How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Montana?
While the total expense of getting a real estate license in Montana may seem daunting, each step has its own price that’s often not too hard to budget for. You also don’t pay for everything all at once.
To better understand the individual costs associated with a Montana real estate license, keep reading.
We price out each step to give you the clearest picture possible when it comes to costs.
Obtaining Your License
Pre-Licensing Education: $225-$725
Usually the first, and largest, cost to getting your Montana real estate license is the price of pre-licensing education.
This is often where the real estate license journey begins, but your required hours will vary based on license type.
For a salesperson license, you’ll need to complete 70 classroom hours as a requirement. Those going for a broker license must complete 60 hours of pre-licensing education.
Both course format and whether you can bundle hours together impacts price, so make sure you look at more than one school before committing.
Exam Fee: $106
Once you complete your pre-licensing education, the next step is to take and pass the licensing exam.
The $106 fee is the same no matter which type of license you’re trying to get.
To register and schedule your rest, you’ll need to contact PSI Exams. The fastest way to do this is to register online, but you can set everything up over the phone at 855-898-0716.
You’re given 210 minutes to complete both sections of your real estate license exam. There’s a national portion, and one that’s state-specific.
For the salesperson exam, you’ll have 80 questions to answer in the national section, and 33 in the state. To pass, you must get 56 points in the national section, and 23 in the state.
For the broker exam, the question breakdown is a little different. Here, you’ll find 75 questions in the national section and 40 in the state.
To pass the broker exam, you must get a total of 90 points, 60 in the national section, and 30 in the state.
To know what topics are covered in the test, read our article on what to study for the Montana real estate exam.
Exam Retake: $106
The exam retake fee is always the same, at $106, whether you’re retaking one or both sections of the test.
You have 24 months to pass both sections of the real estate license exam, and can retake as many times as necessary.
After two years, your education certificate is no longer valid and you’ll have to complete that requirement again.
To schedule your retest, contact PSI the same way you did previously, 24 hours after receiving a failing grade. You’ll be able to retest as soon as the following day if there is availability.
License Application: $80 for Salesperson; $90 for Broker
When you’re ready to complete your real estate license application, the accompanying fee varies based on license type.
The fee is $80 for a salesperson application, and $90 for a broker application.
Note that before applying for a license, you are required to be affiliated with a broker. Take time to carefully choose a real estate brokerage firm to work for to get a good start on your real estate career.
You can browse our directory of top real estate brokers in Montana for a list of reputable real estate companies.
In case you’re wondering, background checks aren’t part of the license application in the state. However, you may need to submit supporting documentation should you have any conviction.
You can find all the information in an article on getting a Montana real estate license with violations.
You have one year after passing your real estate license exam in Montana to file your application, which you can do online or by mailing in a paper application.
Once your license is approved, you’ll receive an email notification with instructions on how to download a copy for yourself.
Errors & Omissions Insurance: $168
The last thing you’ll need to become fully licensed is the proper insurance.
You can buy into the group plan offered through the Montana Board of Realty Regulation to get your E&O insurance.
This is an annual premium you’ll pay, and you must have continuous coverage in order to renew your license.
Buying into the Board’s group plan is most likely the most cost-effective way to get proper coverage.
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.
What were your ‘surprise costs’?
Everything just seemed to add up. Class, exam, cost to travel to exam, license, cards, MLS fees, key lock fees, business photos, office supplies, etc.
Keeping Your License Active
Continuing Education: $80+
There’s really a wide array of options when it comes to the required 12 hours of continuing education that Montana real estate agents must take each year to maintain a valid license.
Most institutions offer the hours as a package, but costs can get as high as $200.
You may also have the option to pay per course.
To count toward your continuing education credit, the course must be approved by the Board of Realty Regulation.
License Renewal: $80 for Salesperson; $90 for Broker
The cost of renewing your license is the same as what you paid with your initial application. For a salesperson, it’s $80, and for a broker, it’s $90.
You renew your license every year. The renewal deadline is always on October 31, and renewal opens 60 days prior.
What were your ‘surprise costs’ after getting your license?
Surprise costs I wasn’t aware of were the fees you have to pay to obtain your license and be an agent your first year. Ex: MLS, NAR, & yearly/quarterly required fees.
How to Reduce Real Estate License Education Costs
It’s hard to reduce the cost of the overall real estate licensing process in Montana. Many fees are fixed, and can’t be changed.
However, within the most costly portion of the process, your pre-licensing education, you may be able to save a little if you do your research.
Take the time to compare accredited real estate schools in Montana for your coursework. In addition to looking at the flat rate, see which places offer extras and have a strong pass rate.
It may be worthwhile to pay a little more if you get a bunch of additional resources that make studying easier, and if they have a success rate at or above 90 percent.
You’ll also want to compare costs of going in person or taking your class virtually. It could be less expensive to go remote.
Refer to our article on real estate classes online vs. classroom courses to weigh the pros and cons of each method.
When possible, always bundle hours into a package deal. You’ll almost always save more than taking classes à la carte.
Once you have all the right materials, and have taken great notes in class, the only other way to save a little money is to study.
Work hard to prepare for and pass the real estate exam the first time to avoid paying for retakes.
The rest of the fees are pretty set, but if your budget is tight, you definitely have options to cut costs in a few specific places.
Survey of Experts
What costs could have been avoided and how?
Selecting the most affordable online pre-licensing course will cost you more time and money in the long run.
It did not set me up for success to pass the national/state exams and I had to pay for multiple tests to complete my license.
I also had to learn even more information after completing my pre-licensing course to learn the info needed to pass the exams.
Take note of these expenses when getting your real estate license in Montana, so you can prepare a reasonable budget for it.
As getting licensed quickly is also your goal, know the complete timeline through our guide – How Long Does It Take to Get a Real Estate License in Montana?
When you’re finally licensed, spend time to know the industry you’re getting into so that you can build a successful real estate career in the state. The following resources can be your go-to guides:
- Pros and cons of being a real estate agent
- What happens after you pass your real estate exam
- How to join a real estate team
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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.