How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in New Jersey

New Jersey License Basic Requirements

  • You must be 18 years or older.
  • You must have a high school education or something equivalent to that.
  • You must take and pass a 75-hour pre-licensure course at a licensed school.
  • After passing the exam, you must apply through a real estate broker.
  • You must convince the real estate commission of your honesty, trustworthiness, character and integrity.
  • You can get a waiver on education qualifications if you are a broker or agent in another state.

NJ Real Estate License Costs

  • Real Estate Agent Education in Wyoming: $200 to $800
    to $800 (approx.)
  • Exam Fee: $160

Helpful Tips

  • Read more about licensing requirements here.
  • If you have a criminal record, you should read this notice.
  • Read all about the licensing fees here.
  • This is how to get your license certificate.
  • Find out more about the education waiver here.
  • This is the list of licensed schools where you can get the pre-licensing education.
  • This is where you can register for the licensing exam.


STEP 1: Complete the Pre-licensing Education

In the state of New Jersey, to be eligible to apply for a real estate agent license, you must complete 75 hours of pre-licensing education. At the end of the course, you must take an exam and pass. Within a year of that, you must take the final state licensing examination. PSI Services conducts that exam through a network of computer centers in New Jersey. But we’ll get to the details of that exam in a bit.

You must take the pre-licensing course under one of the accredited instructors. You can find a list of such schools here. The course will cost you about $400 to $450 depending on the school. Once you finish the course you must take a test. You will get a certificate if you pass the course which your instructor will submit electronically to PSI as proof of completion.


STEP 2: Submit a Completed Application

Within a year of passing the pre-licensing course, you must take the state licensing exam. It is conducted by PSI Services and you can book an appointment for the exam on their website. If you have ever been convicted of a crime or are currently on parole or probation, your application may be denied.

This is the fee to get your initial license.

INITIAL LICENSE Cost
Corporations, Partnerships & Other Entities $270
Broker of Record $270
Sole Proprietor Broker $270
Broker-Salesperson $270
Salesperson $160
Referral Agent $160
Branch Office $150

This amount must be paid to PSI at the time of registration. Make sure that your registration form is complete, signed and has the correct fee. This amount is not refundable or transferable if you miss the exam for whatever reason.

If you register for the state exam online, you need to have a valid credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover). You will need to create an account and click on the box that says, “check here to attempt to locate existing records for you in the system”. After that, you will be prompted to pick an exam center in your area. The next step is to pay for the exam and pick a date.

You can do the same by calling (800) 733-9267 and speaking with a live registrar. This can be done from Monday to Friday between 7:30 am and 10:00 pm. On Saturday and Sunday, you can do it between 9:00 am and 5:30 pm, eastern time, unlike online registration which is 24 hours a day.

If you fail the exam and want to retake it, you must wait for PSI to process your exam results. So it cannot be done on the same day. But you can make an appointment the next day for the next available date. 

On the day of the exam, reach the center at least 30 minutes before the exam time. This time is used to sign you in, complete the identification process and give you a tutorial in taking the exam. This is separate from the exam time. You will not be allowed if you are late.

Required IDs

You must register for the exam using your legal name. To verify that, you must bring two valid government-issued ID documents which have your signature and photo.

Primary Identification with Photo (Carry at Least One)

  1. State-issued driver’s license
  2. State issued identification card
  3. US government-issued passport
  4. US government-issued military identification card
  5. US government-issued alien registration card
  6. Canadian government-issued ID

The ID must have your photo and must be valid and unexpired.

Secondary Identification (Carry at Least One)

  1. Credit card (with signature)
  2. Social Security card
  3. US-issued birth certificate with raised seal

You cannot bring a student ID or an employment ID.


STEP 3: Pass the State License Test

It is highly likely that the instructors at your school will prep you for it. So, do take a few practice tests before the final state exam. You will have to pay $45 as an exam fee. The test is taken on a computer so no study material or scratch paper is allowed inside.

There will be 110 questions for 110 points. You must finish the exam in four hours. Now, a look at the topics:

  • Property ownership (8%)
  • Land use controls and regulations (5%)
  • Valuation and market analysis (7%)
  • Financing (10%)
  • General principles of agency (13%)
  • Property disclosures (6%)
  • Contracts (17%)
  • Leasing and Property Management (3%)
  • Transfer of Title (8%)
  • Practice of real estate (13%)
  • Real estate calculations (10%)
  • Duties and Powers of the Real Estate Commission (2 items)
  • Licensing Requirements (3 items)
  • Statutes and Rules Governing Licensee Activities (22 items)
  • Additional Requirements (3 items)

You need 70% (77 correct answers) to pass the exam. You will get your score right after the exam. If you fail, you will get a diagnostic report detailing your strengths and weaknesses. You will be given a print out of your result. There is no limit on the number of retakes if you fail the exam but you will have to pay an exam fee of $45 each time. 

