How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Michigan?

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How much is a real estate license in Michigan? Several costs are involved, and we lead you through the expenses associated with each part of the licensing process in this article.

We point out which costs are fixed fees, the ranges for variable expenses, and factors that can impact the latter. You’ll also get a close-up look at how much it costs to stay actively licensed.

See the details below to learn what financial commitment you need to be prepared to make.


Getting Your License

Real Estate Schooling: $150 to $400+ for Salesperson; $650+ for Broker

To get started in the real estate business in Michigan, you’re required to complete a 40-hour course to gain the requisite knowledge of the profession’s principles, practices, and laws.

As you compare fees for the salesperson pre-licensing courses, you’ll see that prices vary by school and whether you study in the classroom or online.

The enrollment cost for an online course completed at your preferred pace ranges from $150 to $300. As you might expect, the price for live instructor-led classes is even higher.

If you prefer to attend class in person at a real estate school or participate through a livestream format, set a budget range of at least $310 to $430.

Those obtaining a broker license have a higher threshold of pre-licensing education than salesperson applicants. That requirement is 90 clock hours.

Some providers make that coursework available in a 90-hour package of three 30-hour online courses that fulfill the state’s requirement. Prices are $650 to $700.

You also have the option of enrolling in individual 30-hour courses. These are offered online, in a live or virtual classroom, and via home study.

The cost of separate courses hover in the $300 to $350 range, and the online delivery format is generally the least expensive of the three options.


Exam Prep: $75 to $200

You are not required to do extra exam prep. However, if you want all the help you can get to pass the real estate exam for a Michigan real estate license, this cost should be one of your budgeted items.

Prices vary by school and start as low as $75 for a standalone online course. The most popular price point for online exam prep is in the $99 to $135 range.

Some schools offer exam prep as an add-on to their self-paced pre-licensing package. You’ll typically pay $60 to $90 more for this option than you would for the pre-licensing course alone.

Expect to pay a higher price for a live prep program that offers instructor-led webinars and access to live Q&A. You should set aside at least $200 in this instance.


License Application: $88 for Salesperson; $143 for Broker

As a salesperson applicant, you can only register for the exam once you get the go-ahead from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

That requires you to apply on the front end of the process. You must submit your application online through the MiPLUS portal. An $88 fee is associated with this.

You don’t have to get pre-approval to take the exam if you’re a broker candidate. So, you can apply before or after the test. Whenever you do, you must remit $143.

Both these amounts include the application fee, plus the 3-year license fee.

Note that you may get a waiver on paying if you served in the armed forces. It isn’t automatic, though. You have to request one and meet the character of discharge requirement to get it.

To be eligible for the waiver, you must have papers (Form DD214 or DD215) demonstrating you were separated from service with an honorable or under honorable conditions discharge.

Also as part of your application, you will have to get sponsorship from a licensed Michigan real estate brokerage. Use our guide on choosing a broker to work for when making your selection.


Exam Fee: $79 per Attempt

The state of Michigan contracts with PSI Services, a national test vendor, to manage the licensing exams. Therefore, you must register with them to reserve a test slot.

The registration fee is $79, and there is no price difference for salesperson or broker applicants.

If you get a passing score the first time you test, $79 is the total you’ll pay to take the exam. You’ll spend more if you fail and have to retest.

The exam fee covers only one try. So, the total cost of a real estate license in Michigan increases by $79 for every attempt to pass the exam.

You may also have to pay the fee again if you don’t follow the rules. PSI spells out all the circumstances that lead to forfeiture of your payment in the Candidate Information Bulletin.


Keeping Your License

Continuing Education: $120+ Every Renewal Cycle

To continue your real estate practice once licensed, you must satisfy Michigan’s requirements for ongoing education. So, plan for that expense from the onset.

Your cost will be based on 18 hours of coursework each 3-year renewal cycle. The total hours break down as follows:

  • Two hours each calendar year must be in Legal Updates.
  • The remaining 12 hours can be approved electives.

There are plenty of online CE courses to choose from, with most providers offering package deals.

For example, you’ll find complete renewal packages with all 18 credit hours at a price point of around $120.

