Becoming a Massachusetts real estate broker is a strong step forward in your career. Not only does this advanced license look great on a resume, it also allows you to work independently, open real estate brokerage firms, and manage other agents within these firms.
Getting the Massachusetts Real Estate Broker License is a fairly simple process, but it does require you to complete five steps, and have a few prerequisites before applying or taking the broker’s exam.
This guide covers all of these requirements in a simple, easy to understand way that will make it easier for you throughout this process.
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Massachusetts Real Estate Agent vs Real Estate Broker
Massachusetts offers two different types of real estate license: Sales and Broker.
A sales agent’s license is the initial license that real estate agents get in order to sell real estate.
A broker’s license is an advanced license that allows the license holder to operate at a higher level within real estate businesses in Massachusetts.
People often confuse sales agents and brokers. A simple way to look at the difference is that holders of the sales agent’s license are called real estate agents, while holders of the broker’s license are called real estate brokers.
If you are working towards getting your first license, check out our Massachusetts Real Estate License guide. If you’re working on the Massachusetts real estate broker license, keep reading this page!
Massachusetts Real Estate Broker License Requirements
First, to be eligible for a real estate broker’s license, you must meet the prerequisites to become a real estate broker in Massachusetts.
These prerequisites are:
- Have been licensed and affiliated with a Massachusetts broker in the capacity of a Massachusetts real estate salesperson for three years
- Must have a work experience no more than two years old when the state examination is taken
- Obtain a completed Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Educational Certificate form to be completed by an approved real estate school
- Have a current Massachusetts salesperson license
- Have a $5,000 surety bond on the original enclosed form (a copy is not acceptable) completed and signed by the insurance agent, signed by the principal candidate/examinee, and witnessed
- Obtain three complete candidate endorsements from individuals unrelated to the applicant. They do not need to be Massachusetts residents. Classmates known by the applicant from only the real estate course may not sign the candidate endorsement
How to Become a Real Estate Broker in Massachusetts
Once you meet all the requirements listed above, you can follow these five steps to easily help you get your real estate broker license in Massachusetts.
Step 1: Complete a Massachusetts Broker Pre-Licensing Course
The first step to getting your real estate broker license in Massachusetts is to take 40 classroom hours of qualifying real estate courses.
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These real estate courses mostly cover the fundamentals of working in real estate and must be completed within two years of your broker’s license application. This requirement is divided into two sections:
The required 40 classroom hours of qualifying real estate courses, including the following mandatory courses are:
- Property and Land Characteristics
- Air, Mineral, and Water Rights in Real Estate
- Types of Property Ownership
- Real Estate Land Use Controls & Regulations
- Property Valuation & Appraisal
- Basic Real Estate Financing Terms & Concepts
- Types of Real Estate Loans
- Lending & Underwriting Processes
- Agency Relationships & Agreements
- Disclosures of Property Conditions
- Real Estate Sales Contracts
- Massachusetts Real Estate Licensing & Statutory Requirements
- Massachusetts Real Estate Contracts & Laws
Your broker pre-license courses don’t end here. To fully satisfy your course requirements, you must take additional 12 credit hours in related qualifying education courses acceptable to the Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons or approved continuing education (CE) courses.
The approved courses include:
- Fair Housing
- Access for Disabled
- Agency Law
- Environmental Issues in Real Estate
- Real Estate Appraisal and Finance
- Zoning and Building Codes
- Property Tax Assessments and Valuations
- Real Estate Board Regulations
- Evolution of Commercial Product
Massachusetts offers complete reciprocity for the states of Connecticut, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Nebraska, Iowa, Tennessee, Mississippi, Colorado, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico. If you have a salesperson license in these states, your salesperson CE education credits may qualify towards your broker pre-license education.
After completing the courses, you must also pass the final broker course exam. The minimum passing grade is 70%. The final pre-license exam is to be supervised by a proctor, whether on-site or online. This is not the same as the state broker exam.
Step 2: Submit a Massachusetts Broker License Application
Massachusetts is unique in that you must first be approved before taking your examination.
