I have been in the industry for over 42 years and have seen tremendous changes occur over that time. When I began, you only needed 45 hours of classroom instruction, pass the New York State exam and be 18 years of age to earn your real estate license.
Fast forward to today. As of Dec. 21, 2022, you now need an approved qualified and certified classroom or online education of 77 hours (previously 75 hours) of instruction to earn your real estate salesperson license. The cost of the course can range from $99 (I have seen this price online during off-season winter months) to $700 as a college course. Obviously, it would be prudent to find the most economical class to consider.
We have a list of those companies where the out-of-pocket costs are the lowest. You also need to be sponsored by a licensed Real Estate Broker to be in the business and a valid NYS photo driver’s license or a non-driver ID photo card. The additional fees required after you earn your real estate salesperson license are as follows: $15 written exam, $65 initial application, and $65 renewal fee (on your second year renewal). Credit cards are accepted to pay the fees.
You will have a final classroom test to enable you to identify your strengths and weaknesses in answering the questions in order to pass the NYS exam. There are ways to study for the NYS exam. There are study guides that one can purchase to provide you with a greater opportunity to pass. We have a special Q & A that we supply to all our potential new agents, making it easier for them to pass the exam.
I have heard from several companies that provide the qualified and certified classes that a great majority of participants, 65%, don’t pass the NYS exam the first time. This may be because either they don’t sufficiently study, don’t truly understand the information, or aren’t confident enough in taking tests. There are 75 questions and there are several versions of the exam and you will need to get at least 52 answers correct to pass and receive a grade of 70.
To keep the license active, one needs 22.5 hours of continuing education credit (CE) every two years to keep it current. With that continuing education, one needs to enroll in some new required and necessary classes either online or in person. Those classes are now required if your license expires after Sept. 21, 2022 and are the following: two hours of Implicit Bias Awareness, two hours of Cultural Competency, three hours or Fair Housing, one hour of Agency Law, 2.5 hours in Ethical Business Practices, and one hour of Legal Matters.
Once you finally receive an email via EAcess from the Department of State that you have passed, then you must find a Broker to sponsor you as a salesperson. If you fail or think that you might because you do not do well on tests, then automatically as a backup sign up for another scheduled NYS exam ($15 additional).
Earning your real estate salesperson license is barely the first step in the beginning of starting your business. Creating and growing your new career will take a tremendous amount of concerted efforts, disciplined actions and sacrificing your valuable time. There are approximately 1,548,058 Realtors who are part of an MLS and total of 2 million licensed real estate agents in the United States, according to the National Association of Realtors in 2022. There were 130,439 Brokers and salespersons in NYS and only 60,000+ who were consider Realtors and members of the NYS Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors, the esteemed professional groups.
Only 46% have earned a Realtor designation. Whether you are performing your business part-time or taking the plunge as a full time professional, constant training, learning and absorbing information and concepts will be tantamount in earning an adequate ancillary income if you have a full time job (in the U.S. almost 50% of licensed agents have jobs) or if full time earning a livable income. Prior to the pandemic the average income of an agent was approximately $43,500 and after the Pandemic it decreased to about $39,200. New York/New York City had the highest average of $111,487 in 2022, and that varied depending on your status as a part or full-time agent.
Becoming a licensed real estate salesperson (consultant) is an excellent way to go into your own business. You are an independent contractor and not an employee. You determine your own hours (not like an employee) and you will have 100% control over your income and not your employer. As a business you will have quite a lot of tax deductions that employees aren’t privy to. It is a challenging but rewarding enterprise. The field is well worth the “sweat equity” and efforts to be in greater control over your earnings and lifestyle if you so choose to go down that path. Good luck if you do.
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Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has 40 years of experience in the Real Estate industry and has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (G.R.I.) and also as a Certified International Property Specialist (C.I.P.S) as well as the new “Green Industry” Certification for eco-friendly construction and upgrades. He can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: [email protected] or via https://WWW.Li-RealEstate.Com