have a limited number of brokers, the space to learn increases through close interactions with experienced brokers.
- Virtual Brokerage - Virtual brokerages are online brokerages, with no physical location. The benefits of joining a virtual brokerage include:
- better splitting of commissions
- large community of agents and brokers
You should consider joining a virtual brokerage only when you have enough experience as an agent. New agents should prioritize the education they receive from their broker over high commissions.
Apply for Your NYS Real Estate License
Time Commitment: 1-2 weeks
At this point, you have completed the 77-hour qualifying education course and passed the Course Exam. You have also passed the NYS real estate State Exam, and you have selected a sponsoring broker/brokerage firm.
In Step 4, you will need to apply for your New York State Real Estate License.
You will have to submit your NY real estate license application through your eAccessNY account.
Here are a few mandatory requirements for license application submission:
- Complete the Real Estate Salesperson Application.
- Pay $65 for the application fee.
- Include your employer’s (also known as the sponsoring broker) broker ID number on the application.
When preparing your application, you must inform the Department of State New York about any past felony convictions. You must also disclose information about any offense committed that may constitute a sexual offense, or a sexually violent offense.
This would include any offenses committed outside the state of New York, which could constitute a sexually viloent offense. Such disclosures would involve sharing a certified copy of the judgment of conviction with the Department of State.
Your sponsoring broker will receive your New York Real Estate Salesperson license. If, in the future, you decide to change brokerages, then your old broker will transfer your NY real estate license to your new employing broker.
Applying Based on Reciprocity
Due to recent changes to New York State Real Property law increasing the educational requirements to obtain a real estate salesperson or broker license, New York no longer has reciprocity with any other state.
If you completed qualifying education outside of New York State, you may request a waiver of the course(s) required for a New York State license.
To request a waiver, you must submit:
- A course description
- Proof of course completion
- A detailed outline listing the topics and hours completed
The request and documentation can be emailed to [email protected]
How To Get A Real Estate License in New York: The Costs
In this Chapter, you will learn about the costs for acquiring a real estate license in New York.
The costs are split across fixed and variable costs. The costs for completing the required education courses/training can vary depending on which education provider you choose or whether you sign up for an online course or an in-person course.
We’ll show you the variable and fixed costs for acquiring your New York real estate license, so that you’re better informed.
The variable costs are costs you will pay for the New York real estate license qualifying courses. These costs will vary depending on:
- Whether you choose online courses or classroom programs
- The education provider you select
Our research shows that prices for the online courses vary from $99 up to $980.
The price depends on whether you take online classes or attend an in-person real estate school.
This is a variable cost so depending on which school you choose you can have a higher or lower cost.
We’ll provide you with some examples starting with the most affordable option.
Please conduct your own research since the costs may have changed after this page's publication.
RealEstateU® offers the full 77-hour New York State Real Estate License Course for $99 and a NY State Exam Course for $49. You can also choose a ‘course combo’ package that contains both courses for $148. From our research we believe this is the most affordable real estate licensing course in New York.
Aceable offers the 77-Hour New York Real Estate Pre-License Course for $239.
Leapedu offers “New York Packages” for $300 and $650.
The CE Shop offers several pricing options for the 77-hour New York State Real Estate Pre-License exam. The prices range from $225 to $412.
Real Estate Express offers packages for New York real estate education, which include online and livestream training packages. The pricing options within the online training packages range from $317 to $197. The cost for the livestream training packages is $317.
NYREI offers classroom-based programs for the New York Real Estate Pre-License course. The cost varies across Basic, Professional, and Platinum options—from $495 to $995—with each option offering a different mix of features. Nyrei.com also offers online courses through its collaboration with Hondros Learning.
As you can see, online courses are significantly cheaper than classroom training programs. A classroom training program can cost up to $1,000.
New York Real Estate Department of State (DOS) Fees
You can find information about the fixed costs for the New York real estate license on the website Real Estate Salesperson | Department of State (as shown in the image below).
Let’s look at the fees that matter to you as a first time real estate licensing agent in New York.
Now that you know the expected costs for the New York real estate qualifying education course (pre-license course) and also the DOS fixed costs, you can calculate the total expected cost for getting your New York real estate license.
If you were to choose RealEstateU’s New York Real Estate licensing package course then the total cost would be as shown in the following table.
RealEstateU’s NY real estate licensing package
How To Get A Real Estate License in New York: Time Needed
The last questions you might ask yourself are probably:
- How long will I have to study to get the New York license?
- How much time does the NY real estate application process take?
- How long does it take to receive the NY real estate State Exam results?
That’s what this Chapter will focus on.
Let’s jump right in!
Estimated Time for Completing the Qualifying Education Course
3 to 5 months (depends on you)
The amount of time it takes to obtain your real estate license will depend on several factors:
- How much time in a day you can dedicate to studying for the 77-hour qualifying education course.
- Whether or not you have prior felonies, which could impact the time needed for your application to get approved.
- How much time you take to select a sponsoring broker.
Here is a breakdown of the time it will take to obtain your New York State real estate salespersons license:
1. Complete the 77-hour New York State real estate salespersons course (including the proctored final exam):
If you take the 77-hour course online, you can complete the entire course in under 2 weeks. Or, It could take upto 2 months to complete the course. It depends entirely on how much time in a day you are able to dedicate towards studying.
2. Pass the state exam
The state exam will take you an estimated 2 hours to complete. The exam itself will take 1.5 hours to complete, and you should plan on arriving at the test center at least 30 minutes early.
Pro Tip (SAVE time):
You are allowed to schedule your state exam while you are still completing the 77-hour course. So to save time, first work out how long it will take you to complete the 77-hour course (based on how many hours of study you can put in in a single day) and then schedule your state exam in advance.
By the time you complete the course you will already have a scheduled date for your exam.
3. Submit your license application and have it approved by the Department Of State
You can submit your license application the same day you receive your passing grade for the state exam. The Department Of State will then need up to 2 weeks to approve your application and mail your license to your sponsoring broker.