How long it takes to get a real estate license?

How long it takes to get a real estate license?


Obtaining a real estate license is a crucial step for individuals looking to pursue a career in the real estate industry. However, the process of acquiring a real estate license can vary depending on the state and country in which you reside. In this article, we will delve into the factors that affect the time it takes to get a real estate license and provide a comprehensive overview of the process.

Educational Requirements

Educational requirements: The first step towards obtaining a real estate license is completing the necessary educational requirements. These requirements typically involve completing a certain number of pre-licensing courses that cover topics such as real estate principles, practices, and laws. The number of required courses and the duration of each course can vary depending on the state.

Course duration: On average, pre-licensing courses can take anywhere from 60 to 150 hours to complete. However, some states may require additional hours of education. These courses can be taken in person at a physical location or online, providing flexibility for individuals with other commitments.

Licensing Exam

Exam preparation: Once the educational requirements have been fulfilled, aspiring real estate agents must prepare for the licensing exam. This involves studying the course material thoroughly, reviewing practice exams, and familiarizing oneself with the real estate laws and regulations applicable to their state.

Exam content: The licensing exam typically consists of both national and state-specific sections. The national portion covers general real estate principles and practices, while the state-specific section focuses on the laws and regulations specific to the state in which the exam is being taken.

Exam duration: The duration of the licensing exam varies by state, but it generally takes around 2-4 hours to complete. The exam is usually administered by a third-party testing agency and can be taken at designated testing centers.

Background Check and Application

Background check: In many states, aspiring real estate agents are required to undergo a background check as part of the licensing process. This check typically involves verifying the applicant’s criminal history and ensuring they meet the state’s character and fitness requirements.

Application process: After successfully completing the educational requirements and passing the licensing exam, individuals must submit an application to the appropriate licensing authority in their state. This application typically includes personal information, educational history, and proof of completion of the required courses and exams.

Processing Time and Additional Requirements

Processing time: The processing time for a real estate license application can vary significantly depending on the state. In some states, the application may be processed within a few weeks, while in others, it may take several months. It is important to check with the specific licensing authority in your state to determine the expected processing time.

Additional requirements: Some states may have additional requirements beyond the educational courses, exams, and background checks. These requirements may include fingerprinting, proof of legal residency, or completion of additional coursework. It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements of your state to ensure a smooth application process.


The time it takes to obtain a real estate license can vary depending on several factors, including the state in which you reside and the individual’s ability to complete the necessary educational requirements, pass the licensing exam, and fulfill any additional state-specific requirements. On average, the process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. It is important to research and understand the requirements of your state to ensure a successful and timely application process.


– National Association of Realtors:
– Real Estate Express:
– State-specific real estate licensing authorities