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All New Jersey Real Estate License Requirements and the Process of Obtaining It

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If you’re interested in learning how to get your real estate license in New Jersey, keep reading. We break down everything you’ll need to know to complete the process.

From the pre-licensing requirements to where to take the test to what happens after, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s begin with the requirements of getting your real estate license if you’re looking to become a sales agent.

How to Get a Real Estate License in New Jersey

New Jersey Real Estate License Requirements for Salespeople

Obtaining a real estate license in New Jersey starts by meeting a few basic requirements.

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • You must demonstrate honesty, trustworthiness, character, and integrity to the satisfaction of the New Jersey Real Estate Commission.

When these requirements for an NJ real estate license are met, the next step is to complete your pre-licensing education.

You’ll have to take a 75-hour pre-licensing course at an approved school. Once done, you have a year from your completion date to pass the licensing exam and submit an application.

Once your classwork is finished, how to get a real estate license in NJ shifts to the actual exam. You’ll need to register for the test through PSI. The exam fee is $38.

You can set up an online account or call 855-579-4634 to pick your testing date. To pass, you’ll need a minimum score of 70 percent.

The licensing exam takes four hours and has 110 questions to answer. You’ll need to get 77 answers correct to receive a passing score.

After passing the real estate license exam, you’ll need to work with your sponsoring broker to submit your application.

If you don’t already have a sponsoring broker, you can use our directory of top-rated real estate companies in New Jersey to locate one.

Our guide on choosing the right real estate brokerage to work for as a new agent will help you find a good fit.

The total licensing fee, which also includes the application fee and the guaranty fund fee, is $160.

You must also complete a background check by submitting your fingerprints and the Universal Form. Fingerprinting is managed by IdentoGo and costs $66.05.

You should schedule fingerprinting immediately after passing the exam.


New Jersey Real Estate License Requirements for Brokers

How to obtain a real estate license if you’re applying as a New Jersey broker? Not all requirements are the same as a salesperson’s.

While the basics match up, the amount of pre-licensing education differs. You also need a set amount of previous experience.

To be eligible for a broker license, New Jersey real estate agents must have been continually licensed and employed full time as a real estate salesperson in the state for the three years immediately preceding their application.

Pre-licensing education totals 150 hours and breaks down into three sections.

  • 90 hours in general real estate
  • 30 hours in agency and ethics
  • 30 hours in office management and related topics

You must apply for your license no later than one year after completing your educational requirements.

Additionally, you’ll need to submit an Experience Report for Broker Applicant form to verify this employment. The fee for this form is $25, and you submit it after finishing the 90-hour course.

All broker candidates must then get approved by the New Jersey Real Estate Commission before being able to schedule the license exam.

The exam itself is also proctored by PSI with a $38 fee, but has more questions on it. You’ll have four hours to answer 115 questions.

You need to answer 84 questions correctly to receive the minimum passing score of 70 percent.

After passing the licensing exam, you’ll need to submit the proper forms and fingerprints for a background check, same as a salesperson.

You’ll also need to pay a license fee of $270, which includes the application fee and guaranty fund in addition to the license fee itself.


Reciprocal States

What Is Real Estate License Reciprocity?

If you’re moving to New Jersey, and already have a real estate license, you may be interested in reciprocity.

This is where one state, with similar real estate requirements, makes it easier to transfer your license over.

New Jersey real estate license reciprocity is very specific. The state does not have full reciprocity with any state.

Partial reciprocity is available for those with a license from Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Coming from any of these states, you’ll need to:

  • Complete the pre-licensing education requirement.
  • Submit a New Jersey Salesperson Waiver Application.
  • Submit an official licensure history from your current state.


US States Having a Reciprocal Agreement with New Jersey

Although New Jersey doesn’t really have reciprocity with very many states, there are a few that will make it easy for you to transfer a New Jersey real estate license.

