Has it been a while since you’ve taken a class? While real estate is an inclusive profession that appeals to people from various backgrounds, beginning a real estate career involves specific training. Professional real estate agents are required to have a license that is regulated on a state-by-state basis. To obtain a license, you must complete prelicensing courses and pass your state’s licensing exam.
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Preparing yourself to meet these requirements takes dedication. Each state has a different application process, exam topics, and educational requirements. Many prelicensing courses are available that are designed to help adults absorb the comprehensive information you need to learn to excel in your licensing process.
Are you wondering what real estate classes actually involve? Here’s a glimpse of what real estate education is really like.
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Real estate prelicensing courses are college-level. Your coursework will consists of textbook-like reading passages, workbook questions, quizzes, practice tests, and a final exam. You don’t need to have a prior college degree to do well in these courses, but a former degree could help you keep up with the level of work.
Class Time Required
Real estate credit hour requirements vary by state, but you should expect to spend 45–180 hours in class (or in an online study program) to satisfy your state’s prelicensing education requirements.
To give you a sneak peak at what a real estate prelicensing education is like, here’s a sample from one of the 50 states. Can you guess which one?
[See what being a real estate agent is like firsthand: Becoming a Real Estate Agent: Lisa’s Story.]
Course 1: Real Estate Principles: Consider this your Real Estate 101 course. Key real estate topics are covered, such as time management, property valuation, methods of listing and selling property, closing a sale, escrow, financing, taxes, and more. Coursework specifically covers land descriptions and subdivisions, property acquisition and transfer, leases and contracts, liens and encumbrances, agency and business principles, unlawful discrimination, and ethics.
Course 2: Real Estate Practice: As a new real estate agent, you won’t receive an instruction manual for the finer points of your practice. This class gives students a broader understanding of the industry and delves into the details of the business of real estate, the art of pricing and listing homes, and how to find and advise buyers.
Course 3: Legal Aspects of Real Estate: This course explores the laws that relate to real estate. Students review common myths and misconceptions and learn which laws really affect your job as a real estate agent. The purpose of this course is to help you avoid legal entanglements. Study topics include real estate laws, contract clauses, disclosure guidelines and practices, and influential agency policies and concepts.
Support for Learning the Material
Real estate education programs differ. Look for training that offers learning tools such as instructor interaction and office hours, practice questions, student success rates, study guides and tools, and study groups. Well reputed real estate prelicensing courses are invested in your success and have support systems in place to help you retain information and pass your state’s exam.
Several options are available for completing the real estate curricula your state requires. You can learn in person in a classroom environment. You can take courses online. Or you can study at home with a textbook to prepare for the exam.
Class Final Exams
Each course in your prelicensing program has a final exam that you must pass. Our sample state’s final exams are online, open book, and consist of 100 multiple-choice questions. You’ll be given 2½ hours to finish your exam. In order to pass, you must achieve a score of 60 percent or higher. You can retake your course final exams every 18 days if you don’t pass the first time.
[Read More: Are You Ready for a Career in Real Estate?]
State Licensing Exams
After you pass all your prerequisite courses, it’s time to take the state’s real estate licensing exam.
The mystery state’s exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and allows 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete it. A score of 70 percent or higher is passing.
Did you figure out which state we used as an example? The answer is California. The California Bureau of Real Estate monitors over 350,000 licenses per year and processes tens of thousands of new real estate license applications.
These exam and course details may differ from state to state, but they should give you an idea of what to expect. State-specific information can be found here.