Looking to find out how to become a real estate agent in New York? Obtaining your real estate license in New York State will qualify you to sell luxe estates in the Hamptons, high-rise apartments in Manhattan, more affordable single-family homes upstate—and even search for rental properties in Queens or Brooklyn. We guarantee it’ll be an exciting, fast-moving career!
If you think you have what it takes to become a real estate agent in New York, we’d love to help you achieve that goal. To be eligible to get your real estate license in New York, you need to be:
- At least 18 years old
- Free of criminal convictions
If you meet those basic requirements, here are the steps you’ll need to follow to get your real estate license in New York:
Step 1: Choose a Real Estate School
Step 2: Complete 75 Hours of Qualifying Courses
Step 3: Create an eAccessNY Account to Schedule Your Exam
Step 4: Study for the Exam
Step 5: Take the New York Real Estate Exam
Step 6: Find a Broker to Hire You
Step 7: Apply for Your Real Estate License in New York
Before we discuss how to become a real estate agent in NY, let’s talk about its cost.
How much does it cost to get a real estate license in New York?
It costs around $500 to get your real estate license in New York. Some of these costs are fixed, such as the application fee and exam fee. Your course costs and exam prep materials will vary depending upon the companies you choose.
New York Real Estate License Costs
|Prelicensing Classes (75 hours)||$289 (Real Estate Express)|
|Exam Prep||$129 (Mbition)|
|NY Real Estate License Exam Fee||$15|
Now that you know the basic info on how to get your real estate license in New York, let’s dive into the process.
1. Choose a Real Estate School
The first step to becoming a real estate agent in New York is to choose either an in-person or online real estate school.
In-person New York real estate schools:
- Can be completed in 10 days
- You need the flexibility to spend all day in the classroom
- Let you interact with instructors and other students in-person*
*Pandemic restrictions notwithstanding—please contact the school directly for details.
Online New York real estate schools:
- Can be taken at your own pace
- Eliminate the need for a commute
- Are typically less expensive than in-person schools
Most people like the flexible schedule and affordability of enrolling in online courses. If you’re looking for an online school, consider Real Estate Express. It’s a leading online school for aspiring NY real estate agents.
Real Estate Express has four packages priced from $289 to $474. The top three packages include a “pass or don’t pay” guarantee—you’ll receive a full class refund if you don’t pass the licensure exam on the first try.
Real Estate Express is offering 25% of its prelicensing education and exam prep products for a limited time. Use promo code TheClose25 to save.
2. Complete 75 Hours of Qualifying Courses
You must complete 75 hours of qualifying real estate courses before you can sit for the New York real estate licensing exam. All of the accredited NY real estate schools are required to cover the same topics. See FAQs below for details.
Even though all certified schools are required to teach the same material, most offer a variety of packages that provide other resources. For example, Kaplan’s Career Launcher Package includes the required courses plus their Real Estate Accelerator—a class to help you get started in your real estate career.
3. Create an eAccessNY Account to Schedule Your Exam
You’ll need to create an account with eAccessNY to schedule your real estate salesperson licensing exam. eAccessNY is the state’s occupational licensing management system.
Once you’ve created your account and completed 75 hours of courses, click “apply to take the exam” from the main menu and choose one of 11 exam sites in New York State. The exam fee is just $15.
4. Study for the Exam
Even though Real Estate Express offers exam prep materials with most of their packages, you may want to purchase additional study materials.
Check out Mbition’s Master Exam Prep Package. For only $129, you get a personalized study plan that includes:
- New York Real Estate Exam Prep
- MathMaster, a program to help you master key math concepts you’ll need to get your real estate license in New York
- Real Estate Recorded Review
- Real Estate Test-taking Tips
- Real Estate Flashcards
Mbition is so confident that their program works that they guarantee you’ll pass the exam on your first try.
5. Take the New York Real Estate Exam
You’ll have 1.5 hours to complete the multiple-choice, written exam.
Bring the following items to your scheduled testing site:
- One government-issued, valid photo ID
- Printout of “Summary of Your Submission” from eAccessNY, which includes your exam information and candidate number
- Calculator (if desired)
- Two #2 pencils
Pro tip: Turn off your cell phone during the exam. Leave large bags, reference materials, food, and beverages at home.
Your exam results will be available on your eAccessNY account as soon as the exam unit completes the scoring process. You’ll receive a pass/fail notification, not a grade. You can retake the NY real estate licensing exam as many times as you like, but you’ll have to pay the $15 exam fee each time.
