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

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Obtaining a real estate salesperson’s license requires a commitment of time and money. This article gives you a close look at the latter – how much a real estate license in MN costs.

There are fixed and variable expenses. We show you what goes into those costs, so you can budget accordingly. We also share information on expenditures for maintaining your license to help you plan ahead.

While your exact total will depend on how much you spend on pre-licensing courses and exam preparation, you can look to pay at least $750 to get your first license.

Moreover, be prepared to shell out $280 to renew your real estate license every two years to keep it active.

Here’s what’s behind the numbers.

Table of Contents

Getting Your First License

Preparatory Education: at Least $500

When you’re looking to start your career as a licensed real estate agent in Minnesota, you’re expected to have already completed a specific amount of associated education.

That requirement is 90 hours of approved pre-licensing instruction from any of the accredited real estate schools in Minnesota.

The coursework is divided into three 30-hour parts, and how much you will pay to complete them will vary based on whether you:

  • Take self-paced online courses or choose a classroom setting.
  • Enroll in individual classes or sign up for a discounted package.

Online on-demand classes tend to be the least expensive option. Packages with the three courses are a popular offering, and your cost per course is typically lower if you sign up for them individually.

Unless you score a sale, standalone courses are about $200 to $300 each.

Individual enrollment will allow you some flexibility, though. You can take Course I as required to sit for the exam.

Then you can complete the other two courses later, as long as you meet the requirement to finish them before applying for your license.

If you take the courses in a live online or in-classroom format, you’ll likely pay more, as you might expect. The cost can be $800-plus.

On-campus classes at a postsecondary institution can be even more than that, as you’d be charged tuition per credit hour, plus student fees.

Read our detailed guide comparing side by side the differences between real estate classes online and classroom-based courses.

This will help you make the best decision when choosing the right preparatory education for your real estate career.


Exam Prep Course: $50 to $120

It’s up to you to decide how much exam preparation you need. Plenty of options are available in real-time and self-paced formats.

Most of the real estate schools and online education providers offer prep services as an add-on service to the cost of the classes. This option typically tacks on about $50 to the base price.

Real estate schools and online education providers generally offer prep courses à la carte as well. If you go this route, prices range anywhere from $70 to $120.

Focusing on either the national or the state portion would keep you at the lower end of the range. At the higher end, prep would include both parts of the exam.

Here’s what you typically get for your money:

  • Initial assessment
  • Study lessons
  • Topic-specific tests
  • Interactive flashcards
  • Practice exams

You may want to check out our useful tips on studying for the real estate exam as an additional resource when prepping for the test.


Salesperson Licensing Exam: $63

Once your pre-licensing education is squared away and you’ve studied up for the test, you can register online with the testing administrator Pearson VUE.

You’ll have to pay a $63 fee to take both the national and state portions of the licensing exam. Consequently, include this expense as a line item when you’re putting your budget together.

This fee is a one-time cost if you pass the exam on your first attempt. Otherwise, you’ll have to come out-of-pocket for that amount for every retake of both sections.

If you only need a do-over for one part, the cost drops to $39.

There are some other reasons why you may have to pay more than once.

You could forfeit the fee if you’re a no-show and didn’t change or cancel your appointment without proper notice. Or, you arrive late and aren’t admitted to the test.

Pearson VUE does have a set of reasons that justify an excused absence, and you can request a refund under those circumstances.

Also, you have one year after the exam to apply for your salesperson’s license. If you don’t, you’ll have to retake the exam, which means you’ll need to pay the fee as well.


License Application: $130

You’ll pay a $100 licensing fee when you apply, plus a technology surcharge and a few dollars for miscellaneous processing charges. It all adds up to a hundred and thirty bucks.

Just for your information, the technology fee pays for the cost of operating and maintaining the electronic database.

This database is for issuing and renewing licenses and tracking the completion of continuing education requirements.

Something else you need to know if you’re not already aware is that you must have the backing of a broker before applying for a license.

The state requires that your real estate application comes through one of the current, active primary real estate brokers in Minnesota who is sponsoring you.

In selecting a broker, don’t lose sight of the importance of receiving support and guidance every step of the way as a newbie salesperson.

Think about that as you decide and other factors such as the ones outlined in our guide to picking the best brokerage as a new real estate agent.


Keeping Your License Active

Continuing Education Courses: $100 to $160 Per Year

When real estate agents in Minnesota obtain their license, they’re committing to practicing real estate as a profession. The associated licensing expenses then are not “one and done.”

Therefore, you should factor the cost of keeping your license active from year to year into your initial financial considerations.

As a newly licensed agent, you must complete a minimum of 15 hours of continuing education in your first year of licensure.

Then, you’ll need to earn at least 15 more hours by June 30 of year two. That’s a total of 30 hours of approved education for each two-year renewal cycle.

You’ll find plenty of continuing education packages to choose from online. In some cases, you can customize the package, selecting elective courses on topics you want to learn more about.

You’ll pay more for that privilege than pre-built packages, which typically run about $100.

Separate courses are available as well. Just be sure that you fulfill the total number of mandatory hours, which are automatically included in package deals.

You’ll generally pay $15 to $39 per course if you take them online. That price range is for 3-hour or 3.75-hour courses.


License Renewal: $80

You’ll need to pay to renew your license every two years as well. The renewal process is handled in the same manner as the license applications.

Your broker is responsible for submitting renewals to the Real Estate Board.

The renewal fee is due on June 30. It’s important to note that there is no grace period. Your renewal is considered late as of July 1, and your license will become inactive.

Then an additional reinstatement fee of $20 applies.

For future reference, keep in mind that you cannot reactivate your license by simply paying a fee if two years have elapsed since your license became inactive.

You’ll have to repeat the entire licensing process and pay the associated costs again.


While these initial and ongoing costs are generally the minimum associated with getting a real estate license in Minnesota, keep in mind that you’ll have other expenses, too.

So, when looking at how much a real estate license in MN costs, remember to include expenditures to launch your business.

We talk about these components (and much more) in our article discussing what to do after passing the real estate exam.

Consider joining a real estate team. This will allow you to properly start your career under the guidance of experienced agents.

In addition, know the benefits that come with getting your license. We touch on this topic in the article discussing the pros and cons of being a real estate agent.

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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