Share

HOW TO GET A REAL ESTATE LICENSE IN NEW YORK

The Definitive Guide (2022)

By: Ciprian MorariuUpdated: 12th August, 2022


Welcome to this step-by-step guide describing how to obtain a real estate license in New York!

Do you wish to pursue a career in New York's real estate sector? From this guide, you will learn:

This revised handbook is perfect if you want to save time and money while preparing to start a career as a real estate salesperson in New York.

Introduction to Real estate license New York Guide.
New York Real Estate License: The Basics.

Chapter: 1

New York Real Estate License: The Basics
New York Real Estate License: Becoming Licensed.

Chapter: 2

New York Real Estate License: Becoming Licensed
New York Real Estate License: The Costs.

Chapter: 3

New York Real Estate License: The Costs
New York Real Estate License: Time Needed.

Chapter: 4

New York Real Estate License: Time Needed

CHAPTER 1:

New York Real Estate License: The Basics


In this chapter you will read about the essentials needed to get a real estate license in New York.

First, you will discover why it is essential to have a real estate broker license in New York. You will also see why having one is advantageous!

Next, you will learn how to succeed in New York's real estate industry.

 

Real estate license New York Chapter 1 basics.

Who Needs a Real Estate License in New York?

In New York, you will need a real estate license if you want to make a living by renting, buying or selling properties on behalf of others (your customers). 

The state of New York offers two types of licenses that allow you to buy, rent, or sell properties on behalf of your customers: 

  • the real estate salesperson (or “real estate agent”) license and 
  • the broker license

If you’re wondering which license is best for you, please keep reading.

All individuals looking to earn a living in real estate sales in the state of New York must start as a real estate salesperson. All salespersons must work for a licensed broker or brokerage firm (also referred to as a ‘sponsoring broker’...more on that later). 

NY real estate salespersons cannot be in business on their own. Real estate brokers, however, can. Real estate brokers in NY can be self-employed and can also hire real estate salespersons to work for them. 

Both licenses differ in terms of minimum criteria that you need to fulfill. That includes the pre–licensing training that you would need to complete. 

In Chapter 2, you’ll learn about these differences.

A real estate salesperson working with a licensed broker will do the following:

  • Facilitate the purchase and sale of property on behalf of customers
  • Obtain lists of properties for sale with his/her employer (real estate broker)
  • Assist buyers of real estate to locate and purchase property

Note:

A New York real estate salesperson is an individual.
A broker can be an individual, a firm, a limited liability company, or a corporation.

A broker can be an individual, a firm, a limited liability company, or a corporation. 

A broker will earn a fee or commission for doing the following:

  • Maintaining a list of properties that are for sale      
  • Selling, exchanging, buying, or renting real estate 
  • Collecting rent for the use of real estate

 

How Much Can You Earn As A New York Real Estate Agent?

Let’s look up average annual salary information for real estate salespersons in New York using a handy online resource: indeed.com.  

According Indeed, the average annual salary for a real estate salesperson in New York is around $123,616. 

The average salary for a real estate agent in New York.

You can also find information on the site that tells you how much a real estate salesperson earns in different cities in New York. 

Take a look below at  real estate agent salaries in: Manhattan, Queen, Brooklyn, Yonkers, Flushing, Forest Hills, Long Beach, and Lindenhurst.

Annual salary information for real estate salesperson for different cities in New York.

You can look up this  information for the state of New York on Indeed.com.

In the What box, type “real estate salesperson”. In the Where box type, “New York”. 

Then click Search.

Real Estate Agent salary in New York State.

Now, let’s take a look at how a licensed real estate salesperson in New York earns a living.

New York real estate licensees earn most of their income from commissions on leases or sales. It is a good idea to start leasing properties in the beginning. The 5 NY boroughs have a constant flux of tenants looking for new accommodation. You will quickly gain some experience in dealing with clients. 

Then you can move on to sales where the commissions are much higher.

The sales commission in New York is generally 6%, although that can change according to the type of property and its value.

