From its heavenly ice cream to its mesmerizing fall foliage, Vermont is an attractive place to live—and an even better place to begin your journey as a real estate professional. But in order to connect residents of the Green Mountain State with the properties of their dreams, you’ll need to first get your real estate license.
And that’s where we come in. Follow these five easy steps, and you’ll be launching your career in Vermont real estate in no time.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Vermont
Let’s dive into these steps in a little more detail. Before long, you’ll be helping clients buy and sell Colonial revivals in Burlington, Cape Cod-style houses in Stowe, and Greek Revivals in Montpelier.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Vermont?
It costs approximately $650 to get your real estate license in Vermont, including your prelicensing education. Some of the costs are fixed, such as the state’s licensing and exam fees, and others vary.
While you don’t need a college degree to become a real estate agent in Vermont, you must complete the state-specific licensing process. The price of the required 40-hour prelicensing course (and optional exam prep materials) will vary depending on the provider you choose.
(Vermont real estate license costs as of October 2023)
How to Get a Vermont Real Estate License in 5 Easy Steps
Determining Your Eligibility
Before you begin, let’s make sure you’re eligible. Vermont requires those seeking a real estate sales associate designation to:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Be resident of Vermont
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent
- Meet Vermont real estate license requirements as outlined by the state’s Office of Professional Regulation
The website for the Vermont Office of Profession Regulation (OPR) states that criminal records should not automatically bar individuals from getting their real estate licenses. The office reviews prospective licensees’ backgrounds on a case-by-case basis. It also considers the nature of past criminal convictions, time since last conviction, evidence of rehabilitation, and the connection to the profession itself.
The OPR has a pre-approval process for potential applicants, allowing individuals to ask if their criminal history will prohibit them from licensure in a specific profession before they begin training or invest time and money into an education program.
If you’re interested, you’ll need to submit certain information for review and payment of a $25 fee that will then be deducted from your general application fee. Review the Second Chance Determination Policy and Procedures for more information.
If you have a criminal history, make sure you disclose it on your application and include any necessary documentation regarding your charges. When in doubt about your response, disclose and provide the required explanation and documents.
What If You’re Already Licensed in Another State?
If you are a licensed attorney or have a degree in real estate, you may be able to waive some of your licensing requirements.
Vermont doesn’t recognize formal reciprocity with other states; however, the state may waive some of your education requirements if you present your work history and license type to the OPR. However, Vermont is one of the few states that requires state residency of its real estate licensees.
Vermont allows licensees to apply for an endorsement if their home state’s courses and exams are equivalent to Vermont. Most state residents are exempt from the 40-hour prelicensing course, except for Indiana and Rhode Island. If you’re a licensee from California, New York, Puerto Rico, or West Virginia, you’ll still need to pass the national portion of the real estate exam. All applicants must take the state exam. Refer to the “Endorsement” section of OPR’s Application Instructions page for more information.
Real Estate License Reciprocity & Portability: A State-by-State Guide
Ready to learn more about how to become a real estate agent in Vermont? Here are the steps you’ll need to follow.
1. Complete a 40-hour Prelicensing Course
- Cost: $242-$500
- Time commitment: 1-3 weeks
Prelicensing courses kick off your real estate career, and you’ll have your choice of completing them online or in person. Your choice of course format will depend on your learning style and what suits your schedule best.
The amount of time you’ll need comes down to how much class time you allot per week. You can complete all 40 hours online; those who study at a faster pace will finish in a shorter amount of time. If you approach it like a 40-hour workweek, you could even finish in one week.
Prelicensing courses will often include extra features like exam prep, instructor support, or career resources, so it’s important to weigh these add-ons as you shop for providers. You can find a list of state-approved schools here.
Regardless of the school you choose, the state of Vermont requires 40 hours of coursework before sitting for the licensing exam. You’ll learn:
- Agency relationships and contracts
- Real property ownership and interest
- Real property
- Marketing regulations
- Property management
- Real estate calculations
- The real estate commission
- Regulations governing licensees
- Related laws
- Broker topics
You’ll need the help of a highly rated Vermont real estate school to get through this weighty material. Most people choose a real estate school based on the cost and the educational format of the course. Here are the most popular options in terms of course design.
Wherever you live in Vermont, you should be able to find a real estate school that meets in person during regularly scheduled sessions.
Classes that meet online at scheduled times are usually broadcast over Zoom (or another videoconferencing tool).