Those NJ real estate license reciprocal states that offer full reciprocity include:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Virginia

Georgia also offers partial reciprocity.

You’ll need to look at each state’s specific reciprocity requirements prior to moving. They’re all usually unique and are subject to change.


How to Study for a Real Estate License Exam in New Jersey

Survey of Experts

How difficult was it for you to study and pass the New Jersey real estate license exam?

How many attempts did it take you to pass your real estate license exam?

Pre-Licensing Classroom Courses

No matter which real estate license you’re applying for, the New Jersey Real Estate Commission provides a list of approved schools for your pre-licensing education.

Find one by going over our list of the best real estate schools in New Jersey.

While the salesperson requirement is condensed into a single 75-hour course, the broker coursework has three categories.

For a total of 150 hours, you’ll need to take courses in general real estate, agency and ethics, and office management.

Pre-licensing coursework costs vary between license types and institutions. Most average out at a few hundred dollars, though.

Another feature that can impact cost is whether you decide to take the classes in person or online. Opting to take in-person classes has plenty of benefits even if it might cost a little more.

In-person learning provides you with a consistent and predictable learning schedule. You meet in the same place, at the same time, each week.

This can make it easier to plan around your existing schedule and obligations, and is particularly helpful if you have a job while working toward your license.

Being face-to-face also helps when it comes to networking. You meet future colleagues and get face time with your instructors, many of whom already have industry connections.

It can also be easier to create a study group when it comes time to prepare for the exam.


Pre-Licensing Online Courses

Deciding to take your pre-licensing coursework virtually has its own set of benefits. The first of which is flexibility.

Learning via a remote setup puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to deciding when and where to learn. You may even get your coursework done quicker, as you can work at your own pace.

If, for example, you treat your course requirement like a job, devoting 40 hours per week to the work, you could get your salesperson class done in less than two weeks.

You’d finish your broker hours in less than a month.

Other benefits include picking the perfect place to work, with the least amount of distractions. This means a quiet room, alone, over a potentially noisy classroom.

Both learning in person and online each offer a solid set of benefits. Picking between the two should be based on your own needs.

To get some help with the decision though, make sure to weigh the pros and cons of taking real estate classes online vs. traditional classroom courses.


Survey of Experts

Did you take your pre-licensing real estate course online or in person?

Do you think taking a real estate pre-licensing course online can save students time compared to in-person courses?

What is the name of the school where you completed your pre-licensing course?

Expert Insight

Do you see any advantages of taking an online course over the in-person class?

In-person classes put everything into context which is very important. A good teacher expands on the material with personal anecdotes which make it much easier to understand and retain. You can’t get that with online classes.

Suzy Leydenfrost, Keller Williams NJ Metro Group, Sales Associate

I think nothing beats in-person learning. While it’s more convenient to be online, I think being in class with others and having face time is invaluable.

Angela Salisbury, Keller Williams Towne Square Realty, Sales Associate

Sure! First and foremost, it’s done on your own time. Secondly, you can pause it as many times as you need to in order to take accurate notes.

Ashley Jimenez, Keller Williams Westfield, Realtor/Sales Associate


What would you recommend real estate students to invest extra in to ensure passing the exam on the first try?

Seeing as I passed both the national and state portions the first time around, I would recommend two things:

1. If possible, take the course and do it full time. I did mine for 8 hours a day for two weeks and as soon as I was finished with the course, I studied for one or two weeks after, and then took the exam.

Get it done while it’s all fresh. A lot of people drag it out and I don’t think that’s ever good.

2. STUDY the VOCABULARY portion. Know what everything means and understand the phrases. You’re almost guaranteed to pass if you understand everything.

James Joslin, James Joslin Real Estate, Real Estate Consultant/Realtor

Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do in this industry. Having a review class prior to the state exam would be a minimal cost in time and money that would pay in the long run with time saved.

