STEP 3: Take The Exam
The next question is: When should you take the New York real estate license exam? The best time is after you have completed the real estate course and dedicated proper time to preparing. Confidence is key in the real estate industry, so when you feel confident and ready to take the exam, it’s time to sign up.
The New York state department has made enrolling for the exam a simple process through its online service eAccessNY, found at www.dos.ny.gov. Prospective test takers need to create an online account and sign up for an exam that fits their schedule. The exams are proctored and are always in-person. They are even offered in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Korean, Russian, and Chinese.
What should you expect?
The exam itself includes 75 multiple choice questions. Applicants are given 90 minutes to complete the test. If you have participated in a rigorous prep course, you should be more than prepared to complete the questions in the permitted time.
We recommend arriving to the test early to give yourself enough time to sign in and mentally prepare. Research has found that meditation and grounding techniques can boost your test scores, so using such strategies before you arrive may increase your chance of success.
The state has set a strict policy on what is and is not permitted at the testing center. You should be respectful of this policy and always arrive prepared.
What to Bring to the Exam
- Current government-issued ID
- “Summary of Submission” — eAccessNY prompts you to print this page when you schedule an exam
- #2 pencils
- A calculator — if it is “battery or solar powered, silent, nonprinting, and [does] not contain an alphabetic keyboard.”
What NOT to Bring to the Exam
- Phones and other electronic devices
- Dictionaries, books, other reference materials; large bags, and briefcases
- Food, beverages, and cigarettes (eating, drinking, and smoking are not allowed)
- Visitors, guests, and children
The state of New York has a strict policy regarding academic dishonesty: “Any person found using notes, books, or other aids; giving or receiving help; removing examination materials or notes from the exam site; causing a disturbance; or engaging in practices contrary to the rules of proper examination conduct will be dismissed from the exam site. Any decisions regarding disciplinary measures will be made by the Exam Supervisor at the Department of State.”
Getting the Results
Once you complete the exam, you are free to leave. Results of the exam are posted via the online portal. You cannot call to obtain your results. All results are identified as pass or fail. Unfortunately, the state does not give you access to any other details. To pass, you need to score 70% or higher, meaning you need to answer at least 53 of the 75 questions correctly.
Hopefully, you can take a deep breath here following a passing grade! The hardest part is done … Now it’s time to start your journey in real estate!
Retaking the Test
Those who do not pass the test have an opportunity to retake it. Simply log into your portal, pay the $15 fee, and sign up for the test again. There is no mandatory wait time between scheduling exams, and there is no limit on how many times you can take the test. However, time is money – and this is where an effective prep course comes in handy.
STEP 4: Find Your Sponsoring Broker
To obtain your license, you must first have a sponsoring broker – the brokerage firm where you hope to hang your real estate license. The sponsoring broker is responsible for the supervision and conduct of the real estate firm, including all of its agents.
Some sponsoring brokers are willing to take on the additional role of mentor. The services provided vary depending on the broker. Here are some factors to consider when identifying a brokerage house that is right for you:
Agents are responsible for farming (cultivating leads) in their marketplace. They need to research prospective buyers and sellers, contact them, and identify potential business opportunities. You should find out whether the brokerage house will help you by giving you access to a general database or software that can expedite the process. Leads create transaction velocity and are a key element to building a successful business.
Marketing and branding benefits:
Working as a real estate agent requires you to build your business from the ground up, and you are responsible for all aspects of that growth. This means you need to create an online presence, broker opinions of value, offering memorandums, and so on. Each of these responsibilities takes time; as a result, some brokerage houses offer assistance with marketing and branding. For example, they may provide a template or software program that simplifies the process.
Each brokerage house has different requirements for prospective agents. For example, some require agents to have an education background in real estate or a bachelor’s degree, whereas other brokers are simply looking to add motivated members to their team. Some require agents to work in an office, while others allow remote working. Make sure you qualify for the broker of your choice when selecting them as your sponsoring broker.
What other resources does the broker provide? Brokers understand the importance of recruiting top talent and often provide perks to agents for joining their team. They may offer access to management, a strong team-building culture, or access to an office manager — all resources that can improve an agent’s business model. Learn about every broker you are vetting and determine whether their overall goals and resources match your desires.
