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
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
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 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. Hondros classes are offered via Livestream, in-person, and online formats. They have built-in exam prep and 24/7 access to instructors.
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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
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
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
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:
- Columbus North
- Columbus South
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?
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|
(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.
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!
How do I get my real estate license in Ohio?
To get your Ohio real estate license, first you’ll take a 120-hour prelicensing course. Then, you’ll complete a background check, take the Ohio real estate licensing exam, complete your license application, and find a broker to hire you.
Read How to Get an Ohio Real Estate License to learn the process of becoming a real estate agent in Ohio.
How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Ohio?
It takes about three months to get a real estate license in Ohio. Even though some schools (like Sinclair College) claim students can complete the material within eight weeks, the application process may require an additional few weeks to get your Ohio real estate license finalized.
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.
Which online real estate classes in Ohio are right for me?
Even though Hondros College is our choice for the top online real estate school in Ohio, the other online Ohio real estate schools on our list are excellent options with different features and benefits.
Start by reflecting on whether you’d like to take your course online or in person, and whether you like a live scheduled class or complete your work at your own pace. Then, review the features of our best schools guide to see which feels right for you.
How hard is it to pass the Ohio real estate exam?
The Ohio salesperson exam consists of 80 questions about national real estate matters and 40 state-specific questions. To pass, you must earn at least 70% on each section. You’ll need to review the material and study to pass the Ohio real estate exam.
If you don’t feel confident closer to exam day, consider investing in high-quality exam prep material. We recommend Real Estate Express since their simulated exams are customizable to target the areas where you need more practice.
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.
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 depending on which school and package you choose.
How much money does a real estate agent in Ohio make?
As of 2022, real estate agents in Ohio make an average of $76,310 per year. Remember, this figure is based on the number of commissions the real estate agent earns. As a commissioned-based career, there is no limit to the income a Realtor can earn.
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, or check our guide on real estate license reciprocity.
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