Getting a Massachusetts real estate license requires 40 hours of approved prelicensing classes before you’ll be eligible to take the state’s real estate exam. If you’re ready for a career change and wondering how to become a real estate agent in Massachusetts, we’ll take you through this relatively easy, four-step process.
Let’s get started with the steps you’ll need to take to earn your Massachusetts real estate license. We’ll also review the costs involved and answer some frequently asked questions. In no time at all, you could be selling homes from Boston to Bridgewater, and from Brookline to Braintree.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Massachusetts Real Estate Agent?
It costs about $600 to get your Massachusetts real estate license. Some of the costs of earning your real estate license in Massachusetts are fixed, such as exam fees and application fees. Some of the costs are variable, such as the classes and exam prep materials you’ll need to complete the state’s requirements and pass the Massachusetts real estate exam.
Massachusetts Real Estate License Costs
|Prelicensing Classes (40 Hours)||$249 (through The CE Shop)|
|Massachusetts Real Estate License Exam Fee||$54|
|Massachusetts Real Estate License Exam Application Fee||$31|
|Massachusetts Real Estate License Fee||$103 - $150 (depending on your birthdate)|
|Total Cost||$437 - $600|
How to Get Massachusetts Real Estate License in 4 Easy Steps
While you don’t need a college degree to become a real estate agent in Massachusetts, you must complete a state-specific licensing process. To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number or a tax ID number, and you must have three people who are not your relatives who can vouch for your character.
1. Complete Your Massachusetts Prelicensing Real Estate Classes
Time Commitment: 1 month
Helpful Resource: 5 Best Online Massachusetts Real Estate Schools
Before choosing a Massachusetts real estate school for your prelicensing courses, make sure it’s authorized by the state. All of the schools on this list are required to cover the same material. To help you narrow down your search, we developed a buyer’s guide of the 5 Best Online Massachusetts Real Estate Schools. Here are some of the topics you’ll cover:
- Property rights
- Title transfers
- Basic contract law
- Agency relationships
- Brokerage operations and responsibilities
- Property disclosures
- Financing for real estate
- Property valuation
- Federal real estate laws
- Massachusetts real estate laws
- Real estate math
You’ll learn about the financial and legal aspects of home buying and selling in Massachusetts.
5 Best Massachusetts Real Estate Schools for 2022
There are three basic instructional formats to choose from when selecting a Massachusetts real estate school: in-person classes, livestream classes, or at-your-own-pace online classes. Here are the pros and cons of each type.
|Types of Instruction|
Pro tip: The CE Shop was our choice for best all-in-one prelicensing school in our guide to the best real estate schools in Massachusetts. Our reviewer said the CE Shop’s courses are well-designed and they offer a one-stop shop for your prelicensing needs, plus the continuing education you’ll need to pursue in the early stages of your real estate career in MA.
2. Apply for the Massachusetts Salesperson Examination & License
Time Commitment: 1-2 hours
Helpful Resource: How to Get a Real Estate License in 5 Easy Steps
Once you have finished your classes, the next step in becoming a real estate agent in Massachusetts is to fill out the application for examination. You’re not able to sit for the exam until you complete the following steps:
- Show proof that you are 18 years old or older
- Submit a form from your real estate school showing that you completed the 40 hours of prelicensing courses within the last two years
- Submit three character endorsements from non-familial people
- File all Massachusetts state tax returns and pay all state taxes
- Provide a Social Security or tax identification number
- Pay an application fee of $31 and the exam fee of $54
Once you’ve been approved to take the MA real estate license exam, you can visit the testing company’s website to schedule your exam. Massachusetts testing sites include:
- Fall River
- West Springfield
3. Pass the Massachusetts Real Estate Salesperson Exam
Cost: $12 PSI Licensing Fee + Prorated licensing fee between $103 and $150
Time Commitment: 4 hours (show up 30 minutes before the scheduled exam)
Helpful Resource: 7 Hacks for the Real Estate Practice Exam (+ Free Mini-Test)
You’ll take the Massachusetts salesperson exam on a computer at one of the PSI testing centers. You’ll be notified if you passed the exam as soon as you complete the test.
