Obtaining a Real Estate License in Pennsylvania

Ranked in the top ten of populous states, Pennsylvania affords real estate professionals ample opportunity to cultivate a successful practice. Those interested in this potentially booming industry might wonder how to get a real estate license in the state of Pennsylvania. For starters, the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission operates under the direction of the Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Professional & Occupational Affairs. The commission outlines specific requirements in terms of testing, exams and other qualifications necessary to obtain a real estate license in Pennsylvania. This article provides factual information for those interested in obtaining a realty license in this state.

Basic Prerequisites

Like all states, Pennsylvania requires applicants for a real estate license to meet certain prerequisites for application. In order to apply for a realty license in Pennsylvania, applicants must:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Obtain endorsement from a Pennsylvania broker
  • Submit an official application with applicable fees ($107)
  • Submit to a background check and fingerprinting
  • Disclose any criminal information or previous reprimands
  • Complete prelicensing coursework from an approved school
  • Pass the final licensing exam

Applicants must disclose information related to criminal behavior or other previous negative actions on the application form. While this may not necessarily bar an applicant from becoming a licensed realtor, determinations are made on an individual basis. 

Training & Education

Pennsylvania applicants must complete 60 hours of prelicensure coursework before sitting for the licensing exam. These 60 hours must either be taken at an approved real estate school or come from a combination of other sources, such as a degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants who hold degrees or who have completed other real estate coursework should submit this to the commission for determination of a waiver of a portion or all of the prelicensure education requirements. 

Licensees in Pennsylvania must take and pass the final licensing exam, administered by PSI, Inc., with a score of 75% or greater. Details regarding eligibility, testing requirements and scoring may be found directly on the testing service’s website. Applicants must register and pay for the exam separately from the application process, and the fee for a salesperson licensing exam is $56. 

Real estate agents in the state of Pennsylvania must renew biennially by May 31st in even-numbered years. There is a $96 fee for renewal, and realtors must complete 14 hours of continuing education. Half of the CE requirements must come from a general requirement for first-time renewals, while the remaining half are practice-specific.

Additional Information

Pennsylvania does recognize reciprocal agreements with other states. Applicants from other states who wish to practice real estate in Pennsylvania must fill out the appropriate paperwork, including a letter of good standing, and pay the applicable application fees. Detailed information may be found on the reciprocal application available on the commission’s website.

The Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission classifies realtors under two headings: salespersons and brokers. The information in this article pertains specifically to salespersons because it is designed to provide guidance for people who are unfamiliar with real estate in general and Pennsylvania in particular. Individuals with more experience who are considering a broker’s license in this state should check out the commission’s website to learn more about supplemental qualifications and additional education requirements for obtaining a broker’s license in Pennsylvania. 

Like all states, Pennsylvania manages its realty licensing process on a statewide level. National and international organizations exist to regulate the real estate industry on a global scale. Two such prominent associations are the National Association of Realtors and the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO). These organizations work to standardize codes of ethics and practices among realtors and real estate commissions around the world in order to ensure that consumers receive quality service no matter where they live.

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