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How to Get a Real Estate License in Ohio 2021: All Requirements for Taking the Exam

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In this article, we will show you how to get a real estate license in Ohio. We’ve gathered all the necessary information that will help you throughout your journey to becoming a licensed real estate agent or broker.

Let’s start with a list of requirements.

How to Get a Real Estate License in Ohio
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Ohio Licensing Requirements for Real Estate Salespeople

To qualify for a salesperson license, an applicant must:

  1. Be honest, truthful, and of good reputation.
  2. Be at least 18 years old.
  3. Be sponsored by an Ohio broker.
  4. Not have been convicted of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude. Not have violated any civil rights laws regarding real estate within the past two years as determined by a court of law or violated any rules of the Ohio Division of Real Estate.
  5. Have a high school diploma or its equivalent as recognized by the Ohio Department of Education if you were born after 1950.
  6. Complete the education requirements:
  • Real Estate Principles and Practices (40 hours)
  • Ohio Real Estate Law, including instruction in civil rights, housing discrimination, and desegregation problems (40 hours)
  • Real Estate Appraisal (20 hours)
  • Real Estate Finance (20 hours)

It is important to note that if you have not been licensed as a salesperson or broker within a four-year period immediately before applying for the sales exam (for license), then you must complete the above list of courses within a 10-year period immediately before applying. The education must have been completed at an institution of higher learning that awards at least a two-year degree, such as an associate degree.

When selecting a broker to sponsor you, know that there are factors to consider to make the right choice. Before taking the plunge, our guide on how to choose the right real estate brokerage to work for can help you arrive at the best decision. Upon knowing the ins and outs of how brokerages work, head over to our directory of the best real estate brokerages in Ohio, which provides a list of residential and commercial brokers you can choose from.

Once you complete the education requirements, you may submit the Salesperson Examination Application, the application fee, and proof of the education you took. The application fee is $81.00 and copies of your transcripts or course completion certificates are acceptable.

An applicant must also complete a criminal records check of both state and FBI records before the applicant can test. The background check information is included with the Salesperson Examination Application.

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Ohio Licensing Requirements for Real Estate Brokers

In order to apply for a broker license, real estate agents in Ohio must hold an active salesperson license for at least two (2) of the last five (5) years and comply with the following requirements:

  1. If you were licensed prior to 1/1/1972, no further education is due.
  2. If licensed from 1/2/1972 to 1/3/1984, you must have taken the required 120 hours (courses #1-4 listed below)
  3. If licensed on or after 1/3/1984, you must have taken courses #1-8 listed below AND possess a minimum of two years of post-secondary education (#9), or the equivalent hours of sixty (60) semester or ninety (90) quarter hours.

The following is a list of the education requirements:

  1. Ohio Real Estate Law (40 hours)
  2. Ohio Real Estate Principles & Practices (40 hours)
  3. Real Estate Appraisal (20 hours)
  4. Real Estate Finance (20 hours)
  5. A Financial Management course
  6. A Human Resources or Personnel Management course
  7. An Applied Business Economics course
  8. A Business Law course
  9. A minimum of two years of post-secondary education, or equivalent hours of sixty (60) semester or ninety (90) quarter hours. Courses #5-8 may be included in your post-secondary education.

You must also meet the experience requirements totaling twenty (20) transactions. The Division uses the following formulas to calculate if an applicant meets the transaction requirements:

  • Listing agent in the sale of a property owned by another = ½ transaction
  • Selling agent in the sale of a property owned by another = ½ transaction
  • Listing agent in the lease of commercial or industrial real estate owned by another for a term of at least one year = ½ transaction
  • Procuring agent in the lease of commercial or industrial real estate owned by another for a term of at least one year = ½ transaction
  • LIsting and/or procuring agent in the lease of four residential real estate properties owned by another for a term of at least one year = 1 transaction

Upon accomplishing the above-mentioned requirements, you must submit proof of the education you completed (copies of your transcripts or course completion certificates are acceptable), along with the Broker Examination Application form and the application fee amounting to $135.00.

When applying for a broker license, the applicant is required to undergo a criminal records check of both state and FBI records before being accepted to take the exam. Information about the background check can be found within the Broker Examination Application.

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Reciprocal States

What Is Real Estate License Reciprocity?

Reciprocity is when another state recognizes an Ohio license as meeting that state’s licensing requirements and grants an equivalent license in that state. Reciprocity can be full (meaning no further education or testing is required) or partial (some education or testing may be required).

 

US States Having a Reciprocal Agreement with Ohio

The following states currently have a reciprocal agreement with Ohio:

  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Oklahoma
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming
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How to Study for a Real Estate License Exam in Ohio

Pre-Licensing Classroom Courses and Pre-Licensing Online Courses

Due to the nature of the coursework required for an Ohio real estate license, only Ohio’s community colleges provide the necessary pre-licensing courses. Please note some real estate schools may offer the required hours of pre-licensing education, BUT be careful about taking those courses if you have not been licensed before.

Those courses may not be acceptable to the Division as pre-licensing coursework. Remember, if you have not been licensed as a salesperson or broker within a four-year period immediately preceding your application for a license, then those courses must have been taken at an institution of higher learning that awards at least a two-year degree.