If you don’t pass both sections of the MA real estate license exam, you’ll receive a diagnostic report detailing your strengths and weaknesses. This report should help you to study for your retake.
You may retake the exam as many times as you need within two years following the date you completed your prelicensing classes. You’ll have to pay the exam fee each time you schedule a retake.
Massachusetts is an interesting state in that it allows you to receive your license immediately after passing the test. The fee ranges between $103 and $150 (plus a $12 processing fee) since the cost of the license is prorated depending upon your birth month.
4. Join a Massachusetts Real Estate Brokerage
Cost: No cost
Time Commitment: 2-4 weeks
Helpful Resource: What’s the Best Real Estate Company to Work for?
Massachusetts law requires that real estate agents work under a broker. A broker has experience in real estate, has taken additional training, and has passed the broker exam.
Finding the right real estate brokerage can be challenging, which is why we recommend meeting with several brokerages before you decide where to work. The Close has put together a guide to help you decide. Be sure to read The Best Real Estate Company to Work for in 2021 to get the inside scoop and find the company that’s right for you.
During these interviews, you’ll learn how you’ll split your real estate commissions with the brokerage. For example, some brokerages offer a 50/50 split, while others may provide you with a higher percentage but will charge you a monthly desk fee.
Each brokerage will also discuss your cap, or the maximum amount that the brokerage will take from your commissions within a year. Commissions that you earn on top of the cap are yours to keep.
How to Get a Real Estate License in Massachusetts: FAQs
We know you’re excited and ready to help families find their dream homes. Here are a few other items to consider before you get started.
Is the Massachusetts real estate exam hard?
You must get at least a 70% on both the general and state-specific exams to get your Massachusetts real estate license. The official pass rates aren’t available from the state licensing board, but students who use The CE Shop to complete their 40 hours of prelicensings education have a 91% pass rate on the Massachusetts real estate exam. Use promo code Theclose30 to save 30% at checkout.
How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Massachusetts?
It takes about two or three months to become a real estate agent in Massachusetts. You can potentially finish the 40 hours of required classes in one week. The rest of the time will need to be spent studying, filling out applications, and finding a broker to work under.
How much money do real estate agents make in Massachusetts?
According to Indeed, real estate agents in Massachusetts make an average salary of $84,681. Of course, this salary is entirely based on commissions earned from helping clients buy or sell properties.
It may take you some time to ramp up your real estate business, but hopefully, word will spread about how you provide amazing customer service. Until that happens, you may consider keeping your day job so you can earn an income during those building months.
[Related article: Can You Be a Part-time Real Estate Agent?]
How much does it cost to become a realtor in Massachusetts?
It costs around $600 to get your MA real estate license. Some of the costs of earning your real estate license in MA are the same for everyone, such as exam fees and application fees. But some of the costs are variable, such as the classes and exam prep materials.
Can I get my Massachusetts real estate license online?
You can take all of the prelicensing classes that you need to earn your Massachusetts real estate license online, but you’ll need to go to a testing center to take the state’s licensing exam.
You can feasibly complete your 40 hours of required prelicensing classes in one week! The CE Shop offers a discount to readers of The Close for their online interactive course. Simply use promo code Theclose30 at checkout to save 30% off your prelicensing education package.
What if I have a real estate license from another state?
If you have a real estate license from another state, you might be able to practice in Massachusetts without completing all of the licensing steps. There are different rules for each state, but here are the ones that have “complete reciprocity” with Massachusetts:
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
However, even if you don’t come from one of those states, you still may qualify for license reciprocity. Learn more about license reciprocity from the Massachusetts Real Estate Board website.
On the other hand, if you have your real estate license in Massachusetts, you can work as an agent in one of these states without going through the entire licensing process:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
[Related article: Real Estate License Reciprocity & Portability: A State-by-State Guide]
More Career Resources From The Close
Now that you’ve learned how to become a real estate agent in Massachusetts, you’re likely to have additional questions. Lucky for you, The Close has a lot of resources for beginning and seasoned real estate agents.