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
The CE Shop offers readers of The Close a 30% discount. Use promo code TheClose30 at checkout to save 30% off your prelicensing course. Click here to get started.

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

Cost: $229-$350
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.

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5 Best Massachusetts Real Estate Schools for 2023

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
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

  • Take classes when convenient for you

  • Least expensive option
  • Instructors can only be accessed via email or phone

  • Little interaction with real estate pros

  • Technology doesn’t always work as it should

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.

The CE Shop offers readers of The Close a 30% discount. Use promo code Theclose30 at checkout to save 30% off your prelicensing packages. Click here to get started.

2. Apply for the Massachusetts Salesperson Examination & License

Cost: $85
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:

  • Auburn
  • Boston
  • Fall River
  • Lawrence
  • 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

Two successful businesswomen are shaking hands. They are standing near the office and smiling.

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.

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.

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