How to Get a Real Estate License in Ohio

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

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In order to kickstart your real estate career in Ohio, it’s essential to obtain an Ohio Real Estate License. However, despite the fact that the application process is mainly completed online nowadays, many applicants can still find it quite confusing and complicated.

For this reason, this How to Get a Real Estate License in Ohio article will break down the main steps involved in the licensing process, covering everything from educational requirements to exam preparation and having your fingerprints taken.

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Ohio Real Estate License

In order to get your Ohio real estate license and start working in the real estate industry, there are several key steps you’ll need to complete, including:

  1. Ensuring You Meet the Licensing Eligibility Requirements
  2. Completing the Mandatory Pre-Licensing Education
  3. Submitting a License Application
  4. Passing a Background Check
  5. Passing the Ohio Real Estate Exam
  6. Affiliating with a Licensed Broker

In the sections below, we’ve explored each of these steps in more detail.

Step 1: Meet the Ohio Real Estate License Requirements

Before continuing ahead with your application for an Ohio real estate license, you’ll first need to confirm that you’re actually eligible for it by ensuring you meet the following prerequisites:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident alien
  • You must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent
  • You must be honest, truthful, and of good reputation
  • You must not have been convicted of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude
  • You must not have violated any civil rights laws regarding real estate within the last two years

Note: In Ohio, the Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing is responsible for overseeing the entire real estate licensing process, as well as ensuring all applicants meet the necessary standards and comply with state regulations.

Step 2: Complete the Mandatory Pre-Licensing Education

In addition to the general requirements outlined above, there are certain educational prerequisites you’ll be expected to meet in order to be able to apply for an Ohio real estate license.

In particular, you’ll be expected to complete a total of 120 hours of pre-licensing education, which is structured into four comprehensive courses:

  • Real Estate Principles and Practices (40 hours): This foundational course covers the essential principles of real estate, equipping you with the knowledge necessary for a successful career in the field
  • Ohio Real Estate Law (40 hours): This course delves into civil rights, housing discrimination, and desegregation issues to thoroughly equip you with an understanding of the legal frameworks and civil rights considerations unique to Ohio real estate
  • Real Estate Appraisal (20 hours): This course focuses on developing the skills necessary to accurately assess the value of real estate properties
  • Real Estate Finance (20 hours): This course teaches you about the financial mechanisms and options available in real estate transactions, including loans, mortgages, and other financing tools

Important

Even though completing the courses is mandatory, it would be a mistake to think of this step as just “checking a box”. This is because your pre-licensing education is what will prepare you to both pass your exam and become a better real estate agent.

For this reason, we always encourage our readers to invest in high-quality and reliable courses, as their study materials (like real estate practice tests and flashcards) can be invaluable during the exam prep stage.

On top of this, some of the top courses also offer money-back guarantees in the event that you do not pass your exam on your first attempt after taking their course.

Recommended Course

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Step 3: Submit a License Application

After completing the prelicensing education, you’ll be ready to move onto submitting your license application.

To do this, you will need to download the Salesperson License Examination Application form from the Division’s website and submit it — along with a $81 processing fee — to the following address:

Ohio Department of Commerce
Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing
6606 Tussing Road
PO Box 4008
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068

When filling out your application, you should ensure that it is either typed or handwritten in black ink, and include photocopies of your educational certificates to verify completion of the required courses.

The staff at the Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing will review your application to assess your eligibility for the examination; if you meet the criteria, they will forward your information to the testing vendor, who will then authorize you to schedule your exam.

Step 4: Pass the Background Check

Before you can sit for your examination, you will need to complete one more step, which is to submit to a fingerprint-based background check.

This will need to cover both state and FBI criminal records, and must be conducted by a Webcheck provider that has been approved by the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI&I); a complete list of approved providers is available on the Ohio Attorney General’s Webcheck Community Listing page.

It’s important to note that your fingerprints should be taken no more than ten days after you’ve filed your application with the Division of Real Estate, and not before.

When you have your fingerprints taken, you will need to instruct the Webcheck® provider to apply the reason codes 4735.143 for both the BCI&I and the FBI, and to send the results directly to the Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing at the following address:

Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing
6606 Tussing Rd
PO Box 4008
Reynoldsburg
OH 43068

Please note that costs can differ depending on the provider you choose; even so, they generally hover at around $60 for both background checks.

