How to Get a Real Estate License in New York

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With over 1.5 million people on the prowl for a new home purchase or rental at any given moment, New York state is a great place to start your career as a real estate sales agent. These commission-based experts help clients to manage their way through the home selling and buying process and receive genuine satisfaction from controlling their own career advancement and doing something new every day. With dedication, you can complete the required training and earn your state license in just a matter of weeks or months.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

You'll need to complete a 75-hour education program, pass the state licensing exam and secure a sponsoring broker to apply for a real estate license in New York.

Are You Eligible to Get a License?

Like most states, New York has strict eligibility requirements for real estate licensure. You must be 18 years of age or older to apply for a real estate salesperson license and supply proof of U.S. citizenship or legal alien status. You'll also need at least a high school diploma or GED. Convicted felons are discouraged from applying, although the decision is ultimately up to the New York Department of State. Be prepared for a knock back if your record is anything other than squeaky clean.

What's the Process?

Currently, it's a four-step process:

  • Complete a 75-hour pre-licensing education program with an approved school.
  • Pass the New York real estate salesperson licensing exam –

you'll need a passing score of 70 out of 75 multiple-choice exam questions and can take the exam as many times as you need in order to pass.
Secure a sponsoring broker.
Apply for your license online via the state licensing department's "eAccessny" occupational licensing management system, available 24/7. * You can also schedule and take the state exam through this web portal.

The state offers a waiver for applicants with a real-estate focused bachelor's degree – submit an official transcript, and you can skip the 75-hour training requirement. There's also a fast-track 30-hour remedial program for anyone who completed the 45-hour salesperson qualifying course before July, 2008.

How Long Does it Take to Get Your New York Real Estate License?

Getting a real estate salesperson license in New York is relatively quick compared to other states. Currently, you need to complete only 75 hours of classroom-based education. In Texas, by contrast, you'd need to complete 180 hours of courses before taking the state exam. Depending on their motivation and other commitments, people generally can complete their salesperson training in just a few weeks or months.

How Do You Get a Real Estate License in New York Online?

A number of companies offer online courses that allow you to complete your 75-hour required education when it's convenient for you. The main benefit of the online course is that you can proceed at your own pace and complete the program in as a little as two weeks if this suits you. As long as the program is approved by the state of New York and a third-party verification body called Arello – the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials – then it's fine to complete your coursework requirement this way.

Kaplan is the market leader in the online training space, but there are literally dozens of providers to choose from. Search for approved schools through your eAccessny account and be sure to shop around. Providers offer all sorts of packages ranging from a basic set of video training to comprehensive packages with quizzes, supporting materials, exam preparation and live customer support. Pass rates are a good indicator of whether the course will be effective in getting you through the licensing exam.

How to Find a Sponsoring Broker

All New York real estate sales agents work under a broker, and you'll need to align yourself with a sponsoring broker before you can apply for a real estate license. The eAccessNy license application form requires the sponsoring broker's license number and, once you submit your application, your broker will log into his own eAccessNy account and authorize it. Many brokers are looking for agents. Real Estate U has a list of NY sponsoring brokers, or you can ask around for recommendations. You need to decide how much mentoring you need, what commission split you can live with, and whether you enjoy the culture of the broker's office. Visit a few brokers and interview them. Your decision will be key to the success of your future career.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Real Estate License in New York?

Currently, there's a nonrefundable fee of $15 to sit the New York real estate salesperson licensing exam, plus a license application fee of $55. Education is the biggest expense, with pre-licensure courses ranging anywhere from around $250 for a basic 75-hour online program to over $800 for a comprehensive package of course credits, exam prep and the real-world skills you'll need to launch a real estate business. Classroom courses may cost considerably more. Ask about installment plans and work out what's best for you.