From Jucy Lucys and hotdishes to ice fishing and the Mall of America, Minnesota is a comforting place to live—and an even better place to begin your journey as a real estate professional. But in order to connect residents of the Land of 10,000 Lakes with the properties of their dreams, you’ll need to first learn how to get your real estate license here. 

And that’s where we come in. Follow these five easy steps, and you’ll be launching your career in Minnesota real estate in no time.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Minnesota

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How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Minnesota
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Complete a 90-hour Prelicensing Course
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Pass the Prelicensing Course Final Exam
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Schedule & Pass the Minnesota Real Estate Salesperson Exam
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Find a Sponsoring Broker to Hire You
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Complete the Licensing Process

Let’s dive into these steps in a little more detail. Before long, you’ll be helping clients buy and sell foursquares in the Twin Cities, split-level homes in Bloomington, or ramblers in Rochester.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Minnesota?

It costs approximately $750 to get your real estate license in Minnesota, including your prelicensing education. Some of the costs are fixed, such as the state’s licensing and exam fees, and others vary. 

While you don’t need a college degree to become a real estate agent in Minnesota, you must complete the state-specific licensing process. The price of the required 90-hour prelicensing courses (and optional exam prep materials) will vary depending on the provider you choose.

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Quick Facts

Prelicensing Course:



Prelicensing Course Final Exam:



License Application:



Exam Registration:



Exam Retake:

$63 ($39 per section)


Total Costs:


(Minnesota real estate license costs as of May 2023)

How to Get a Minnesota Real Estate Agent License in 5 Easy Steps

Before you begin, let’s make sure you’re eligible. Minnesota requires those seeking a real estate sales associate designation to:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident

If you are a licensed attorney, have a degree in real estate, or have a license in another state, you may be able to waive some of your licensing requirements. 

Minnesota has reciprocal agreements with six states: Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. Agents licensed in these states do not have to take Minnesota’s prelicensing courses. Instead, they can apply for licensure on the PULSE Portal, email a letter of certification no more than 90 days old documenting that they are currently licensed as a salesperson in a reciprocal state, and pass the state portion of the exam. 

If you are licensed in Wisconsin, you must also complete a 13-hour Wisconsin-to-Minnesota prelicensing course in addition to taking the Minnesota state exam. 

Visit the Minnesota Commerce Department’s website for education and examination requirements tailored to your specific situation. 

Ready to learn more about how to become a real estate agent in Minnesota? Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:

1. Complete a 90-hour Prelicensing Course

  • Cost: $309-$1,099
  • Time commitment: 3-6 weeks

Prelicensing courses kick off your real estate career, and you’ll have your choice of completing them online or in person. Your choice of course format will depend on your learning style and what suits your schedule best.

The amount of time you’ll need comes down to how much class time you allot per week. You can complete all 90 hours online; those who study at a faster pace will finish in a shorter amount of time. If you approach it like a 40-hour workweek, you’ll finish in less than three weeks. 

There are three courses that you must successfully complete before you apply for a Minnesota real estate salesperson license, known as Course I, Course II, and Course III. Each course consists of 30 hours of instruction. You can take the state licensing exam after successfully completing Course I, but you can’t apply for a real estate license until you’ve successfully completed Course II and Course III.

Prelicensing courses will often include extra features like exam prep, instructor support, and career resources. Visit The Close’s article on real estate schools in Minnesota to find the prelicensing course that’s right for you. 

The state of Minnesota requires 90 hours of coursework before sitting for the licensing exam. You’ll learn:

  • Real property characteristics, legal descriptions, and property use
  • Forms of ownership, transfer, and recording of title
  • Property value and appraisal
  • Real estate contracts and agency
  • Real estate practice
  • Property disclosures and environmental issues
  • Financing and settlement
  • Real estate math calculations
  • Real estate brokerage license law
  • Contracts and disclosures
  • Interest in real property
  • Conveyance procedures and protection of parties
  • Obligations, rights, and remedies related to financial instruments

You’ll need the help of a highly rated Minnesota real estate school to get through this weighty material. Most people choose a real estate school based on the cost and the educational format of the course. Here are the most popular options in terms of course design.

If you’re looking for a self-paced experience, we like Colibri Real Estate’s online platform best. They also happen to be featured on our national roundup of the best online real estate schools.

Readers of The Close can get 25% off tuition on any Colibri Real Estate prelicensing course in Minnesota using coupon code “Theclose25“.

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4 Best Online Real Estate Schools in Minnesota

2. Pass the Prelicensing Course Final Exam

  • Cost: $0-$25
  • Time commitment: 1 day

After completing your 90-hour prelicensing course, you must pass a course final exam with at least 75% correct.

This, to be clear, is not the same as the state exam. It’s provided by your prelicensing education company and is an indication that you have completed and retained the information from your prelicensing education course. Like the state exam, this test is closed-book and closed-note. You are allowed to use a basic-function calculator and scratch paper, but no cell phones or outside internet access are allowed.

Minnesota is one of the few states that require the prelicensing course exam to be supervised by a proctor. Even if you take this test in your own home, you must have a proctor overseeing you when sitting for the test. Since the final exam, whether offline or online, must be taken in a proctor’s presence, you’ll have to schedule a proctoring appointment in advance. The cost for proctoring is $25 per exam. However, some schools include a proctored exam in their education packages.

