How to get a New Jersey Real Estate License

Want to get a real estate license in New Jersey? This guide will help you get a better idea of what the exact process of becoming a real estate agent in New Jersey involves.

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Kaplan's test prep helped me. I struggled with that state portion of it all, and this test prep was spot on with both state and national portions. Without it, I don't think I would've passed the state exam.

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I am a teacher and a friend told me a pa...

Cameron James

I am a teacher and a friend told me a part time real estate career would be perfect for my summers off. I agreed and she told me this school is where my journey would begin. She insisted I go here. I am so glad I did. As a fellow teacher, I can tell you these teachers know what they are doing. It was a great combination of teachers - Kelby, Michelle, Bob and Renee each had their own style while being masters of the material you need to learn. Kelby was kind and very passionate about real estate. Michelle was fun, lively and really entertaining. Bob and Renee are both lawyers and had stories with great details and examples of how to follow the laws. Couldn't have asked for more. Thank you!!

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Lindsey Haas

I signed up for the appraisal school in Jan 2020. I was starting to do the school but then COVID hit and I went from working to being a teacher and a stay at home working mom. Times have been tough. Then the market went crazy and homes sales went through the roof. So, we grabbed on to coat tails not sure where things would be in the coming months or year and tried to close all that we could over the summer to bank what we could. In the meantime the school had to go on the back burner. Now we are having to possibly school our kids again and so I called to ask for an extension. They want to charge me $50 for a 30 day extension. I had asked for 6 more months to complete this. Why on earth could they not allow me more time considering all that has changed in our worlds. I asked for some grace and they denied me. So, I had them cancel the entire program and I will not be going back here for anything in the future. You only have 10 days to get a refund and you have 6 months to complete it so BUYER BEWARE if you are a working mom and things in your world get turned upside down they will not work with you.

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.

How 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). 

To get your real estate license, take a 75-hour pre-licensing course and pass the New Jersey real estate licensing exam. The pre-licensing course has to be taken at a school approved and licensed by the New Jersey Real Estate Commission. AgentAdvice.com users have reviewed the top real estate schools for your comparison – available here on this page.

The class covers the following topics: 

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

After taking the pre-licensing course, you need to apply to take the licensing exam. Once you’ve passed the exam, you will be asked to complete a fingerprinting scan and pass a background check to be able to get your real estate license. 

The 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.

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.

It 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.

The 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

The 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. 

The 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. 

Most 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.

Being 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.

There 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

A 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. 

Questions?

Still have questions? Reach out to our team and we’d be happy to help you.