Real estate professionals have to get a license before they can conduct real estate transactions. These real estate professionals include brokers who need to complete additional educational requirements.
Broker candidates need to take pre-licensing education courses to qualify for a real estate broker license. Each state has different pre-license education requirements for real estate brokers, such as completing credit hours and passing a broker pre-license course exam.
Real estate is an excellent career option, and upcoming brokers can make use of the broker pre-license courses available to learn the real estate laws and regulations required by their state.
Real Estate Salesperson vs. Broker Pre-Licensing Course
The main differences between a real estate agent and a broker are experience, education, and licensing requirements. Brokers and sales agents both have a licensing requirement in the state in which they work. However, the requirements differ considerably.
The requirements for licensing vary between states, but all states have a requirement that a predetermined amount of classes be taken before being able to sit for a state licensing exam.
There are many more requirements for learning how to become a broker. Most states require that a broker be employed as a real estate salesperson for a number of years before taking the broker’s license examination.
For example, in Texas, you must have at least four years of active experience as a licensed real estate sales agent and take 900 classroom hours of pre-license courses.
Each state has its own pre-licensing education requirements that candidates need to meet to qualify for a real estate license.
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Real Estate Broker License Prerequisites
To qualify for a broker’s license approved by your state’s Real Estate Commission or similar authority, you need to:
- Submit proof of active work experience. You need to have the required years of experience as a sales agent before proceeding to apply for a broker’s license
- Have equivalent state-approved courses that are offered by accredited universities or other educational institutions for pre-license education. You need to pass the broker course exam at the end and provide proof of course completion
- Complete the required hours of broker pre-license courses approved by your state’s Real Estate Commission or similar state authority and pass the course exam
- Pass the national and state-specific portions of the broker exam
Real Estate Broker Pre-License Courses
Most states have several approved real estate education providers for conducting pre-licensing education courses for brokers. Most active salesperson licensees have to complete their broker pre-license credit hours within one to two years.
These broker pre-licensing courses aim to provide quality real estate education that imparts real world problem-solving techniques, and skills that are important in managing and conducting real estate business.
While states have different course subjects for real estate broker pre-license courses, these subjects typically include: property management, finance, real estate law, marketing and advertising, and so on.
There are equivalent state-approved courses offered by an education institution that are accepted for broker pre-license education. For example, if you completed a major or minor in real estate at an accredited university, your classroom credits may count towards your broker pre-license requirements.
Taking this course enables you to take the next exam and upgrade your salesperson license to a broker’s license. Completion of the pre-licensing course is essential to sit for the state broker exam.
Real Estate Broker Course Exam vs. State Exam
The broker course exam is not the same as the state broker exam. To avoid confusion, here are the differences between the two exams required before you apply for your broker license.
Broker Course Exam
After finishing the broker pre-license course, you will need to take a proctored broker course exam from your chosen real estate education provider. This course exam is different from the state broker exam. Once you pass the exam, you will be provided a proof of course completion (or Certificate of Completion).
You need to submit your course completion documents to your state’s Real Estate Commission or similar state authority. Passing the broker course exam will allow you to take the state broker exam.
State Broker Exam
The state broker exam is more complex because it involves questions on laws that can affect property sales and transactions in real estate. These exams are administered by a state-approved testing provider, such as Pearson VUE or PSI, and are proctored online or on-site.
The state broker exam has a national and state-specific section. Most states require broker licensees to take a combination of the two sections, while other states require taking simulation-type exams. Typically, these exams finish in 240 minutes or less.
The knowledge you have learned during your pre-license education courses will apply to your state broker exam. Passing the broker exam will make you eligible to apply for a broker’s license.
Tip:Improve your chances of passing your broker exams the first time by taking an exam prep course.
Recommended Real Estate Pre-License Provider
Choosing a real estate education provider for your broker pre-license courses should be simple and easy. Real estate education providers are located throughout the country and they include multiple classroom formats, from live classroom locations to virtual classes and textbook home-study options. They are also either self-paced or instructor-led, which will give you the flexibility to take these real estate broker courses at your own pace.
We recommend The CE Shop for real estate brokers who want to pursue quality learning experiences. From pre-licensing and post-licensing to their continuing education (CE) courses, The CE Shop is a good option to consider as it equips real estate professionals with the tools and resources needed to enhance their professional development.
The CE Shop Alternatives
While The CE Shop earned the top spot in our Best Real Estate Classes guide, we also provide reviews of two of our recommended services:
Real Estate Broker Pre-License Education FAQ
What is a real estate broker pre-license course?
All states require real estate broker license applicants to take a broker pre-license course. This course outlines the subjects required to provide you the knowledge and skills necessary to upgrade your real estate salesperson license to a broker license.
Is a pre-license course for real estate brokers the same as for sales agents?
No. Sales agents have to take pre-licensing courses and pass a state licensing exam to obtain their initial real estate license. On the other hand, brokers must take all the steps to become a sales agent and gain active work experience before taking a broker pre-license course.
Is there a real estate broker pre-licensing course exam?
Yes. Most states require aspiring brokers to complete their pre-license education courses and pass the broker course exam. You will need to provide proof of passing your pre-license course to your state’s Real Estate Commission before applying for a license. Note that the broker pre-licensing course exam is not the same as the state broker exam.
What happens if I don’t take the real estate broker pre-licensing courses before applying for my license?
You will not be eligible to sit for your state broker exam and obtain a broker’s license. Taking broker pre-licensing courses is a requirement in almost every state.
Where can I take a real estate broker pre-licensing course?
There are several real estate education providers that provide pre-licensing courses throughout the country. We recommend The CE Shop, which offers courses that can help you enhance your knowledge of the real estate skills you need in order for you to get a broker’s license.
For more information on real estate pre-licensing courses, check out our Best Real Estate Classes guide.
Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated on November 2022.
Any Information on this site is not guaranteed or warranted to be correct, accurate, or up to date. StateRequirement and its members and affiliates are not responsible for any losses, monetary or otherwise. StateRequirement is not affiliated with any state, government, or licensing body. For more information, please contact your state's authority on insurance.
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