How to Become an Agent

The Requirements for becoming a Licensed Real Estate Agent vary slightly from state to state, but the general process is the same.

In General – To become a licensed Real Estate Agent you must:

1 – REQUIREMENTS – Determine the Specific Requirement of Your State for Qualifying for Licensing
2 – SCHOOLS – Pick a Course & Take a Real Estate Principles / Licensing Course & pass the final exam for the course
3 – TESTING – Take & pass an independently administered real estate examination / test
4 – WHY KW? – Join a real estate brokerage / company & Register your affiliation with the state licensing agency

Sounds simple, doesn’t it. The devil is in the details ?

Now, before you get too freaked out, let me provide you with some perspective. Thousands and Tens of Thousands of individuals, some just like you, have gone through this process and gotten their license. (this doesn’t mean that they have been successful selling real estate, but I will cover that in just a bit)

Let’s talk about the 4 steps….

1 – The Basic Requirements

Each state has its own unique requirements for applying for your real estate license. Click Here to find out the specific Requirements for your State.
While the requirements vary, they are generally the same regarding:

  • – Needing to be a certain age (18 or 19)
  • – Having a clean criminal record (Fingerprinting and background checks are common)
  • – Allowing Online or Classroom only courses
  • – The number of hours required for the course

We have created a page for each and every state along with links to the state real estate commissions / boards. If you have specific questions regarding your qualifications to the requirements, we encourage you to contact the particular commission.

2 – The Real Estate Course

The Course is usually available in 1 of 2 formats. A classroom setting format, or an online format. Here are some of the plusses and minuses for each format.
Online Courses are

The Online Format

Sign up for an online course today

  • Flexibility in study time. Anytime you can log on to the internet, you can be studying.
  • Usually less expensive investment for the course than the classroom or the self study/book study format
  • If you have a high comprehension and retention level when you read, you could be done with the course in a matter of days as long as you pass the course final exam
  • The practice exams are in the computerized format that the final exam and State/National exam will be delivered.


  • – Because there is no set schedule, a student in this format may have difficulty in focusing and time blocking to finish the course

The classroom setting format

Find a Real Estate School in your area

  • – Usually taught by an experienced instructor that is able to answer any questions that you have
  • – Classroom setting allows for interaction with fellow students
  • – Instructor may be able to provide some tips on passing the ultimate state and national test


  • – Time…The course is usually taught in a chapter format that is spread over multiple weeks
  • – Lack of flexibility in scheduling. Classes are at a set time and attendance is mandatory
  • – Those same fellow students that you are interacting with may not be as committed to succeeding as you are and this may prove to be a distraction

Remember, no matter the course format, each requires a final exam.

My experience is that there has been no significant difference in the pass rate for the State/National exam based upon the course format.

Which is best??? This is an area that will require you to make a decision based upon your own commitment, study habits and past course experience. Also the availability of online courses in your area. Do you need someone to hold your hand in a classroom setting or the safety net of an instructor you can turn to or are you disciplined enough to block off the time to take the course and study on your schedule via an online environment. Only you can truly answer this question.

3 – The Test

Once you have completed the course and have passed the course final exam you have one more BIG test left to pass. You have to prove to the state that you retained and understand the principles required to practice real estate as a licensed agent.

The test is administered by an independent testing company with a proctor format in a controlled environment. Usually when you enter the testing area you are required to check in your cell phone and personal effects so that you are not able to cheat on the test.

The test itself is divided into 2 sections, focused on the National real estate principles and a second portion that is focused on the specific state and local principles and laws.

If you are like 99% of the potential agents that I have worked with over the years, this will be the most nervous that you will ever be in your real estate career. Test taking is always nerve-wracking. Here is what I have found. If you paid attention when you took the course and then you take a battery of practice test to prepare for the National / State exam, you will pass with no difficulties. And if you don’t, you will not be the first person to have to take it again (or again and again).

4 – The Company you Keep

Great, you passed the test…Now what?
You should seriously consider aligning yourself with a company that is agent centric and puts your success first. A company that is, at its heart, a training company and not just a real estate factory. Time and time again, Keller Williams Realty has proven to be this type of company.

I could go on and on about how Keller Williams has launched the careers of many an agent.
Here are some facts for you to consider.

From 2005 to 2010 – Keller Williams grew by 34.8%. During this same period of time, Re/Max dropped by 46.9%, Century 21 dropped by 43.5% and Coldwell Banker dropped by 25.6%.

In 2011, the number of units closed per agent in the US grew for agents in the National Association of Realtors by 7.4%. This showed that the market place was improving and that more homes were being sold by each licensed agent. While this number is impressive, it pales to the results for Keller Williams agents. Keller Williams experienced a 19.5% increase in the average units sold per real estate professional in the same period.

Why make Keller Williams Realty your home? Here are some reasons:

    1. o Keller Williams Training is award winning
    1. o You are allowed and encourage to promote your brand vs. the corporate brand
    1. o The culture at KW has been written about in case studies produced by Stanford and Yale as examples of how a business should be run
    1. o The belief system at KW starts with Win-Win or no deal and builds from there
    1. o KW is the only major real estate company in North America that has a 501 3 c charity thats sole purpose is to care for the charitable needs of the agents within the KW family. It helps agents in times of disaster and need
    1. o The KW Profit Share system gave back millions to its agents

4 – The Registration

The Keller Williams office structure is designed to assist you by knowing the ins and outs of each individual state and the local real estate boards that are applicable to the particular areas that you wish to do business in.

Overall, completing all 4 of these steps should require an initial investment on your behalf of anywhere between $750 and $2,000. I say investment because it is exactly that, an investment in the start of your new business. I do not know of another business that has this low of a financial entry point that can also provide the potential return that a career in real estate can offer.

Overall – you should not take longer than 30-45 days to complete the real estate class and take the test, because if you take any longer than this, you will start to forget what you learned in the first portion of the class when it comes time to take the test. Remember you are taking the class to prepare to pass the test, not to learn how to sell real estate. Online Classes, where available can be a great benefit in doing just this when you include an exam prep module or exam advantage package.

Where do I sign up to take the next step?

Get signed up for a course. Real Estate is an industry that rewards ACTION. Pick a Real Estate School & Sign Up.

If you have questions, we would love to hear from you and guide you through the process

--- Current License Status ---*