How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Nebraska

Nebraska Requirements for Real Estate Agent

To get your license as a real estate agent in Nebraska, you should meet the following requirements:

  • You should have a high school diploma, GED or proof of having participated in a home school program from the Department of Education
  • You should be at least 19 years of age
  • You should have completed 60 hours of pre-license education
  • In addition, you should also have completed a six-hour Professional Practice Standards
  • If applicable, you must present a current criminal history report
  • Get approval for your application
  • Pass with 75% in the exam

Nebraska Real Estate License Costs

  • Real Estate Agent Education in Nebraska: $250 to $500 (approx.)
  • Exam Fee: $150

Helpful Tips


STEP 1: Pre-Licensing Education

Once you have decided on becoming a real estate agent in Nebraska, you will need a salesperson’s license to practice in the state of Nebraska. For this, you should have completed 19 years of age and 60 hours of pre-licensing education from one of the NREC-approved real estate schools.

According to Nebraska statutes, you must be a high school graduate or hold an equivalent certificate. If you have received a G.E.D. (General Equivalency Diploma), you must submit a copy of the diploma. Those with high school education from abroad must have similar academic qualifications as those in the United States and submit sufficient proof.

You can do the pre-licensing course only from an approved institution. You can do it online, like with Real Estate Express, or attend live classes. At the end of the course, you will be given practice exams. The course can cost anywhere between $250 to $500.

Whether you are a resident or a non-resident applicant, the Nebraska Real Estate License Act requires you to give your fingerprints for a criminal background check. You must submit your license application duly filled, signed and on file at the Commission office to receive the fingerprint cards. Since it takes about 4-6 weeks, submit your application and payment early.

You will need to get your background check done to be able to write the exam, so make sure you pursue so that the fingerprint process can be completed at the earliest. Forms without the background report will not be considered complete.

Nebraska Real Estate License also conducts a real estate license history data search for all the applicants to ensure that no disciplinary action has been taken against the applicant in any other real estate jurisdictions. If you have a criminal conviction and/or a history of disciplinary action in Nebraska or another jurisdiction, you will have to conform to certain guidelines given in the Policies and Interpretations section of the License Law Manual.


STEP 2: Apply For the State Exam

Where to Apply

You have to apply for the Nebraska real estate salesperson license through the Nebraska Real Estate Commission. You have to be 19 years of age, should have high school degree or higher education, should have completed 60 hours of pre-licensing education and must apply for writing the pre-licensing exam through the NREC website. You can fill the form online and pay $150 to register for the exam, delivered by PSI.

Here is a checklist of the documents you will need to submit on completing your course to apply for the exam:

  • A duly filled application form available online that can be submitted online
  • The application and examination fee of $150
  • Your current passport-type photo of your head and shoulders only, larger than 2”x2” and taken in the last one year
  • Course completion certificate or transcript from college/university
  • Your high school diploma, GED, or verification of having enrolled for a home school program from the Department of Education
  • Any lawsuit or criminal information
  • Criminal background report

Application Fees

At the time of applying for permission to write the salesperson license exam, you must pay a fee of $150. If you do not pass and want to retake the exam, you can do so within one year and pay $150 again.

If you pass, then you must apply for the license and pay NREC $135. In case your payment is not honored by your financial institution, you must pay an additional processing fee of $30.

Proof of Pre-licensing Requirements

When you complete the 60 hours of pre-licensing education from one of the NREC-approved real estate schools, you will get a completion certificate. In the meantime, you must get your background checked.

According to the Nebraska Real Estate License Act, to get your original licensure as a real estate salesperson, you must submit your fingerprints for a criminal background check. Whether you are a resident or a non-resident applicant, you must complete the license application, duly signed and filed at the commission office. Only then will the fingerprint cards, needed for completing the background report, will be given to you. Submitting your form at the earliest will hasten the release of the fingerprint card.

Once you get the card, you will need to get the background check also done quickly so follow up with the authority concerned for early completion of the check. Only after the report is in will the application be considered complete and processed further. It takes anywhere between four to six weeks for the report to be ready. With the fingerprint cards is enclosed the recommended procedure for submitting the completed cards to the Nebraska State Patrol. Any discrepancy can delay the processing.

If you have any criminal convictions or a history of disciplinary action, submit the details along with the supporting documents. This is required to get the Nebraska Real Estate License. If you have any history in Nebraska or other jurisdictions, you will have to adhere to certain guidelines specified in the Policies and Interpretations section of the License Law Manual.

You may email your course completion certificate separately as an attachment to the email ID: realestate.commission@nebraska.gov as a Word, JPEG or PDF file. You can also mail it separately, hand deliver it or upload it with your online application as a Word, JPEG or PDF file of two megabytes or smaller. Another way to upload is by zipping the files. A “Zip File Guide” is provided for reference on the NREC site.

You may also undertake the course in a college or university. In that case, you must submit the course completion in the form of official transcripts, mailed directly by the institute to the Commission’s office.

Whichever information is being submitted separately, make sure you indicate the application question you are referencing, your name, address and telephone number.

