Pennsylvania Real Estate License Guide

Quick Facts

Pennsylvania Real Estate Governing Body:

Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission (PREC)

PreLicensing Requirements:

75 Hours

СЕ Requirements:

14 Hours

Read more below

How to Get a Pennsylvania Real Estate License

The process of becoming a real estate agent in Pennsylvania starts with meeting the eligibility requirements. As with most states, there are three basic eligibility requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old. 
  • Be a citizen of the US, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien under federal law.
  • Possess a high school diploma or an equivalent 

If you meet these requirements, you can then start the prelicensing and licensing process. The prelicensing involves: 

  • Completing a 75-hour prelicensing course, which can be taken either online or at a physical school. The course consists of 30 hours of real estate fundamentals and 45 hours of real estate practice
  • Apply and pass the Pennsylvania real estate license examination 

Finally, once you’ve passed the exam, you need to:

  • Submit a licensing application provided by the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission
  • Pass a 5-year background check within 90 days of applying.
  • Find a sponsoring real estate broker

Compare Pennsylvania Real Estate Schools

We’ve listed the best schools in Pennsylvania based on reader’s reviews here. Looking for our editor’s picks? See the best real estate schools in Pennsylvania.

SchoolReviewsEditor's ScorePricing
The Real Estate School
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star

based on 7 reviews

B $$$
Kaplan Real Estate Education
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star

based on 29 reviews

A- $$$
Real Estate Express
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star

based on 68 reviews

A- $$
AceableAgent
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star

based on 35 reviews

B+ $$
The CE Shop
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • half star
  • full star

based on 43 reviews

A $$
McKissock Learning
  • full star
  • full star
  • full star
  • half star
  • full star

based on 5 reviews

B $$$

Best Online Real Estate Schools in Pennsylvania

Being a real estate agent in Pennsylvania can be a lucrative career. However, to become a real estate agent, you need to obtain a Real Estate Salesperson License issued by the Pennsylvania Department of State. 

In order to obtain your license in Pennsylvania, you must be at least 18 years old, be a citizen of the US, or have a high school diploma or an equivalent level of education. 

You must also complete 75-hours of pre-licensing course work. This includes 30 hours of real estate fundamentals combines with 45 total hours of real estate practice.

Once the pre-licensing course is complete, you must pass the Pennsylvania real estate license examination.

To successfully pass the licensing exam on the first try, you need to receive your pre-licensing education from a reliable, proven school. By popular demand, we analyzed the online real estate schools that provide real estate pre-licensing education in Pennsylvania and separated the best ones. Here are our top picks: 

The CE Shop

pexels-louis-bauer-249360The CE Shop is a fully online real estate school that started providing pre-licensing real estate education in 2005 and quickly became a leader in this area. It’s focused on providing interactive courses with real-world scenarios and exercises that prepare agents for a future real estate career.  

The pre-licensing courses provided by The CE Shop are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Service and meet the accreditation requirements by ARELLO. In addition to this, The CE Shop has received many awards and recognitions, showing that they are a reliable school with a proven record of success. 

Course Content

Course Packages

As in other states, the course packages offered by The CE Shop in Pennsylvania are Courses Only, Standard Package, Value Package, and Premium Package. Each package is packed with study aids and resources such as Business Ebooks Written by the Experts, Career Resources, Downloadable Resources, Digital Flashcards, Real Estate Glossary, Study Schedule, and Instructor-Led Webinars on Exam Topics. The remaining content of each package is as follows:

Courses Only

  • 30-Hour Real Estate Fundamentals Course
  • 45-Hour Real Estate Practice Course

Standard PackageThe CE Shop Lesson 2 Quiz Screenshot

The Standard Package includes the 30-hour fundamentals course and the 45-hour practice course along with exam prep, for both the national exam and the Pennsylvania licensing exam.

Value Package

The Value Package includes all of the basic courses and prep as the Standard Package, but it also has the perk of three business-building courses. Students can pick between, or choose to take courses on business tips, ways to network and gain clients, or looking at whether or not commercial real estate is right for them.

