If you’re eager to explore a career in the bustling New York real estate market, you must obtain a Real Estate Salesperson License from the New York Department of State (NYDOS). This in-depth blog post will guide you through the crucial steps, covering the vital actions you need to take to become a licensed real estate agent and immerse yourself in New York’s dynamic property landscape.

Prerequisites for Becoming a Real Estate Agent in New York

Before diving into the licensing process, ensure you meet the NYDOS prerequisites to qualify for the real estate salesperson course:

  1. Age Requirement: You must be at least 18 years old.
  2. Criminal Record: You must not have any prior felonies or sex offense convictions.
  3. Identification: You must have a current NY photo driver’s license or non-driver ID card.
  4. Education: Interestingly, you do NOT need to have a high school diploma or GED.

Once you meet these prerequisites, you can embark on the path to becoming a real estate agent in NY.

Step 1: Complete 77 Hours of Approved Pre-License Education

The first and most crucial step to gaining your real estate license is completing the 77-Hour New York Pre-License Course. This comprehensive course covers essential topics, including:

  • License law
  • Agency law
  • Land use regulations
  • Environmental issues
  • Contract law
  • Real estate finance
  • Commercial properties
  • Real estate investments
  • Property management

Step 2: Pass the Course Final Exam

After completing the 77 hours of coursework, NYDOS requires you to pass the pre-license course final exam with a score of 70% or higher. Your understanding of the course material and application of the concepts learned will determine your success in this crucial exam.

Step 3: Pass the New York Real Estate Exam

The next step on your journey is taking and passing both the state and national portions of the New York Salesperson License Examination. To achieve your real estate license, you must score 70% or higher on this 75-question, multiple-choice exam. You’ll have 90 minutes to complete the examination, which reflects the content of the 77-hour Pre-Licensing curriculum.

Please note that exam results are reported as either pass or fail in New York, and test takers won’t receive a numerical score after completing their exam.

Step 4: Choose a Sponsoring Broker

In the burgeoning phase of your real estate career, having the right mentor can make a world of difference. After passing the state exam, you’ll need to find an active New York broker as your sponsoring broker. This person will guide and support you as you transition from being just a license holder to an adept salesperson.

While searching for your sponsoring broker, consider the following questions:

  • What is their overall reputation?
  • Are they advanced in their specialty?
  • Are they up-to-date with the latest rules and regulations?
  • To what extent do they support their agents?
  • What kind of commission structure do they offer? Are there benefits?
  • What quality of leads and marketing materials do they provide their agents?
  • Is there potential for growth within the brokerage?

If you find a broker that meets your criteria, reach out to them and ask for an interview. During this meeting, be sure to ask about their expectations for new agents and how they can help you succeed. You should also discuss the commission structure and any benefits that come with working at their brokerage.

Step 5: Complete the Licensing Application

Once you’ve identified the sponsoring broker who aligns with your ambitions, you’ll need to apply for a license with the NYDOS. You can either apply online or mail in your application. If you plan on paying the application fee by credit card, you must complete a credit card authorization form that must be submitted along with your application.

The application form requests:

  • Personal information
  • Sponsoring broker’s information
  • Verification of eligibility
  • Confirmation of the mandatory 77-hour course completion

Send the completed application to:

Bureau of Educational Standards

P.O. Box 22001

Albany, NY 12201-2001

Download the Application Form

Download the Credit Card Authorization Form

Frequently Asked Questions about NY Real Estate License

How Difficult Is the New York Real Estate Licensing Exam?

The pass rate for the New York State Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 70%. Although challenging, with adequate preparation and dedication, most people can pass on their first attempt. We recommend serious study and taking practice tests, such as the exam prep we offer. The reputation we have from our students is the Manfred School Exam is more difficult than the state exam, we do that on purpose. Our goal to prepare our students!

How Long Does It Take to Get a Real Estate License in New York?

On average, it takes 3-5 months to obtain a real estate license in New York. However, the time varies depending on whether the student enrolls in an online, instructor LED or in-person pre-license course and how much time they allocate to studying and completing their classes.

The New York State Department of State (NYSDOS) requires that all real estate salespersons complete a 77-hour pre-license course. The course is offered by approved schools and can be taken online or in person. Once you have completed your pre-license education, you must pass the state exam before applying for your license.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a New York Real Estate License?

The cost of obtaining a real estate license in New York ranges between $99 and $900, depending on the chosen real estate school. Pre-license course fees depend on whether a student opts for in-person classes or online courses. We have all heard the saying “You get what you pay for” but what is worse is when you don’t get what you paid for.

Check your school policy on what happens if you do not pass the exam or if they have a make-up policy? Some real estate schools in NY have policies that if you do not pass you must re-purchase and retake the course or if you miss too much time you automatically fail the course. Beware of schools that benefit from you failing. Make sure you ask where the proctored exam is held when completing online, make sure its not 4 hours away. New York State requires you take a written proctored exam in an approved location. Some schools do not allow refunds or forfeit your tuition if you “no show” or registration deadline increases, etc. Beware of any “money grab policies”. Selecting a real estate school in NY is so important!

Are All Real Estate School are Created Equal?

Is the school an approved online provider actually in your state, if not, it’s a cookie cutter course offered in every state in the country? Real Estate is governed by the states. Each state is very different. Choose a Real Estate school in NY with online instructors who are well versed in your state knowledge. It’s extremely important to understand your state completion requirements and that information is easily displayed on their website. Choose a school that specializes in Real Estate Education and not one that benefits from it. You want a school that puts all there focus in their student’s educational needs and has a real life understanding of the real estate industry, not just one sided. Passing the exam is important but not everything!


Securing a real estate salesperson license in New York may seem like an intimidating process, but armed with a clear understanding of the steps involved, you can accomplish your goal efficiently. Follow the detailed guide above, stay dedicated, and prepare to establish a thriving career in New York’s fast-paced real estate market. Your license is not just a piece of paper; it’s a gateway to a brighter, more prosperous future. Happy selling!

Look Before you Leap: A Real Estate Career Guide

Our free course is designed to guide you through the process of obtaining your real estate license. We will provide information on both the benefits and drawbacks of pursuing this career, and address questions you may not have considered before diving in. Our goal is not just to sell courses, but to set you up for success and ensure that real estate is the right path for you.

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