How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Mississippi
Mississippi Real Estate License Basic Requirements
The state of Mississippi has two basic pre-requirements for real estate license applicants and the average requirements that any state asks of its candidates to get a license:
- Applicants should be 18 years or older.
- Applicants should be residents of Mississippi at the time of applying for the license.
- Applicants should complete 60 hours of pre-licensing education, pre-approved by the Mississippi Real Estate Commission, in an approved educational institute.
- Applicants must pass the final exam of the pre-licensing course.
- On passing the above, applicants must attempt and pass the Mississippi Real Estate Salesperson Examination.
- On passing the salesperson examination, aspirants need to find and work with a sponsoring broker who will help them submit their license application forms and fees to the MREC.
- Candidates will have to submit to a fingerprint and background check as a part of the licensing procedure.
MS Real Estate License Costs
- You can find courses for as little as $169 or as much as $595 approximately, depending on where you enroll and what other benefits are offered in the course, along with the required education.
- Many institutions offer virtual Mississippi real-estate pre-licensing courses, such as the Mississippi Realtor Institute, the Real Estate Training Institute, Real Estate Express, and OnCourse Learning, to name a few; though many students prefer online classes for their flexibility, convenience and convenience, some of the aforementioned institutes also offer classroom courses.
- Online examination prep is offered by sites such as The CE Shop (national portion only), Real Estate Express and OnCourse Learning.
- State Resources:
- Exam Locations: PSI’s testing centers in Jackson, Metairie, Memphis, Mobile and Baton Rouge
- The exam is administered by PSI Examination Services
- Candidates can request for a real estate license on the MREC website; you can either type out or write out the form legibly and mail it to the MREC.
STEP 1: Prep Education
As with any state, the first step in your real estate career path is to sign up for and complete the 60 hours of pre-licensing education that the state of Mississippi mandates. The pre-approved course needs to be completed at an approved education provider; the course covers a range of important topics such as the role of the MREC, property ownership, real estate calculations, trust accounts, advertising and so on. It should be noted that only 8 hours a day of pre-licensing education is counted by the government.
Completing the pre-licensing course involves passing the final exam of the course, apart from meeting its minimum time requirements. Exams are to be taken digitally, in the virtual presence of a proctor (proctor appointments need to be taken in advance). Once you’ve got an appointment, you can take the exam from your home with a proctor monitoring you via video/screen sharing. Your education provider will guide you in scheduling an appointment with a proctor and there may be a one-time proctor fee levied. The final exam requires a minimum of 70% to pass.
Candidates have 6 months to complete their pre-licensing courses.
STEP 2: Pass the Real Estate Salesperson Exam
Once you’ve passed your pre-licensing course, the next step is to tackle the real estate salesperson examination administered by PSI on behalf of the government of Mississippi. The exam, like all other real estate salesperson’s examinations offered in the country, consists of 2 parts—the general/national portion and the state portion.
The national portion is the longer exam, consisting of 80 multiple-choice questions holding a value of 1 point each, to be answered within 2.5 hours. The state portion consists of 40 multiple-choice questions holding a value of 1 point each, to be answered within 1.5 hours. Therefore, 120 questions need to be answered within 4 hours. To pass the national portion, candidates need to score at least 70% (56 right answers out of 80) and to pass the state portion, candidates need to score at least 75% (30 right answers out of 40). Candidates may also be asked 5-10 “experimental” questions; these don’t count towards your final score and are purely for the PSI’s purposes of assessing the exam structure and its effectiveness, for the future.
As mentioned earlier, the exam is conducted in PSI’s test centers in Jackson, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Memphis and Mobile and is a computer-based test. Therefore, candidates will immediately, on completing the exam, know their results.
Keep in mind the following facts for your examination:
- The registration form for the exam can be found on the PSI site or in the candidate handbook.
- Both the state and national portion must be passed within 2 months of the date of approval on your exam application form. Not doing so will require you to re-apply to the commission and re-establish your eligibility to take the exam.
- If you pass one portion and fail the other, you need to re-attempt only the failed portion.
