Careers in Real Estate

realtorConsidering a career in real estate?

How do I become a real estate agent?

How do I become a real estate broker?

How do I become a REALTOR and member of NYSAR?


How do I become a real estate agent?

A career in real estate can be both exciting and rewarding. For highly motivated and energetic individuals, the earnings potential can be tremendous. In “Your Successful Real Estate Career,” author Kenneth W. Edwards lists traits and skills needed to succeed in the industry. These include being:

  • A self-starter
  • Hardworking
  • A problem solver
  • A good listener
  • Stable yet flexible
  • Knowing and believing in the product
  • Having perseverance

To become a licensed real estate salesperson in New York State, you must complete a 75-hour Salesperson’s Qualifying Course covering real estate law, regulations and procedures. The course is offered by local REALTOR boards, proprietary schools throughout the state and are available online.

Upon completion of the qualifying course you must register for and take a licensing examination given by the New York State Department of State. Once you receive an exam pass slip, you must submit an application to the NYS Department of State, Division of Licensing Services, with a non-refundable fee of $50. Applicants must:

  • Be 18 years of age
  • Not be more than four months in arrears in child support payments
  • Must provide information about any crimes in which they have been convicted
  • Name a sponsoring broker on their application

For further information on licensing, course providers and exam schedules, please contact the NYS Department of State at 518.474.4429, via e-mail at InetLcns@dos.state.ny.us, or visit their website

Please note: Effective July 1, 2008, to become a licensed real estate salesperson in NYS, you will have to complete a 75-hour Salesperson's Qualifying Course that will be offered in both a classroom format and online. Also, those looking to apply for a real estate broker's or associate broker's license will be required to have two years experience as a licensed real estate salesperson or three years experience in the general real estate field.

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How do I become a real estate broker?

The Department of State also handles licensing for real estate brokers and associate brokers. To apply for these licenses, applicants must qualify based on industry experience, education and a corresponding exam. Attorneys admitted to the bar in NYS are exempt from the educational exam and experience requirements, but must submit an application.

Experience required is two years as a licensed real estate salesperson or three years of experience in the general real estate field. Candidates must complete 45 hours of classroom or online instruction for the Real Estate Broker's Qualifying Course and pass the exam, in addition to the 75 hour Salesperson's Qualifying Course  A waiver may be approved for a master's degree in Real Estate or equivalent out-of-state coursework, but must be submitted in advance. The candidate would then select a state exam site and date. The fee for the exam is $15. Once the candidate receives an exam pass slip, he or she may submit an application to the Division of Licensing Services with the fee of $150 and proof of successful course completion. 

New York currently has a reciprocal agreement with ten states. For a complete list, click herePlease note: Real estate brokers licensed in those states would submit a completed application with fee, a certification from the state agency where the license is current, and a completed certificate of irrevocable consent.

For more information please contact the NYS Department of State by phone at 518.474.4429 or via e-mail at InetLcns@dos.state.ny.us. Visit the Department of State's website

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How do I become a REALTOR and member of NYSAR?

The REALTOR organization is a three-tiered membership-based structure developed to educate real estate professionals and represent its members’ best interests through local, statewide and national government representation.

By obtaining membership through one of the 35 local boards/associations in New York State, you automatically join the over 52,000 members of the New York State Association of REALTORS, and in turn secure membership in the world’s largest professional association, the National Association of REALTORS.

Not all licensed real estate professionals are REALTORS. The term REALTOR is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

By joining the REALTOR family, you show potential clients that you are a dedicated professional who is qualified to handle their transaction in an ethical and fair manner. Join today by contacting your local board/association.

Membership Benefits
NYSAR membership affords you access to a number of programs and services that will enhance your career as well as save you and your customers valuable time and money.

  • Legislative and advocacy efforts
  • Education/professional development
  • Risk management services
  • Information resources
  • Money-saving affinity programs
    • Energy solutions
    • Health solutions
    • Insurance
    • Office/business products
    • Technology solutions
    • Marketing solutions
    • Retirement

Contact Us 
For more information contact your local board/association or the NYSAR Member Services Department at 518.463.0300, or send an e-mail to member@nysar.com.

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Featured Content

Why should you work with a REALTOR?

Buying a home is probably the biggest single investment you’ll ever make. It’s important to surround yourself with knowledgeable people within the real estate industry. Click here for a list of benefits of working with a local REALTOR in your home search.

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