If you are eager to start your career as a real estate agent, you probably want to get your license as soon as possible. Each state sets its own licensing regulations, and time frames vary according to its requirements and its licensing agencies' resources. The key to quickly getting your real estate license is understanding your state's policy and meeting all of its requirements when you submit your application.
Learn Your State's Regulations
State legislatures set the basic requirements for real estate agent licensing and authorize a state agency or commission for establishing more complex licensing rules and policies. State licensing qualifications vary considerably, so it is crucial that you understand the requirements in the states where you want to practice. Don't rely on what a real estate licensing school, or any other third-party, tells you: Always double-check your information with the license-issuing organization.
Take an Accelerated Licensing Course
Most states require you to complete a real estate licensing course, usually about 30-90 hours in length, before you can sit for your licensing exam. While some schools offer real estate licensing courses over an extended period of time, others offer accelerated courses that are taught over several days or a few weekends, or distance learning courses that you can complete at your own pace.
Prepare for Your Exam
You can't get your license until you pass your state's licensing exam. If you suffer from test anxiety or are concerned about your ability to pass the exam, buy an exam prep book or take an exam prep course through your real estate school. The licensing commission or the company contracted to administer the exam may also provide you with test-taking tips and sample questions.
Prepare Your Application
Take the time to properly prepare your license application to prevent delays in getting it processed. License applications may require a lot of documentation, including copies of your identification and any educational certificates or diplomas earned. Be entirely honest on your license application. If you aren't, your application may be denied and it can be very difficult to persuade a licensing agency or commission to eventually award you a license. In particular, disclose all criminal convictions and, if requested, traffic violations as well. Many commissions take other factors, such as a clean criminal record since a conviction, into consideration when making a license decision. Be sure that you understand the application fee, and accepted forms of payment, and include it with your application.
Lainie Petersen lives in Chicago and is a full-time freelance writer. She has a long career in business and media, primarily in marketing, online content and regulatory compliance. She holds a master's degree in library and information science from Dominican University.