Premium Package

The Premium Package comes with everything the the Value Package comes with and also includes a 14-hour post-licensing course which prepares students for the working world once they’ve received their real estate license and are willing to start buying and selling properties.

Individual Courses

Students that have taken either part of the mandatory hours of pre-licensing education can purchase the remaining course separately through The CE Shop. 

Exam Prep

The Exam Prep can be purchased either as a package containing both the National and State Portion of the exam or each portion separately.

The CE Shop Exam Tips ScreenshotRatings & Reviews 

The current rating of The CE Shop on our Agent Advice website is 4.13 stars based on 39 reviews. Out of these reviews, only three are negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, showing that most students have a positive experience studying with The CE Shop.  Here is one of the reviews left on Agent Advice:

“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.”

What are the best parts?

As it’s a completely online real estate school, The CE Shop allows students to pick the time and schedule to which they will study. This allows everyone to plan their time and study according to a schedule that fits only their needs, which ultimately results in better passing scores.

What are the worst parts?The CE Shop Test Activity Type Screenshot

The best aspect about studying with The CE Shop is also the worst one. As a self-paced online school, students don’t get the support of an instructor like they would get within a classroom setting. This  

Return policy/cancellation policy

Students can request a full refund of the course cost only if they haven’t gone through more than half of the course content. Students can also request a refund of the exam prep cost, but only if an initial assessment hasn’t been made. 

Pros: 

  • Multiple course study packages
  • A lot of study aids and recommendations
  • Interactive and user-friendly platform

Cons:

  • No instructor help 
  • Only online option available

Real Estate Express 

pexels-julia-m-cameron-4144923 Estate Express is one of the most widely available online real estate schools in the US and one of the oldest ones at the same time. They opened in 1996 and today offer real estate education for every step of a professional career – from pre-licensing courses and exam preps to post-licensing and continuing education courses. 

The Pennsylvania Department approves the courses provided by Real Estate Express of State, and the company is accredited by ARELLO (Association of Real Estate License Law Officials) and IDECC (International Distance Education Certification Center). 

Course Content

Course Packages

Real Estate Express currently has four different course packages in Pennsylvania: The Basics, Exam Preparation, Exam Preparation Plus, and Ultimate Learning. Each package is designed for a different level of knowledge with varying content and cost.

The Basics

The Basics package is one of the most popular among students. It includes 30-hours of the fundamentals of real estate, 45-hours worth of practice courses, state approved instructor support, and 3 eBooks that will inform you about all things real estate.

Exam Preparation

The Exam Preparation package includes everything The Basics package does, however, it also helps prepare students. Many student reviews suggested they felt more comfortable about passing the exam when they purchased this package. In addition to the basics, it also includes exam prep, a Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee, and prep for success basic membership. This allows students to talk to learn from each other as they get ready to take the exam.

Exam Preparation Plus

The Exam Preparation Plus package comes with even more resources to help students obtain their real estate license. It comes with all of the tools and tips as the Exam Preparation course, and also throws in a real estate dictionary, which can help you learn the terminology real estate agents use in the industry. It also gives students access to instructor Q&A.

Ultimate LearningReal Estate Express Ultimate Learning Package Homepage Screenshot

Still, the Ultimate Learning package gives students more tools and resources than any of the above packages. It includes the basics, along with a 90-day boot camp to help make sure students have really taken the time to learn the material. This package also come with a 1 year Professional Development Membership, and a printed course textbook which students can take with them as they enter the workforce.

Individual Courses

The mandatory 30-Hour Fundamentals Pre-License Course and 45-Hour Practices Course can be purchased separately through Real Estate Express. 

