To sell or lease real estate in Ohio and earn a commission, you must have an Ohio Real Estate License.
The steps to obtain an OH Real Estate License:
Step #1: Complete the 120-hour Ohio Real Estate Salesperson Pre-license Course.
Step #2: Find an OH real estate sponsoring broker.
Step #3: Apply for your OH real estate salesperson license exam.
Step #4: Submit to a background check.
Step #5: Schedule your OH State License Exam.
Step #6: Take and Pass the State Licensing Exam.
To apply for a real estate salesperson license in Ohio, you must:
If you meet these two qualifications, you can earn a real estate salesperson's license in (6) steps.
Step 1: Complete Your Pre-license Education
Ohio requires salespersons to complete 120 hours of instruction from an approved pre-license school. Online courses are the most convenient way to complete your 120 hours.
The required hours break down into four courses necessary for your Ohio salesperson license:
Step 2: Find a Sponsoring Broker
All Ohio salespersons work under the supervision of a sponsoring broker. You will need to be sponsored by an Ohio licensed broker in order to submit your application for the salesperson exam as you’ll need their brokerage information and their signature.
Step 3: Applying for the State Exam
Your application for the salesperson exam also serves your Ohio state license application. You can’t apply until after completing your pre-license education because you will need proof of completing the education requirements.
The application fee is $81. You will need to submit your proof of meeting the education requirements, such as official transcripts or course completion certificates.
If you will answer “yes” to any character questions, you will need to provide explanations and potentially additional documentation.
Once you are ready to submit, mail the completed application and the $81 check or money order to the Ohio Division of Real Estate at:
Ohio Department of Commerce
Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing
77 South High Street, 20th floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Once the ODRE approves your application, your information will be sent to the testing vendor. You’ll receive a Candidate Information Bulletin from PSI and information on scheduling your exam.
Step 4: Complete a Background Check
Every Ohio salesperson candidate must complete a criminal records check at the state and federal level. You must apply for a background check within 10 days of submitting your salesperson examination application.
Ohio requires you to use a Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI&I) approved Webcheck® user. You will must schedule this Webcheck user to have your fingerprints taken and submitted to the system. When you take your fingerprints, it’s vital to provide the center with right reason codes:
BCI&I Reason Code: 4735 05 and/or 121 08
FBI Reason Code: 121 08
You must also provide the center with the address to send the results.
Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing
77 S High St., 20th Fl.
Columbus, OH 43215-6133
The fees for your fingerprinting and background check will vary by the center, but some locations have posted their prices on the approved Webcheck® location list. A typical cost for state and FBI checks ranges $58-71.
Your background check results should be received by the Ohio Division of Real Estate within 30 days.
Step 5: Scheduling Your Salesperson Exam
The first step upon receiving your information from PSI is to complete the examination registration form. This registration is good for one examination attempt. You’ll need to pass both exam portions – state and national– within one year of the date on the sticker of your Candidate Handbook.
PSI recommends you register and schedule your exam directly by visiting https://www.psiexams.com or calling (855) 834-8749. For online registration, select the examination and enter the OH RE _ID# that was provided to you.
Exam centers are located in Akron, Cambridge, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, and Troy. Search the website or see the Ohio Candidate Bulletin for a list of addresses.
The exam fee for both sections is $61, and you'll directly pay PSI for the exam. PSI accepts credit card, money order, company check, or cashier's check. Note that cash and personal checks are not accepted.
Note that if you do not pass one or both sections of the exam, you’ll need to apply for a retake with the ODRE. PSI will provide you with an application at the testing site.
Step 6: Take and Pass the State Exam
The Ohio state salesperson exam is divided into two sections: national and state law. You must pass both sections to be issued your salesperson license.
The Ohio salesperson exam breaks into:
You will receive a score report on-screen immediately upon completion of the exam. If you fail, your information will include a diagnostic report. You’ll also leave with a printed unofficial score report.
Passing both portions is required for the ODRE to issue you a license.
Once the Ohio Division of Real Estate receives the passing result from PSI, it will process the result and issue you a salesperson license. Congratulations, you are an official Ohio real estate salesperson!