You may take the required coursework from the institutions listed below:

  • Belmont College
  • Cincinnati State
  • Clark State
  • Columbus State Community College
  • Cuyahoga Community
  • Eastern Gateway Community College
  • Edison State Community College
  • Hocking College
  • Lakeland Community College
  • Lorain County Community College
  • Marion Technical College
  • Northwest State Community College
  • Rhodes State College
  • Sinclair Community College
  • Southern State Community College
  • Terra State Community College
  • Zane State Community College

Information as to whether the courses are provided online or in the classroom can be obtained from each school.

Generally speaking, classroom courses are ideal for students who learn best in person and benefit from class discussion. Online courses are usually ideal for students who are able to drive their own studies and stay on schedule and enjoy self-study.

A college classroom course would give time for questions and discussion, and keep the student on pace to finish the class in a definite time period. A college online course may be an interactive virtual course or a self-study. That could vary by college or even professors at the same college.

If you don’t know the type of course format that suits you best, I would recommend comparing beforehand the differences of real estate courses online vs. classroom to give you a better idea of how each learning approach works.

Regardless of the type of online class provided, the student would still need to be diligent with their own studies and mindful to complete the class on a timely schedule (if the course did not have a definite end date).

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Where to Take the Real Estate Exam in Ohio

Upon completion of the requirements, the Division processes the application and sends the applicant’s information to PSI. After processing the applicant’s information, PSI sends a Candidate Information Bulletin, which includes detailed instructions on how to make an appointment for the exam.

PSI administers the Ohio real estate exam at the following locations:

  • Akron
  • Cambridge
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Columbus North (in Dublin)
  • Columbus South (in Groveport)
  • Toledo
  • Troy

The exam consists of two sections: the State portion, which should be completed within 60 minutes, and the National portion, which should be answered within 120 minutes. An examinee needs a passing score of 70 in order for a license to be issued.

Acing the exam as a first-time taker can be a tall order, so you have to thoroughly study for the test before making any appointments with the testing center. One of our experts, Kristina Morales, shares a few nuggets of wisdom when you want to know how to pass the real estate exam on the first attempt.

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How to File for Your License After the Exam in Ohio

Since the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing requires you to apply before sitting for the exam, you will have already filed for a license application before you take the exam. After passing the exam, PSI will send your scores to the Division the next business day.

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How to Receive Your Real Estate License in Ohio

The Division will send your license to your broker in the mail within 1-2 business days upon receipt of your scores. A congratulatory letter will also be sent to your address, along with detailed instructions on the requirements you need to accomplish in your first year as a licensed Ohio real estate agent.

Now that you are licensed, you get the opportunity to choose the right career path you want to take when practicing real estate in the state of Ohio. We have a 6-step plan of what happens after you pass your real estate exam and get your real estate license that you may want to consider.

Also, keep in mind to join a real estate team to learn from experienced agents and network with your peers.

Frequently Asked Questions
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How long does it take to get a real estate license in Ohio when studying online or in the class?

You are required to complete 120 hours (for both salesperson and broker licenses). The time varies depending on the format of the class (online or in person) and the number of hours per week. On average, it takes about three months. If you are taking online classes and have enough time for studying, you can complete the program sooner.

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Is there a background check for an Ohio real estate license?

Yes. All applicants must complete a criminal records check of both state and FBI records. An applicant must have their fingerprints taken by a Webcheck user approved by the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation within ten (10) days after the date of filing the application.

The applicant is responsible for contacting Webcheck and making arrangements with them to be fingerprinted, upon choosing from a list of Webcheck users.

The Bureau submits results directly to the Division within thirty (30) days of the Bureau’s receipt of the applicant’s fingerprints. Failure to comply with the background check requirements can result in application denial.

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How much does an Ohio real estate license cost?

The salesperson application fee is $81.00.
The broker application fee is $135.00.

Please note this cost does not include the cost of education or PSI exam fees (find this information in the following FAQs below).

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

If you fail one or both parts of the Ohio exam, you will be given a retake application before you leave the testing center. This application must be submitted to the Division, who will then notify PSI of your testing eligibility.

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How many times can you retake the Ohio real estate exam?

There is no limit on how many times you can retake if you fail the exam. You are required to pay the testing fee again, and you must submit the retake application at least once within 12 months of the failed exam.

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

Yes. PSI charges a testing fee each time.

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

If you take one portion of the real estate exam again, it is $39.00 for a salesperson or broker license.

If you take both portions at the same time again, it is $59.00 for a salesperson and $39.00 for a broker license.

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Can you get a real estate license with a misdemeanor or felony in Ohio?

It is unlikely you can be licensed with a criminal history. One of the requirements for a salesperson license is to not have been convicted of a felony or crime of moral turpitude. This also applies to broker applicants since anyone applying for a broker license must have previously been a salesperson.

However, it is possible for the Division to disregard a conviction or violation in some circumstances. Anyone with a previous conviction of any type, misdemeanor or felony, is encouraged to seek pre-determination of eligibility with the Division prior to taking courses or the real estate licensing exam.

You must complete the Pre-Determination Form and send it to the Division for review. Unfortunately, any decision made on the Pre-Determination form is not binding, and the Division CAN still decide to not approve an applicant’s criminal records report when it is received from the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.

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

It is very likely that you can get a real estate license in Ohio if you have a DUI report, depending on how it was classified on your criminal record.

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

If you were born after 1950, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent to obtain a real estate license.

 

I hope you have fully immersed yourself in the information provided by this guide to help you get a real estate license in Ohio. Gear up for the challenges and opportunities ahead by signing up with the Real Estate Bees platform, which offers you the best tools and strategies to effectively market your real estate business. Discover more about us and learn how we assist real estate professionals in jumpstarting their career.

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