Exam Prep

The exam prep provided by Real Estate Express is designed to prepare students to take both portions of the licensing exam through the following:

  • Ten progress exams
  • Five practice final exams (three state and two national)
  • Flashcards

Ratings & Reviews 

Real Estate Express is currently given an average review of 4.18 stars based on 61 reviews left on Agent Advice’s list of Pennsylvania real estate schools. Out of these reviews, 4 are negative 1-star and 2-star reviews, while over 50 are 4-star or 5-star ones, so we can conclude that most students have had a positive experience studying with Real Estate Express. Here is what one of the previous students had to say about the course:

“I like that I was able to take care of the course at my own pace instead of having to wait on a regular class schedule times. One thing that I think could’ve been helpful is auditory learning and possibly videos that would’ve made it easier for a visual learner like myself. I also think if they were to offer more testing sites to make it easier for their users. Be sure to take notes and make sure you review them before testing.”

What are the best parts?

All courses provided by Real Estate Express are taught by carefully picked professionals from the real estate sphere, so students can get a reliable education based on real-world experiences. In addition to this, Real Estate Express has different packages, individual courses, and additional study resources to give students a comprehensive service and support throughout their licensing period. 

What are the worst parts?

One of the complaints targeted at Real Estate Express is targeted towards their text-heavy materials, which can be a challenge for some students to go through. Another potential problem with Real Estate Express’s courses is the high cost of the courses. However, they provide several different packages, so anyone can find a package fit for their budget and needs. 

Return policy/cancellation policyReal Estate Express Progress Exam Screenshot

Students that haven’t started the course can request a full refund for the cost they paid within one month of purchase. If the student has started the course, they can request a refund within one week. 

Pros: 

  • Multiple course study packages
  • Professional instructor 
  • Additional study resources provided

Cons:

  • Course access expires six months after purchase.
  • High course prices
  • Overbearing textual materials

AceableAgent 

pexels-andrea-piacquadio-3808057AceableAgent is a relatively newer online real estate school but has quickly gained popularity because they offer courses compatible with both website and mobile app versions. 

The real estate courses provided by AceableAgent are accredited by The International Distance Education Certification Center (IDECC) and The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) and are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of State (DOS).

Course Content

Course Packages

Currently, Aceable Agent has only one course option available in Pennsylvania. This course is designed to be compatible with both the mobile app and the website version, so students can take whichever approach suits them best. The package also contains:

  • Real-Life Instructor Laura Farrell
  • Student Concierge Support Team available five days a week 
  • Interactive Learning Methods
  • Level and Chapter Overviews: a list of objectives 
  • Estimated Time of Completion plan your learning schedule according to your needs 
  • Downloadable Study Guide
  • Pop-Up Questions throughout the course
  • Ace the Test Promise 

Ratings & Reviews AceableAgent Key Terms Screenshot

The current rating of AceableAgent is 4.03 stars based on 34 reviews. There are mixed reviews left by previous students, although most are still positive. Here is one example of the reviews left

“Able to work at my own pace and not rush. Courses were simple and smooth. I wish that they’d be able to more quickly answer questions when I’d ask them – immediate responses would be great. Pay attention to what you read and study – it’s all up to you to finish the course and pass the tests.”

What are the best parts?

The biggest advantage of studying with AceableAgent Real Estate School is the ability to study on the go with their app. Students can take the courses on iOS and Android smartphones, tablets, or online, so they can plan their schedule according to their needs.  

What are the worst parts?

Although the course provided by AceableAgent is simple, understandable, and affordable, it’s the only option students can choose. There are no course packages designed for different levels of real estate knowledge or packages that include additional study resources. 

Return policy/cancellation policy

Students can receive a full refund for their Pennsylvania pre-licensing course if they send the refund request within 30 days of purchase. In addition to this, the AceableAgent “Ace The Test” guarantee allows you to receive your money back if you don’t pass the real estate licensing exam. To be eligible for it, you must: 

  • complete the AceableAgent pre-license course before taking the licensing exam; 
  • take at least three attempts of the State Exam within 90 days of finishing your A pre-license course
  • purchase the pre-licensing course directly through AceableAgent’s website.