Commissions are often divided amongst the: 

  1. Buying agent 
  2. Selling agent 
  3. Brokers
  4. Firms

Here's an example

A salesperson takes a listing on a $2,000,000 house with a 6% commission. If the house sells for the asking price, the total sales commission of $120,000 (6% of $2,000,000) is divided equally between the listing agent's broker and buyer's broker.

Each broker then splits their half of the commission ($60,000) with their salesperson. 

To keep this simple we will assume that each brokerage has a 60/40 split between the agent and broker.

The commission breakdown would be:

  • Listing sales agent - $36,000
  • Listing broker - $24,000
  • Buyer's sales agent - $36,000
  • Buyer's broker - $24,000

CHAPTER 2:

New York Real Estate License: Becoming Licensed


To get a real estate license in New York, you will need to take four steps.

In this chapter, we will discuss each of them in detail.

Let’s dive right in!

Chapter 2 Steps to get real estate license New York.

In a nutshell here is how to get your real estate license in New York.

Pre-requisites

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You should not have prior convictions or be a sex offender.
  • You must have a current New York State photo driver’s license or non-driver ID card.
  • NY does not require you to have a highschool diploma or GED

Step #1

You must complete the 75-hour Real Estate License Course. These courses must be approved by the New York Department of State.

Step #2

Next, you must pass the New York Real Estate State Exam.

Step #3

Once you pass the State Exam, you will have to choose a sponsoring broker for yourself.

Step #4

Lastly, you can apply for your New York State Real Estate License!

Let’s get into the details of each step.

Step #1: 

Complete the 75-Hour Qualifying Education Course

Time Commitment: 1 - 2 months

Before you can apply for your New York State real estate license, you must first complete a 75-hour qualifying education course. This course is also called the ‘pre-license course’. 

You also need to pass a NYS Real Estate Salesperson examination, but more on that in Step 2.

For the qualifying education course (or pre-license course), you can choose from two types of courses: a course that is entirely online or a classroom-based program. 

Most people prefer the flexibility offered by self-paced, online courses. 

Further down in this chapter, we will compare the benefits between online courses and classroom courses.

Qualifying education courses are only offered by providers who are approved by the New York Department of State. You will find a list of approved course providers on the New York Department of State website.

The ‘Approved Real Estate Qualifying Education Schools’ link.

You can ensure that the school you are looking for is part of the list before signing up for their New York Real Estate Qualifying Education course.

Information for approved real estate schools in New York listed on the Department of State, New York website.

Online Courses vs Classroom Programs

There are many advantages and disadvantages to taking your NYS real estate license course online or as part of a classroom program.

While you may prefer a classroom setting, the cost of the course is far greater than that of an online course.

Here are some of the pros and cons of studying online or attending classroom-based courses.

Types of Instruction

Pros

Cons

Classroom Programs

  • Traditional classroom setting
  • Get to know other students
  • Easy access to the instructor
  • More expensive than online classes
  • Commuting and traffic
  • Finding class times to fit your schedule

Livestream Classes

  • No commute
  • Ideal if you live far from in-person schools
  • You can ask instructors questions in real time
  • Finding classes to fit your schedule
  • No interaction with other students
  • Technology doesn’t always work as it should

Online Classes

  • Work at your own pace anywhere w/ internet
  • Take classes when convenient for you
  • Least expensive option
  • Instructors can only be accessed via email or phone
  • Little interaction with real estate pros
  • Technology doesn’t always work as it should

Proctored Course Final Exam

After you have completed studying for the 75-hour qualifying education course, you will need to pass the proctored course final exam. This course exam has 75 multiple-choice questions, and you will need to answer 70% of the questions correctly to pass the exam.

IMPORTANT:

Do not confuse the course final exam with the New York real estate State Exam. These are two separate exams that you need to pass.

The course final exam is proctored and the NY RE Law requires students to choose a pre-approved physical proctoring location. Generally every school that offers the NY real estate license course has their own list of pre-approved proctoring locations that you can choose from.

After you pass the course final exam, you will be able to schedule the New York Real Estate State Exam.

Step #2: 

Pass the New York Real Estate State Exam

Time Commitment: 2 - 3 Hours

After you pass your qualifying education course final exam, you will need to schedule your New York real estate state exam.

