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How to Get a New Jersey Real Estate License

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Licensing for both real estate salespeople and brokers in New Jersey is overseen by the New Jersey Real Estate Commission, or NJREC. Both salespeople and brokers must complete educational requirements and pass exams, but brokers typically need to take more course hours, as well as pay higher fees. While the two positions are similar, a real estate broker can work independently and hire salespeople, while salespeople cannot work independently and are required to work for a broker.

Meet the Requirements

You must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. You must additionally have been continually licensed and employed full time as a New Jersey real estate salesperson for the three years immediately before submitting the application. If you've ever been convicted of a crime or are currently on probation or parole, your application may be denied. Both applications require disclosure of any crimes, misdemeanors, child support problems, and whether you've ever had a real estate license revoked, denied or suspended in New Jersey or any other state. All applicants must be fingerprinted and pass a background check.

Complete the Course(s)

A specified level of training at an approved school is required when applying to become either a broker or a salesperson. Salespeople must complete a 75-hour pre-licensure course at a licensed school, a list of which is posted on the State of New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance's website. This training teaches about real estate practices, principles and laws within the state of New Jersey.

Aspiring brokers, on the other hand, must complete 150 hours of pre-licensure education, including a 90-hour general real estate course and two 30-hour courses on ethics, office management and other topics. A list of approved broker schools is also posted on the NJREC site. Schools for both brokers and salespeople are located throughout the state. Prices vary by school, but as of publication the cost of the 75-hour salesperson course generally ranges from $400 to $500, while all three broker’s courses can total $800 to $1000.

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Pass the Exam

After completing all coursework, both salesperson and broker applicants must complete their respective license examinations within one year. Broker applicants must submit certificates of completion for all three course, as well as a completed Experience Report for Broker Applicant form to the Education Qualification Section of the NJREC. You then receive via mail a certificate of examination eligibility, which you can use to make a reservation for the broker license exam with Pearson VUE, the organization through which the tests are taken. Salesperson applicants do not need to submit anything to the NJREC prior to taking the test -- you can make an appointment directly with Pearson VUE, but you must show your course completion certificate at the testing center. Both tests have a fee of $60 as of publication, and require a score of at least 70 percent to pass.

Apply and Pay the Fees

Immediately after the examination, all test takers receive an official score report. Salesperson and broker applicants must submit a license application to the NJREC within one year of completing all the required coursework, while salesperson applicants must apply through a sponsoring real estate broker. The initial licensing fee for a salesperson is $160, while for a broker it is $270. Licenses are issues for a two-year period ending on June 30, and renewal fees are $100 for a salesperson and $200 for a broker, as of publication. Applicants must also complete fingerprinting and a background check, which has a fee of around $70.

New Jersey does not have reciprocity with any other state, meaning it has no mutual recognition agreements with other states exempting salespersons and brokers licensed in those states from fulfilling the standard licensing requirements.

About the Author

Marie Gentile has a passion for personal finance and style, and takes a special interest in the places where they intersect. She specializes in writing about money management and frugal living. Gentile has a bachelor's degree in journalism and has been published in several personal finance-related print and online publications.

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