How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Connecticut

Connecticut State License Requirements

To get a real estate agent’s license in the state of Connecticut, you need to fulfill some basic requirements like:

  • Being 18 years of age or older.
  • You must have at least a high school diploma or a GED to apply for a real estate agent license in the state of Connecticut.
  • Successfully completing 60 hours of pre-licensing education in Principles and Practice of Real Estate.
  • Providing an original certificate of completion.
  • Submitting for background check and fingerprints.
  • Completing a notarized application that is available through Professional Service Industries or PSI.
  • Getting pre-approved by the PSI before registering for the real estate agent exam.
  • Passing the state and national examination within one year from enrolling.
  • Getting sponsorship from a licensed real estate broker. This is not required to take the exam but you will need it once you pass the exam to activate your license in Connecticut.

Once you get the approval from PSI, you will get an examination eligibility postcard which has instructions on how to schedule the examination.

CT Real Estate License Costs

  • You will need to enroll in the mandatory 60-hour pre-licensing course. This can be taken online or in person. It will cost you about $450. 
  • The application will cost you $65. If you are retaking the exam, it will cost you $55-$65.

Helpful Tips


STEP 1: Pre-license Education

The first step in getting your real estate agent license in Connecticut is to take the mandatory 60-hour class on Principles and Practice of Real Estate. You can take these classes online or in person. For instance, the National Real Estate Institute teaches the course three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6 pm to 9 pm. So you can do this even if you have a day job. At this pace, you will finish the course in seven weeks. You will need two textbooks for the course which are: Modern Real Estate Practice (20th edition) and Connecticut Real Estate Practice & Law (15th edition).

Once you finish the course, you must get a certificate of completion which you need to present while applying for the licensing exam. But even before you take an appointment for the exam, you need to be pre-approved for it by the PSI. And this is what you need to submit that application.

  • You can take the exam multiple times for a year from the day you are eligible to take it.
  • You must pass both the state and national portions of the exam within the year. If not, you must re-apply with the PSI.
  • All new licenses for real estate agents are valid for a year so they are activated on March 1st and expire on March 31st annually.

Once you complete the PSI registration, you should mail the application with the examination fee of $80 to PSI. You can pay the fee through a credit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover), company check, personal check, cashier’s check or money order payable to PSI. Cash is not accepted and you cannot fax your application.

There is a list of centers where the PSI exams take place. Be sure to check it out on their website and select the one most convenient for you.


STEP 2: Take and Pass the PSI Exam

For the PSI exam, you need to be at the venue at least 30 minutes before the appointment. This time is used in signing, identification and familiarizing you with the process of the exam. You will not be admitted if you are late and your exam fee will not be given back.

You must have two forms of identification, at least one issued by the government like a driver’s license, state ID, passport, military ID which has your signature on the photograph. You must provide these on the Registration Form and the Registration Confirmation Notice. If you cannot meet this criterion, you can call (800) 733-9267 at least three weeks before your appointment and discuss how to meet it. If you fail to meet the requirement, you cannot take the exam and it will be considered a missed appointment. 

Requirements for the PSI Exam

Here are a few DOs and DONTs regarding the PSI exam.

  • You can only use non-programmable calculators that are silent, battery operated and do not have paper tap printing ability. They also cannot have a keyboard or the alphabet on them. 
  • All personal belongings must be kept in the storage space provided to the candidate.
  • You cannot take in bulky or loose clothing or coats that can conceal recording devices or notes into the exam hall. 
  • Headgear that is not worn for religious reasons will not be allowed.
  • Food, drinks and good luck items are not allowed. Also, purses, briefcases, wallets, pens, pencils, notebooks and any reading or reference materials are not allowed. The test is taken on a computer.
  • You cannot bring someone with you into the exam center or even in the building.

You may be asked to empty your pockets and be checked for recording devices. You will have to comply. If you resist or refuse to get yourself inspected, your exam may be invalidated.

This is a test on the computer which starts with a tutorial. You will answer one multiple choice question at a time and need to score at least 70 percent to pass the exam. You will get the result immediately after finishing the test. If you pass, you will get a successful notification on the screen. If you don’t, you will get a diagnostic evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses.

You can get an unofficial score report printed at the exam center itself. You can email to scorereport@psionline.com or call 800-733-9267 for a duplicate score report later on.


STEP 3: Applying to State Licensing

Once you pass the PSI exams, you have to prepare for the state licensing exam. This exam mostly makes sure that you have the minimum knowledge to perform your duty responsibly. These exams are closed book and the questions are general and state specific.

EXAMINATION SUMMARY

Portion No. of Questions Time Allowed
General          80 (80 points) 120 minutes
State 30 (30 points) 45 minutes
Both 110 (110 points) 165 minutes

Apart from the number of questions per exam, you may be given 5-10 experimental questions. You will not be scored on this and extra time is allotted. This is an essential step in future licensing exams.


