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Part-Time Real Estate Agent: Is It Worth the Effort?

Part-Time Real Estate Agent: Is It Worth the Effort?

Wondering if you can become a part-time real estate agent? The answer is yes!

But it’ll be a lot of hard work. Read on to learn how to jump into real estate as a side hustle.

Can You Be a Part-Time Real Estate Agent?

Becoming a part-time real estate agent is a great way to earn extra income. It will get you more involved with your community.

It will open up your career options without requiring you to work 40 hours a week.

Becoming a part-time real estate agent graphic with a photo of a woman showing an attractive young couple a house

But it can be an intimidating prospect. From completing real estate school to choosing a brokerage, it’s hard to know where to start.

Maybe you’re wondering if doing real estate part-time is even worth the hassle. Take a deep breath and relax, because that’s precisely what this career guide is for.

The guide will show you step-by-step what you need to do to become a part-time real estate agent. You’ll see how much it costs, earnings estimates, and how long it takes to get licensed.

By the time you’re finished, you’ll feel ready to enroll in real estate school and join more than 2 million active real estate agents in the nation.

First things first: How do you know if becoming a part-time real estate agent is right for you? Easy. Just keep reading!

Will I Make a Good Part-Time Real Estate Agent?

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Real estate agents who are successful tend to have a few personality traits in common. Overall, real estate agents need to be able to build connections with people.

Buying a home is one of, if not the biggest, purchases most people will ever make. It’s a serious investment! People want to feel that they can trust and rely on their agent to guide them through what can be an overwhelming process.

This is why successful real estate agents usually share the following traits:

  • Personable and friendly
  • Honest and transparent
  • Optimistic and good at finding the positive
  • Resourceful and driven
  • Good at remembering details
  • Confident in self-promotion
  • Hard-working

If you’re personable, honest, optimistic, resourceful, detail-oriented, confident, and hard-working, you’ll make a great part-time real estate agent. You might even consider going full-time later on!

Benefits of Becoming a Part-Time Real Estate Agent

Even if you know you’ll be a good real estate agent, you still need to know if it will be worth it. What are the advantages of getting your real estate license? What benefits can you expect?

Be Your Own Boss

Self Employed Business Concept to symbolize a part-time real estate agent


Working full-time for a boss has its benefits, but being your own boss is so much better. You make your own hours. You have the freedom to make more choices.

The only benchmarks you have to hit are those you set for yourself. And truly, there’s no better feeling than knowing you can take the day off if something unexpected comes up.

Being a part-time real estate agent gives you these freedoms. Want to go to your child’s soccer game? No problem! Just block it off your calendar.

Professional Career, No College Degree Required

Most professional careers—think psychologists and chemists—require a college degree. Real estate agents are considered industry professionals but don’t need a college degree to get licensed.

Your pre-licensing coursework will prepare you for the job. It’s also a lot less expensive to go to real estate school than it is to enroll in college. 

Unlimited Income Potential

Portrait of a cheerful young woman holding money banknotes and celebrating isolated over yellow background as a part-time real estate agent earnings

Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

Even if you’re committed to only working part-time as a real estate agent, your earnings potential is truly unlimited.

You could help a client sell a million-dollar home and earn $30,000 (assuming a 3% commission) for less than one month of part-time work.

There aren’t many other career options with income potential, like real estate. And yes, you can do this as a part-time real estate agent.

More Career Options

When you get your real estate salesperson license, your career options really open up. After practicing under a broker sponsor for a period, you can upgrade your existing salesperson license.

Moving to the broker level will increase your earning potential even more. You may even be ready to start your own brokerage before long.

Cost to Become a Part-Time Real Estate Agent

Cost to become a part-time real estate agent featuring Housing and knowledge


We’ve talked about the income potential for part-time real estate agents, but how much is this journey going to cost? It’s good to approach the situation as informed as you can be.

You don’t want to deal with any surprise costs or fees down the road. The cost of real estate school and your license aren’t the only things you’ll need to pay for.

Consider All Costs

Consider the less-obvious costs, like testing fees, exam prep costs, self-employment taxes, continuing education courses, insurance, brokerage desk fees, and office supplies.

Depending on the brokerage you work with, your costs may be significantly reduced. Some will pay for your real estate licensing test, supplies, and continuing education.

Overall, you might pay anywhere from $500 to $1,200 to become a part-time real estate agent. Realistically, you can plan on spending about $1,000 to get your license and start working for a brokerage.

How to Become a Part-Time Real Estate Agent

If you’re ready to find out what the process of becoming a part-time real estate agent is, you’re in the right place. These are the steps you’ll follow to get your license.

1. Find Out Your State’s Real Estate Requirements

Researching her state's requirements to become a part-time real estate agent, Focused young african american businesswoman or student looking at laptop holding book learning, serious black woman working or studying with computer doing research or preparing for exam online


Every state’s real estate commission has different requirements for real estate agents, also called salespersons.

Before you commit to the journey, take some time to determine exactly what your state’s real estate licensing requirements are. 

There are a few ways you can find accurate info on your state’s requirements. Choose any of these to see what your state’s Real Estate Commission requires you to do to get licensed:

  • View state requirements on Real Estate Express
  • Search your state + Real Estate Commission license requirements
  • Call or email your state’s Real Estate Commission office

Make note of each requirement so you can be sure to meet it. Most state requirements involve completing a few different steps.