3. Schedule & Pass the Minnesota Real Estate Salesperson Exam

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Quick Facts




Time to Complete:

4 hours



Computer-based, 130 questions


Bring to Testing Center:

Two forms of identification, including one current government-issued photo ID that includes your signature


Passing Grade:


After you’ve completed your prelicensing education, it’s time to take the Minnesota Real Estate Salesperson Exam. Candidates must go to Pearson VUE and create an account to make a reservation for an examination. The cost of the exam is $63.

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How to Study for the Real Estate Exam: Tips & Strategies

Pearson VUE administers the Minnesota Real Estate Salesperson Exam. The exam is an in-person, proctored test administered via computer. The exam consists of two parts that review state and national real estate laws. There are 130 multiple-choice questions altogether: 80 questions in the national portion and 50 additional questions in the state portion. You will have 240 minutes, or four hours, to complete the entire exam. 

A passing score for the Minnesota Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 60 questions right out of 80 for the national section and 38 correct answers out of 50 for the state portion, or 75%. The rate at which testers pass the Minnesota Real Estate Salesperson Exam is also 75%. There is no limit to the number of times you can retake the exam. 

You should arrive 30 minutes early at the testing site. Pearson VUE’s Minnesota Real Estate Candidate Handbook outlines the types of government-issued identification they’ll accept. There’s also a lengthy list of items you’re prohibited from bringing to the exam room (including common items like calculators, pens, and cell phones).

All candidates must provide one of the following:

  • A valid course completion certificate for the Minnesota-approved Course I

Some candidates may also need to bring this paperwork:

  • Agents licensed in Wisconsin will need a valid course completion certificate for the 13-hour Wisconsin-to-Minnesota salesperson prelicensing course
  • Agents whose Minnesota license have lapsed will need a copy of their expired Minnesota resident real estate salesperson license
  • Agents licensed in one of the states where Minnesota has a reciprocity agreement will need a current letter of certification from their resident state that’s no more than 90 days old

Testing sites for the Minnesota real estate exam are located in the following cities:

  • Bloomington
  • Brainerd
  • Brooklyn Park
  • Eagan
  • Hermantown
  • Marshall
  • Pine City
  • Rochester
  • St. Paul

As soon as you’re done with the multiple-choice exam, you’ll learn whether you passed or failed. If you don’t pass, you’ll be given a detailed score report that will help you prepare for the retake. Again, you can take the exam as many times as you’d like, but you will have to pay $63 each time—or $39 if you only have to retake one section.

4. Find a Sponsoring Broker to Hire You

  • Cost: Free
  • Time commitment: 1-2 weeks

Minnesota requires that you associate yourself with a current sponsoring broker who’s active in the state to receive your real estate license. A broker has received additional training, worked in the industry for at least two years, and passed the broker’s license exam.

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Real Estate Broker vs. Agent: A Head-to-Head Analysis

Finding a broker to work under will feel like applying for a job. Once you’ve landed some broker interviews, you’ll want to ask each broker about the split (or how you and the brokerage will divide sales commissions). You’ll find that some brokerages will ask for a 50-50 split on commissions. Usually, brokerages that offer an even split will not charge monthly desk fees.

As you evaluate your options, remember that, as a commissioned salesperson, your income entirely depends on your abilities and effort. Some brokerages may offer you 70% of your commissions, a ratio that may rise to 100% after you’ve met a specific sales goal (or cap) for the year. 

It’s important to be realistic about your earning potential in the first few months. It takes time to launch your new business. Some new agents choose to work part time so they can still bring in additional revenue as they’re learning the ropes. And if your brokerage does charge fees, you’ll have to pay them regardless of whether you’re closing deals or not.

Here are some questions to consider during your broker search:

  • What is their reputation, both locally and nationally?
  • What kind of real estate agents are they looking for?
  • Are they technologically advanced and up to date with the latest systems?
  • How do they support their agents with education and training?
  • What kind of commission structure do they offer?
  • Do they offer benefits?
  • Do they provide agents with leads and marketing material?
  • Is there room to grow with the brokerage?

5. Complete the Licensing Process

  • Cost: $130
  • Time commitment: 1-2 weeks

The final step is a simple one. With all the above tasks completed, prepare your materials to apply for that hard-earned salesperson license. This license allows you to handle real estate transactions, including buying and selling properties, as well as managing the rental process.

In fact, you will not be the one who submits your license application. Instead, Minnesota requires your sponsoring broker to submit your application on your behalf. The cost of the application is $130. This includes $30 for the real estate education, research, and recovery fund, and a $30 technology surcharge. You must apply within a year of passing the exam. Otherwise, you’ll need to retake the exam.

Additionally, if you have not yet completed Course II and Course III of your prelicensing education, you must do so before applying for your license. 

To protect the public’s interest, the Minnesota Commerce Department asks applicants to disclose in their applications whether they have a criminal history. If this applies to you, you’ll need to submit official documents to show the extent of the criminal activity and how it was ultimately resolved.

The license application includes questions regarding criminal convictions, charges, and withheld or deferred judgments. If you have such relevant records, you’ll need to provide:

  • A written statement explaining the circumstances of each incident
  • A copy of the charging document
  • A copy of the official document that shows the resolution of the charges or any final judgment or sentencing order

The Minnesota Commerce Department will review the documents to see if you are eligible for your license. Once the department has approved your application, your broker will be able to print out your license and inform you that you are licensed as a Minnesota real estate salesperson.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Minnesota: FAQs 

Still not sure about the path forward? Get answers to common questions about how to become a real estate agent in Minnesota below.

More Career Resources From The Close

Now that you’ve learned how to become a real estate agent in Minnesota, you’re likely to have more questions. Luckily, The Close is here to answer them for you.

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