“How much does real estate school cost?” We get asked this question all the time, so we decided to make a detailed guide to help explain the costs of starting your real estate career.
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- How Much Does Real Estate School Cost?
- General Real Estate Requirements
- Costs by Real Estate School and State
- Things to Consider
- Is It Worth the Cost?
How Much Does Real Estate School Cost?
Thinking about becoming a real estate agent or real estate broker? Completing your education requirements will be the first step to getting your license and joining the lucrative real estate industry.
How much does real estate school cost? What about the licensing exam? Many people interested in starting their own real estate business rely on online courses to get the information they need to take the state licensing exam.
How Much Does Real Estate School Cost?
On average, real estate school costs between $100 and $900, though your costs will vary by state and school.
Online real estate courses are often priced a little differently than on-campus classes, and some are available in a video-only format, which can save you money on textbooks.
With the cost differing by course style, state, and type of license, there’s a lot of information to consider in the real estate licensing process.
We’ll answer all your questions about real estate licensure cost differences and what you can expect to pay if you decide to get a real estate license in your state.
Costs by Category
There is a difference between course costs and the total expenses necessary to launch your business. We think it’s important to highlight both, so we’ve included the below chart to illustrate the total costs to become a real estate agent.
However, the rest of this article will focus mainly on the cost of real estate school. That said, classes are priced differently for every state because real estate education requirements vary.
On the high side, states like Colorado and Texas require you to have 160+ hours of pre-licensing education, which obviously increases the cost of schooling.
In contrast, others require as little as 40 hours (Massachusetts) before you take the real estate license exam (there’s a separate exam fee for this).
Pre-licensing education is required to be completed in most states before new agents are allowed to take the licensing exam.
North Dakota is the exception; in this state, a real estate salesperson can take the exam before finishing the coursework, but you have to complete the coursework within one year.
You don’t have to take pre-license courses full-time, and many don’t. Evening classes are offered for most on-campus options, and online courses allow you to time your study at your own convenience.
Let’s look at the different requirements you must meet and the real estate school courses you’ll be required to attend.
Real Estate School Requirements
Again, these criteria and licensing requirements differ by the state you live in, but here’s a good idea of what you’ll need to attend real estate school in the process of becoming a real estate agent, broker, or realtor.
- Be at least 18 years old
- Some states require you to be at least 19-21
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Some states, like Montana, accept a 10th-grade education
- No felony convictions – as reported via background check
- Alaska requires that you serve your full sentence if you have a felony conviction
- Submit to fingerprinting
- Must not have had a real estate license or application revoked in the last 2 years
- Not required by most states
- Demonstrated honesty, integrity, or “high moral character”
- States that require this include Arizona, California, Maine, Oklahoma
- 24-180 hours of pre-licensing education courses, depending on the state
- Read below to see the course requirements by state
Real Estate School Cost and Course Hours by State
Please note that pricing listed is at the time of publishing. These are meant to be estimates to give you an idea of average real estate courses. Check pricing on the school’s website before enrolling.
Things to Consider
As with anything, there are additional things to consider. For example, online classes are cheaper than physical locations, but are not available in all states. Read on to learn the fine print of real estate class costs.
Pricing Varies by State
Please note that the pricing listed above may be a bit higher or lower depending on the school you choose, and that broker licenses can be more expensive to get than real estate sales licenses.
Not All States Allow Online Courses
Some states don’t allow you to take online pre-licensing courses. Make sure to find out your state real estate commission’s official requirements for real estate professionals before registering for a pre-licensing course.
Material Cost Not Included
Keep in mind that these numbers do not include application fees, license fees, textbooks (when required), post-licensing requirements, or continuing education requirements.
Double Check Course Enrollment
Finally, keep an eye out to be sure that the courses you are considering are for pre-licensing education and basic real estate principles that are approved by your state’s real estate commission.
Some will offer generic “national” licensing courses or classes that are intended for exam prep or continuing education, none of which will satisfy your licensing requirements.
Understand the Application Process
Understand your state’s license application process. Some online schools won’t handle this important task for you.
Is Real Estate School Worth the Cost?
With all this information in mind, is going to real estate school really worth the cost? Pricing, return on investment, and length of study are three essential factors to look at.
Length of Study
Different states require different course hours to sit for the state real estate exam, but overall, the period of study is much shorter than a two-year Associate’s degree.
The amount of money that can be made yearly makes the real estate industry is a great place to start a lucrative career. Starting your real estate career can be as simple as signing up.
You’ll need to take a pre-licensing course, study the information at your own pace for a couple months, and sit for your state’s real estate sales or broker licensing exam after you’ve finished the course.
Depending on the state you live in, your course requirements might fit other states’ requirements, enabling you to have reciprocity and get licensed in multiple states.
Return on Investment
Considering that the average real estate agent earns more than $82,000 each year, an initial investment of around $400 in pre-licensing courses is very reasonable.
Even with the additional application, license fees, desk fees, continuing education courses, and state exam costs, the benefit far outweighs these initial and long-term investments in becoming a real estate professional.
Real estate school and courses are relatively inexpensive in every state, especially if you compare the price to the cost of attending a two-year (average tuition of $3,440) or four-year college (average tuition of $9,410).
All things considered, the cost of real estate school pales in comparison to other routes you can go. Consider the opportunity cost of going to college. At the end of four years, you’ll likely be tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
Compare this to real estate school, which you can reasonably pay out of pocket. As long as you’re motivated and outgoing, you should have built a decent book of business by the end of four years. Oh, and you won’t need to have any debt to fuel your career growth.
As you can see, real estate classes cost between $100 and $900, though costs vary by state and type of course. Online courses are far less expensive than physical classes, but these are not available in all states.
If you’ve decided that real estate school is for you, click the image below. You’ll be glad you did — our quiz will help you decide whether you should become a real estate agent. If so, we’ll give you step-by-step directions to launching your career.