How To Get a Real Estate Licence in 5 Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 July 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Earning your real estate license can enhance your credibility as a real estate professional and create networking opportunities with licensed agents and brokers. Earning your license requires knowledge of local laws and coursework in specific training programs. Regardless of your target real estate niche, licensing provides the basic foundation for your career. In this article, we discuss the steps required to earn your real estate licence and share more information about the profession.

Related: How To Become a Real Estate Agent

How to get a real estate licence

There are several requirements and qualifications involved in getting your real estate licence. Here are the steps you can follow to help you begin your career as an agent:

1. Check for local qualifications

Each state and territory requires different qualifications for real estate agents therefore you may want to consider reading local requirements before you begin the process of obtaining your licence. For example, Queensland offers a licence to anyone over the age of 18 who passes the required classes and meets the criteria of a suitable agent. In Victoria, however, before pursuing a licence, interested individuals must first serve as an agent's representative for at least one year. You can find detailed lists of each state or territory's qualifications through their website under-regulated industries or licences.

2. Complete required coursework

Although the number of units necessary for a licence varies by area, you'll need to take specific classes in real estate before you can practice as a licensed agent. It's important to ensure you take classes through a certified training provider acknowledged by your state or territory and recognised within the industry.

Different institutions may offer varying schedules for licensing programs. Typically offered as a training package or certificate, you can choose between options like Property Services or Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice. You can choose courses that offer flexibility online or take classes in person at registered institutions.

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3. Apply for a licence

After you complete the required coursework, begin the application process by submitting documents with proof of your identity and permission for a background check. You'll also need to pay the required fees which can range close to $1,000 depending on your state or territory. Once you complete this process, you can apply for your real estate licence. Local licensing authorities also look for applicants without a criminal background who they deem to be people of the character necessary to perform the duties of a real estate agent.

Typical identity documents can include the following:

  • Birth certificate

  • Passport

  • Drivers licence

  • Citizenship certificate

4. Decide how to use your licence

The next step you can take is to decide how you prefer to practice once you become licensed in your state or territory. You can choose to find a real estate broker to work with for the first few years as an agent. Alternative, you can also choose to work on your own as a licensed agent. Without a broker firm, you may need to prepare more of your own resources, find contacts and market your services.

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5. Renew your licence

Complete continuing education credits as specified by your state or territory. These credits qualify you to renew your license. Many professional organisations provide opportunities for real estate agents to take courses or seminars for continuing education credit. After you complete the required professional development, apply for a licence renewal. Prepare to pay administrative and other fees when renewing your licence.

How much does a real estate licence cost in different territories?

The fees associated with earning your real estate licence differ between local areas. Here are the average costs of paying for a licence in each state and territory:

  • Queensland: $1,508.60 for 1 year registration or $2828.60 for 3 years

  • Australian Capital Territory: $874 for 1 year registration or $2,628 for 3 years

  • Northern Territory: $767 for 1 year registration and $2,072 for 3 years

  • New South Wales: $755 for 1 year registration and $1,387 for 3 years

  • Tasmania: $450.45 for 1 year registration

  • South Australia: $942 for 1 year registration

  • Victoria: $392.40 to apply for an individual license

FAQs about becoming a real estate agent

As you consider becoming a real estate agent or broker, review the following frequently asked questions:

How many years does it take to become a real estate agent?

Since some areas require you to gain experience working as a real estate agent's representative for at least a year before you can apply for a real estate license, the amount of time it takes to become a fully licensed agent varies. Prerequisite coursework in real estate will also affect the amount of time you take to earn a licence.

Depending on the territory or state where you plan to practice, you'll need to complete a differing amount of classes that you can typically complete at your own pace. If you plan to concentrate on your studies, you may be able to finish a training program in less than a year. Once you complete the necessary training programs and file an application with proper documentation, you can expect to earn your licence within 4 to 6 weeks.

What are licensed real estate agents authorised to do?

As a licensed real estate agent, you can complete various transactions relating to buying and selling properties. Although they are responsible for acting as a liaison between a buyer and seller, agents also take on administrative and marketing duties. Licensed agents working on their own or with a broker oversee many events and items before, during and after the purchase of a property.

Here are the main responsibilities of licensed real estate agents:

  • Negotiate the purchase of properties for buyers and sellers

  • Prepare residential or commercial property for rental and sale

  • Oversee a real estate agency

  • Examine properties prior to listing or selling

  • Show properties to clients

  • Collect rent payments for a landlord

  • Manage trust accounts for buyers or sellers

  • Post advertisements to market properties

  • Sell and manage apartment complexes and units without agency supervision

  • Develop a client network

  • Communicating with clients and sellers to present offers

  • Oversee the contract process during the sale of a property

How do I establish myself as a real estate agent?

Successful real estate agents often show dedication and patience when building up a network of potential buyers and sellers. Once you have the requisite licence, the next step is to build your network. Talk to as many people as you can. Reach out to friends, family and coworkers who might have future plans to move or know people who might. Real estate is a highly competitive field to get into, but it can be lucrative once you put the work into it.

It can also prove helpful to get involved with local and regional real estate training associations or professional groups. Often, experienced real estate professionals lend their experience to those new to the profession through mentoring programs.

Are there any specialisations for licensed real estate agents?

After earning a licence, agents can pursue additional training and experience within certain niche parts of the industry. Real estate agents may choose to work in the following specialised areas:

  • Commercial real estate: Commercial real estate agents buy and sell properties for businesses according to zoning laws and property use. They often oversee the purchase of industrial complexes, office buildings and retail stores.

  • Business brokering: A business broker helps to negotiate sales between private businesses. They ensure company buyouts and purchases happen according to local and federal real estate laws.

  • Property management: Real estate agents who serve as property managers oversee both residential and commercial properties on behalf of an owner. These agents may be responsible for property maintenance, collecting rent and negotiating contracts with tenants.

Related: How To Become a Finance Broker

What are conditional real estate agents?

There are two types of conditional real estate agents. The first is licensed to sell properties through an auction. The second is authorised to manage a corporation on behalf of an owner. The Australian Capital Territory regulates these positions by the Unit Titles Act of 2001 and the Agents Act of 2003. Both of these roles require a separate real estate licence signifying their ability to perform each task.

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