STEP 4: Pass The State Exam

Including the bulletin board for the applicants of the exam, there are several places where you can access practice tests for the PSI and licensing exams. As mentioned before, the licensing exam is conducted in two categories. You have to finish the general portion of the exam in two hours and the state-specific portion of the exam in 45 minutes.

This is an outline of the topics in the general portion of the exam.

Real Estate Principles and Practices

I. Property ownership (8%)
II. Land use controls and regulations (5%)
III. Valuation and market analysis (7%)
IV. Financing (10%)
V. General principles of agency (13%)
VI. Property disclosures (6%)
VII. Contracts (17%)
VIII. Leasing and Property Management (3%)
IX. Transfer of Title (8%)
X. Practice of real estate (13%)
XI. Real estate calculations (10%)

And this is the outline of the topics in the state-specific section of the exam.

I. Connecticut Real Estate Commission and Licensing Requirements (Salesperson 5 items)
II. Connecticut Laws Governing the Activities of Licensees (Salesperson 10 items)
III. Connecticut Real Estate Agency (Salesperson 8 items)
IV. Connecticut-Specific Real Estate Principles and Practices (Salesperson 7 items)


STEP 5: Finding a Brokerage

Once you pass the licensing exam, you will need to find and get hired by a licensed brokerage firm. There are many different types of firms you could work with. But you want to find a company that promotes and nurtures its agents. The first year of your work is crucial. Often, agents leave the company within a year precisely because of this. They’ve chosen the wrong company. So how do you do it right?

National vs Boutique vs Virtual 

To get started on this, you need to find the right kind of brokerage for you.

National Brokerages: These are the big birds in the market. They use their brand name to make a lot of sales and it can help boost your credibility. They are usually franchises which means they charge a fixed percentage for each closed deal.

Benefits

  • Training
  • Instant credibility
  • Multiple offices
  • Great tech support
  • Turnkey marketing solutions

Drawbacks

  • Impersonal.
  • Don’t value individual agents.
  • Little room for experimentation.

Boutique/independent Brokerages: These are smaller companies that are usually owned by a single family or a broker. When done right, they can make a lot of sales and be successful. 

Benefits

  • More individual attention
  • Less competition
  • Encourages teamwork
  • Less red tape
  • More creativity with marketing

Drawbacks

  • Smaller marketing budgets
  • Lower online traffic
  • Fewer tech resources
  • Brand recognition might be an issue

Virtual Online Brokerages: This is a budding space in the real estate market. More and more companies are relying on online ads. Plus, you don’t have to pay for a physical space.

Benefits

  • Higher commission splits
  • Lower or no desk fees
  • More options
  • Better tech support
  • More freedom (since you can be an independent contractor)

Drawbacks

  • No office culture.
  • No one to bounce ideas with.

How to Find a Brokerage in Connecticut?

In 2020, there are more than a few ways to find a good brokerage firm that suits your real estate interests.

Brand reputation is a big factor. Whether national or boutique or virtual, their brand value is crucial in the way it brands you. If you want potential clients to trust you, they must be able to trust your company.  So how do you find out? Thanks to Google, this is not an impossible task.

Check their reviews on Yelp. Sometimes a few negative reviews are all you need to take the decision. But since this is not the most popular method anymore, take it with a pinch of salt. Trust your gut on where to draw the line.

Word of mouth is another old-fashioned yet great way of finding out about the reputation of a company. How popular is the company and do people in the circles have a good opinion? If it is a local company, what do the people in the neighborhood think of it? This is also a potential client zone so their opinion very much matters.

You might also want to see if they have been covered by the media. The kind of attention a firm attracts is very important in making a decision about joining them. Remember that it is very likely that potential clients are also doing this same Google search. So even if you give them the benefit of the doubt, your clients will most likely not.  

Go on their website and see how well built (or not) it is. This gives you an idea of how tech savvy they are. This is also another way of finding out what a client will think the moment they click on the website. So that’s a great way to decide. While you’re here, you might want to check out if they are listed on the Realtrends 500 rankings. If they are, it is a pretty good sign.

Apart from brand reputation, you also want to keep an eye on their market share to assess their performance.

You should check their listings per agent. So if they have some stars while the others struggle or are neglected, you might want to think twice. You should also check how many listings they have in the area where you work.


STEP 6: Post-learning Requirements

The real estate salesperson or agent license expires on March 31st every year. You must complete continuing education or CE before the renewal. The state of Connecticut requires you to take 12 hours of CE of which six hours are mandatory and six are elective.

TheCEShop offers two packages which cost $59 and $99. You can also take several individual courses which cost $35 each. If you make a few wise calculations, the process of getting a license and finding a brokerage can go pretty easily in the state of Connecticut.

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RE Agents Team