- If you pass the state portion but fail the national portion, you can retake the national-portion exam as many times as required within 2 months from the date of your examination application’s approval.
- You can only attempt the state portion twice in the 2 months following application approval; if you fail both times, you’ll have to wait out 3 months and re-apply to the commission to take the exam.
Candidates are tested on the following topics in the national portion:
- Property Ownership
- Land Use Controls and Regulations
- Valuation and Market Analysis
- General Principles of Agency
- Property Disclosures
- Leasing and Property Management
- Transfer of Title
- The Practice of Real Estate
- Real Estate Calculations
Candidates are tested on the following topics in the state portion:
- Powers and Duties of the Real Estate Commission
- Licensing Requirements and Licensing Maintenance
- Property Condition Disclosures
- Agency Disclosure and Duties to Parties
- Out-of-State Brokers and Developers
- Trust Accounts
- Broker Responsibilities, Including Supervision of Sales Associates
- Records and Documents
Scheduling the Exam
You can schedule your exam with PSI in a variety of ways—online, telephone, fax, or standard mail. Scheduling online, through the PSI site, is the fastest and easiest way, and available 24 hours a day. You’ll need to complete the online registration form and pay the required fees. If you’re registering via fax, allow at least 4 days for the processing of your form and payment; if you’re using standard mail, allow at least 2 weeks for processing before scheduling your exam.
Exams need to be scheduled in advance; walk-ins are strictly not allowed. Scheduling the exam lies solely in the hands of the applicant and not the pre-licensing education provider or the MREC.
The examination fee is $75, regardless of whether you’re going to attempt only one portion or both. Similarly, the fee to retake the examination is also $75, regardless of whether you’re attempting only one portion or both.
Exam fees are non-refundable, non-transferable and valid for one year only, after registration. Payment can be made via credit or debit card for online, telephone and fax scheduling and via credit or debit card, company check, money order or cashier’s check made payable to PSI, for standard mail registration. Cash is not accepted and neither are payments made at the exam center.
What to Carry to the Venue
Candidates are not allowed to carry anything into the exam hall apart from the following:
- Two forms of identification—one a valid government-issued photo ID with your signature (such as passports, state IDs and driver’s licenses) and one ID with your preprinted legal name and signature (credit/debit card or work ID). Ensure the name and signature on both IDs match the name and signature on the commission’s approval letter stating you can take the exam.
- A silent, non-programmable calculator.
STEP 3: Choose a Sponsoring Broker
Your sponsoring broker will not only mentor you and provide employment opportunities but also submit a recommendation to the MREC that you are honest, trustworthy and deserving of the real estate salesperson license.
Finding a Sponsoring Broker
There are several places to look in, to find the right sponsoring broker for you:
- Keep an eye on all advertisements, online as well as in your local newspaper and classified sections.
- Additionally, keep an eye on television, radio and billboard advertisements, too.
- ‘For Sale’ signs outside houses will contain the contact details of the broker in charge, so you can get in touch with them and ask about joining the firm.
- Online job sites and even social media can also be helpful. Sites such as Glassdoor, Facebook Marketplace and groups and Yelp have firms advertising job vacancies.
- Networking online and offline will also go great lengths in helping you find a sponsoring broker. Sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter will help you find the right people to talk to, whereas attending events hosted by brokerage firms or your local realtors’ association (Mississippi Realtors) will help you meet the right people. The local chamber of commerce is also a great bet.
Don’t hesitate to fix as many interviews as you need and talk to as many people, both realtors and employees of brokerage firms, to find the right sponsoring broker.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Sponsoring Broker
Take into consideration the following factors when choosing a broker:
- Commission Split: Though some firms offer a salary along with commission, they are very few and far between. Most likely, your commission will be your only source of income as an agent. Therefore, what percentage of the deal you get after splitting it with the concerned parties (your sponsoring broker included) is an important factor to consider. This percentage is your commission split and increases as you gain experience; it also depends on the kind of firm you’re working for. There are many types of commission structures, such as hybrids, capped and uncapped; read up on them before you agree to work with a sponsor. If the percentage offered is low, first check if any other benefits are also offered.
