How To Get Your NY Real Estate License

Before you can buy and sell real estate in New York, you must obtain your Real Estate Salesperson License.

Most folks think of the words “broker” and “agent”, but the first license you get is called a Salesperson license. Your Salesperson license allows you to buy and sell real estate, and represent buyers and sellers.

Your Salesperson License allows you to sell both residential and commercial real estate – anything from houses to apartment buildings and strip malls. Plus, as the real estate market recovers, jobs and income are expanding. Prices have stabilized as both residential and commerical real estate are selling more often.

The first step to obtaining your Salesperson license is taking the Salesperson Licensing Course from a qualified school. The course teaches you standard practices for buying/selling real estate, as well as important aspects of real estate law. The 75-hour Salesperson Licensing Course can be taken in flexible segments at your convenience, and you can finish as quickly as 10 days.

At the end of the course, you’ll take the school exam, then take the DOS (Department of State) exam. Upon passing the DOS exam, New York State issues your Salesperson license.

Next, you’ll find a Broker to sponsor you, since you cannot operate alone with your Salesperson license – you must work under the supervision of a sponsoring Broker or brokerage company. You might work inside the Broker’s office, or work remotely from home.

Later, after 2 years as a licensed Salesperson, you might choose to obtain a Broker license. Your Broker license will allow you to operate independently, without the supervision of a sponsoring Broker.

To apply for either license, you must be at least 18 years old. Your Real Estate Salesperson License is valid for 2 years, and to keep it active, you must take a total of 22.5 hours of Continuing Education courses before it expires.

To learn more about getting your Real Estate Salesperson License, or to register for the Salesperson Licensing Course, click here.

Answers To Common Questions

(from the New York Department of State)

Do I need to be licensed?

Generally, Article 12-A of the Real Property Law provides that anyone who, on behalf of another and for a fee, 1) negotiates a sale, exchange or rental of real property, 2) collects rent, or 3) negotiates a commercial loan secured by a mortgage must be licensed as a real estate broker.

What is the difference between a real estate broker and a real estate salesperson?

A real estate broker is responsible for the supervision and conduct of the real estate brokerage business. He or she applies for and holds the license on behalf of the brokerage. This person is known as the “representative broker.” A real estate salesperson works for and is supervised by the representative broker. The salesperson acts as the representative broker’s agent. All listings, although perhaps negotiated by a salesperson, are accepted by the representative broker.

How do I become a real estate salesperson or broker?

  • Real Estate Salesperson: In order to qualify for licensure as a real estate salesperson, an applicant must have satisfactorily completed a 75-hour salesperson qualifying education course in real estate approved by the Secretary of State, and have passed a qualifying examination administered by the Department of State. An applicant who completed the 45-hour salesperson qualifying course prior to July 1, 2008 may complete the 30-hour remedial course in order to qualify for licensure.
  • Real Estate Broker: In order to qualify for licensure as a real estate broker, an applicant must have at least two years of experience as a licensed real estate salesperson or at least three years of experience in the general real estate field (e.g., buying and selling your own property, managing property owned by your employer), have satisfactorily completed both the qualifying salesperson course of 75 hours and an additional 45-hour real estate broker course as approved by the Secretary of State, and have passed a qualifying examination administered by the Department of State.

How do I manage my real estate license on line by using eAccessNY?

eAccessny is a secure, password-protected occupational licensing management system available online 24/7. See eAccessNY FAQ

What are the Continuing Education Requirements?

All licensees are required to successfully complete 22.5 hours of approved continuing education, including at least 3 hours of instruction pertaining to fair housing and/or discrimination in the sale or rental of real property or an interest of real property, within the two-year period immediately preceding a renewal.

Any salesperson who successfully completes an approved broker qualifying course (which requires passing the final exam), within their current term, will receive continuing education credit for completion of that course.

Please note:The broker course does not satisfy the mandatory 3 hour fair housing requirement.

Exemptions: Either of the below are exempt from the continuing education requirements:

  • Any licensed real estate broker who is engaged full time in the real estate business and who has been licensed prior to
    July 1, 2008 for at least 15 consecutive years immediately preceding renewal or
  • An attorney admitted to the New York State Bar who holds a real estate broker’s license.

To learn more about the Salesperson Licensing Courseclick here.