If you’ve been considering a career change, it’s a great time to get your Ohio real estate license. Ohio has a diversified economy and an excellent business climate, making it an ideal place to buy and sell real estate. A career as a real estate agent gives you a flexible schedule and the potential to earn a great income.

Are you ready to dive into today’s booming housing market? You must be over 18 years old and have a high school diploma to be eligible. Let’s review how to get your Ohio real estate license in five easy steps.

How to Get an Ohio Real Estate License

ohio real estate license

To get your Ohio real estate license? To begin, you must meet be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, and be of good character.

1. Complete a 120-Hour Prelicensing Course

Cost: $1400-$2000
Time Commitment: 1-3 months

The first step toward earning your real estate license in Ohio is to take a 120-hour prelicensing course. In Ohio, prelicensing courses can only be taken at an institution that offers an associate degree (at a minimum). Here’s a breakdown of the class hours required by the state.

Ohio Real Estate Education Requirements

Real Estate Principles and Practices40 hours
Ohio Real Estate Law40 hours
Real Estate Appraisal20 hours
Real Estate Finance20 hours
Total Hours120 hours

Ohio education providers like Hondros College and The CE Shop offer real estate professional programs that you can complete in just a few months. Hondros classes are offered via Livestream, in-person, and online formats. They have built-in exam prep and 24/7 access to instructors.

Check out Hondros

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2. Join an Ohio Real Estate Brokerage

Cost: No cost
Time Commitment: 2-4 weeks

Long before you take the Ohio real estate agent exam, you should start connecting with brokerages in your area. As a new real estate agent, you are required to work under a managing broker in Ohio.

Real estate agents are only paid when they help a buyer or seller close on a property. When you work for a brokerage, you’ll split your commissions with your brokerage. Some brokers will require a 50/50 split on commissions in exchange for an office, promotional materials, and other professional benefits.

Some may allow you to keep a higher percentage of your commissions, but instead, you’ll be charged a monthly desk fee. The desk fee would be due to the agency each month whether you earned any commissions that month or not.

A cap is the maximum amount of money that the agency will take from the commissions you earned within the year. Once you’ve made a set amount of commissions for the agency, you’ll be able to keep the rest of your earnings.

Consider speaking with several brokers and comparing offers before making a decision. You may find that big-name agencies have built-in strategies to help you succeed in your new career. In contrast, smaller brokerages might be willing to offer you a better deal and provide more personalized training.

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3. Apply for the License Exam

Cost: $81
Time Commitment: 30 minutes

Once you’ve completed the 120 hours of coursework and have found a broker willing to take you under their wing, it’s time to apply for your license exam. You can complete the application online or print a paper copy.

You must include proof of completion of your prelicensing course, which may be a copy of your official transcript or a course completion certificate from the educational institution. You must also include the $81 application fee.

Besides providing your contact information, date of birth, and Social Security number, you’ll also need to include your new employer’s signature and their agency’s file number. The application also asks a series of yes and no questions on your ethical conduct and legal history.

4. Pass a Background Check

Cost: $50-$80
Time Commitment: 3-8 days to process

You’ll also need to complete a fingerprinting background check within 10 days after filing your license application. Background checks are administered by Webcheck®, and you can find a location near you by visiting their website.

You’ll need a state and national FBI background check. So, make sure to choose a site approved by Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI&I) that is capable of submitting both your state and FBI records. Be sure to bring your government-issued photo ID with you. The cost of the biometrics and background check vary by location, but range in price from $50 to $80.

Supply these “reason codes” to Webcheck® (BCI&I Reason Code: 4735 05 and/or 121 08 FBI Reason Code: 121 08) and ask them to direct your biometrics results to the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing.

Applicants should have no felony convictions or crimes of moral turpitude in their past. If there’s something concerning in your past, the Division of Real Estate encourages you to apply and disclose it. The state may not be forgiving if you violate their application rules, though they may disregard some convictions or violations. Learn more at Ohio’s Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing.

5. Pass the Ohio Real Estate License Exam

ohio license exam

Cost: $61
Time Commitment: 3 1/2 hours (arrive 30 minutes early to your exam)

Once the Ohio Department of Commerce processes your application, you can expect to receive instructions on scheduling your exam. The license exam is administered by PSI and you can schedule your exam online and pay the $61 exam fee directly to PSI. The testing sites are in the following locations:

  • Akron
  • Cambridge
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Columbus North
  • Columbus South
  • Toledo
  • Troy

If you’d like to feel more confident about your license exam, consider investing in quality exam prep materials. The Hondros College prelicensing packages contain useful tools like practice tests, flashcards, and 24/7 instructor support to help you study.

You’ll know whether you passed the exam immediately upon completion. If you don’t pass, you’ll be given your score detailing the percentage of questions you answered incorrectly in each subject area. This information should help you prepare for the retake.

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How Much Does It Cost to Get an Ohio Real Estate License?

ohio costs

It costs around $2,000 to get your Ohio real estate license. The State of Ohio requires you to complete a 120-hour prelicensing course, and costs can vary depending on the school you choose. Some of the costs involved in getting your Ohio real estate license are fixed, such as the application and exam fees. Here’s a breakdown of your expected costs.

Ohio Real Estate License Costs

Prelicensing Classes (120 Hours)$1,799 (through Hondros College)
Ohio Real Estate Exam Fee$81
Fingerprinting Fee$30-50
Total Costs$1,930

(Ohio real estate license costs as of April 2022)

The cost of getting your real estate license in Ohio can vary depending on what real estate school you choose. One school we recommend checking out is Hondros College, which offers Ohio prelicensing courses online, via Livestream, or in person and built-in exam prep. We also like The CE Shop value-packed options.

Readers of The Close can save 30% on prelicensing classes from The CE Shop by using promo code TheClose30.

How to Get a Real Estate License in Ohio: FAQs

Have more questions about how to become a real estate agent in Ohio? We’ve got answers! If there’s something we missed, let us know in the comment section below – we love to hear from you!

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