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Getting a real estate license

A career in real estate can be both exciting and rewarding. For a highly motivated and energetic individual, the earnings potential can be tremendous. In Kenneth W. Edwards' book, "Your Successful Real Estate Career," the author lists traits and skills needed to succeed in the real estate industry. Some of them include being a self-starter, hard worker, problem solver, good listener, stable but flexible, knowing your product and believing in the value of it, and having perseverance. If these qualities describe you, then read on to find out how to begin your career. In New York State real estate professionals are licensed, to assure a high level of standards in the industry and to provide the optimum consumer protection.

To begin the process of becoming a licensed Real Estate Salesperson in New York State, you must complete a 75 hour Salesperson's Qualifying Course, offered by local boards of REALTORS, adult schools and proprietary schools throughout the state, and then pass an exam. The qualifying course will be available online. This course acquaints you with real estate laws, regulations, and procedures and would help you determine if a real estate career is for you.

Upon completion of the qualifying course you must register for and take a licensing examination given by the New York State Department of State. Once you receive an exam pass slip, you must submit an application to the NYS Department of State, Division of Licensing Services, with a non-refundable fee of $50. Applicants must:

• Be 18 years of age
• Not be more than four months in arrears in child support payments
• Must provide information about any crimes in which they have been convicted
• Name a sponsoring broker on their application

To become a licensed real estate broker or associate broker you will be required to have two years experience as a licensed real estate salesperson or three years experience in the general real estate field.

Attorneys admitted to the bar in NYS are exempt from the educational, exam and experience requirements, but must submit an application and fee.

For further information on licensing, course providers and exam schedules, you may contact the NYS Department of State at 518.474.4429, via e-mail at, or visit their website.

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