Pros: 

  • Mobile app compatible with Android and iOS devices
  • Simple and understandable study materials
  • A lot of learning tools available

Cons:

  • Only one course package option
  • No Exam Prep 
  • Short course access time

Kaplan 

pexels-skitterphoto-419635Kaplan is a school with over 80 years of experience in providing a variety of professional education services, from gastronomy and tourism to finance and real estate. Their real estate education brand is better known as Kapre, a part of the brand licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of State to provide real estate education in Pennsylvania. 

Course Content

Course Packages

When it comes to online courses, Kapre gives students the option of choosing the courses individually or buying one of their two packages: Pennsylvania 75-Hour Licensing with Master Exam Prep Package and Career Launcher Package (75-Credit Hours). The content of each course package offered is the following: 

Pennsylvania 75-Hour Licensing with Master Exam Prep Package

This package includes a course that includes all of the fundamentals you need to become a real estate agent in the state of Pennsylvania. It also includes practice course, real estate exam prep, and the National PSI exam prep. All of combines is supposed to help student feel confident when it’s time to take the licensing exam at the end of the 75 required hours.

Career Launcher Package (75-Credit Hours)

While this package is more expensive than Master Exam Prep Package, it gives you access to the same tools, but the exams are all proctored online, helping students to further learn the content. The Career Launcher Package also includes printed textbooks and workbooks, that allow students to do their coursework on the go.

Kaplan Quick Quiz ScreenshotIndividual Courses

Students that don’t want a full package can purchase either of the mandatory courses separately:

  • Pennsylvania Real Estate Practice (45-Credit Hours)
  • Pennsylvania Real Estate Fundamentals (30-Credit Hours)

Exam Prep

Kaplan is one of the few real estate schools that has more than one exam prep package for students. Students can purchase a Pennsylvania Real Estate Drill and Practice QBank or a Pennsylvania Real Estate Exam Prep OnDemand Course. 

The Pennsylvania Real Estate Drill and Practice QBank contains Kaplan’s unique interactive platform that allows students to test their knowledge through simulating licensing exams,  custom-made exams by topics and subtopics, and answer explanations.  

Pennsylvania Real Estate Exam Prep OnDemand Course with both the national and state portion of the exam that helps students score higher on the licensing exam. 

Ratings & Reviews 

Kaplan currently has one of the highest ratings among Pennsylvania online real estate schools on Agent Advice, standing at 4.45 stars out of 5. Out of the 29 reviews left, there are none lower than 3 stars, so most previous students have had either a positive or a neutral experience studying with Kaplan.  

What are the best parts?

Studying with Kaplan allows you to choose from multiple course packages, so you can choose a delivery method and price that best suits your financial and educational needs. 

Kaplan is also praised by students for all the additional study resources they provide. There are a lot of interactive course study groups and online learning tools designed to help students ace the licensing exam on the first try.

What are the worst parts?Kaplan Unit 2 OnDemand Video Screenshot

Although negative comments are far and apart, the most common flaw previous students have found is the repetitive content of the materials. Some students have complained about the repetitive material they’ve encountered in the courses, so this is an area Kaplan can improve on.

Return policy/cancellation policy

The refund policy of Kaplan depends on the course you’re enrolled in. Kaplan has a different policy for every rescheduling, transferring, cancellation, and product return, so you should meet the refund requirements you need. 

Pros: 

  • Great exam prep options
  • Multiple study package offered
  • Several delivery methods

Cons:

  • Repetitive course materials
  • No instructor assistance 

The Real Estate School 

pexels-pixabay-207691The Real Estate School specialized in providing both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. They’ve been around for over 40 years, opening in 1976 to provide real estate education in both states. While they aren’t traditionally an online real estate school, they are currently offering live classroom pre-licensing classes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. 

The courses are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of State – Real Estate Commission and they are members of the Gloucester Salem County Board of Realtors.