Self-paced Online Classes
On-demand real estate classes are extremely popular for those wanting to become real estate agents in Vermont quickly. The course material may be presented in a series of slides, videos, and interactive content.
If you’re looking to complete your course online, check out The CE Shop. The company’s Vermont prelicensing classes start at $289, and you can take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee if you don’t love the format.
SAVE 35% on all prelicensing courses from The CE Shop. Use promo code TheClose35 at checkout.
After you have completed your coursework, you must pass the course’s final exam. This non-proctored course exam will test your newfound knowledge of real estate law and real estate principles. Once you’ve passed, you will receive a certificate of completion via email.
2. Schedule & Pass the Vermont Real Estate Salesperson Exam
Time to Complete:
Computer-based, 100 questions
Bring to Testing Center:
Two forms of identification, including one current government-issued photo ID with signature
After completing your prelicensing education, you can schedule your real estate salesperson exam. However, unlike other states that combine the national and state portions of the exam, Vermont requires that you take the national real estate exam first. In order to begin scheduling, you’ll need to register to take your exam with PSI, the company that administers the exam. The cost of the exam is $110.
How to Study for the Real Estate Exam: Tips & Strategies
The national portion of the Vermont Real Estate Salesperson Exam is an in-person, proctored test administered via computer, consisting of 100 multiple-choice questions. You will have 150 minutes, or 2.5 hours, to complete the entire exam.
The Vermont state licensing exam, meanwhile, is administered by the Vermont OPR and is completed as part of the final online application process. The state portion is an untimed, open-book exam containing 50 questions on Vermont rules and regulations pertaining to real estate. While you must obtain a score of 75% to pass, you can retake the exam as many times as necessary.
You will receive a link within your online application. Before taking the exam, review the Statutes, Rules & Resources webpage. There is no additional fee for taking the state exam.
You should arrive 30 minutes early at the testing site and bring two forms of identification with you, including one current government-issued photo ID that includes your signature. The PSI candidate handbook outlines the types of government-issued identification they’ll accept. There’s also a lengthy list of items you’re prohibited from bringing to the exam room (including common items like hats, pens, and cell phones).
Like its approach to the national and state portions, Vermont has a unique way of grading its exams. The minimum score required to pass the national portion administered through PSI is determined using a process known as the Angoff method, in which subject-matter experts estimate the difficulty of each item on the examination for the “minimally competent practitioner” (MCP). These judgments are averaged to determine the minimum passing score, which represents the amount of knowledge an MCP would likely demonstrate on the examination.
A statistical process called equating is used to ensure consistency in the meaning of the score required to pass an examination. If the raw passing score varies slightly between different versions of the test, the level of knowledge required to achieve the passing score remains the same. The state employs this method to assure all candidates are treated fairly.
After you have completed the salesperson examination, you will report to the testing supervisor, who will give you your score report. If you didn’t pass, you’ll get diagnostic scoring information to help you study for your retake. To be eligible to apply for a salesperson license in Vermont, you must pass the national portion of the examination.
If you pass the examination, you will receive a score report and instructions for applying for a license. PSI will forward your results to the Vermont Real Estate Commission as one of the criteria for determining your eligibility.
If you do not achieve a passing score, your score report will indicate your scores and reapplication instructions. To re-register for the examination, you must submit your score report, along with the appropriate examination fee to PSI. You can take the exam as many times as needed, but you will have to pay $110 each time.
Testing sites for the Vermont real estate exam are located in the following cities:
- South Burlington
- Concord, NH
- Manchester, NH
- Nashua, NH
- Portsmouth, NH
- Clifton Park, NY
- Boston (Charlestown), MA
- Lawrence, MA
- Springfield, MA
Review OPR’s Statutes, Rules & Resources webpage to find more information on the state exam.
3. Find a Sponsoring Broker to Hire You
- Cost: Free
- Time commitment: 1-2 weeks
To hold an active real estate license in Vermont, you must affiliate your license with a sponsoring brokerage. A broker has received additional training, worked in the industry for at least two years, and passed the broker’s license exam.
Real Estate Broker vs. Agent: A Head-to-Head Analysis
Finding a broker to work under will feel like applying for a job. Once you’ve landed some broker interviews, you’ll want to ask each broker about the split (or how you and the brokerage will divide sales commissions). You’ll find that some brokerages will ask for a 50-50 split on commissions. Usually, brokerages that offer an even split will not charge monthly desk fees.
As you evaluate your options, remember that, as a commissioned salesperson, your income entirely depends on your abilities and effort. Some brokerages may offer you 70% of your commissions, a ratio that may rise to 100% after you’ve met a specific sales goal (or cap) for the year.
