10 Steps to Get Your Louisiana Real Estate License

getting a real estate licenseStep-By-Step Guide to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent

Louisiana is rich in human and natural resources like oil, natural gas, commercial fishing, chemicals, agriculture, you name it. That’s why more and more people are choosing to move to Louisiana. They are relocating to earn money in these growing industries.

Louisiana is also known for it’s good food, jazz music, and of course the ever famous Mardi Gras festival, which continues to bring newcomers to the state.

Home sales in the Bayou State are up 33.8% year-over-year, and the median home sale price has increased by 6.4%. Demand has created a hot market with tough competition; 17.4% of homes sold above listing price and likely received multiple offers. The median listing price in the state is $161,800, which is well below the national average. Those numbers are very promising for real estate professionals in Louisiana, and the market shows no signs of slowing down soon.

Getting a Louisiana real estate license is not hard, but there are requirements that must be met if you’re looking to make a career change. Let’s show you how to get your hands on a Louisiana state license with these 10 simple steps.

Step 1: Meet The LREC Requirements

The Louisiana Real Estate Commission (LREC), sets certain standards that agents must meet before they are eligible for a real estate license. LREC determines the rules and policies of the industry, and also issues and oversees licenses.

To qualify for a real estate salesperson’s license in Louisiana, you need to check off these boxes:

  • Be at least 18 years or older
  • Must hold a high school diploma or equivalent (GED)
  • Be lawfully eligible to work in the United States
  • Have a valid social security number

This is the easy part, and you either meet these requirements or you don’t. If you have a prior record, or if your fingerprints have been taken before, first double check that you’ve paid all of your fines.

Reciprocity

If you’re already a licensed real estate agent in another state and you’d like to expand into Louisiana, the state permits full reciprocity with current real estate license holders in:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania

Louisiana uses a license for a license basis to offer reciprocal licenses. This means that Louisiana will only offer you the same type of license that you currently hold in your state.

Step 2: Complete the Pre-Licensing Education

small group of students studyingLREC requires you to complete 90 hours of education before you can take the Louisiana Real Estate License Exam. The course has to be completed by an accredited provider.

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You must complete the coursework within 6 months of the start date. The start and end dates will be indicated on your certificate.

LREC sometimes gives partial credit for the pre-licensing requirements for courses completed more than 5 years prior to the date of application. They usually consider the changes in the syllabus between that time and how applicable the syllabus is to the present time.

The topics in the course includes:

  • Real estate principles/practices
  • Louisiana Real Estate License Law
  • Commission Rules/Regulations
  • Law of Agency
  • Civil Law pertaining to real estate.

The courses are designed to help you understand the nuts and bolts of Louisiana real estate laws, policies, and procedures. Want to learn more? Check out the best real estate schools in Louisiana. These courses can be taken online or in a classroom setting. They can take you from as little as one to three months. It all depends on what pace you’re most comfortable with.

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Step 3: Pass The Course Final Exam

studying for licensing examOnce you finish the coursework, you can go on to take the final course exam. This test will be through your school provider (it is separate from the licensing exam you will also be required to take). Once you pass, you get your completion certificate and you can apply for the Salesperson License Application Part A.

Step 4: Fill Out License Application Part A

Students studying in group settingYou will need to apply for the Salesperson License Application Part A with your pre-licensing certificate of completion. Once you’ve done this and paid the required fee; you will get an authorization form to take the state and national exam. The form will include instructions to schedule your exam date and time.

Step 5: Pass The Louisiana State Licensing Exam

It’s time to unleash your brainpower 

Within 90 days of applying, you can take the official licensing exam. The exam is divided into two parts: the national and state portion. There are a total of 135 questions worth 135 total points. The exam is made up of only multiple-choice questions. You will be given 105 minutes to answer 135 questions.  This includes 55 questions for the national portion and 75 questions for the state portion. The national section has a passing score of 56 while the State section has a passing score of 40.

man studying for licensing examYou will receive your results immediately after taking the exam. If you fail one part, you can reschedule to retake just that part. However, you have to pass both parts within one year of finishing your real estate course.

Louisiana has exam centers in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Metairie, New Orleans, and Shreveport.

Although the exam isn’t that tough, you may still need help studying for it. To help you navigate this process, you can work with a trusted real estate education provider who provides practice exams, flashcards, mini quizzes, etc.

Important: When you go to take your licensing exam, take at least two forms of photo ID and bring a non-programmable calculator for math related questions.

Step 6: Find A Sponsoring Broker

studying at coffee shopIn Louisiana, you must be associated with an active Louisiana real estate brokerage before you can get your license. The brokerage will act as your sponsor and you can leverage their sponsorship to apply for your license.