Legal Document Requirements

Once NREC approves your application, you will be allowed to write the exam and you will have to pass it to get the license. Submit the scorecard after you have passed both portions of the exam along with the following:

  • The license fee of $135
  • Original score report with your picture intact within thirty days of receiving the pass notification
  • License Issuance Form, available online, duly signed by the employing broker, confirming that you will be employed by them
  • License Issuance Form or a letter where you sign agreeing to be employed by the broker
  • Errors & Omission insurance coverage through the Commission or submit a Certification of Equivalent Coverage form completed by the insurer


STEP 3: Pass the State License Test

The Nebraska real estate salesperson examination has two parts to it, the national and the state. You will have to attempt 80 items in the national part in 150 minutes and 50 in the state in 90 minutes.

To pass, you must score 60 points in the national portion and 38 points in the state. You will know your scores immediately on completing the examination. On passing, your scorecard will reflect the scores you got. In case of not passing, the report will provide a diagnostic report analyzing your strengths and weaknesses.

To increase the chances of passing plan your preparation well. The Candidate Information Bulletin and the examination content outline will be good guides to what to study and how. While in class, pay attention, take notes and write down the points to reinforcing your learning. Underlining or highlighting key ideas help during revision.

Group study with your colleagues and discussions will also help improve your understanding of the topics. Study frequently, at least for 45 to 60 minutes and focus well.

In case you do not pass in one portion of the exam, keep the score report for the portion you passed safely as you will have to submit this to get the license. You can retake the portion you failed. If you fail in one or both portions, reapply through the NREC website.

You are allowed three more attempts or six months, whichever comes first. If not, then you must write the full examination afresh and the rules apply as before.

Topics Covered in the Course

National Portion:

  • Property ownership
  • Land use controls and regulations
  • Valuation and market analysis
  • Financing
  • General principles of agency
  • Property disclosures
  • Contracts
  • Leasing and Property Management
  • Transfer of Title
  • Practice of real estate
  • Real estate calculations

State Portion:

  • Duties and Powers of the Real Estate Commission
  • Licensing Requirements
  • Statutory Requirements Governing the Activities of Licensees
  • Additional Requirements
    • Statutory Requirements Governing Subdivided or Out-of-State Land Sales
    • Securities
    • Fair Housing Laws
    • Closing Statements

Time Given to Take the Test

You will be given 150 minutes for the national portion of the exam, which contains 80 items. For the state portion of 50 questions, you will get 90 minutes.

Arrive 30 minutes early to the venue so that your identification process gets over quickly and you can take the 15-minute tutorial on how the examination has to be attempted. You will be given 5-10 sample questions. This time will not be counted nor the sample questions rated.

At the expiry of the 210 minutes or 3.5 hours, the examination will expire. So pace yourself such that you can attempt all the questions and maximize your chances of passing.

What to Bring to the Exam

You are required to provide two kinds of identification at the examination venue. One is a government-issued primary identification such as your driver’s license identification card, passport and so on. It should contain your photograph and signature. It should not have expired and should be current.

The second ID should contain your signature and preprinted legal name and can be a credit card, debit card and the like.

In case you are unable to provide any of the required identifications, you should inform them three weeks prior to your scheduled appointment by calling (800) 733-9267 and make alternative arrangements. The inability to provide the proof of identification without prior notification will disqualify you from writing the exam and you will have to forfeit your fee.


STEP 4: Apply and Obtain Your License

Once you have the scorecard, you must apply for the license within 30 days of being notified that you have received a passing grade. The permission to writing the exam does not automatically qualify you for the license, only passing in both portions does. Send your original scorecard to the Commission.

Along with the passing scores, also submit the application form and the required documents online or hand-deliver it and await the license. You can start practicing only after getting the license.


STEP 5: Finding a Brokerage

Nebraska requires you to be supervised by a broker before you can undertake the exam or apply for the license. The process of choosing the correct broker to work with is important. Though you have to be employed by a broker approved by the Commission, you can further narrow your search based on:

  • The market position and income of the broker
  • The compensation package they offer
  • Whether they are a national or boutique player
  • The kind of training and support they provide

Reputation and Size

Each of these has its pros and cons. For instance, a very reputed organization and/or a national player will be very process oriented, which is very good and will enhance your resume. But they may also curb your freedom and be a little impersonal. A boutique player, on the other hand, maybe a little less formal and may give you more freedom while being just as well reputed as the larger ones.

Support

The training, technology and administrative support that a larger firm can provide may be far beyond the capability of a boutique player. But the boutique player may be able to let you pursue leads and work out a compensation package that favors you.

Compensation

While most real estate firms employ agents on a commission basis, some also pay a salary and other benefits. The commission may also be of different kinds. If it is the high split, then you may be given a larger share of the commission but may have to pay desk fees. On the face of it this may sound great, but you have to pay even when you don’t earn a commission. In the traditional split, you both get 50:50 and in hybrid, your share increases gradually as you grow.

As there are many aspects to consider, get the details in writing, compare them before you choose the one you want to work with.


STEP 6: Post-learning Requirements

Once you have obtained your license, you must complete 12 hours of post-license education in the next 180 days. Otherwise, your license will be placed on inactive status.

If you’re looking for a continuing education course, The CE Shop offers a variety of packages, comprehensive ones as well as individual courses and packages to suit your needs. The individual packages start at $29 per course and the comprehensive packages start at $89 per package.

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RE Agents Team