How to get a New York Real Estate License

Looking to get your New York real estate license? Here are the best options available. Our Agent Editorial Board has also curated a handy list of FAQs about becoming a real estate agent in NY - enjoy!

Real Estate Express

Real Estate Express
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4.06/5

based on 53 reviews

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T.S.

The layout content and questions were very good. It pretty much covered the whole class, and it was closely similar to the actual exams. If it weren't for the test prep, I think it would've been very difficult having to refer back to the whole curriculum to study for the exams.

RealEstateU

RealEstateU
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4.19/5

based on 47 reviews

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Bailey

It was convenient while going to school and working a real estate side job. With the schedule I had, I could not go to an in-person class with working and going to college. You do need to pay attention to the state material because the state portion seems to be a lot harder than the national exam. It was a great class, and I would recommend to people who have a busy schedule as I did.

AceableAgent

AceableAgent
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4.17/5

based on 29 reviews

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AceableAgent Customer

For the most part, I did feel prepared for the state exam. It does need a little bit of improvement, only because there was some information in the exams that were not covered in the courses. I did pass on my first attempts, so there is only a little improvement needed.

The CE Shop

The CE Shop
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4.16/5

based on 37 reviews

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CK

I thought the test prep was really good. I felt like it portrayed the actual exams as best as they could without violating the state restrictions. I had failed my first time thinking I was prepared, but for the second time, I was able to see the questions I got wrong and study those sections. I did pass my second time around, thanks to the test prep. I highly recommend it.

Kaplan Real Estate Education

Kaplan Real Estate Education
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4.43/5

based on 28 reviews

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Could stand for improvement

Kaitie

I opted for Kaplan’s online real estate education. I want to start by saying I loved Rolfe Kurtyka in the online lectures--I found him to be invaluable and a great educator. However, I experienced bad communication from the more local course contacts right off the bat, that got me off to an unfortunate start--I read 1.5 textbooks I shouldn't have before being guided to the right one to start with, due to a misspelling of my email address and confusing syllabus instructions. The videos and questions asked thereafter do not always match up. The course outlines you are asked to fill out and chapters also do not match up, which is counterintuitive to the learning process and frustrating. Workbook reference figures sometimes don't exist. Random question boxes popped up in the courses unannounced that don't apply. The final exams I took have variations of questions that I had not seen before, which I feel shouldn’t have been the case--they should have come up in some variation in quizzes before. As someone else mentioned, 5%(-8%) of the “correct” quiz and test answers are actually incorrect. One example: "The timeline is July 1 through September 30--with THIRTY days in each month [...]." In another example, Net Loan Proceeds are a debit to the broker, but in a T/F question in a Unit Review Test, the "correct" answer is that it's a credit to the broker. It makes you wonder to what degree you’re learning things as wrong or right. You're also only given a limited amount of chances to pass practice final tests OR there is a limited amount of questions in the bank-- this could stand for improvement to really increase our chances on the big exam day. If I hadn't been collecting previous test questions diligently on the side, I might not have been as poised for later success. Also, I believe if I had not taken free real estate exams found online after completing my Kaplan coursework, I wouldn’t have been properly prepared—especially as relates to the National Portion math I was met with on exam day. Overall, I wish I had researched courses to see which were better rated, because $1,115 is a big commitment of funds. I am not satisfied with my investment, though I did pass my licensing exam with 134/154 correct the first time (which I suppose is the point after all). This is by a big effort of my own, however. I would encourage others to shop around before investing in Kaplan for this course. They are great for other subject matter, I have heard. This course could stand for improvement, in my opinion—some updating, as others have said. I would advise others to be wary.

McKissock Learning

McKissock Learning
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3.80/5

based on 5 reviews

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Go somewhere else for learning

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 York Real Estate Institute

New York Real Estate Institute
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4.00/5

based on 4 reviews

Review from: Google logo

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called twice - no one answered - 3rd tim...

Laura Burrell

called twice - no one answered - 3rd time - i was put on hold for five minutes and then the person hung up!!! the 4th time - person was possibly overwhelmed answered the phone and i want to say accidentally hung up again!!! nevertheless, MOVING ON TO ANOTHER SCHOOL!!!

Hondros

Hondros
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5.00/5

based on 3 reviews

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Compucram

Hondros Customer

The Compucram questions are majorly helpful. Some of the questions are word for word what you see on the exam...

New York Real Estate Licensing FAQs

In total, there are four steps to completing your licensing in New York:

  1. Meet the eligibility requirements (Age 18 or older, US resident, no previous felony or sex offense convictions)
  2. Complete a 75-hour pre-licensing course approved by the New York Department of State (unless you’re an attorney). State-approved courses are listed on this page
  3. Pass the licensing exam administered by the New York Department of State
  4. Find a sponsoring broker 
  5. Apply for your salesperson license

There are no educational requirements for taking the real estate licensing exam other than the 75-hour real estate pre-licensing course. No college degree is required.

There are several costs and fees you need to pay to obtain a real estate license in New York:

  • The New York state exam fee is $15 
  • The real estate license application fee is $50
  • Online courses cost anywhere between $99 and $250, depending on the provider you choose. 

So, in total, the license would cost you anywhere between $165 to $315.

Yes, you can take the course online, but courses need to be approved by the NYS State Department and ARELLO. Both the NYS State Department and ARELLO have approved all of the courses reviewed by agents on this page.