Note:

To schedule your state exam you need to create an eAccessNY account with the NY Department of State.

There are a few simple steps you can follow.

          A. Visit the NY Department of State website and click on the ‘Apply’ tab. 

          B. Next, click on the ‘Create  My Account’ link. 

Creating an account on the Department of State, New York website.

The ‘Create My Account’ link will take you to the eAccessNY website. Again, this website is owned and hosted by the New York Department of State.

          C. Fill in your personal information.

How To Get A Real Estate License in New York.

          D. Once you have created your account, you can then schedule your NYS real estate State Exam at one of the 11 exam sites

You can choose a location that  is closest to you.

 

Information for real estate exam sites in New York.

Note (Pro Tip Later):

Later in this guide we have some cool pro tips for you, which will allow you to save time in your licensing process. So, make sure you read the entire guide!

          E. After you have selected the exam date and location, you will need to pay the $15 exam fee. This fee can be paid by check, money order, or credit card.

If you prefer paying by credit card then you will need to fill up an authorization form and attach it with your application. No cash payments are accepted by the Department of State, New York.

Information about the methods of payments for the New York exam.

Pro Tip:

The NYS real estate State Exam is a multiple-choice exam. You will have 1.5 hours to complete the exam. Your exam results will be available on your eAccessNY account.

You will receive a pass/fail notification; NOT a grade.

To verify your exam result you will need to log in your eAccessNY account.

Log in page on the eAccessNY section.

Note:

If you fail you can retake the New York real estate state exam as many times as you like. But, you’ll have to pay the $15 exam fee each time you take it.

Step #3: 

Choose a New York Sponsoring Broker

Time Commitment: Varies, based on your research and interviewing process

Licensed real estate salespersons in New York are required to work under a sponsoring broker. This simply means you need to be employed by a licensed broker or brokerage firm in New York. 

If you don’t know where to start, then you might want to look up real estate brokerage firms in your area. You can find this information on the New York Department of State website.

Visit  the Department of State website and log in to your account.

‘Access My Account’ link in the Apply section on the Department of State, New York website.
‘Public license search’ hyperlink on the Department of State, New York website.

You will be led to the next screen, which helps you narrow down the choices of a broker by name, license type, license number, city, and county.

Brokers registered by the Department of State, New York website.

If you search by city you will be led to the next screen, which is where you can choose what kind of license type you want to search for.

After selecting ‘Individual Broker’, the next screen will show you all the brokers/brokerage firms registered with the Department of State, New York.

Brokers registered with the Department of State, New York.

Upon selecting a broker of your choice, you will get all the information of that particular broker, including license number and address.

Broker information registered with the Department of State, New York.

Note:

Most New York real estate brokerages are looking for new salespersons.

Types of Brokerages

There are 3 types of brokerages that you can choose from. They are:

  1. National Brokerages - A national brokerage has offices and operates across the entire United States. They are firms that handle a large volume of transactions a year and work with enormous budgets. Joining a national brokerage will bring you immediate recognition just by the name of the brokerage. Some examples are Keller Williams, RE/MAX, or Coldwell Banker. 
  2. Local and Boutique Brokerage - Local and boutique brokerages are smaller, local firms. They work on a personal level with their clients. They are a great starting point for aspiring young salespersons to advance their career. Since boutique brokerages are smaller and have a limited number of brokers, the space to learn increases through close interactions with experienced brokers.
  3. Virtual Brokerage - Virtual brokerages are online brokerages, with no physical location. The benefits of joining a virtual brokerage include:
    • better splitting of commissions
    • large community of agents and brokers

Pro Tip:

You should consider joining a virtual brokerage only when you have enough experience as an agent. New agents should prioritize the education they receive from their broker over high commissions.

Step #4: 

Apply for Your NYS Real Estate License

Time Commitment: 1-2 weeks

At this point, you have completed the 75-hour qualifying education course and passed the Course Exam. You have also passed the NYS real estate State Exam, and you have selected a sponsoring broker/brokerage firm. 

In Step 4, you will need to apply for your New York State Real Estate License.

You will have to submit your NY real estate license application through your eAccessNY account.

’Access My Account’ link on the Apply section on the Department of State, New York website.

