How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Montana
Montana Real Estate Agent License Requirements
You must meet the following requirements to get a license to become a real estate salesperson in Montana:
- Be a minimum of 18 years of age
- You must have completed a two-year full curriculum study at an accredited high school or equivalent
- You must complete 60 hours of additional pre-licensing instruction from a board-approved real estate school
- Must be affiliated to a licensed Montana broker
- Give details of any disciplinary action taken against you in the past
Montana Real Estate License Costs
- Real Estate Agent Education in Montana: $650
to $850 (approx.)
- Exam Fee: $185
- State Resources:
- Exam Locations—Billings, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispel and Missoula
- You can take the real estate online exams at PSI Exams Online
- You can join an online real estate school such as Real Estate Express to prepare for real estate agent education. Other online resources or exam preparation: Connole/Morton Real Estate School of Billings and Missoula, 360training.com and Twilite Education
STEP 1: Sign Up for Pre-licensing Education
To get a real estate salesperson license in Montana, you need to complete 60 hours pre-license education from one of the Montana Real Estate Regulatory Board-approved schools. You have to prepare for the national and state portions of the exam.
At the end of the course, you must write an exam. For this, you must register by signing up on www.psiexams.com or calling (800) 733-9267 to schedule in advance for the PSI salesperson exam.
Scheduling happens on a first-come, first-serve basis. So, the sooner you register, the better. Register for both portions of the exam, the national and the state. You must score at least 80% in the national portion and 70% in the state portion to become eligible for the license. Apply for the license within a year of passing by submitting an application, duly filled, along with the course completion certificate, other specified documents and fees of $185 to the Montana Board of Realty Regulation. The license application can be download from the website or submitted online. Visit realestate.mt.gov or the board office for the form.
If you have had any disciplinary action taken against you, make sure you include an explanation with the application.
You can join an online course at a school like Real Estate Express or attend classes from providers such as Connole Morton. The course fee can range between $650 and $850. You must also be affiliated with an approved broker to apply for the license.
STEP 2: Complete State Licensing Application
Where to Apply
The Montana Board of Realty Regulation is the governing body and you must submit your application either as a physical copy or online.
The board requires you to be at least 18 years of age at the time of applying for the license and have received tenth grade or higher from an accredited high school or equivalent.
You must do 60 hours of pre-licensing education from an approved school and apply within two years of completion and a year of passing the Montana Real Estate Salesperson Examination. You also need to be endorsed by a supervising broker and should be employed by or under contract with a licensed broker.
You must pass the exam that consists of a national and a state portion and submit the application along with original documents or transcripts. These include a completion certificate for the 60 hours of pre-licensing education and the proof of passing both parts of the Montana salesperson examination.
If you hold or ever held a professional license of any type anywhere in the country, then you need to submit verification from the state and the jurisdiction. You can get a waiver from writing the national portion of the exam.
If you had any disciplinary action taken against you, provide a detailed explanation along with the documentation from the source.
You have to pay $185 application fee (including $35 Recovery Account fee) by credit card or bank account if you are applying online. If you are submitting the printed and filled application, pay by check and not cash.
You also must pay PSI $106 for writing the exam. The fee is the same whether you write both portions or only the state portion and is not refundable. You must write the exam within a year of making the payment.
Proof of Pre-licensing Requirements
You need to submit some documents as part of the pre-licensing requirements. Some of them can be submitted by the applicant at the time of application. Some others such as transcripts will have to be sent directly from the source to the board.
Submit your 60 hours of pre-licensing education completion certificate, proof of passing the state and national portions of the Montana salesperson examination. If you hold any type of professional license from any of the states and jurisdictions, then your need to submit official license verification. Provide documents regarding any disciplinary action you faced or are facing directly from the source.
If you possess an out-of-state license and are seeking a waiver, you must submit the proof of passing the Montana state portion of the salesperson exam along with official license verification from states and jurisdictions. You must also submit documents regarding any disciplinary action being taken against you.
Legal Document Requirements
When applying for the real estate salesperson license, you must submit the following:
- Certificate for having completed 60 hours of pre-licensing education
- The scorecard showing you have passed state and national portions of the Montana salesperson examination
- If you have ever held any professional license, provide relevant official license verification
- If you have ever faced any disciplinary action, present a detailed explanation with documents such as civil/criminal court proceedings initiating/charging documents, final disposition/judgment documents and so on to authorities concerned from the source
Provide the certificate of completing tenth grade or higher from an accredited institution.
The form must be attested by an approved broker who agrees to supervise you.
STEP 3: Pass the State License Test
Once you have completed the mandatory 60-hour pre-licensing course, you must register yourself with PSI and schedule a test. You write an exam of 210 minutes if you are taking both the portions and will be administered 113 questions. To pass, you must score 79 points.
If you are attempting only the national portion you will answer 80 questions in 120
Minutes and must score 56 points to pass. The state portion exam has 33 items for 90 minutes. You must get 23 points to pass.
You will get your score immediately after you complete the examination. It will indicate whether you have passed and your score report. If you have not passed, the report will give you a diagnostic report on your strengths and weaknesses based on the examination type.