You’ll need a your pre-licensing education courses (online or in-person) to pass the state real estate exam, pay for the license, and locate a brokerage to sponsor you.

2. Enroll In a Real Estate School

A Male Teacher Explaining The Concept Of Property Value Concept To Students In Classroom


Once you know what your state requires for a real estate license, you can start checking out real estate school options. There are thousands online alone, but some have better reputations than others.

Some will not be approved by your state’s Real Estate Commission, so it’s important to do a little research. To be on the safe side, go with our number one recommendation: Real Estate Express.

It’s a trusted online real estate school with a long reputation for excellence. We always recommend Real Estate Express because:

  • All their courses are accredited nationwide
  • You can find your state’s requirements on their website
  • You get access to every single course you’ll need for your state
  • The prices are lower than many other online real estate schools
  • You can purchase all the courses you’ll need in one package or buy individual courses
  • You get up to 6 months to complete any course you purchase
  • They have a Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee

Some of your courses will be state-specific, but many of the pre-licensing courses are the same nationwide. You’ll cover things like real estate law, property management, real estate principles, finance, and contract law. 

If you’re taking online courses, it may take 1-4 months to finish your pre-licensing education and qualify to sit for the state’s real estate license exam.

With online courses, you can work on them anytime you have a free minute. You can work on them at 2:00 am if that suits your schedule!

If you choose a quality online real estate school, your courses will have quizzes and tests along the way to ensure you’re mastering the material. 

If you’re taking in-person courses, it may take 4-6 months to finish your pre-licensing education and qualify to sit for the real estate exam.

Classroom courses take longer because you can’t work on them anytime you have free time. You have to wait for the next scheduled class.

3. Prepare for the Real Estate Licensing Exam

High school or college students studying and reading together in library education concepts


When you finish your pre-licensing courses, you need to start preparing for the state licensing exam immediately.

While the information is fresh in your mind, you’ll have even better odds of passing on the first try. 

Taking the required courses isn’t the only thing you need to do before scheduling your exam date. You need to sign up for an exam prep course to give yourself the best chance to pass with flying colors.

Take a Practice Exam

For the Rolls-Royce of real estate exam prep, use Real Estate Express Exam Prep ($99.00). There are 17 practice tests, digital flashcards, custom exams made from questions you missed, and more.

The best part is the Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee. Once you take this prep course, Real Estate Express guarantees that you will pass your real estate exam on the first try. If you don’t, you’ll get your money back. 

If you’re on a tight budget and don’t care about bells and whistles, you can try The Official PSI Practice Exam ($19.95). There’s no pass guarantee, and it’s pretty bare-bones.

But in a pinch, it will help you prepare for the real estate exam. A few more tips for real estate exam prep: Make your study area a distraction-free zone.

Sit at a desk or table and turn your phone and TV off. Make sure to time yourself for each practice test. On exam day, you’ll get about 2 hours and 40 minutes for Part 1 and about 1 hour and 20 minutes for Part 2. 

4. Apply for and Schedule Your Exam

Business writing for working and schedule this month. Planner of meeting plan job studying for a part-time real estate agent exam

This Is Me/Shutterstock

When you’ve finished all your pre-licensing courses, your real estate school will submit proof of completion to PSI, which provides the real estate exams. You will also get a certificate of completion from the school. 

Once you have the certificate, you will send it to your state’s real estate commission and an application to take the real estate license exam. There is only a small fee for the application.

Once you’re approved, you will be directed to a website to pay for the exam and schedule a date, time, and location. 

5. Take the Real Estate Licensing Exam

Finger clicking on a tablet with multiple-choice questions


On the exam day, you will be able to bring a simple calculator, two forms of ID, and anything else your state requires. The exams are done on computers.

You’ll take the exam in 2 parts: General real estate concepts (up to 100 questions) and state licensing laws (up to 80 questions). You’ll have about 4 hours to complete both parts.

All questions are multiple-choice. A passing score is 70% to 75% on each section. Once you pass, you’ll be able to apply for your real estate license officially.

Once you have your license, you’ll choose a broker to sponsor you for your state’s required time. Now, you can begin working part-time as a real estate agent! 

Is It Easy to Become a Part-Time Real Estate Agent?

Part-time Real-estate agent presenting modern house

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We’ve shown you the benefits and steps to becoming a part-time real estate agent, but no one said it’s going to be easy. You’re going to spend a lot of time studying and preparing for the licensing exam.

In fact, you’ll have to invest about a grand into it. But you’ll also begin a rewarding career that, even done part-time, can earn you many times more than other jobs.

Becoming a part-time real estate agent is easier when you have a passion for the field. Not only will it help you sell more, but it’ll make things more enjoyable.

If you love connecting with others, coming up with solutions, promoting your services, and building a respected name in your community, it will hardly feel like work. 

If you do your research, choose a quality school, and take studying for the exam seriously, you can have your license in just a couple of months’ time.

Working as a part-time real estate agent could be the best career move you’ve ever made. And once you’ve got it, the sky’s the limit.