New Jersey Real Estate License Guide

Quick Facts

new jersey state seal

New Jersey Real Estate Governing Body:

New Jersey Real Estate Commission (REC)

PreLicensing Requirements:

75 Hours

СЕ Requirements:

12 Hours

Read more below

How to Get a New Jersey Real Estate License

Real,Estate,Written,On,Notepad,With,Calculator,And,Pen,OnAs a real estate agent in New Jersey, it is illegal for you to operate without a real estate license. So, if you are considering starting a real estate career in New Jersey, there are certain things you need to do before you even qualify to earn a license.

Below are the steps on how to get a New Jersey real estate license.

Step one: Know the prequalification’s 

You cannot get a real estate license if you are below the age of eighteen in New Jersey. If you still have a few months to get to the age of eighteen, we would advise that you wait until your eighteenth birthday before you try to apply for a real estate license in New Jersey. This will be one of the first things you have to prove in order to register for online real estate courses.

In addition to being at least 18 years of age, you must also be a US citizen or permanent resident alien and show proof of high school graduation or equivalent.

Step two: Start your licensing education

Wooden,Classroom,Interior,With,Empty,Chalkboard,,Furniture,And,Daylight.,EducationIn New Jersey, after attaining eighteen years, getting your high school diploma, and United States citizenship, you must take the recommended seventy-five hours of real estate education at a school that is approved by the New Jersey Real Estate Commission. For you to gain access to the recommended courses, you must check the State of New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance website.

The class covers the following topics: 

  • Ethics and Ethical Conduct
  • New Jersey Laws and Regulations
  • Deeds and Leases
  • Taxes, Mortgages, and Appraisals

Step three: Pass the state licensing examination

Within one year of finishing your real estate courses, you are required to pass the state licensing examination. PSI Services, LLC is the body that is in charge of administering the exam. You can enroll in any approved real estate exam preparation center in New Jersey to get yourself prepared for the test. In New Jersey, you can take it either in person or remotely with any of the PSI Services testing centers. You can schedule your in-person and remote exam online.

Step four: Go through the fingerprinting process, get a sponsoring broker and get a background check on your criminal history

women studying for licensing examYou cannot apply to obtain a real estate license in New Jersey if you have not gotten your fingerprints taken. It is a very compulsory process when applying for a real estate license. You should get that done immediately after you pass the licensing. After getting your fingerprints taken, you are then allowed to get a licensed sponsoring broker for yourself. You must get a sponsoring broker that will help you get better in your real estate career. If the sponsoring broker does not have a structure in place that will aid your growth and help you get better, you should look for a better brokerage for you.

The following set of candidates are mandated to carry out the fingerprints process.

  1. Limited liability companies.
  2. The owner, director, officer, or partner of a controlling interest of a company.
  3. Real estate broker
  4. Real estate broker salesperson
  5. Real estate salesperson
  6. Real estate instructors
  7. Principals and directors of applicants for Real Estate School licenses.

Below are the ways you’ll have to show proof you’ve had your fingerprints taken:

  1. One copy of the payment receipt that was offered by the Live Scan fingerprint vendor is called IDEMIA. It is usually given after the completion of the fingerprinting process.
  2. One copy of the candidate’s completed universal form.

The law in New Jersey demands that a criminal history background check must be conducted on any person that wants to apply for a real estate license. This is to protect the prospective clients that the real estate agent would be working with in the future.

studying at coffee shopUsually, an applicant’s fingerprints are used in checking his criminal history records with the FBI. As an applicant, if you feel the information provided about you by the FBI is inaccurate, you can challenge it. The process involved in requesting for a correction, update, or change, in the FBI identification record is found in Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 16.34.

It is compulsory for applicants that work, go to school, or live in New Jersey to get fingerprinted in-person at any of the IDEMIA facilities.

But for applicants who do not work, go to school, live or are not located within 10 miles of any of the New Jerseys borders, are expected to inform the Licensing Services Bureau, Real Estate of the guidelines they need to follow to get their fingerprints taken.

Step five: Submit your real estate application

You are required to submit your real estate application during one year of concluding your seventy-five hours of approved education to the Licensing Services Bureau, Real Estate. Your application will not be accepted if you don’t provide everything that was requested from you. And part of what you are required to provide is the required license fee and proof that shows your completion of the fingerprinting process.

Some relevant questions that are frequently asked:

Q: If you have been fingerprinted in the State of New Jersey for another purpose, do you still need to undergo the process again?

A: Yes, you must. In New Jersey, sharing the criminal history record of a person is illegal. Fingerprints are taken for a particular purpose, it is not disseminated to serve other purposes.