What is a Brokerage?

A brokerage is a company headed by a broker that employs real estate agents. Real estate brokers will help you on your journey and ensure you keep the standards set by the Louisiana Government. The broker will also help you make important connections. They’ll introduce you to your first clients and teach you the rules of the business. It is also possible to become a broker after working as an agent for several years.  It’s important to find the right broker to work with since this person will serve as your mentor as you start your new career in real estate.

Step 7: Complete The Background Check 

woman studying with coffeeAfter you have passed your real estate exam, you have to pass a background check. LREC requires all applicants for a real estate license to provide a criminal background history as part of the application process. This background check is offered by Clearbox. You have to log in to the Clearbox website and create an online account to order the background check.  Background checks expire 120 days after being issued.

Step 8: Acquire Errors and Omissions Insurance

Accidents are bound to happen in any job. As a realtor, your mistakes are likely to be expensive. As a result, you are required to have an Errors and Omissions insurance policy before you can obtain a license. You can choose the LREC provided group policy serviced by RISC or choose an independent plan. The choice is up to you.

Step 9: Complete License Application Part B

Now that you’re almost set, you can fill out the final part of the Real Estate License Application (Part B). With it, you send your proof/payment of your Errors and Omissions Insurance coverage to LREC and proof of broker sponsorship.

After doing this, you can expect your license to come in the mail within a few weeks.

Step 10: Complete Post-license Education Hours

After getting your license, there is a 45-hour post-licensing education that you have to take within the first 180 days of receiving your license. You need to do this to get issued a permanent license.

There are other yearly education courses that you’ll have to keep up with moving forward in order to keep your license valid.

 

How much does it cost to get a Louisiana real estate license?counting money


Below is a list of costs associated with getting your Louisiana real estate license:

Pre-licensing education and training costs:

The estimated cost for this is around $200-$400 or more depending on the school or online program you select. This involves finding an accredited and qualified real estate school to clock your hours. As stated earlier, the state of Louisiana requires you to finish 90 hours of education.

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Real estate licensing and exam fees

The total fees are estimated to cost about $304. The breakdown of this cost is as follows: The exam fee is $90, and the fee for a first-time license is $165. The background check process will cost you an additional $49, and you must also take your E&O insurance policy cost into account.

Real estate broker fees

Financial,Concept.,Make,Money,On,The,Internet.,Businesswoman,Works,AtThese fees are estimated to cost anything from $30 to $450 per month. The real estate broker fees are the fees that you have to incur when you want to become associated with a recognized and accredited broker. As it is your first year, there are some things that your sponsor broker will provide. These things, such as office supplies, photocopies, internet, and any other business expenses, are usually associated with the daily operation of your business. It is also likely that you will have to pay a desk fee every month to help reimburse some of these costs.

Real estate membership dues

Membership dues and feels usually cost around $200 or more each year. And while they can qualify as a tax break in the state of Louisiana, they are still a significant expense for many Realtors. This fee typically depends on how many associations you want to join. For instance, you can become part of your local and state real estate boards.

Every one of these boards comes with a membership fee that has to be paid monthly or yearly for you to be able to enjoy the numerous advantages and networking options they offer. The local MLS or Multiple Listing Service will also have fees associated with them. Depending on where you are in the state, you may have to pay your monthly dues either to your broker or to the association directly.

Continuing Education

Becoming a real estate agent does not mean you stop educating yourself once you have passed your licensing tests.  To stay an active agent, you have to meet the CE requirements. Some CE courses are offered for free through local boards of realty. Additional designations, though optional, may also come with fees.

How long does it take to get a Louisiana real estate license?Businessmen,Are,Analyzing,The,Residential,Real,Estate,Investment,By,Working


Your education timeline is completely dependent on how fast your finish the 90 hour course. If you want to speed up the process, you can find an online course provider to study at your own pace or work in when you have time.

Applying for the exam and taking the exam itself can take 1-3 weeks, depending on how many candidates have applied.  

The mandatory background check takes up the most time, as it takes around 8 to 10 weeks to get checked. 

After you apply for your license, it can take anywhere between 1 week to 2 months for your application to be processed. Once LREC has checked and approved everything, you will receive your license.

The total time it takes to obtain a Louisiana Real Estate License depends on the person, but in general, can be completed in a few months.

How much do real estate agents make in Louisiana?


The average salary for a real estate agent in Louisiana is around $35,860 per year.  That’s lower than the national average, but the top agents can earn around $$101,800 per year, while the bottom 20% of agents make around $21,400 per year.

However, you are in control of your salary. You can make as much or as little as you want. Just be sure to find a brokerage that has fair commission splits.

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About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 6/14/2022