- Size and Type of Brokerage: The type of brokerage you choose to work with may also define the size of the firm. For example, franchise brokerages are large firms with a wide presence, whereas boutique and mom-and-pop brokerages are small and intimate. A large firm often has a more impersonal work culture, whereas smaller firms have a more personal connection between employees themselves, as well as clients.
- Target Audience: The niche your firm is aiming at also matters, as some niches are more profitable than others. For example, you could earn more by targeting aggressive investors who are younger, instead of older age groups.
Apart from this, also consider the workplace culture, the reputation of the firm, what training and support they offer to recruits, and the benefits that they offer to their employees that are not monetary.
Types of Brokerages
There are mainly 3 types of brokerage firms:
National Franchise Brokerages
These are large companies that allow independent brokers to use their brand name, business model and name in exchange for a percentage of the amount made on every deal by the brokers.
- A wide presence with multiple office spaces
- Customer trust is earned more easily thanks to the better brand recognition
- A larger capital fund, resulting in better resources, both tangible (hardware, workplace facilities and software) and intangible (think tanks, qualified employees and reputation)
- Better training and support to recruits
- The large office space may seem overwhelming and uncomfortable for recruits.
- Interactions are mostly impersonal with a lack of individual employee attention.
Boutique brokerages offer more personalized service and workspaces, a better understanding of the local real estate market and a smaller yet more intimate workspace.
- More individual attention to employees and clients
- A more cooperative and less competitive work environment
- More decision-making freedom
- Faster decision-making owing to the flexibility and lesser bureaucracy
- Limited resources due to the smaller capital fund
- Brand recognition is limited
Brokerage firms have also gone online—a cheaper, more convenient and flexible option. The lack of a physical workspace and reduced operating costs leads to the highest commission splits in the industry.
- Nearly 70-100% commission due to reduced operating costs and almost-zero desk fees
- More independence and freedom for employees
- Being technology based, the software and hardware used are up to date
- The lack of workplace culture due to the lack of a physical space
STEP 4: Apply and Obtain Your License
With a pre-licensing course certificate, exam passing certificate and a sponsoring broker to back you, you are now eligible to apply for and obtain your real estate salesperson license. For the same, you need to mail your application (available on the MREC website).
Keep in mind the following points for your license application:
- Get your application notarized.
- Mail the application with photos of your face and profile, your sponsoring broker’s recommendation and any required original transcripts.
- The application fee is $120, to be paid along with the application.
- Candidates will also have to undergo fingerprints and criminal history background checks by paying $50, via check made out to MREC, for the same. Applications are available on the MREC website.
- If candidates have been convicted of a felony before their application, they may need to appeal to the MREC for permission.
STEP 5: Post-learning Requirements
Licensed candidates need to complete 30 hours of post-licensing education before their first renewal. 24 of these hours are dedicated to academic study, whereas the remaining 6 are dedicated to more practical education, such as home inspections, pricing property, environmental issues and mortgage processes.
If you are an active license holder who has finished your post-licensing course and your permanent license has been issued, you will not be subject to the required 16 hours of continuing education requirements for your permanent license’s first renewal.
If you have to complete continuing education, you’ll have to do 16 hours of license law, contract law, and agency law study, along with 8 hours of electives, every 2 years, to renew your license.
The CE Shop doesn’t offer post-licensing education, but it does offer continuing education courses ranging from $19 to $35 for individual subjects and $99 for the complete 16-hour package.
The Bottom Line
With the aforementioned points in mind, you are now ready to start your journey to getting your real estate salesperson license—with a more-than-healthy dash of perseverance, hard work and determination! Don’t let the seemingly long process throw you off; once you understand, start and get into the process, it’ll be over before you know it—you could get your license in as little as 30 days, with the right motivation.
So, keep at it and remember, when in doubt, always refer to the candidate handbook and MREC site. Plenty of sites offer great exam prep courses, including practice exams and tests (many of them for free, too), so make the best use of these resources and you’ll be more than prepared to ace the exams and get your license.