The application fee is $52, plus the $54 exam fee (total fee is $106).
PSI Examination Services
ATTN: Examination Registration MA RE
3210 E. Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89121
Before submitting your application, you must also ensure you include the following documents:
- Appropriate work experience, documented and signed on your application
- Endorsements from three individuals
- $5000 surety bond
- CORI acknowledgment form, completed and attached to the application
Step 3: Get a Background Check
When submitting your application, you will need to fill out a criminal offender record information (CORI) form and send it in to PSI. The CORI form gives the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure permission to submit a CORI check for your information to the Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services.
You will need to complete the CORI form in front of a notary who will sign acknowledging your willingness to undergo a background check.
If you aren’t sure whether you are eligible for a real estate license based on your history, check out our article on Real Estate License Eligibility.
Step 4: Pass the Massachusetts Real Estate Broker Exam
After completing the steps above, you must take the real estate broker licensing exam via PSI.
The fee for the broker exam is $106 ($54 for the exam and $52 for the application processing fee).
In Massachusetts, brokers take the national section which consists of 75 scored questions. The state-specific section of the broker’s exam consists of 40 scored questions. You must complete the Massachusetts real estate broker exam within 240 minutes (four hours total).
The passing rate is 70% for the Massachusetts real estate broker exam.
If you fail the exam, you can reschedule it but won’t be able to do so until after 24 hours following the examination. You can retest in as little as 48 hours depending on availability. Unfortunately, at this time, Massachusetts does not license applicants who are currently on probation or parole.
For more information on the exam, PSI provides a Candidate Handbook containing the Massachusetts Real Estate Broker Exam content outline.
Taking an exam prep course provides you helpful tools and materials, such as quizzes and specific state-only practice exams, to increase your chances of passing your broker license exam the first time.
Step 5: Application Review
After passing your broker exam, you will only need to wait for the review and approval of your application.
The process will take one to three weeks, as it must be mailed. Alternatively, you can speed up application approval times by emailing your forms to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now that you’ve successfully passed the broker licensing exam and obtained your license, there are a few things you need to do to keep your broker license active and updated.
Massachusetts Real Estate Broker License Renewal and CE
In Massachusetts, you must renew your real estate broker license every two years but no more than three years after you obtain your license. The expiration date will be your date of birth. For instance, if you passed your exam on December 1, 2020, but your date of birth is December 10, then your license will need to be renewed on December 10, 2022.
To renew your license, you must use the Massachusetts E-licensing & E-Permitting Portal. The renewal fee is $142. Massachusetts charges convenience fees for specific transactions.
As part of renewing your broker license, you must also complete CE requirements that include 12 hours of approved courses.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons
1000 Washington St., Suite 710
Boston, MA 02118
Phone: (617) 701-8661
Massachusetts Real Estate Broker License FAQ
How much does it cost to get a real estate broker license in Massachusetts?
The costs of getting a real estate broker license in Massachusetts can range between $312 and $505.
The cost breakdown is as follows:
Pre-license education courses: $209-$399
Application fee: $52
Broker exam fee: $54
How long does it take to get a real estate broker license?
The steps that typically take the most time when getting a broker license include taking pre-license education courses and exams. The average amount of time to get a broker license is generally three to six months.
What is the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker?
Real estate agents focus on working with clients on individual real estate transactions, while real estate brokers have more experience with the added responsibility of managing a team of real estate agents or brokerage business. See our Real Estate Agent vs. Broker vs. Realtor page for more information.
How much does a real estate broker make?
Real estate brokers get paid just like real estate agents by earning commissions on their agents’ sales. Brokers can also charge the real estate agents they manage a fixed monthly fee or have the option to earn money on commission sales by helping their own clients buy and sell property. According to Payscale data, brokers earn $61,314 per year in base salary, with anywhere between $10,000 and $147,000 in commissions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the median broker salary is $62,010.
How do I get a job as a real estate broker in Massachusetts?
Browse through available real estate broker jobs in your area using our StateRequirement Job Board!