Obtaining a Real Estate License in New Mexico

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New Mexico offers boundless beauty and an impressive cultural heritage. This Western state full of history combines Native American and Spanish heritage to offer residents, tourists and professional alike ample opportunity for growth and development. Those considering how to get a real estate license in New Mexico may wonder where to begin. The New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department oversees the New Mexico Real Estate Commission, which in turn manages all licensing of real estate professionals in the state. The following guide offers practical information to those seeking a real estate license in New Mexico, including general prerequisites, educational and testing requirements and other basic facts about becoming a realtor in this state.

Basic Prerequisites

Like every state, New Mexico requires realty applicants to meet certain prerequisites for licensure. In general, all candidates for a New Mexico real estate license must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be a legal U.S. resident
  • Complete 90 hours of prelicensure coursework on designated topics
  • Pass the two-part exam
  • Submit to a fingerprint background check
  • Obtain Errors & Omission insurance
  • Submit an application and pay applicable fees

A criminal conviction does not necessarily disqualify someone from getting a realty license in New Mexico. If a person holds a felony conviction and it’s less than three years since the date of sentence completion, then that candidate may be barred from getting a license. However, the commission takes these situations on a case-by-case basis. 

Training & Education

Real estate applicants in New Mexico must complete 90 hours of prelicensure coursework on the following subjects: principles and practices of real estate, real estate law, and broker basics. Certain waivers may be obtained, but individuals interested in a waiver must contact the commission directly and submit a waiver letter to receive credit for the educational requirement.

PSI, Inc. administers the New Mexico licensing exam. Real estate licensees must register and pay for the exam directly through the testing service’s website. The fee is $95, and applicants must achieve a 70% score on both portions in order to pass. Once applicants receive a passing score, they have six months to submit an official application for a realty license. PSI provides a detailed handbook for reference.

Realtors in New Mexico must renew their licenses every three years by the last day of the month following their birth month. During this three year cycle, they must complete 30 hours of continuing education. Exclusions apply. Realtors over the age of 65 with 20 years of continuous licensure (prior to January 2011) may be exempt from the 30 hour requirement, but all realtors regardless of age and experience must at least complete a 6-hour “broker refresher course.” 

Additional Information

New Mexico holds reciprocity agreements with four states: Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Tennessee. However, licensed realtors in other states may also obtain a New Mexico realty license by completing certain portions of the prelicensure coursework, though they may waive 60 of the required 90 hours. Nonresidents may also apply for a New Mexico real estate license by contacting the commission directly for further instruction.

Unlike most states, New Mexico does not issue a real estate salesperson license. Instead, realtors in the state of New Mexico are recognized as either associate brokers or brokers. This article pertains specifically to associate brokers, as it is intended for those new to the profession or new to this state’s specific rules and regulations. Becoming a licensed broker requires additional education and experience, and those interested in pursuing broker licensure should contact the New Mexico Real Estate Commission to learn more about additional licensing information. 

Professional real estate licenses are governed on a state level by the New Mexico Real Estate Commission, but widespread organizations also oversee the regulation of realtors and commissions. Two important associations are the National Association of Realtors and the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO). These national and international organizations develop and maintain standardized codes of ethics among the realty community, ensuring that real estate practices around the world remain universally professional.

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