How to Get a Real Estate License in Georgia
Working in real estate can be a very rewarding career. You get to meet new people and help them achieve their dreams. However, with any occupation, it’s not going to be rosy all the time. The market will be down at times, or you might just encounter people who are impolite.
However, it’s a pretty quick process if you want to build a career in real estate, and at the end of the day, it’s really what you make of it.
- Meet basic eligibility requirements
- Fulfill education requirements
- Pass the state exam
From start to finish, it takes about 2 to 3 months.
Meet Basic Eligibility Requirements
You need to be 18 years or older and have a high school diploma or GED.
You’re also required to provide proof that you’re a US citizen or legally admitted alien.
There will eventually be a background check. You must obtain a certified criminal history report called the Georgia Crime Information Center (CGIC) report. It cannot be more than 60 days prior to applying for license approval. GREC reserves the right to deny your application.
If you’re out of state, you can obtain a criminal background report from your own state or from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
Fulfill Education Requirements
GREC gives you 3 different options for fulfilling the education requirement. You only need to do one:
1.Successfully complete the required 75-hour Salesperson pre-license Course at a school approved by the Georgia Real Estate Commission
2. Successfully complete a minimum of 10 quarter hours or 6 semester hours of either course work eligible for a major in real estate from a U.S. or Canadian accredited college or university or course in real property, agency, or contracts from a U.S. or Canadian accredited school of law. You must submit to AMP (not the Commission) an official transcript from the college, university, or school of law with your application for examination. Continuing education adult education, crash seminars, and special short courses are not acceptable. AMP will notify you as to whether your coursework is acceptable
3. Provide proof of completion of at least 75 hours of pre-license course work approved by the real estate regulatory agency of another state or province of Canada. You must obtain a letter from that agency that verifies that the course work is approved in that state or province.
If you’re an active member of the Georgia State Bar who’s in good standing, you’re exempt from the education requirement.
How Much Does It Cost?
Online programs typically range from $200 to $500.
Choosing a School
The state exam grades on consistency, so you definitely want to choose a school with adequate test prep. You won’t be able to just wing it and pass. (They made sure that you don’t.)
I decided to go with Real Estate Express because they have a Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee, which means if you don’t pass the state exam with their program, they’ll give you all your money back.
Also, they literally have promotions running every week, so you can get a really great deal.
Once you successfully pass your course, you’re ready to take the state exam. GREC contracts with a company called PSI/AMP to conduct the tests. They are a national company, so it’s really easy to find a convenient time and place. You can simply go to their website or call them to schedule an exam date.
The fee to take the state exam is $121.
The state exam is a total of 4 hours and consists of 152 total questions broken up into two parts. One part is the national portion, which has 100 questions. The other portion is the Georgia Salesperson Supplement portion which has 52 questions.
The questions will be mixed, so you can’t tell which portion they’re from.
There’s a pretty complicated system for grading these tests. It’s not a simple “you pass the exam if your score is 75% or better” type of deal. There’s a lot of statistics and analysis involved, so I won’t go into it.
Suffice it to say, they’re looking to see if you really know the material by measuring the consistency of your answers.
If you passed on portion, but failed the other, you can just retake the failed portion within a 12 month period.
Almost at the Finish Line...
After you pass the exam, you’ll want to submit your final application to get your license as soon as possible.
If you apply within 3 months of taking your state exam, you only pay $170 for the license fee.
However, if you wait and apply between 3 months to 12 months after passing your state exam, the license fee doubles to $340.
If you haven’t applied after 12 months, then you’ll need to re-take the entire state exam again.
Choosing a Broker
Congrats! You’ve got your real estate license.
However, in order to use it for actual real estate business, you’ll have to select a broker to sponsor you. They will need to sign the Sponsoring Broker Statement Application to officially activate your license.
You’ll definitely want to take your time and make sure you find the broker that suits your style. Every salesperson is different and every broker is different.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a broker:
- What is their reputation in the industry?
- Would I get along with the people in their office?
- What is their commission split?
- How long have they been in business?
- Will they provide training/support to help me get started?
There’s no rush (unless your eager to start working) to choose a broker. You can place your license on inactive status. Although, you will still be responsible for paying all licensing fees, and fulfilling all post-license and continuing education requirements.
Renewing Your License
After you get your Salesperson license, you are required to take a 25 hour Post-License course within your first year of being licensed.
On your first renewal, GREC requires you to take 27 hours of qualifying continuing education courses, including a mandatory 3 hour Georgia Law course.
Beginning with your second renewal and beyond, GREC requires you to complete 36 hours of continuing education every 4 years, including a mandatory 3 hour Georgia Law course.