Course Content

Course Packages

As mentioned above, The Real Estate School is not traditionally an online real estate school. However, they are currently offering live classroom courses which may be continued in the future as well. They only have one type of course offered, which comprises of the following:

  • Full-time, expert instructors
  • Dedicated customer service and career guidance
  • Attorney guest speakers
  • Jumpstart on your professional network with 60+ individuals.
  • Roadmap to your Real Estate career path: Discover the different ways you can be involved in Real Estate

Ratings & Reviews 

Although there are only seven reviews, The Real Estate School currently has the highest, clean rating of 5 stars on our AgentAdvice website sourced from Google reviews. Every review talks about the great experience studying with The Real Estate School, similar to the following:

“I took the 2 week class and passed the state exam 2 weeks later! Teachers were amazing! Kept the class interesting, and they taught with such passion. I would recommend this school any day anytime!! Thank you for providing another career path into my life.” 

What are the best parts?

Most students praise The Real Estate School because of its amazing instructors that have over 40 years of experience working in real estate. They’ve proven to be very supportive, educated, and professional throughout the course, so students have enjoyed the way the courses were taught. 

What are the worst parts?

The worst part of The Real Estate School is that its courses are designed for both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which means they aren’t specialized towards the Pennsylvania regulations but rather have a more general approach. 

Return policy/cancellation policy

The Real Estate Schools refund policy is fairly short. They list only the two following types of refunds:  

  • $100 Sales Pre-Licensing course deposit is not refundable
  • Balance of tuition is not refundable from one week prior to the scheduled start date

Pros: 

  • Experienced teachers working in real estate
  • Supportive and dedicated instructors
  • Affordable course prices

Cons:

  • No refund policy
  • Lack of information on their website

RealEstateU

pexels-karolina-grabowska-4491469Although Real Estate U opened recently in 2013, they’ve quickly become popular among real estate students for the quality they provide. Since they started providing real estate video education courses for the first time in 2014, they’ve had over 60,000 students, which is an impressive number for that short period of time. 

They currently offer licensing courses in New York, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, Georgia, Missouri, Florida, and Tennessee.

Course Content

Course Packages

Real Estate U has only one type of pre-licensing course package for Pennsylvania students. It contains only the basic, state-required courses, namely the following: 

  • Pennsylvania Real Estate Fundamentals – 30-Hour Online Audio Course
  • Pennsylvania Real Estate Practice – 45-Hour Online Audio Course

Exam Prep

The exam prep filters out the information you need to pass the exam and provides students with potential exam questions, and the option to jump between lessons as you wish. This helps students keep their focus and learn at their own pace. It also includes a summary of the critical concepts covered by the course, and offers six practice tests. Students can take the national practice exam 3 times, and the Pennsylvania practice exam 3 times before they are required to take the real licensing exam. 

Ratings & Reviews 

There are currently no reviews left on Agent Advice for RealEstateU in Pennsylvania. However, reviews left for them on the general page with reviews give an average rating of 4.19 stars based on 48 reviews. At this point, there are no negative reviews of 1 or 2 stars, which means students have had a positive experience studying with RealEstateU. 

“I loved the instructors. They were both knowledgeable in the real estate industry and never made it boring. The first piece of advice I’d give is to purchase a book because it will make it a lot easier to follow and enable you to read the material in detail. One thing that should be implemented, in my opinion, is more visuals and graphics rather than having it all audio.”

What are the best parts?

Real Estate U is proven to provide a high-quality, professional education service. All courses are taught by 21 professionals that work in the real estate sphere, so students are guaranteed to receive their education by instructors that have worked in the field and understand what matters to succeed in real estate.  

What are the worst parts?

While the video lessons allow students to study at a self-paced schedule, some students consider they are one-dimensional and lack interactive study methods. This is often an issue students face that would help them overcome the material quicker.

Return policy/cancellation policy

Students can request a refund for the full value of the course within 30 days of purchase, but only if they haven’t completed more than 50% of the material. Additionally, students have to pay a $20 admin charge for every refund request they submit. 

Pros: 

  • Knowledgeable instructors
  • Affordable course prices
  • Great customer support

Cons:

  • Only basic courses covered
  • Lack of interactive study methods
  • No free refund 

Final Thoughts 

Once you’ve obtained a Salesperson license in Pennsylvania, it’s time to start building your career. Part of this process is to keep up with the education process, which will also require going with a specific real estate school. 