Here are a few mandatory requirements for license application submission:

  • Complete the Real Estate Salesperson Application. 
  • Pay $65 for the application fee. 
  • Include your employer’s (also known as the sponsoring broker) broker ID number on the application.

When preparing your application, you must inform the Department of State New York about any past felony convictions. You must also disclose information about any offense committed that may constitute a sexual offense, or a sexually violent offense. 

This would include any offenses committed outside the state of New York, which could constitute a sexually viloent offense. Such disclosures would involve sharing a certified copy of the judgment of conviction with the Department of State.

Extract from Real Estate License Law

Note:

Your sponsoring broker will receive your New York Real Estate Salesperson license. If, in the future, you decide to change brokerages, then your old broker will transfer your NY real estate license to your new employing broker.

Applying Based on Reciprocity

As a first time applicant for a NYS real estate license, you should know that you can also apply based on ‘Reciprocity’. Reciprocity in real estate refers to agreements that different states have amongst themselves. Such agreements allow you to get a license in another state by only taking the state exam. However, you must hold a valid real estate license in your current state to qualify for reciprocity.

New York has a reciprocal agreement with several states. If you are currently licensed as a real estate salesperson in one of the states below, you may apply for a license via reciprocity. 

The image shows the states that share real estate reciprocity with New York State. 

Minimum qualifications.

Applicants from any of these states must meet the following requirements: 

  • Current certification (dated within six months), from the Real Estate Commission where they obtained their license
  • Completed application
  • Irrevocable consent form
  • Appropriate fees

Applicants seeking a reciprocal New York State real estate salesperson’s license must be sponsored by their home-state broker who must also hold a current New York state broker’s license.

Photo ID Cards

Once your application is approved, you will receive a Photo ID Card. The New York Department of State is issuing Photo ID Cards to real estate licensees.

A new Photo ID Card can be created for you if, in the future, you wish to change your NY broker, change your business address, name, branch location, or even if you simply want a duplicate Photo ID.

Pro Tip:

Your DMV ID Number needs to be on file with the Department of State. This number is the nine digit number located on your driver's license or non-driver’s ID card. 

You can provide this number to the DoS using either of the following options:

  1. Log into your eAccessNY account. Select the Maintain User Profile link, click the Edit button in the NYS DMV ID Number field, and enter your DMV ID Number.
    OR
  2. You can download the DMV Consent Form from and mail the completed form to the DoS office.

CHAPTER 3:

New York Real Estate License: The Costs


In this Chapter, you will learn about the costs for acquiring a real estate license in New York.

The costs are split across fixed and variable costs. The costs for completing the required education courses/training can vary depending on which education provider you choose or whether you sign up for an online course or an in-person course.

We’ll show you the variable and fixed costs for acquiring your New York real estate license, so that you’re better informed.

Real estate license New York Chapter 3, New York real estate license cost.

VARIABLE COST

The variable costs are costs you will pay for the New York real estate license qualifying courses. These costs will vary depending on:

  • Whether you choose online courses or classroom programs
  • The education provider you select

Our research shows that prices for the online courses vary from $99 up to $980. 

The price depends on whether you take online classes or attend an in-person real estate school.

This is a variable cost so depending on which school you choose you can have a higher or lower cost.

We’ll provide you with some examples starting with the most affordable option.

NOTE: 

Please conduct your own research since the costs may have changed after this page's publication.

RealEstateU® offers the full 75-hour New York State Real Estate License Course for $99 and a NY State Exam Course for $49. You can also choose a ‘course combo’ package that contains both courses for $148.  From our research we believe this is the most affordable real estate licensing course in New York.

The cost for the New York Real estate license course and state exam course on RealEstateU.com

Aceable offers the 75-Hour New York Real Estate Pre-License Course for $239.

 

The cost for the New York Real estate pre-license course on aceable.com.

Leapedu offers “New York Packages” for $300 and $650.

The cost for the New York Real estate pre-license course on Leapedu.com.

The CE Shop offers several pricing options for the 75-hour New York State Real Estate Pre-License exam. The prices range from $225 to $412.

