If you’re a Michigander who loves the idea of a flexible schedule and unlimited earning potential, then it’s time to pursue a Michigan real estate license. To be eligible for a Michigan real estate license, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be determined to be of good, moral character by the state

In this article, we’ll walk you through the four easy steps you’ll need to take to launch a real estate career in Michigan, review the costs involved, and answer frequently asked questions. Let’s get started!

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  • Complete Required Courses: Enroll in and complete the state-specific pre-licensing courses provided by Colibri.
  • Prepare and Pass the Exam: Use Colibri’s study aids and practice tests to prepare, then pass the state licensing exam.
  • Apply for Your License: Submit your application and necessary documents to the state, and activate your license if needed.

How to Get Your Michigan Real Estate License

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How to Get Your Michigan Real Estate License
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Complete a 40-hour Prelicensing Course
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Submit an Application to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
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Pass the Michigan Real Estate License Exam
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Join a Michigan Real Estate Brokerage

The process of becoming a Michigan real estate salesperson is straightforward. You must take 40 hours of coursework, apply for a license with the state, pass the exam, and then find a broker to hold your license.

1. Complete a 40-hour Prelicensing Course

Begin the process of earning your Michigan real estate license by signing up for 40 hours of prelicensing classes. Your Michigan real estate course will teach the fundamentals of practicing real estate and prepare you for the license exam.

Prelicensing courses will cover the legal and financial aspects of buying and selling property, including these topics:

  • Property ownership
  • Land use controls and regulations
  • Valuation and market analysis
  • Financing
  • General principles of agency
  • Property disclosures
  • Contracts
  • Leasing and property management
  • Transfer of title
  • The practice of real estate
  • Real estate calculations
  • Duties and powers of the real estate board
  • Licensing requirements
  • Contractual relationships

This may seem like a lot of information to cover in just 40 hours. We recommend choosing a Michigan real estate school known for breaking down complicated material as well as one that fits your schedule and learning style.

Do you learn better in a traditional classroom, interacting with a teacher and other students? Do you need a regimented schedule to force you to get through the materials in a timely manner? If so, narrow your search to in-person classes. Keep in mind that attendance is mandatory, so choose a class time that works with your schedule.

For in-person classes, consider the Michigan Institute of Real Estate. They offer day and evening classes with a textbook.

Check Out the Michigan Institute of Real Estate

Here are the pros and cons of in-person, livestream, and self-paced online classes.

Types of Instruction
In-person Classes
  • Traditional classroom setting
  • Get to know other students
  • Easy access to the instructor
  • More expensive than online classes
  • Commuting and traffic
  • Finding class times to fit your schedule
Livestream Classes
  • No commute
  • Ideal if you live far from in-person schools
  • You can ask instructors questions in real time
  • Finding classes to fit your schedule
  • No interaction with other students
  • Technology doesn’t always work as it should
Online Classes
  • Work at your own pace anywhere with internet access
  • Take classes when convenient for you
  • Often the least expensive option
  • Instructors can generally only be accessed via email or phone
  • Little interaction with real estate pros
  • Technology doesn’t always work as it should

If completing your classes online appeals to you, we recommend Colibri Real Estate. Colibri Real Estate is a powerhouse in the online real estate education space. Their Michigan real estate classes are affordable, and the materials are presented clearly and concisely.

You can save 30% on your Michigan real estate prelicensing courses with Colibri Real Estate when you use the promo code “TheClose30” at checkout.

2. Submit an Application to the Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs

Once you’ve completed your prelicensing classes, you’re ready to fill out the online application for your Michigan real estate license. The first part of the application process is creating an online account with the Michigan Professional Licensing User System (known as MiPLUS).

The fee for the application is $88. However, the state will waive the application fee for individuals who served in the armed forces. You’ll need to upload the following documents to support your application:

  • Prelicensing course completion certificate
  • Social Security affidavit (if you do not have a Social Security number)
  • Consent to service of process (only for non-Michigan residents)
  • The DD-214 or DD-215 forms (for members of the armed forces who are eligible to have the application fee waived)

The online application allows you to enter the name and 10-digit license number of the broker under which you will work. It’s not necessary to do so before taking and passing the exam, but you won’t become officially licensed until this step is completed.