Some of the schools in this list provide post-license education and continuing education, so if you were happy with your pre-licensing experience, you could reach out to them for additional education as well. 

Pennsylvania Real Estate Licensing FAQs

To become a real estate agent in Pennsylvania, you should be at least 18 years of age, a resident of the US, pass a prelicensing course, a background check, and pass the final real estate licensing exam.  

How difficult it will be to become a real estate agent in Pennsylvania depends on you. If you pay attention during the prelicensing classes and study, you will enter the licensing exam better prepared and pass it more easily. Test prep goes a long way as well.

The exact length of the time when you start the prelicensing course to obtaining a license depends on how fast you finish the course, how quickly you apply, your qualifications and characteristics, as well as how soon you pass the exam. In general, it takes a minimum of 3 months, and these are the time frames you could expect within that period:

  • The prelicensing course lasts for 75 hours and can be taken as quickly as 2 or 3 weeks.
  • After you submit your Registration Form to PSI, wait two weeks for the registration to be processed. After this, you can contact them to check if you’ve been approved and schedule a date to take the exam (schedules depend on seating availability). It can be within a day or two, or a week or two, it all depends on the number of applicants applying at the same time as you. 
  • Getting your background checked for any misdemeanors or convictions usually takes around two weeks. 
  • If you’re applying with a previous criminal record, there will be an additional 2 or 3 weeks required to process your application.

The mean annual wage of a real estate agent in Pennsylvania is $62,430, slightly higher than the national average of $60,087. Top performers are rewarded handsomely though – the highest 10% of agents, though, can earn nearly double that amount, or $100,460. The Northern Pennsylvania metro area has the highest annual mean wage in the state ($67,230).   

Pennsylvania has real estate license reciprocity with Arkansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Georgia, Maryland, and New York. If you obtained a license in some of these six states, you can apply for a Pennsylvania real estate license and only take the state portion of the exam to be licensed in the state. 

The size and type of costs associated with getting your Pennsylvania real estate license can vary depending on your choices. With that in mind, the following costs apply to all students:

  • $250 to $700 for pre-license coursework
  • $49 examination fee
  • $107 initial licensing application
  • $20 background check

Other than these mandatory costs, there will be other costs for books, tuition, continuing education classes, and membership fees after you obtain your license. 

A college degree is not necessary to become a real estate agent in Pennsylvania, only a high school degree or an equivalent of it. 

Moreover, if you have a university degree with a real estate major or you are a licensed attorney or a real estate agent in another state, you may be exempt from taking some of the prelicensing coursework or part of the exam. 

If you’ve been licensed in another state for the past five years, you won’t have to take the national portion of the exam, only the state one. 

Contact the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission to find out more about these exemptions

Currently, the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission offers two types of real estate licenses:

  • Real Estate Broker
  • Real Estate Salesperson
    • Cemetery Broker
    • Rental Listing Referral Agent
    • Builder/Owner Salesperson

PSI administers the official licensure examination in Pennsylvania. They oversee, proctor, and grade the real estate license exam, while the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission approves and issues the real estate licenses.

To take the real estate exam, you need to submit a PSI Registration Form along with the $49 examination fee and one of the following:

If you’re obtaining the license through education, you need to submit a Certificate of Completion or transcript of the real estate school where you took the prelicensing course.

If you’re applying for a real estate license through reciprocity, you need to submit a Certificate of Licensure from the jurisdiction that issued your license and proof of completing 75 hours of education.

Once you’ve submitted your application, allow two weeks for PSI to process it. Once two weeks have passed, you can schedule the exam online at the PSI website, through their phone, fax, or email. The exam is taken at different PSI centers in Pennsylvania – check PSI’s site to see the different locations.