Q: What should you take to the fingerprint scanning center?

A: There are many fingerprint scanning centers in New Jersey. These are the requirements you need to go with to any of the centers before your fingerprints can be taken.

  1. Your photo identification
  2. Your ID card contains your home or employer’s address, name, and date of birth.
  3. Your ID card must be either issued by a municipal entity, county, state, or federal government.

Conclusion

The process involved in applying for a real estate license in New Jersey is quite easy if you follow the steps we provided for you in this article. If you are at least eighteen years old, a US citizen, you have a high school diploma or its equivalent, you pass the required real estate examination, you get your fingerprints taken and other relevant things that are required of you, you won’t have issues with getting your New Jersey real estate license.

Chris Heller Headshot

 

*This article was updated on 11/15/2021

This information was reviewed and approved by Chris Heller. 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.

Compare New Jersey Real Estate Schools

aa-trophy-smallWant to see the full, in depth editor reviews for each school? Check out our 100% free guide to the best real estate schools in New Jersey (includes the latest 2021 pricing, reviews, pass rates, and more).

 

Here’s the quick take:

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The Real Estate School
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Kaplan Real Estate Education
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Real Estate Express
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New Jersey Real Estate Licensing FAQs

New Jersey’s pre-licensing course lasts for 75 hours, unlike some other states where it can last for more than 180 hours before being eligible to take the exam. If you prepare well during this pre-licensing course, the exam shouldn’t be as difficult as it may seem at first. To increase your chances of passing the exam on your first try, you can take a prep course.

Perspective from a real estate pro:

Justin Paulhamus HeadshotJustin Paulhamus
Broker in DC, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey
4J Real Estate, LLC

“As an owner of boutique brokerage, I’m regularly asked this question by new agents. There are a few tips that I think every agent should be aware of when entering this business. Timeliness is crucial. If you’re on-time you’re late, try to show up early. Return calls and answer your phone. If you don’t answer the phone because you don’t recognize the number, this isn’t the business for you. If you get a lead, respond within 5 minutes – call, email and text. Should this seem too difficult, this probably isn’t the business for you.”

money and calculator imageHow much a real estate agent earns from their job depends on their experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean income for real estate agents in New Jersey is $66,800 per year. 

A top agent in NJ can make over $133,250 (90% percentile). Unsurprisingly, the top area for earning power for NJ real estate agents is the New York, Newark, and Jersey City MSA where the annual median wage for a real estate agent can get as high as $196,910 (90% percentile). 

counting moneyThe initial license fee for a salesperson in New Jersey costs $160, while the renewal fee is $100. To complete the required background check and the fingerprint scan, you would need to pay a fee of $70.25.  

You’ll need to also enroll in a pre-licensing course – prices vary. You can compare pricing for the approved courses here on Agent Advice.

The exact time required to complete the pre-licensing course, pass the exam, and obtain a real estate license depends on each individual. Keep in mind that the course lasts for 75 hours and has to be taken at a licensed school without the option of taking it online. After passing the exam, you should find a sponsoring broker and apply for your license through them.

new jersey state sealEstablished in 1921, the New Jersey Real Estate Commission (REC), was created to administer and enforce New Jersey’s real estate licensing laws.

The REC issues licenses to real estate brokers and agents, oversees real estate schools, and course instructors, as well as establishes standards of practice for the real estate brokerage profession. It also regulates and registers out-of-state sales through New Jersey brokers.

Fun fact: There are more than 70,000 licensees in the state of New Jersey alone.

A college degree is not a requirement to obtain a real estate license in New Jersey. However, at a minimum, you have to have a high school diploma or GED. The fees are higher when applying for a broker’s license.

You need two valid forms of ID, one of which has to be government-issued. Acceptable forms of ID for the real estate examination in New Jersey are a driver’s license or DMV identification card, a government-issued passport (including your country of birth), or a US military-issued identification card.

studying at coffee shopIt depends on the New Jersey Real Estate Commission. Convictions of some minor offenses in the past 5 years may allow you to qualify for a real estate salesperson license. However, if the conviction is for a major crime, you may be disqualified completely, regardless of when the offense and conviction happened. 

To determine if you can qualify for a real estate license, the Commission may require you to submit a copy of the judgment of conviction, a letter from a probation officer, and other evidence of rehabilitation.

If your application is denied, you have a right to a hearing in front of the Commission where you can present your case and convince them why you should qualify for a real estate license. 

