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? Let us show you how to get your Ohio real estate license in a few easy steps.
Step 1: Complete a 120-Hour Prelicensing Course
Step 2: Find a Broker to Hire You
Step 3: Complete the License Exam Application
Step 4: Pass a Background Check
Step 5: Pass the Ohio Real Estate License Exam
How Much Does It Cost to Get an Ohio Real Estate License?
It costs around $2,000 to get your Ohio real estate license, including the cost of prelicensing classes. The State of Ohio requires a 120-hour course of study from an approved provider. 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 expected costs.
Ohio Real Estate License Costs
|Prelicensing Classes (120 Hours)||$1,599 (through Hondros College)|
|Exam Prep Materials||$129 (Mbition)|
|Ohio Real Estate License Application Fee||$81|
|Ohio Real Estate Exam Fee||$58|
|Total Costs||$1,917 - $1,947|
(Ohio real estate license costs as of July 2021)
On our list of the 5 Best Places to Take Online Real Estate Schools in Ohio, our experts’ top choice for best overall real estate provider in Ohio was Hondros College. They offer self-paced online and in-person classes. You’ll receive 120 hours of quality instruction, exam prep materials, post-licensing courses, and networking opportunities with local brokerages.
If your budget is tight, we rated The CE Shop as the best online Ohio real estate school in terms of affordability. Their Ohio prelicensing classes are already some of the lowest priced at $999, plus, you can save using our promo code.
How to Get an Ohio Real Estate Agent License in 5 Easy Steps
Wondering about the steps to earning your Ohio real estate license? To begin, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be honest, truthful, and of good reputation
- Have a high school diploma or its equivalent
First, let’s dig into each step in detail, and then we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the process, such as “how much does a realtor make in Ohio?”
Step 1. Complete a 120-Hour Prelicensing Course
Cost: $1,000 – $1,600
Time commitment: One to two months
Helpful resource: How to Get a Real Estate License in 5 Easy Steps
The first step toward earning your real estate license in Ohio is to complete the educational requirements outlined by the state. You’ll need to take a 120-hour prelicensing course from an approved school like Hondros College or The CE Shop.
What’s unique about Ohio is that real estate licensing classes 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 Practices||40 hours|
|Ohio Real Estate Law||40 hours|
|Real Estate Appraisal||20 hours|
|Real Estate Finance||20 hours|
|Total Hours||120 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. Their classes are offered in livestream, in-person, and online formats. Here are the pros and cons of each type of instruction.
[Related Article: 5 Best Places to Take Online Real Estate Classes in Ohio in 2021]
|Types of Instruction|
Step 2. Find a Broker to Hire You
Time commitment: Two to four weeks
Helpful resource: What’s the Best Real Estate Company to Work for in 2021?
Long before you take the Ohio real estate agent exam, you should start talking with brokerages in your area. All states require new real estate sales professionals to work under an experienced broker with more training. Finding a broker may feel like applying for a job, but the compensation agreement will be different than any job you’ve ever had.
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.
(Related article: Real Estate Broker vs Agent: A Head-to-Head Analysis)
Step 3. Complete the License Exam Application
Time commitment: One hour
Helpful resource: Instructions for the Application
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 fill out the exam application.
This application must be accompanied by proof of completion of your real estate classes, which may be a copy of your official transcript or a course completion certificate from the educational institution. You must also include the application fee of $81.
The actual application is relatively short. 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.
Step 4. Pass a Background Check
Cost: $50 to $80
Time commitment: One month
Helpful resource: Ultimate Guide to Getting a Real Estate License
The State of Ohio requires a criminal background check and fingerprinting with Webcheck®. Both of these processes need to include both state and FBI records checks, and must be completed within 10 days after you file your application.
Find an approved Webcheck® location near you and 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.
Step 5. Pass the Ohio Real Estate License Exam
Time commitment: Three hours (arrive 30 minutes early to the testing site)
Helpful resource: 7 Hacks for the Real Estate Practice Exam
Once the Ohio Department of Commerce processes your application, you can expect to receive instructions on scheduling your exam by PSI, the state’s designated testing company. The cost of both the state and national parts of the exam is $58. The testing sites are in the following locations:
- Columbus North
- Columbus South
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.
You can purchase one of two budget-friendly exam packages from Mbition. Their adaptive learning tools help you prepare for the Ohio real estate license exam.
[Related article: 7 Hacks for the Real Estate Practice Exam]
How to Get a Real Estate License in Ohio: FAQs
Do you have additional questions about how to become a real estate agent in Ohio? We address some of the most common questions asked by aspiring real estate agents like you.
Can I get my Ohio real estate license online?
Yes, you can get your Ohio real estate license online.
To be clear, you can take your prelicensing classes from the comfort of your own home, but you’ll have to go to a PSI testing center to take the exam and go to a Webcheck® location to get fingerprinted for your background check.
Is the Ohio real estate exam hard?
The pass rates for the Ohio real estate exam aren’t published, but you need to receive at least a 70% on the exam to get your license. To improve your chances of passing the Ohio real estate exam the first time you take it, buy an exam prep package through Mbition.
How much does it cost to get an Ohio real estate license?
It costs around $2,000 to get your Ohio real estate license. Some of these costs are set, such as the application fee and exam fee. The price of the prelicensing classes, on the other hand, can vary greatly.
How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Ohio?
It takes at least three months to become a real estate agent in Ohio.
Applicants must complete 120 hours of prelicensing instruction. Besides completing your classes, you’ll also need to spend time talking with brokers, studying for the exam, and waiting for your application to be approved.
Some in-person programs can get through the 120 hours of material in as fast as six weeks. If you’re working through a self-paced online program, you may choose to work faster or slower, depending on your schedule. Be advised that some online programs only allow you access to the materials for six months.
How much money does a real estate agent in Ohio make?
According to Indeed, real estate agents in Ohio make an average of $78,986 per year. Remember, this figure is based on the number of commissions the real estate agent earns.
What if I have a real estate license from another state?
The Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing has reciprocity agreements with the following states:
- West Virginia
To qualify for reciprocity, you must have held an active broker’s license in that state for two of the last five years. You must also take an Ohio Real Estate Law Course at an institution of higher learning.
To learn more about the process of transferring your real estate license to Ohio, visit the Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing website.
[Related article: Real Estate License Reciprocity & Portability: A State-by-State Guide]
What should I bring to the testing center?
You must bring two forms of identification on the day of your test. One of those must be a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. This form of ID must have your photograph and your signature. The second ID must have your signature and your preprinted name. The names on both IDs must match the name that is found on the Examination Registration Form.
The only other item that you are allowed to have during the exam is a silent, non-programmable calculator. Leave your purse, wallet, phone, watch, food, and drinks in the car.
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