How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Rhode Island
Rhode Island Real Estate License Basic Requirements
To apply for a real estate agent license in Rhode Island, you need the following basic requirements.
- You need to be at least 18 years of age (if you have not turned 18 yet but will come of age by the time of the exam, you can send in your application)
- You need to have a high school diploma or an equivalent degree
- You need to complete 45 hours of pre-licensing education
- Find a managing broker to sponsor your license
- Clear the Rhode Island real estate examination
RI Real Estate License Costs
- $70 is the fixed amount you need to pay for your Rhode Island examination fee. There is also a $100 application fee, which includes $25 for Real Estate Recovery Fee. In addition to this, there will be variable costs for your pre-licensing tuition fee and other requirements.
- State of Rhode Island – Commercial Licensing
- Rhode Island Department of Business Regulations Booklet
- Rhode Island Division of Commercial Licensing FAQs
- Rhode Island Testing Sites: East Providence, Worcester, Boston (Back Bay), Woburn, North Dartmouth
- State of Rhode Island Real Estate Candidate Handbook
- You can use online resources like The CE Shop to prepare for your Rhode Island license real estate assessments.
STEP 1: Prep Education
The first step is to enroll yourself in a state-approved real estate institute and begin your pre-licensing education. You are required to complete 45 hours of pre-licensing education. The pre-licensing curriculum you will be expected to complete will go through the fundamentals of practicing as a real estate agent in Rhode Island. This is essential knowledge that you must be equipped with without which you cannot proceed in your application. Once you have completed your curriculum, you need to sit for the final exam.
You need a minimum of 75% to clear this final exam. Once you have cleared the exam, your passing certificate will be proof that you have completed your licensing education. This examination will be conducted in the presence of a proctor. If you are taking the exam online, an online proctor will be provided to you.
In addition to the 45 hours spent on your pre-licensing education, you will also need to take a one-time, three-hour lead paint hazard class.
STEP 2: Schedule Your State Exam
The next step is to pay your examination fee and schedule your exam with Pearson VUE. The examination will have two portions, general and state specific. You will have 2.5 hours to complete the general portion and 1.5 hours to complete the state-specific section. Once you have completed the paper, you will be notified of the results immediately.
If you pass the exam, you will get a score report with further instructions about how to apply for a license. If you do not clear the exam, you will get a numerical score report and a diagnosis of where you can improve in your retest.
If you clear one portion but fail in the other, you only need to retake the second portion. However, you will need to take and clear that portion within a year otherwise the entire exam will be voided.
Topics to Covered
- Real property characteristics, legal descriptions, and property use
- Forms of ownership, transfer, and recording of title
- Real estate contracts and agency
- Property value and appraisal
- Property disclosure and environmental issues
- Real estate practice
- Financing and settlement
- Duties and obligations under licensing law
- Licensing requirements
- Statutory requirements governing the activities of licensees
- Additional topics (Landlord-Tenant Law, Fire Safety Code, Seller’s Disclosure, etc.)
- Broker Only
What to Bring to the Venue
The following are the essentials you are required to carry to the venue. Without these documents, you will not be permitted in the examination venue.
- A primary identification, government-issued, that has your current photograph and signature (passport, driver’s license, etc.)
- A secondary identification that has your legal name (pre-printed) and your signature (Social Security card, credit card, debit card, etc.)
- Your Education Completion Certificate that is proof that you have completed your pre-licensing education.
Note that you cannot carry your student ID, employment ID or any other temporary identification. You should also ensure that the identification you are carrying has the same legal name and signature as the one you have registered for the examination with.
STEP 3: Find a Sponsor
Finding a sponsor is one of the most important and crucial steps in applying for a real estate agent license in Rhode Island. A sponsor is the first guiding agency who will deem you eligible to apply for a license and will help you navigate in the real estate world. It would be advisable if you get started on finding a sponsor even before you clear your state exam.
This is because your exam scores are valid only for a certain period and you do not want to waste time looking for a sponsor once you already have your scores. The following are some of the factors you may want to consider while finding a managing broker to sponsor your license.
One of the most important things to think of is the commission split. The arrangement of the commission split will decide how much money you will take back home after a deal has been sealed. At the beginning of your career, it may be difficult to negotiate a commission split that is completely favorable to you.
However, it is important to look for a sponsor who will also give you a reasonable commission split. A real estate agent job will certainly work you to the bone, so you should also take home the money you deserve.
The reputation of the company will also make a big difference in your career graph. Technically, you can get any managing broker to sponsor you as long as they are registered with the state. You will be eligible to apply for a license when you find a sponsor, however, it is advisable that you start with a sponsor who has a good market reputation. This will only open further avenues for you in the industry. When you are associated with a company of good repute, your credibility in the market will also grow. This is a great place to kickstart your career in the industry.
It is also important to find a sponsor who will offer you the kind of support you need to thrive. Different individuals have different requirements when looking for a work environment that will allow them to grow. Some individuals may prefer a more hands-on environment where they navigate the field on their own with some mentorship.
They prefer to pick up skills on the job while being supervised from a distance. While others may feel more confident about being closely mentored by a sponsor and navigating their path with the guidance of someone more experienced.
What environment will be the best suited for you is something that you will have to decide for yourself. The good thing is that Rhode Island has real estate brokerages that offer both work environments and cultures. So once you have decided what you are looking for, you can start shortlisting sponsors accordingly. Keep in mind, however, that there is no guarantee that you will find a sponsor in your first choice.
STEP 4: Apply and Obtain Your License
Once you have completed your pre-licensing education, cleared your state exam and found yourself a sponsoring broker, waste no time in completing your application, and submitting it to the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, along with the application fee.
The state will review and process your completed application, and you can finally activate your license and practice as a real estate agent in the state of Rhode Island.
STEP 5: Post-learning Requirements
Once you have activated your license, it must be renewed every two years. By April 30th of the even year, you need to complete the renewal of your license to keep it active. The post-licensing requirements in Rhode Island include 24 hours of continuing education in total, including 18 hours of elective courses and 6 hours of mandatory courses.
The CE Shop, offering some of the most comprehensive courses in the market, has a single package for the total 24 hours of Rhode Island’s continuing education requirements. The package is priced at $179. The individual courses start at $29.