The exam is paper-based, with 75 multiple-choice questions split into two sections: the national real estate portion and state-specific portion. All questions are from the 75-hour pre-licensing course curriculum. 

You will have 1.5 hours to complete the exam.

You can take the exam in 5 languages: English, Spanish, Korean, Russian and Chinese. If you prefer taking the exam in a language other than English, you can notify an exam proctor when reporting to the test center

A New York real estate license is valid for a period of 2 years. The exact expiration date is written on every license, so you will know when it’s time to renew it. 

You can renew your license 3 months before its expiration date by applying online. Licenses are renewed online, as part of New York’s Green Initiative to reduce paper use.

To renew your license, you must follow the continuing education requirements (more below).

The 75-hour pre-licensing course is valid for 8 years, which is very generous compared to other states. You need to pass the licensing exam during those 8 years – if you don’t, you would need to retake the whole 75-hour course. 

Once you’ve passed, you have up to two years to submit an application.

To pass the final real estate licensing exam, you need a score of at least 70%. However, the exact score won’t be reported to you, just a pass or fail.

Around 59% of students pass the real estate licensing exam.

Every license has to be renewed within two years from the expiration date that is printed on it. You can renew your license 3 months before it expires, but only after completing 22.5 hours of education. Of those 22.5 hours: 

  • Three hours must be from the area of Fair Housing and/or Discrimination
  • One-hour has to be from the law of agency (except in the initial licensing term, you have to complete two hours of agency-related material)

To be eligible for a renewal, you still need to be under the supervision of a sponsoring broker. 

Even if you don’t have a sponsoring broker, you can take the licensing exam. However, you need to have one when applying for your real estate salesperson license. 

  • A government-issued identification document. Any of the following documents are accepted: 
    • personal ID
    • driver’s license
    • NYC Identification Card
    • Military ID
    • United States Passport
    • Employment Authorization Card
    • United States INS issued ID
    • Certificate of US citizenship
    • Foreign Passport
    • A Brazilian, Mexican, Honduran, or Ecuadorian Consular ID. 
  • Your “Summary of Your Submission” you received when scheduling your exam. It contains your exam information and your candidate number. 
  • A calculator that doesn’t have an alphabetic keyboard

The process depends on the person, because many of the courses are self-paced. Most people manage to complete the process in around four months. 

Finding a sponsoring broker is similar to applying for a job. You find the company you want to work for, in this case, the broker and apply to work for them and be under their supervision. AgentAdvice.com lists many of the national brokers who are willing to take new agents under their wing and teach them about real estate and trading. 

The biggest difference between finding a sponsoring broker and applying for a job? You represent your own business as a 1099 contractor, rather than joining a company as a W-2 employee.

If you fail the exam, you need to re-apply on eAccessNY. You can retake the exam three times in 12 months, but if you fail all three attempts, you need to go through 30 hours of additional education.

After you pass the final exam, you need to submit a real estate license application. Along with this application, you are required to provide the following supporting documentation: 

  • Certification of Satisfactory Completion (generally this is completed by the school coordinator)
  • Examination notification 
  • License fee
  • Name of your New York State licensed real estate broker

Note that a passing score is valid only for a period of 2 years, so you need to submit a licensing application in that period of time, otherwise, you would have to retake and pass the exam once again to be able to get a license. 

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to get an initial salesperson license online: 

  • After you log into your eAccessNY account, click on “Apply for Initial Salesperson License (qualifying by Exam only)” from the Main Menu.
  • Press “Next Step’ to continue.
  • Enter the required details and press “Next Step”
  • Enter your sponsoring broker’s license number (UID#) 
  • Find the broker license that matches the company’s name and address and press “Next Step” 
  • Enter the information that is required and press “Next Step” to continue.
  • Enter the name of the school along with the completion date of the pre-licensing course and press “Next Step” 
  • Check the “I Agree” box, then”Next Step” to continue.
  • Enter your payment information and press “submit”.
  • Print the “Summary of Your Submission” page that will be generated

Your sponsoring broker must log to their account to authorize your application. Once this is done, the Department of State will review your application to ensure it completes all requirements for a real estate salesperson license. After the Department o State approves your license, the will mail it to your business address.

The official government website for signing up, scheduling, and receiving the results of the real estate licensing exam in New York is called “Occupational Licensing Management System”, better known as eAccessNY. You can find it on the official New York government website (https://www.ny.gov/

Once you’ve signed up to the official website, you need to find an eligible location where you will take the exam itself. New York state has proctoring locations in the following locations:

  • Albany
  • Allegany
  • Brooklyn
  • Buffalo
  • Cattaragaugus
  • Delmar
  • Dutchess
  • Fulton
  • Herkimer
  • Lewis
  • Liverpool
  • Madison
  • Manhattan
  • Marathon
  • Nassau
  • Orange County
  • Oswego
  • Queens
  • Rochester
  • Saratoga
  • Schoharie
  • Steuben
  • Suffolk
  • Sullivan County
  • Syracuse
  • Watertown
  • Westchester

It depends – do you have an active license in one of these states?

  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia

Exact processes differ by state – so be sure to contact the Department of Licensing Services for more information if you have an active license in one of the above states.

There are many websites and sources online where you can get information about the requirements, the process and the licensing exam itself, but the most reliable source of information is https://www.ny.gov/ .