As an active real estate agent, you are most likely paid on commission. This means that you are paid only after you close a deal. However, when you work as an agent, you are not privy to 100% of the commission – you need to split your proceeds with your sponsoring broker. Most commonly, new agents can expect a 50/50 split with their brokerage house. In some cases, agents may also be required to partner with a senior agent until they have closed a specific number of deals. In this case, the agent is required to also split the fee with their senior agent, walking away with only 25% of the commission.Weigh the pros and cons of each fee structure. However, do not immediately go for the highest split. In cases where the brokerage house provides mentorship and resources, you should consider the rate at which you can close deals with experienced help. If you decide to take the best split but are given no resources, it may take you longer to close a deal, reducing your potential income.
Look at the fine print as well. Some brokerage houses charge fees – such as desk fees, transaction fees, insurance fees, etc. – in addition to the commission split. Be sure to review and understand your commitment to each broker.
STEP 5: Get Your Real Estate License
Once you have met all the prerequisites for getting your real estate license (completing your education and identifying your sponsoring broker), it is time to get your license!
The State of New York has simplified the process to expedite the timeline. Here is a breakdown of the steps for getting your real estate license after you have passed the exam:
- Log into your eAccessNy account.
- Enter the required information when prompted.
- Select your sponsoring broker by entering their unique ID number.
- Ask your sponsoring broker to approve your application as a new hire.
Once the process is complete, your real estate license will be mailed to you and you will be ready to start working as a New York real estate agent.
STEP 6: Managing And Maintaining a Real Estate License
Now that you know how to get a real estate license in NY, it’s important that you understand how to keep it up to date. Throughout your time as a New York real estate agent, eAccessNY should be the foundation for managing and maintaining your license.
Use the platform to make any changes to your real estate license, such as changing your residence addresses or sponsoring brokers.
Renewing Your License
Your real estate license is valid for two years. To maintain and renew your license, you are required to participate in continuous learning. New agents will want to commence the renewal process once it is available, which is three months prior to the expiration date.
The renewal process requires agents to complete 22.5 hours of continuing education, with requirements changing July 1, 2021.
“All licensees with a license expiring on or after July 1, 2021, will be required to successfully complete 22.5 hours of approved continuing education. The education must include at least 2.5 hours on the subject of ethical business practices, at least 1 hour on recent legal matters, at least 3 hours of instruction pertaining to fair housing and/or discrimination in the sale or rental of real property or an interest in real property, and at least 1 hour of instruction pertaining to the law of agency; except in the case of the initial two-year licensing term for real estate salespersons, 2 hours of agency-related instruction must be completed within the two-year period immediately preceding a renewal.”
You want to complete the renewal process prior to the expiration date to prevent a lapse in your ability to perform your duties as a real estate agent. However, if you attempt to renew past the expiration date, you can still utilize the same process above for up to two years after its expiration.
If your expired license passes this two-year mark, then you are required to retake and pass the state written examination and submit a new salesperson application and fee.
Getting A Real Estate License: Cost Breakdown
Obtaining a New York real estate license can lead to significant financial rewards for those who are committed and dedicated to building their business. The cost of getting started is worth the investment. Here is a breakdown of the cost of becoming a licensed real estate agent in the State of New York:
- Real estate salesperson course: $300; varies depending on the providing company
- Real estate prep course: $49.99 if you choose Real Estate Prep Guide. This price will vary depending on the providing company
- Initial application: $55
- Written final exam: $15
- Change of personal name and/or address: $10
- Duplicate license/registration request: $10
- Continuing education: $133; varies depending on the providing company
- Renewal: $55
Overall, you can expect to spend less than $500 from start to finish, which is a small investment to commence a new, prosperous career as a New York real estate agent!
Earnings: What to Expect
The beginning of your real estate career will be challenging. You will be required to work long hours with no immediate financial return. Many agents work the first year without closing any deals.
However, this is not a sign that you should give up. As a new agent in New York, you need to build your brand and reputation within your community. This takes time! Ongoing hard work pays off. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a real estate agent in the New York metro-area in 2019 was $103,700.
This far exceeds the average salary for all occupations in that area, which was $66,790. Remember, your earning potential is directly related to the effort you put into your real estate career. Dozens of real estate agents in New York have become millionaires. Really, the sky’s the limit for real estate agents!
Fast-track Your Real Estate Career With Prep Guide
Preparation is critical to getting your New York real estate salesperson license. At Prep Guide, we offer practice exams and study guides for every state in America. This level of preparation will give you the best possible chance of acing the written exam.
Why choose us? We are available 24/7 to help you succeed, and:
- We are New York State approved
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We offer two salesperson licensing plans:
Real Estate Pre-license Course
Real Estate Pre-license Course
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