If you fail one or both on the Pennsylvania real estate license exam, you cannot schedule or retake it the same day. You will have to wait to schedule it 24 hours after failing and retake it 24 hours after scheduling. If you fail only one portion of the exam, you can retake only that portion. However, the same $49 fee will apply regardless if you’re retaking only one or both portions. 

Also, note that you have to pass both portions of the exam and obtain your license within three years of passing the first exam.

The Pennsylvania real estate licensing exam consists of 2 portions: the national portion and the state portion. There are 80 questions in the national portion and 30 questions in the state portion. You have 3 hours to complete both portions of the exam, and you’ll have two hours for the national portion, and one hour for the state portion. You need to answer 75% of the questions in each portion correctly: 60 from the national and 23 from the state portion. 

The national portion covers the following 11 areas: 

  • Property ownership
  • Land use controls and regulations
  • Valuation and market analysis
  • Financing
  • General principles of agency
  • Property disclosures
  • Contracts
  • Leasing and property management
  • Transfer of Title
  • Practice of real estate
  • Real estate calculations

The state portion tests your knowledge in the following areas: 

  • Real Estate Commission
  • Licensure
  • Regulation of Conduct of Licensees

You need to pass both parts of the exam within a period of 3 years after taking the real estate course.

Only around half of real estate applicants pass the Pennsylvania real estate exam on the first try. This number is an indicator of how many people underestimate the exam and the attention it requires. 

It’s a knowledge test, and as such, requires time to overcome and learn. The prelicensing coursework is designed to help you master the topics in the exam the fastest, so it’s important to pay attention to the classes it offers.

In the end, even if you don’t pass the exam on the first try, you can always give it another try. Becoming a successful real estate agent is not determined by how fast you pass the exam or on which try. 

Finding a good real estate brokerage is important for your real estate career. You should find a real estate brokerage that will be able to prepare you for the real estate market and guide you through the first years of your real estate journey. Some of the things you need to consider when choosing a real estate brokerage are:

  • The reputation of the brokerage and personalities of the brokers working in it
  • How much time do they dedicate to educating real estate agents?
  • How many successful agents have come out of it?
  • Do they offer commissions and benefits for new agents?

Don’t feel intimidated to ask these questions and more if needed when scouting for a brokerage. It’s your career after all, and settling for anything just won’t do.  

Practicing real estate as a broker or a salesperson without a license in Pennsylvania can result in a penalty by the Commission. If a salesperson has done any real estate work contradictory to the regulations, both the salesperson and their supervising broker will be penalized. 

The Bureau for Professional and Occupational Affairs has penalties as high as $10,000 for people who violate license laws. 

However, there are some real estate jobs you can do without a license:

  • Real Estate Courier
  • Real Estate Assistant
  • Marketing Assistant for a brokerage
  • Leasing Agent/Consultant
  • Real Estate Investor

Every license in Pennsylvania is issued for a 2-year period and should be renewed by May 31st in the expiry year. To renew it, a real estate agent should present proof of 14 hours of continuing education. 

When you come to the PSI examination center, you will be asked to provide two forms of identification, one of which has to be government-issued and contain your photograph and your signature. It can be a driver’s license, state ID, passport, or military ID.

The second ID should have your signature and legal name, the same name you’ve entered in the Registration Form.

If you’ve been previously convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, your application to become a real estate agent may be denied by the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean so. The Commission will go over all applications and make their judgment based on the circumstances, date, and type of conviction of the applicant.

If you have a criminal record, you will be asked to provide the following documentation: 

  • A conviction summary information provided by the State Police
  • Certified copies of court documents;
  • Letter from Probation Officer, dated within 90 days, indicating current probationary status/completion date;
  • Police incident reports;
  • Employment History (resume);
  • Detailed description (in the applicant’s words) of the circumstances surrounding the conviction, the basis for the conviction and the disposition of the conviction;
  • A reference letter from the employing broker, on the company letterhead, indicating that they are aware of all conviction(s) and is willing to hire the applicant;
  • Two copies of signed and dated character references from people not related to or residing with the applicant.

After you submit these documents and the Application Form, allow up to three weeks for your application to be processed.