It’s important to be realistic about your earning potential in the first few months. It takes time to launch your new business. Some new agents choose to work part time so they can still bring in additional revenue as they’re learning the ropes. And if your brokerage does charge fees, you’ll have to pay them regardless of whether you’re closing deals or not.
Here are some questions to consider during your broker search:
- What is their reputation, both locally and nationally?
- What kind of real estate agents are they looking for?
- Are they technologically advanced and up to date with the latest systems?
- How do they support their agents with education and training?
- What kind of commission structure do they offer?
- Do they offer benefits?
- Do they provide agents with leads and marketing material?
- Is there room to grow with the brokerage?
As mentioned above, you must be employed or under contract with a sponsoring broker to activate your license. Your supervising brokerage will be required to complete the Verification of Employment/Supervision form, which your principal broker or broker in charge must sign and date. This form must be uploaded with your application.
4. Complete the Licensing Process
- Cost: $100
- Time commitment: 1-2 weeks
With all the above tasks completed, it’s time to prepare your materials to apply for that hard-earned salesperson license. This license allows you to handle real estate transactions, including buying and selling properties, as well as managing the rental process.
In Vermont, OPR oversees the application and licensure process via online applications only. Go to the website and create an account to start applying for your salesperson’s license. You’ll use your account in the future to check application status, renew your license, and manage any licensing changes. The application fee is $100.
Be sure to upload the following documents when you apply for your real estate license:
- Certificate of completion for 40 hours of prelicensing education
- Proof of a passing score on the national real estate exam
- State exam answer sheet
- $100 application fee
Again, you will receive a link within your online application. Before taking the exam, review the Statutes, Rules & Resources webpage. There is no additional fee for taking the state exam.
You will receive a confirmation email once your application is submitted. In most cases, application review should take between three and five business days. Upon successful application review by the OPR, you will be recognized as a Vermont real estate salesperson.
5. Complete Eight Hours of Post-licensing Education
- Cost: $0-$75
- Time commitment: 1 week
When you receive your real estate license in Vermont, you’ll be required to complete eight hours of post-licensing education within 90 days of initial licensure. You can sign up for your post-licensing courses after you’ve received your license, or you can choose a school that includes them as part of your prelicensing package. Be sure you check with your prelicensing class provider before you buy another course.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Vermont: FAQs
Still not sure about the path forward? Get answers to common questions about how to become a real estate agent in Vermont below.
Is the Vermont real estate exam hard?
The difficulty of the exam is hard to measure, as the minimum score required to pass the national portion is determined by using a process known as the Angoff method, in which subject-matter experts estimate the difficulty of each item on the examination for the “minimally competent practitioner” (MCP). Be sure to pay attention during your prelicensing course and take studying seriously. If you put in the proper effort, you should pass on your first attempt. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay another $100 to take the test again.
The Vermont state licensing exam, meanwhile, is an untimed, open-book exam containing 50 questions on state rules and regulations, which is a bit more lenient than most other states. While you must obtain a score of 75 to pass, the exam can be repeated as many times as necessary.
How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Vermont?
It usually takes prospective agents three to five months to get their real estate license in Vermont. Most of the time spent getting your license will be in your 40-hour prelicensing course. If you enroll in a scheduled full-time course, you can usually complete your classes pretty quickly.
You might take longer if you decide to work online at your own pace. Self-paced courses, on the other hand, provide you the freedom to fit learning into your busy schedule at work and home. You’ll have to decide how to choose the course that works best for you.
Can I get my Vermont real estate license online?
Do real estate agents make good money in Vermont?
It all depends on the number of deals and commission splits, but according to The Close’s salary information database, the average real estate agent in Vermont makes $64,752.40.
Whether you decide to commit yourself full time or part time to your new career, here are some important things to know about compensation as you begin your search for a brokerage partner.
- Split: This is how the company you work under will divide commissions between you and your broker. For example, a 50-50 split means that the brokerage and salesperson share the commission evenly. Some may offer you a larger share.
- Desk fee: Some brokerages may charge a monthly fee for access to equipment and support. If you are required to pay a desk fee, you might keep a larger share of your commissions via a better split. But the desk fee is collected whether you’ve closed a sale or not.
- Cap: Some brokerages might offer a cap, meaning once you bring in a certain amount, you’ll get to keep all of your commission.
What are the pros & cons of becoming a real estate agent in Vermont?
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