How Much Does it Cost To Get Real Estate License ?

Embarking on a career in real estate can be an exciting and lucrative venture. However, before you can start selling homes or managing properties, you need to obtain a real estate license. The process involves several steps, each with its own associated costs. In this blog post, we will delve into the various expenses you can expect when pursuing a real estate license, answering the question: How much does it cost to get a real estate license?, providing a comprehensive breakdown to help you budget effectively.

1. Pre-Licensing Education

The first significant cost you will encounter is the pre-licensing education. Each state in the U.S. has its own requirements regarding the number of hours of coursework you must complete before you can take the licensing exam. On average, you can expect to complete between 60 to 180 hours of coursework.

  • Cost Range: $200 to $1,000

The price of these courses varies depending on the provider and the state. Online courses tend to be more affordable than in-person classes, but the choice depends on your learning preference.

2. Licensing Exam Fee

Once you have completed your pre-licensing education, the next step is to take the licensing exam. This exam tests your knowledge of real estate principles, practices, and state-specific laws.

  • Cost Range: $50 to $300

The fee for the licensing exam varies by state. Some states may charge additional fees for retakes if you do not pass on your first attempt.

3. Background Check and Fingerprinting

Most states require a background check and fingerprinting as part of the licensing process. This step ensures that you have a clean criminal record and are fit to practice real estate.

  • Cost Range: $30 to $100

The cost for background checks and fingerprinting can vary, but it is a necessary step to ensure the integrity of the profession.

4. Application Fee

After passing the licensing exam, you will need to submit an application to your state’s real estate regulatory authority. This application typically includes a fee.

  • Cost Range: $50 to $300

The application fee varies by state and is required to process your license.

5. Errors and Omissions Insurance

Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance is a form of professional liability insurance that protects real estate agents from claims of negligence or inadequate work. While not always mandatory, it is highly recommended and sometimes required by brokers.

  • Cost Range: $200 to $500 per year

The cost of E&O insurance depends on the coverage limits and the provider.

6. Real Estate Brokerage Fees

Once you have your license, you will need to work under a licensed real estate broker. Brokers often charge new agents a fee to cover training, office space, and other resources.

  • Cost Range: $25 to $500 per month

These fees can vary widely depending on the brokerage and the services they offer. Some brokers may also take a percentage of your commissions.

7. Continuing Education

To maintain your real estate license, most states require continuing education (CE) courses. These courses ensure that you stay updated on changes in real estate laws and practices.

  • Cost Range: $50 to $300 per year

The cost of continuing education varies depending on the number of hours required and the course provider.

8. Additional Costs

In addition to the primary costs listed above, there are several other expenses you may incur as you start your real estate career:

  • Marketing and Advertising: $100 to $1,000
  • Professional Memberships: $200 to $500 per year (e.g., National Association of Realtors)
  • Business Expenses: $500 to $2,000 (e.g., office supplies, technology, transportation)

Total Estimated Cost

When you add up all these expenses, the total cost to get a real estate license can range from approximately $1,000 to $3,500. This estimate includes the initial costs of education, exam fees, application fees, and the first year of additional expenses such as insurance and brokerage fees.


Obtaining a real estate license requires a significant financial investment, but it is a crucial step towards a rewarding career in real estate. By understanding the various costs involved, you can better prepare and budget for your journey. Remember, the initial expenses are just the beginning. As you grow in your career, you will continue to invest in your education, marketing, and professional development to ensure your success in the competitive real estate market.

Tips for Reducing Costs

  1. Shop Around for Courses: Compare prices and reviews of different pre-licensing courses to find the best value for your money.
  2. Look for Discounts: Some course providers offer discounts or payment plans to make the cost more manageable.
  3. Join a Brokerage with Low Fees: Research different brokerages to find one that offers reasonable fees and good support for new agents.
  4. Utilize Free Resources: Take advantage of free online resources, such as webinars and articles, to supplement your education and stay informed about industry trends.

While the cost of getting a real estate license can seem daunting, it is an investment in your future. With careful planning and budgeting, you can manage these expenses and set yourself up for a successful career in real estate. Remember, the key to success in this industry is not just obtaining your license but continuously learning and adapting to the ever-changing market. Good luck on your journey to becoming a licensed real estate professional!

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