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Real Estate License Test Prep

Real estate license test prep doesn’t have to be a life-halting ordeal. In fact, because most folks interested in becoming a REALTOR® or a general agent are looking into it as a second, or even third career path (and are likely working a full-time job while getting ready to take their agent exam), the process of preparing for and testing for your license has become somewhat streamlined for the everyday Joe or Jane. Let’s take a look:

Online practice tests for the license exam

In preparing for your test, you should also include a healthy amount of practice runs. As seen with this online practice test site, you can make as many online attempts as you’d like in order to assure that you’re going into the exams with confidence. If you’d like, you can explore in the linked site above, but here are a few of the topics you should practice before taking the test:

  • Brokerage Responsibility and Agency Management
  • Contracts
  • Financing
  • Practice and Disclosures
  • Property and Ownership Laws
  • Property Valuation and Appraisal

There are, of course, similar sites to the one above that are available to those interested in becoming a licensed agent, but many of them will try to charge you either a testing fee, an administrative exam and/or setup fee, etc. Of course, just because they charge, doesn’t mean that they don’t have or add value. If you’re just testing the waters (pardon the pun here), then you may want to give this site a go or two before you pay for the best online practice test available.

Training & pre-license courses

So, how long does it take to get a real estate license? The answer varies from state to state, of course. In general, you’ll be looking at from roughly 50 to 75 hours of required coursework. Some exam requirements can even demand an upwards of 120 hours of training, as well as a certain amount of formal education (as a prerequisite to even go into the training process). You’ll want to discuss this with the testing center nearby to make sure you have met all the requirements for becoming an agent.

Like any extended or continuing education, training courses have the option of being spread out over the course of 4 to 8 months for a few hours per week depending on many factors, including your exam state, the course you select, your commitment to becoming a certified RE specialist, and so forth. Basically, if you’re the type that calls in sick a lot, you may be in the thick of it for a while.

Here's a great article on this, and many other topics as they relate to preparing for your exam process and starting your career. It’s certainly worth the read if you have the time! In short, expect the pre-license courses to run you anywhere from $200 to $500. Then, you will have the Real Estate State Licence Exam fee which can run from $75 to $120 (again, depending on the state you’re taking your RE exam in).

Study guides and other resources

As mentioned above, we’re advocates of testing prep. You simply cannot prepare enough when it comes to shifting gears and heading into the highly-regulated (and trusted) field of RE services. Assuming that you’re going into this prospective career path with the sort of professional mindset required, the only task at hand for you now is to retain the core, basic tenants of what it takes to be an RE pro.

Let’s explore some study guides and resources for those interested in becoming a licensed agent. Some are a quick find online and others are just rehashes of tools like YouTube or Note: some of these will be specific to a particular state and should really be used as inspiration for finding resources for your state. Remember, the licensing exam will change based on the state you’re becoming a licensed REALTOR® or an agent in. But let’s take a look at some resources:

As you can see, you’re not alone! You’ve got a solid resource with and the entire RE community studying for the agent exam by your side. Not to mention, this isn’t even close to the full list of resources out there for you. That said, there’s no reason for you to not get creative on your own. Take the last item on the list, for example: why not reach out to others in your community who are in the same boat and see if they’re looking for a study group nearby… there’s no limit to resources when you start to think big!

Sample questions to prep with

We’ve discussed online practice tests in the first section of this article, but in case you don’t have the time to dive into those resources right here and now or if you’re currently in an area with a bad internet connection, then here’s a short set of questions from this great practice exam by Karen Bohler: a Real Estate Instructor, Broker, and Curriculum Developer who has written on the topic of RE exam preparation.

Needless to say, the chances of you seeing these exact questions on the exam are quite low and the chances that your state exam is different than the one for your state… well, that’s very high. Again, these are taken right off of the practice exam listed above and come in the form of multiple choice or True/False questions. The answers for the exam questions are left out because we’re only looking at the type of questions you’ll run across. Let’s explore some of these State Exam sample questions...

  • Personal property that, by its attachment to real property, is regarded as real estate is called _____________. (Multiple Choice)

  • If a person has complete control over their property, and the ownership in the property is not defeasible, what interest does the person have in the property? (Multiple Choice)

  • Which of the following is the difference between the value of a property and the total amount of liens against the property? (Multiple Choice)

  • Your neighbors use a portion of your property to reach their guest apartment, which is on their property. As far as you can recall, you never gave them permission to use your property, and you discuss with your attorney the possibility of preventing the neighbors from using your property. Your attorney explains that the ownership of the neighbors' real estate includes an easement appurtenant giving them the right to use that portion of your property. Your property is the _____________. (Multiple Choice)

  • There are no nationwide or statewide zoning laws. (True or False)

  • What is the difference between a specific lien and a general lien? (Multiple Choice)

  • All of the following are agency relationships EXCEPT _____________. (Multiple Choice)

  • A broker collects a non-refundable fee from the seller when the listing is signed to cover the advertising of the property for sale. Such a fee is called an "advance fee" and is considered trust funds. (Multiple Choice)
  • Selma lists her property with XYZ Realty, ABC Realty, and MNO Realty. In each listing agreement, Selma has agreed to pay a commission to the listing firm only if that firm finds a ready, willing and able buyer and a sale is consummated. This type of listing is _____________. (Multiple Choice)

  • The law in all states provides that contracts for the sale of real estate or an interest in real estate are unenforceable unless they are in writing and signed by the parties. What law is this? (Multiple Choice)

  • The legal act of transferring ownership, or the intention to have a deed be operative and effective is manifested by _____________ of the deed. (Multiple Choice)

Again, these are only about half of the questions from this particular practice test, but they're fairly straight-forward, right? Even if you don’t have the answers to these specific questions, it seems like something you could handle if you study it during your exam training process.

This is why becoming an RE saleswoman or salesman is such a sought-after career path. If you’ve got a good bank of leads going into it (friends, family, etc.), a can-do attitude, and the eagerness to pick up on all the details required for the exams, you can make this shift for yourself and become an RE professional that is licensed to provide services in your state.

You’ve got this!

Getting Your Real Estate License:

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