If you fail the real estate licensing exam in New Jersey, you can schedule another one after 24 hours have passed. If you fail one part of the exam (national or state-specific), some states allow you to retake only the one you’ve failed only, but this is not the case in New Jersey. If you fail even one portion of the exam, you would have to retake the whole exam.

woman taking notes during real estate courseThe real estate exam in New Jersey consists of 110 multiple-choice questions, 80 from national real estate topics, and 30 state-specific questions. To pass the exam, you need to answer 70% of the questions correctly, or 56 from the national portion and 21 from the state-specific portion. You have 4 hours to answer all questions. 

With that in mind, the topics covered in the real estate exam are:

  • Property Ownership
  • Land use controls and regulations
  • Valuation and market analysis
  • Financing
  • General principles of agency
  • Property condition and disclosures
  • Contracts
  • Transfer of title
  • Real estate calculations
  • Practice of real estate
  • Specialty areas
    • Duties and Powers of the Real Estate Commission
    • Licensing Requirements
    • Statutes and Rules Governing Licensee Activities
    • Additional Requirements

Brokers react as Compass gobbles up GlideThe exam consists of 110 questions (80 from national real estate topics, and 30 state-specific questions). You have 4 hours to complete the exam and you need to answer 77 questions right to pass it. 

Around 63% of students pass the salesperson’s real estate licensing exam on their first try. This goes to show that many underestimate the time and preparation needed to pass the exam. But don’t let this number intimidate you. Make sure that you pay attention to the pre-licensing course and prepare well before taking the exam, and passing the real estate exam on your first try will be a breeze. 

That being said, students who take a prep course have higher chances of passing than those who haven’t taken it, so consider taking one as well if you want to feel more confident going into the exam.

New Jersey doesn’t have any reciprocity with other states. This means that if you obtained a real estate license in another state, you cannot use it to practice any real estate business in New Jersey. 

US map

 

getting a real estate licenseThe New Jersey Real Estate Commission issues the real estate license for two years. You can keep it active by staying current with your continuing education, which you need to complete by June 30th in the expiry year. To renew your license, you should do the following: 

  • Provide proof of completed 12 hours of continuing education
  • Answer the qualifying questions online (has to be done personally by the applicant)
  • Pay a $200 renewal fee

If you miss the original renewal period of your real estate license, you can reinstate it within two years after the expiration date. Otherwise, you would be required to provide additional documentation and pay a higher fee of $250. 

business meetingMost brokers are “qualified” to sponsor you. The trick is finding a sponsoring broker in New Jersey that is fit for you and will guide you through your first years as a real estate agent.

That’s why you need a good broker. Someone that has worked in the industry for years and has a good reputation in training agents. 

Don’t feel intimidated by the whole process. Think of it as you doing the interview instead of the other way around. Your career depends on it, so you must find a sponsoring broker that knows New Jersey’s real estate in and out and is willing to transfer that knowledge to you.

There are portions of the exam you’ll need to take that are more broad national questions, as well as testing your state-specific knowledge of New Jersey real estate. The idea is to ensure that each real estate agent has knowledge of basic real estate principles that are valid everywhere in the US, but also knowledge of the specific state where the agent will be conducting work.

No. You have to have a real estate license in the state of New Jersey to act as either an agent or broker in the real estate industry.

real estate instructor teaching studentsBeing licensed as an employing broker in New Jersey indicates that you can choose to work independently or for a full-scale brokerage firm. Employing brokers typically don’t tend to be salaried. Instead, each successful close will result in a commission-based fee—sometimes more than thirty percent of closing costs. If you don’t have your license yet, you should be focusing on becoming a sales agent first.

classroom setting with studentsThere are three types of real estate licenses in New Jersey:

A Salesperson’s License for which you’re requirements are:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a high school diploma or GED education 
  • Complete a 75-hour pre-licensing course. 
  • Pass the real estate license exam
  • Find a sponsoring real estate broker

A Broker’s license for which the requirements are: 

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a high school diploma or GED education 
  • Complete e 150-hour pre-licensure education (90-hour general real estate course and two 30-hour courses on Agency/Ethics and Office Management and related topics)
  • Have been continually licensed and working as a real estate salesperson in New Jersey for at least three years

man studying for licensing examA Broker-Salesperson’s License

A broker-salesperson has the qualifications of a real estate broker, but is currently operating under and working for a licensed real estate broker. They are basically working the job of a real estate salesperson with the qualifications of a real estate broker, thus the name.  The requirements to be a broker-salesperson are the same as those for a real estate broker. 

Yes. You can’t even become a broker before working as a real estate salesperson. One of the requirements to become a broker is to have three years of experience as a real estate salesperson. Moreover, brokers are required to complete 150 hours of pre-licensing education; double the hours agents are required to complete.