Six-hour online bundles are most commonly available, all of which include the two hours of Legal Updates you must complete annually. These are about $40, on average.

Some Michigan real estate schools teach CE topics in person or through a virtual classroom. Pricing for those 6-hour packages ranges from $45 to $50.

So, if you combine three 6-hour packages, be prepared for a financial outlay of at least $120.

You can also enroll in separate courses. Your cost in that case depends on the combination you pick. The per-course price runs from $20 to $40, and it’s based on the number of credit hours.


License Renewal: $78+ for Salesperson; $108+ for Broker

Whether you’re a Michigan real estate agent or a broker, your license is valid for three years. Your renewal deadline is the anniversary date of license issuance.

You must submit the appropriate paperwork and payment by that deadline to get credit for an on-time renewal. When you do, your Michigan real estate license renewal fee is as follows:

  • Salesperson license: $78
  • Broker license: $108

If the deadline comes and goes and you fail to renew, your license expires. However, there is a 60-day grace period following that expiration.

If you renew during that period, you can pay the standard renewal fee, plus a late penalty of $20.

What happens if you miss the 60-day window? You’ll have to apply for relicensure, and the requirements and costs vary based on how much time has elapsed.

If your license expired less than three years ago, you must:

  • Pay relicensure application and license fees: $108 for salespeople and $163 for brokers.
  • Complete six hours of CE for every year or partial year you missed.

Those whose license expired more than three years ago must pay the appropriate application and license fees, and either retake the exam, repeat pre-licensing education, or catch up on CE.


How to Reduce Real Estate License Education Costs

You’ll invest quite a bit in your initial and continuing education. These costs are variable ones that are impacted by the choices you make.

With that said, here are some ways to positively impact your education budget line.

1. Be a virtual student. Online course prices tend to be cheaper than in-person learning, for which you typically pay a premium. Plus, you save on commuting costs, too.

Know more about the benefits of learning remotely by reading our A-to-Z guide comparing real estate classes online vs. classroom courses.

2. Seek support. Find out if your broker will cover some or all of your pre-licensing or CE expenses. Be sure you understand any associated conditions.

3. Skip separate CE courses. Bundles are one of your best bets for saving money on pre-licensing and continuing education courses.

4. Get a discount. Look for promotions and use related codes when enrolling. Also, check on member discounts (or available free CE) through a Realtors Association.

5. Get your money back. As an independent professional, you can deduct eligible expenses at tax time. Continuing education is generally on the deductible list.


In this guide, you learned the estimated costs for getting a real estate license in Michigan. Now, you can create a budget and save money to fund this endeavor.

For the estimated timeline to complete the licensing process, refer to our guide on how long it takes to get a Michigan real estate license.

Also, the more prepared you are for the exam, the better. You can learn what to expect and how to test successfully in our article on how to pass the Michigan real estate exam.

If you’re wondering if you need to undergo a background check as part of your application, read our in-depth guide on getting a Michigan real estate license with violations on your record.

Our guide on what happens after you pass your real estate exam is also an invaluable resource for planning your next steps, which may include joining a real estate team.

I would also recommend learning from other agents on being a real estate agent as a career. This way, you will know the pros and cons of working as a realtor.

As you build your real estate business in the state, focus on amplifying your online presence and augmenting your marketing efforts.

To help you build and grow your real estate career quickly, we at Real Estate Bees created a directory for real estate professionals.

It’s designed to help you get more exposure for your business, including receiving leads. Create a free profile by signing up here.


If you want to contribute your expert advice on a topic of your expertise, feel free to apply to our Expert Contributor Program.


About the Author

Kristina Morales is a REALTOR® with over 20 years of professional experience. She actively practices real estate in Ohio but also has practiced real estate in California and Texas. Conducting her real estate business in three states has allowed her to gain unique experiences that make her a well-rounded realtor. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and her MBA with a concentration in Banking and Finance. Prior to real estate, Kristina had an extensive corporate career in banking and treasury. She ended her finance career as an Assistant Treasurer at a publicly traded oil & gas company in Houston, TX.

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