Check out the sub-topics and sample questions here.

In New Jersey, your license is issued for a two-year period after which you must renew it. A notice will be sent for renewal to the office of the broker who employs you.


STEP 4: Apply For Your License

This is an extra step that you won’t find in every state. New Jersey requires you to submit fingerprints. And you can do that here. You need to do this after passing the exam and applying for the license. To be safe, you should do this right after passing the state exam.

If your license application is incomplete or without the license fee or evidence of completing the fingerprinting process, your application will not be accepted.

When they say evidence of completion, you must include:

  1. A copy of your completed form.
  2. A copy of the payment receipt issued by IDEMIA, which is the live scan fingerprint vendor, when you complete the process.

You also need to be employed with a licensed broker before you apply for the license. Once you have completed these two steps, send the application called the Universal Form along with the passing score report (signed and dated by the broker) to the Commission. The date cannot be from before the exam. You can find the form here.

You must send the application with a fee via certified or cashier’s check, money order, or broker’s business account check. You need to send $160 to the state treasurer of New Jersey. Personal checks will not be accepted.

The $160 fee is broken into $100 for the license, $50 for application and $10 for the guaranty fund. 


STEP 5: Finding a Brokerage

There are different kinds of brokerages that will sponsor you for the license. But in the first year, it is crucial that you make the right choice. Many salespersons shift in the very beginning precisely because they joined a brokerage without doing adequate research.

So what kind of brokerage do you want to join? Now, that obviously depends on the kind of specialization you want to do but here’s what you must consider.

There are three types of brokerages in the market: national, boutique and virtual.

National or Franchise Brokerages 

These are big firms with a lot of resources. They have several branches in different parts of the country. There are many advantages and, of course, a couple of disadvantages to joining a national brokerage firm.

Advantages

  • Big firms have a lot of resources.
  • Many of them provide training services for newbie agents.
  • You will learn lots of turnkey marketing solutions instead of having to come up with your own.
  • You will learn to handle big budgets and do deals on a greater scale.
  • National brokerages have resources to provide much-needed tech support. So you can focus on your work alone.  

Disadvantages

  • The scale of things could be too much to handle.
  • There is little chance of getting personal attention and solution to your possibly unique problems.
  • Big firms can feel a bit impersonal in their dealings.
  • You might be stuck in their templates.

Boutique Brokerages

These are much smaller than national brokerages. They are usually owned by one family or one broker. But those who know how to operate the model well and have a good network turn in a lot of profits. Some of the biggest brokerages in the US are boutique firms.

Advantages

  • They are personal. Each agent gets attention and the guidance they need.
  • There is greater scope for your contributions and innovation to be applauded.
  • The broker has fewer agents and you can get the leads you want.
  • You might have more space to settle in and learn the tricks of the trade.
  • You don’t have to fit into any templates. You can get creative.

Disadvantages

  • Small brokerages sometimes do not have a lot of resources.
  • The budget is small. Online traffic is limited too.
  • There isn’t much tech support sometimes. So you will have to do your own fixing or depend on coworkers who probably know just as much as you do.  
  • You might be limited to a certain geographical area.
  • It does not add to your credibility if you relocate.
  • There is no brand value to boost you if and when you shift. 

Virtual or Online Brokerages

Thanks to the advent of different types of technology, virtual or online brokerages are becoming more and more popular. As the name suggests, they exist on the internet and do not have a physical space. Many agents are finding online brokerages to be greatly advantageous for the following reasons. 

Advantages

  • Because there is no physical space that you need to pay for, the brokers offer commission splits as high as 70 to 100%.
  • Desk fees, which is usually $150 to $400 per month, is totally eliminated in a virtual brokerage. This money can be used on your own campaigns.
  • Since all the work is online, resources are diverted to getting good tech support.
  • You can act as an independent contractor while having a broker to back you up. This means you can be your own boss.

Disadvantages

  • There’s no sense of camaraderie.
  • You won’t have a team to rely on in the first year of work.
  • Too much freedom won’t do you a lot of good if you don’t have the experience to handle it.
  • If you’re stuck in a situation, you might not have a sounding board.


STEP 6: Post-learning Requirements

The state of New Jersey does not have any post-licensing needs. But you are required to finish 12 hours of continuing education to renew your license every two years. The 12 hours are divided into two hours for ethics, four hours for core subjects and six hours for electives which can be a mix of core and ethics or all of the same. This must be completed at least two months before the renewal (which is on 6/30 every odd-numbered year).

The CE Shop offers multiple packages from $99 to $289. You can also go for individual courses which are all under $35.

Take a good look at the requirements and go for it. Good luck.

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RE Agents Team