The course packages for New York Real estate pre-license course offered on Leapedu.com
The cost for the New York Real estate pre-license course on Leapedu.com.

Real Estate Express offers packages for New York real estate education, which include online and livestream training packages. The pricing options within the online training packages range from $317 to $197. The cost for the livestream training packages is $317.  

The cost for the New York Real estate pre-license online courses offered by realestateexpress.com.
The cost for the New York Real estate pre-license livestream courses offered by realestateexpress.com.

NYREI offers classroom-based programs for the New York Real Estate Pre-License course. The cost varies across Basic, Professional, and Platinum options—from $495 to $995—with each option offering a different mix of features. Nyrei.com also offers online courses through its collaboration with Hondros Learning.

The cost for the New York Real estate pre-license classroom courses offered by nyrei.com.

As you can see, online courses are significantly cheaper than classroom training programs. A classroom training program can cost up to $1,000.

 

FIXED COSTS

New York Real Estate Department of State (DOS) Fees

You can find information about the fixed costs for the New York real estate license on the website Real Estate Salesperson | Department of State (as shown in the image below).

The fees structure for the New York Real estate salesperson license on the Department of State, New York website

Let’s look at the fees that matter to you as a first time real estate licensing agent in New York.

DOS Fees

Amount

Initial Application

$65.00 

Written Exam

$15.00 

TOTAL 

$80.00

Now that you know the expected costs for the New York real estate qualifying education course (pre-license course) and also the DOS fixed costs, you can calculate the total expected cost for getting your New York real estate license.

If you were to choose RealEstateU’s New York Real Estate licensing package course then the total cost would be as shown in the following table.

Fees

Amount

RealEstateU’s NY real estate licensing package

$99.00

Initial Application

$65.00 

Written Exam

$15.00 

TOTAL 

$179.00

CHAPTER 4:

New York Real Estate License: Time Needed


The last questions you might ask yourself are probably:

  • How long will I have to study to get the New York  license?
  • How much time does the NY real estate application process take? 
  • How long does it take to receive the NY real estate State Exam results?

That’s what this Chapter will focus on. 

Let’s jump right in!

Real estate license New York Chapter 4 how to get your real estate license in New York.

Estimated Time for Completing the Qualifying Education Course

3 to 5 months (depends on you)

The amount of time it takes to obtain your real estate license will depend on several factors:

  • How much time in a day you can dedicate to studying for the 75-hour qualifying education course. 
  • Whether or not you have prior felonies, which could impact the time needed for your application to get approved. 
  • How much time you take to select a sponsoring broker. 

Here is a breakdown of the time it will take to obtain your New York State real estate salespersons license:

1. Complete the 75-hour New York State real estate salespersons course (including the proctored final exam)

If you take the 75-hour course online, you can complete the entire course in under 2 weeks. Or, It could take upto 2 months to complete the course. It depends entirely on how much time in a day you are able to dedicate towards studying.

2. Pass the state exam

The state exam will take you an estimated 2 hours to complete. The exam itself will take 1.5 hours to complete, and you should plan on arriving at the test center at least 30 minutes early.

Pro Tip (SAVE time):

You are allowed to schedule your state exam while you are still completing the 75-hour course. So to save time, first work out how long it will take you to complete the 75-hour course (based on how many hours of study you can put in in a single day) and then schedule your state exam in advance. 

By the time you complete the course you will already have a scheduled date for your exam.

3. Submit your license application and have it approved by the Department Of State 

You can submit your license application the same day you receive your passing grade for the state exam. The Department Of State will then need up to 2 weeks to approve your application and mail your license to your sponsoring broker.

Real Estate Licenses From$395$99

Choose Your State
California State Courses Florida State Courses Georgia State Courses Michigan State Courses Missouri State Courses North Carolina State Courses New York State Courses Pennsylvania State Courses South Carolina State Courses Tennessee State Courses Texas State Courses Virginia State Courses Washington State Courses Wisconsin State Courses

A Simple and Affordable Way To Get Your
  • Texas
  • Tennessee
  • New York
  • California
  • Pennsylvania
  • Michigan
  • Virginia
  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • Missouri
  • Texas

Real Estate License

Change careers or earn extra income on the side