6. Find a Broker to Hire You
Once you pass the real estate salesperson exam and receive a notification or log in to eAccessNY to see your results, you can start looking for jobs with a New York real estate broker. Licensed real estate agents are required to work under and be sponsored by a broker.
Pro Tip: Licensed brokers have been in the field for three years, have taken 45 additional hours of real estate coursework, and have passed the New York State broker exam.
In your new career as a licensed New York real estate professional, you’ll be paid solely on commission. You may decide to quit your day job and jump in with both feet. But if you opt to wade in slowly and work part-time, we suggest you explore how to become a successful part-time real estate agent. It’s totally doable!
7. Apply for Your Real Estate License in New York
You’ve now completed the more complex tasks. Filling out the application to receive your license should be a breeze.
Here’s the application process for becoming a real estate agent in NY:
- Log in to your eAccessNY account and fill in the online application.
- Enter your sponsoring broker’s unique ID number on the application. Your broker will receive notification that you’ve submitted a licensing application and will give his or her approval.
- Check your office mail for your New York real estate license. The licensing agency will generate your license and mail it to your new office that same week.
The application fee is $55, and you must renew your license every two years.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in NY FAQs
You’re seven steps away from starting a new, exciting career. Here’s some additional information that’ll help you become a real estate agent in NY.
How much do real estate agents in New York make?
According to Indeed, a real estate agent’s average income in New York ranges from $86,000 to $95,000. The low end of the range is the average for real estate agents in New York State, while New York City agents earn a higher average annual income.
How long does it take to become a real estate agent in New York?
It takes about three months to become a real estate agent in New York. The most time-consuming part of the process is the 75 hours of prelicensing instruction you’ll need to complete.
Is getting your NY real estate license worth it?
There are several steps to becoming a NY real estate agent and it will take about three months and at least $500 to become licensed. It’s worth it. Working as a real estate agent gives you unlimited income potential and control over your schedule. It’s hard to find a career with those perks.
What topics do NY real estate classes cover?
The State requires all in-person and online real estate schools in New York to teach the same curriculum, including a detailed list of topics. Here is a list of topics that you will cover in your classes:
- License law and regulations
- Law of agency
- Legal issues
- The contract of sales and leases
- Real estate finance
- Land use regulations
- Construction and environmental issues
- Valuation process and pricing properties
- Human rights and fair housing
- Real estate mathematics
- Municipal agencies
- Property insurance
- Licensee safety
- Taxes and assessments
- Condominiums and cooperatives
- Commercial and investment properties
- Income tax issues in real estate transactions
- Mortgage brokerage
- Property management
Don’t be overwhelmed by this list of weighty topics. Remember, it’s the job of the real estate educator to present the material so that it’s easy to understand. View the complete list of topics in this NY State Real Estate Salesperson curriculum.
How hard is the real estate exam in NY?
The pass rates for the New York real estate exam are not publicly available, but many online real estate schools provide their student success rates. For example, 91% of The CE Shop’s students pass the New York salesperson licensing exam the first time they take it.
Even though your real estate school will present the information in an easy-to-understand format, you’ll have to do your part to learn the material.
Pro Tip: Your can-do attitude, drive, and determination to pass the real estate exam will set you up for success in your new career as a NY real estate agent.
How do I find a broker to sponsor me?
Be prepared to knock on doors and introduce yourself to find a brokerage to oversee your work. Of course, you can also send messages through their social media accounts. Here are some of the Best Real Estate Companies to Work for in 2021 to help you choose the right agency for you.
When you explore job prospects with different brokerages, make sure you ask about their employment terms. Here are some topics to help guide your discussion.
Your “split” is how you’ll share the commissions you earn to help clients buy and sell real estate (or find a rental property).
Some brokerages will offer you a higher percentage of the split. Although you may make a larger share of the commission with each transaction, you may be charged a monthly desk fee in return. You’ll pay the fee every month, regardless of how many properties you sold (or didn’t sell).
A cap is the maximum amount that the brokerage will take from the commissions you’ve earned within the year. You may find some agencies offer a higher split but a lower cap, or vice versa.
Take all of these terms into consideration before you sign a contract with any brokerage. Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, you can find your first clients and start earning commissions!
Additional Resources for Succeeding in Real Estate
Let us help you succeed in your new real estate career. Get advice from those who have done it before with our ultimate guide on how to get a real estate license. Also, consider joining our Real Estate Agent’s Mastermind Group on Facebook to get answers to your specific questions from seasoned agents.