You must pass both portions of the exam and apply for your license within a year of passing.
Topics Covered in the Course
- Property ownership
- Land use controls and regulations
- Valuation and market analysis
- General principles of agency
- Property disclosures
- Leasing and Property Management
- Transfer of Title
- Practice of real estate
- Real estate calculations
- The Real Estate Licensing Agency’s Powers
- Requirements Governing the Activities of
- Additional Topics:
- Recovery/Surety Fund
- Land Description
- Common Interest Ownership/Condominium
- Landlord/Tenant Relationship
- Foreclosure and Redemption
- Statute of Frauds
Time Given to Take the Test
The Montana real estate salesperson examination contains two portions, the national and the state. Together you will be given 113 scored items to be completed in 210 minutes or 3.5 hours.
If you are taking only the national portion, you will be given 80 items to be completed in 120 minutes. For the state portion, you will have to attempt 33 items in 90 minutes.
You will also be given 5-10 experimental questions which will not be scored or timed. Before you begin the actual exam you will be provided with an introductory tutorial for up to 15 minutes. This is not part of the examination time and is to get you familiar with the format. Sample questions will be provided after the tutorial to let you practice answering questions as well as reviewing your answers.
After the exam begins, you must complete it within the specified time as you will not be given an extension.
What to Bring to the Exam
Be at the test location at least 30 minutes the scheduled time for signing in, identification and taking the tutorial to become familiar with the examination process. Latecomers will not be allowed into the examination site and will also forfeit the examination registration fee.
Carry two forms of identification with you. The primary one must be an active, current and valid form of government-issued identification such as the driver’s license, state ID or passport. This should have your photograph and signature.
The second ID should have your preprinted legal name and signature such as a credit card or debit card.
In case you are unable to provide the required identification, inform them at least three weeks before the scheduled appointment by calling (800) 733-9267 and organizing an alternative to meet this security requirement. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to write your exam.
STEP 4: Apply and Obtain Your License
To apply for the Montana real estate agent license you must be 18 years of age, must have completed tenth grade or higher and complete a 60-hour pre-license education from one of the board of realty regulation-approved schools.
Within two years of completing the education, you must schedule a test with PSI by paying a fee of $106 and registering with them. You will have to write an exam of 210 minutes containing national and general portions. Once you pass both portions, you can apply to the board online or through physical application along with all the required documents and a fee of $185.
While Montana does not deny license to those with a criminal conviction, you must still supply the accurate details and supporting documents regarding the case and the final judgment.
You must also be endorsed by a supervising broker who must sign the form.
STEP 5: Finding a Brokerage
In Montana, you need to be under the supervision of a broker to obtain your license. So you should start looking for a suitable one to be associated with you apply for one. The Board of Realty Regulation has a list of approved brokers but you can further narrow down the list by identifying one with whom your goals align.
Some of the factors to keep in mind are:
- The reputation and market share of the firm
- Terms of engagement
- How they compensate the agents
- The kind of training and support they provide
Reputation and Market Share
Survey the areas the brokerage operates in and speak to other brokers to find out about the reputation of the broker. You may find some public information on their market share. While interviewing them, you can also ask them directly for details about their income range. Associating with a reputed broker will benefit you in your career.
Terms of Employment
Normally, real estate salespersons work as independent contractors with a commission, though some also offer employment with salary and benefits. As an employee, you will have a regular income and may also be assured of stock options and retirement funds. But what your professional duties are will depend on the firm. As an independent contractor, you will have increased flexibility and earn a handsome commission.
If you are an employee, you will get a salary. As an independent contractor, you will get a commission for every sale you make, which will be split with the broker. The split can be of three types:
- High Split: You can get as much as 100 percent commission but you will be required to pay desk fees to the brokerage firm even when you do not have any earnings
- Traditional Split: You will split the commission 50:50 and on the sales you make
- Hybrid Split: You can get a certain percentage in the early days and then as you meet set goals, the commission will also increase
Study the financial benefits before signing on the dotted line.
Training and Support
Some firms will leave you to learn it all on the street and some may give you a more formal training. You will also get leads from them, which will be especially useful in the early days. In addition to these, firms that provide you with technology and administrative support will also be of great value. Do assess the cost-benefit of this before deciding on the broker.
National vs Boutique Player
A national player will have better infrastructure as well as provide you with the opportunity to work in other states. However, you may find processes taking a little away from your creativity and independence. You may find them a little impersonal too.
Boutique firms may not be strong in terms of reach or technology, but you will find a closer bond with your colleagues and independence.
Study the options well, see what suits you before you decide to go with a particular broker.
STEP 6: Post-learning Requirements
Once you have received your new salesperson license, you must complete the 12-hour rookie course in the next 120 days. This is a mandatory continuing education requirement of the board.
You must each complete the 12-hour continuing real estate education every licensing year, which is from November 1 through October 31.
The CE Shop offers a comprehensive continuing education course that will help you fulfil these requirements while helping you understand the different facets of real estate in Montana effectively. The packages start at as little as $89 per package.