Obtaining a Real Estate License in New York


New York state has become practically synonymous with New York City, and while the city offers ample opportunity for professional realtors, those interested in a real estate career should remember that New York also encompasses a beautiful, mountainous upstate region with the potential for suburban marketing. Plus, New York ranks as the third most populous state as of 2012. The real estate industry here offers exciting potential. Individuals may wonder how to get a real estate license in this state. For starters, New York, like other states, manages its realty licensing via an overseeing organization. Under the New York Department of State, the NYS Division of Licensing Services handles licensing of all professionals, including real estate agents. The following guide offers some basic information on getting a real estate license in the state of New York.

Basic Prerequisites

New York requires realtors to meet specific prerequisites before obtaining a license. All applicants for a New York real estate license must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Complete 75 hours of prelicensure coursework
  • Pass the New York State licensing exam
  • Be sponsored by a licensed New York broker
  • Submit an application and pay the nonrefundable $50 fee

Applicants must fill out the mandatory child support information regardless of whether they have children or not. Applicants who are four months or more behind on payments may have licenses suspended.

Training & Education

Applicants for a realty license in New York must complete 75 hours of prelicensure coursework from an approved school. Applicants who completed 45 hours of prelicensure coursework before July 1, 2008 may be eligible for a waiver of a portion of the educational requirement. These candidates must take a 30 hour remedial course to qualify for licensure. While New York has a limited reciprocity agreement for licensure, applicants who complete the prelicensure coursework in another state may submit the transcripts to the NYS board for waiver determination. The prelicensure coursework must be equivalent to education that would otherwise be gained in New York.

The licensing exam is administered by the New York State Department via an online system. Detailed information regarding registration, fees and scoring may be found on the testing service’s website.

A New York real estate license is valid for two years. The Department of State requires realtors to complete 22.5 hours of continuing education during this time, and three of these hours must deal with fair housing and discrimination topics.

Additional Information

Applicants from the following nine states may be eligible for a reciprocal license: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Each state’s reciprocity depends on certain factors. For a detailed breakdown of specific state requirements, applicants should view the list of qualifications available online.

New York state recognizes both real estate salespersons and brokers. The information presented in this article pertain specifically to salespersons, as the purpose is to inform those unfamiliar with real estate or new to New York’s requirements. Broker licenses demand more experience and education. Individuals interested in a broker license should check out the state’s website for detailed information regarding qualifications.

While the New York licensing division oversees state specific realty regulations, national and international organizations exist to maintain regulations on a broader scale. The National Association of Realtors and the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) work to develop and regulate standards across the globe, ensuring that realtors and commissions worldwide adhere to a set code of ethics and professional business practices.


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