3. Pass the Michigan Real Estate License Exam

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Quick Facts




Time to Complete

3 Hours



Computer-based, 115 multiple-choice questions


Bring to Testing Center

Two valid forms of ID


Passing Grade


Once you’ve completed the 40 hours of coursework and online application, you’ll need to schedule your Michigan real estate license exam online. The exam is administered through PSI, and you can pay the $79 fee when you create an account on their website. Note that before registering with PSI, you must apply for licensure first.

 You can find PSI’s Michigan testing centers in these locations:

  • Dearborn
  • Gaylord
  • Grand Rapids
  • Holt
  • Marquette
  • Southfield

You’ll get three hours to complete the exam, which consists of 115 multiple-choice questions, and you must get at least 70% correct to pass. Remember to bring the following to your chosen testing center:

  • Two forms of valid ID
  • Non-programmable calculator (optional)

You’ll get your grade on the exam immediately upon completion. If you don’t pass, you’ll receive an individual score for each of the exam’s major sections. You can retake the test, but you’ll need to pay the $79 exam fee each time.

4. Join a Michigan Real Estate Brokerage

Real estate agents in Michigan must work under a licensed broker. To find a broker, start by researching the brokerages in your area. You don’t have to wait until you pass the real estate license exam to start having discussions with area brokers. As we noted above, if you know which brokerage you’ll be working with when you become a fully licensed agent, you can submit that information on the application form.

You may feel drawn to work with big-name real estate agencies. They often have programs to assist a beginning salesperson in navigating the new profession. Don’t ignore smaller brokerages, though. The brokers working in these agencies may also offer valuable insights and can help you make meaningful connections.

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

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Quick Facts

Michigan Real Estate Governing Body

Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)


Prelicensing Requirements

40 Hours


Price Range for Real Estate Licensing Course

$175 – $300


Estimated Total Costs


It costs about $400 to get your real estate license in Michigan, including the cost of a 40-hour prelicensing course required by the state. Some of the costs are fixed, such as the state’s licensing and exam fees, while the price of prelicensing education (and optional exam prep materials) will vary depending upon the provider you choose.

Sample Michigan Real Estate License Costs

Prelicensing Classes (40 Hours) $206 (through Colibri Real Estate)
License Application $88
Exam Registration $79
Total Cost $373

(Michigan Real Estate License Costs as of April 2023)

Save 30% off the cost of your prelicensing education through Colibri Real Estate by using the coupon code “TheClose30”.

How Much Does the Average Realtor Make in Michigan?

According to Indeed, real estate salespeople in Michigan make an average of $88,069 per year. This salary is based entirely on commissions, as real estate agents do not receive a salary or steady paycheck. Beginning real estate agents sometimes choose to keep their “day jobs” as they increase their client base.

Whether you reach out to a big-name agency or a smaller company, you need to understand how you’ll be compensated. Here are some things you’ll want to ask about when searching for the right brokerage for you.

Split: Typically, real estate agents earn a 3% commission when assisting people with buying or selling real estate. Your broker will get a portion of the commission, and you get the rest. Some brokerages will ask for a 50-50 split on commissions, so you need to ask each potential broker what your split will be.

Desk fees: Usually, brokerages that offer an even split will not charge monthly desk fees, which are due whether you make a sale that month or not. Ask if a brokerage charges desk fees, and how much your monthly costs will be.

Cap: You may also want to discuss your cap, or the highest amount that the brokerage will take from your commissions within a given year. Once your company has earned a set amount of money based on your sales, you’ll keep 100% of your commissions for the remainder of the year.

How to Get a Michigan Real Estate License: FAQs

We know you’re excited to get started on your new real estate career, but first, take a moment to review some of the frequently asked questions beginning real estate agents often have about the profession.

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