Step 5: Pass the Ohio Real Estate Exam

The next step you’ll need to complete is to pass the Ohio Real Estate exam — which is administered by PSI — within 12 months of receiving authorization to take it.

The examination is split into two segments: the State portion with 40 scored questions and the National portion with 80 scored questions, both of which must be taken together in a single session.

Keep in mind that if you fail one of the sections, you may take the other separately; however, you cannot split the exam into two different sessions for any other reason.

In order to schedule your real estate exam, you’ll need to head over to the PSI website and make an online reservation. If this is your first time using the platform, you’ll be required to create an account, after which you’ll be shown step-by-step instructions on how to complete the reservation. You may also schedule your examination over the phone by calling PSI directly at (855) 834-8749.

It should be noted that you will need to pay a $63.00 exam fee to take the examination; you will have 180 minutes to complete both sections, and will need to obtain a score of at least 70% on each in order to pass.

Step 6: Affiliate with a Licensed Broker

To have your real estate license issued in Ohio, the final step you will need to complete is to secure a sponsorship from a licensed broker.

Your broker will act as a sort of “mentor” to you — guiding you as you launch your real estate career and offering advice to help get you started.

This means that you will need to carefully select the “right” broker for you, considering factors such as their local and national reputation, commitment to technology and innovation, commission structure, provision of leads and marketing materials, and opportunities for career advancement within the brokerage.

Once you have chosen a sponsoring broker, they will need to sign your original license application. This will verify your affiliation and confirm their commitment to supporting your career as you enter the real estate profession.

Step 6: Application Review

If you’ve managed to get this far, congratulations! With your application submitted and all the other licensing requirements satisfied, in most cases you should receive a letter from the Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing containing a license document within ten business days.

Be sure to take some time to celebrate your accomplishment. You’ve put in a lot of work and effort and deserve a celebration!

Ohio Real Estate License Renewal

In order to keep your license valid and continue working as a real estate sales agent, you will need to complete the following three steps during the first few years of getting licensed:

  • Post-Licensure Course: You will need to complete a mandatory 20-hour post-licensure course within one year of receiving your license and then email your course completion certificate to PostCert@com.ohio.gov by the deadline, which is one calendar year from when your license was issued
  • First-Year Renewal: You will also need to submit your renewal application online through the eLicense Ohio website, along with a fee of $182 by your first birthday following licensure; if you were licensed within 60 days of your birthday, your renewal might be due on your second birthday following licensure instead
  • Third-Year Renewal: You will need to renew your license three years after your initial renewal; to do this, you must have completed 30 hours of courses that have been approved by the Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing

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Ohio Department of Commerce

Mailing Address: 

Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing
77 South High Street, 20th Floor,
Columbus, OH 43215-6133

Phone: (614) 466-4100

Fax: (614) 644-0584

Email: webreal@com.ohio.gov

Website: https://com.ohio.gov/divisions-and-programs/real-estate-and-professional-licensing

Ohio Real Estate License FAQ

How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Ohio?

Becoming a real estate agent in Ohio typically takes between three and six months.

This timeframe includes completing 120 hours of pre-licensing education, passing the licensing exam, submitting your application, passing a background check, and affiliating with a licensed broker.

How much does it cost to get a real estate license in Ohio?

To get a real estate salesperson license in Ohio, you will need to pay $81 for submitting your license application, approximately $60 for the state mandated background check, and $63 for the state and national portions of the licensing examination.

You will also need to cover the cost of the required pre-licensing education, which varies by provider but typically ranges between $300 and $600.

Is the Ohio real estate exam hard?

The Ohio real estate exam can be challenging if you are not well-prepared.

Having said that, with thorough and dedicated study, you can significantly increase your chances of passing on your first attempt.

For more information on this topic, prospective Ohio real estate agents can have a look at our How to Get a Real Estate License in Ohio guide.

What do you need to get your real estate license in Ohio?

To get your Ohio real estate agent license, you will need to complete 120 hours of pre-licensing education, submit your license application, pass a background check, pass the Ohio Real Estate exam, and secure a sponsorship from a licensed broker.

Interested in finding out more? Check out our state specific How to Get a Real Estate License guide.

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