Miklos C. Foltiny, Keller Williams-Princeton, Realtor Associate

Invest your time! I advise agents to take the two-week course and study. Highlight the important information in your book. Review the vocabulary and test within a week of the class.

Nadine LoCascio, Keller Williams Real Estate, Agent

Where to Take the Real Estate Exam in New Jersey

PSI has testing centers in a variety of New Jersey locations, but you can also test at any location across the country.

To stay local, you can find testing centers in:

  • Brick
  • Cherry Hill
  • Hamilton Township
  • North Brunswick Township
  • New Providence
  • Linwood
  • Rochelle Park
  • Parsippany
  • Secaucus

The exam fee, regardless of license type, is $38. The test is also four hours no matter which license you’re getting. You’ll need a minimum score of 70 percent to pass.

The total number of questions do vary by license type, but the topics covered are the same. They include:

  • Property ownership
  • Financing
  • Land use controls and regulations
  • General principles of agency
  • Valuation and market analysis
  • Property disclosures
  • Contracts
  • Practice of real estate
  • Leasing and property management
  • Transfer of title
  • Real estate calculations
  • Instructional methods and techniques
  • Duties and powers of the Real Estate Commission
  • Licensing requirements
  • Statutes and rules governing licensee activities
  • Additional requirements

The salesperson exam will have 110 questions across these topics, while the broker exam has 115 questions.

Read our article on what to study for the NJ real estate exam.

Make sure you’re fully prepared to take the test by reading our tips on studying for the real estate exam.


How to File for Your License After the Exam in New Jersey

Once you pass your real estate license exam, you’ll need to submit your application and schedule an appointment to get fingerprinted.

After both these items are submitted in full, your application will get processed.

Application fees are $160 for a salesperson license, and $270 for a broker license. Fingerprinting, through IdentoGo, costs $66.05.


How to Receive Your Real Estate License in New Jersey

After the New Jersey Real Estate Commission reviews and approves your application for license, you’re able to print or download it.

You’ll go through the Real Estate Commission Online Services main menu to obtain what’s called a pocket card license.

Only the actual licensee can print their license, not their managing broker.

Once licensed, you can start making preparations on what to do when you get your real estate license.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get a New Jersey real estate license when studying in the class?

The length of time you need to complete the real estate licensing process depends on which type of license you’re getting.

For the salesperson license, with 75 hours of pre-licensing coursework, plus studying, taking the exam, and getting your license, it should take between 3-4 months at the most.

For a broker license, the total time will be slightly longer, since the pre-licensing class hours are double. Figure between 5-6 months at the most.


How long does it take to get a New Jersey real estate license online?

Can I get my NJ real estate license online? The answer is most definitely yes.

If you’re looking to complete the licensing process quickly, look into how to get a real estate license in NJ online.

With flexible scheduling and the ability to work at your own pace, you could greatly speed up the process.

Treating the licensing process like a job, and working at it 40 hours per week, you could get your salesperson license in as little as a month.

Using this strategy, you could get a broker license as quickly as a month and a half.

Our article on how long to get a real estate license in New Jersey will fill you in on the estimated timeline so you can plan your schedule ahead.


Survey of Experts

How long did it take you to get your real estate license? From the time you signed up for school till your license was issued.

Expert Insight

Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently to get your license faster?

Nothing. I feel like I did it in a reasonable amount of time. I failed on the first attempt, took 2 weeks to re-group, and that’s when I studied directly from PSI’s study guide in addition to re-studying my own index cards. And I passed on the second try.

— Ashley Jimenez, Keller Williams Westfield, Realtor/Sales Associate

I would have started sooner as I’ve always had an interest in real estate.

— Angela Salisbury, Keller Williams Towne Square Realty, Sales Associate

Is there a background check for a New Jersey real estate license?

Yes. To complete your background check you must schedule an appointment with IdentoGo to get your fingerprints.

You can do this after passing the license exam. The cost is $66.05.

You’ll also need to submit a Universal Form to complete this process.


How much does a New Jersey real estate license cost?

There are certain fees you have to pay no matter which type of license you’re getting. These total out to $105.

You’ll need to add to that educational costs, which for a salesperson ranges from $375-$500, and for brokers starts at $500.

Then there’s the license fee, which is $160 for a salesperson license and $270 for a broker. Brokers also pay an additional $25 to submit an extra form.

Totals come out to between $640-$765 for a salesperson license, and at least $790 for a broker license.

Our article – How Much Does a Real Estate License in New Jersey Cost? – gives you all the licensing fees you need to know, from getting your license to keeping it active.


Survey of Experts

In your opinion, was the cost of getting your real estate license reasonable?

Approximately how much did it cost you to get your real estate license? Including school fees, study materials, and other related expenses.

Expert Insight

What were your ‘surprise costs’ after getting your license?

I received my license back in the 1990s. There was limited automation in the industry at the time.

MLS books were starting to be phased out, comp books were still in use, and computers were starting to become a part of our business.

The MLS books were probably not an anticipated cost of business.

— Miklos C. Foltiny, Keller Williams-Princeton, Realtor Associate

The $400 to join the board of realtors, and the errors and omissions yearly insurance charge of $480.

— Ashley Jimenez, Keller Williams Westfield, Realtor/Sales Associate


What costs could have been avoided and how?

Some brokers pay the errors and omissions fee for you, so you won’t have to pay this particular expense.

— Ashley Jimenez, Keller Williams Westfield, Realtor/Sales Associate

How long do you have to wait to retake the real estate exam in New Jersey?

If you fail to pass the New Jersey real estate exam, you must wait until the following day to reschedule the test.

That means, if you fail on a Wednesday, you can contact PSI on a Thursday, and retest as early as Friday based on exam availability.


How many times can you retake the New Jersey real estate exam?

You have unlimited opportunities to retake if you fail the exam in New Jersey as long as you pass within a year from when you complete your pre-licensing education.


Do you have to pay to retake the real estate exam in New Jersey?

Yes. You’re required to pay the same testing fee each time you retake the real estate license exam in New Jersey.


How much does it cost to retake the real estate exam in New Jersey?

The fee for retakes is the same as the initial testing fee of $38.


Can you get a real estate license with a felony in New Jersey?

If you’ve ever been convicted of a felony, or are currently on parole or probation, your real estate license application may be denied.

A forgery, burglary, robbery, or any theft offense other than shoplifting and criminal conspiracy to defraud, within the five years preceding the application, will most likely end in a denial.

If the conviction occurred more than five years before applying for a license, it may be a ground for denying your application.

The New Jersey Real Estate Commission considers the date and nature of the conviction against the applicant’s character, honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity when making their evaluation.

Read our article on getting a New Jersey real estate license with violations to know what steps to take when acquiring a license with a criminal background.


Can you get a real estate license with a misdemeanor in New Jersey?

If you have certain misdemeanor convictions within the five years leading up to your application for license, you may get denied.

Misdemeanors in the areas of forgery, burglary, or theft may qualify for automatic denial within this time period.

However, convictions older than five years are subject to review. The conviction date and nature of the crime are both taken into consideration.


Will a DUI prevent you from getting a real estate license in New Jersey?

You can still get a real estate license if you have a DUI in New Jersey. What’s important is being upfront about the conviction.

The New Jersey Real Estate Commission will review your case, taking into consideration the date and actual conviction.

They’ll also consider your character, honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity when making their final decision.


Survey of Experts

Is it more challenging to get a real estate license with violations on one’s record?

Do you know any people who got a real estate license with violations on their record?


Can I get a real estate license without a high school diploma in New Jersey?

A high school diploma or its equivalent is required to get a real estate license in New Jersey.


Getting your license is the first step to building a lucrative real estate business in the state. Don’t go to battle without reading our resources designed to boost your career:

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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