One of the most common questions we're asked is about the cost to get a real estate license in NJ. The amounts vary based on the real estate school you choose and which real estate brokerage or office you select.
That said, we're able to come up with an approximate cost for most of the expenses you should expect. This article will walk you through the steps of starting your new real estate career.
There are several costs associated with getting a real estate license. It's a common misunderstanding to assume the only costs are for the certification process because that's the natural first step. However, there are more layers to getting started, and new licensees typically uncover them one fee at a time.
To obtain a real estate license, you will need to enroll in proper coursework, apply to take the state exam, and complete a background check process.
Once you've completed that process, you'll apply for your license and get started. Depending on the office you hang your license with, you may have some start-up costs to cover MLS dues and advertising.
The cost of each of these steps can vary, but we've provided a ranged estimate for each to help you build your budget as you go through the real estate licensing process.
The start of your real estate education will be Pre-licensing courses that cover 75 hours of coursework.
You'll be able to choose between in-person classes or an online school, as long as 75 credit hours are met and a live instructor teaches the required real estate topics mandated by the state.
You'll need to pass the school test before you can sit for the state licensing exam of 110 multiple-choice questions. Answer over 70% of the questions correctly, and you're moving on to the next step.
Some students opt to take an additional exam preparation class at an additional cost, while others stick to just the required 75-hour course, which typically costs between $375-$500.
Real estate professionals in NJ must meet specific licensure standards to become a salesperson. Minor offenses are generally not an issue, but you can read the exact requirements on the NJ Real Estate Commission website.
Once you're sure you meet the requirements, you'll need to complete a background check and fingerprinting process, with the fingerprinting fee at the cost of $66.05
Once you've completed your 75-hour pre-licensing course and passed the school test, you've met the state licensing requirements, and you're ready to schedule the real estate licensing exam.
To do that, you'll have to sign up with the test administrator, PSI, and pay an exam fee of $45.
When you pass the exam, you'll be ready to apply for licensure. You'll mail your application to the real estate commission along with a license fee of $160 made payable to the state treasury of NJ.
The New Jersey Real Estate Commission now allows new licensees to activate their license with their broker directly, rather than mailing or submitting their application online. Your broker will submit your license application for you after you pass the state exam and get fingerprinted.
This cost will be dependent on the office or brokerage you choose. Some may have no membership fees, while others may have a monthly desk fee, technology fee, or costs for office space.
Your broker may cover costs of Errors and Omissions Insurance. Some real estate companies will charge a set fee per transaction, while others will include the cost without billing you for the coverage. E&O insurance is similar to malpractice insurance for the real estate industry, so you'll want to make sure you have good coverage.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is an excellent resource for agents across the country. Most New Jersey offices are members, and if your broker is a member, you'll also be required to join one of the local real estate boards for your area.
Depending on your local board, application fees and membership dues are $450-$550 per year.
Start-Up Costs for a new real estate agent will usually include business cards, professional photographs, and some basic technology if your office doesn't provide it for you. You'll need a CRM or customer relationship management software to keep track of your client relationships.
You'll also need to join the local multiple listing service, sometimes called your real estate board, so you have access to all of the properties on the market. MLS membership annual costs vary by region in NJ but range from $125 - $300 per year and are usually due in installments every six months.
Your marketing costs will be up to you since you're a new one-person real estate business.
Online advertising for real estate agents varies depending on the platform and type of ad. Facebook, Google PPC, and Zillow are pretty standard.
You can plan to spend $250-$500 on the lower end for these programs. The cost per lead and monthly budget will carry depending on your local market and average sales price.
Printed marketing material is another real estate marketing tool. Many agents have forgone direct mail, but some still see results. If you're considering mailing, the USPS has a great program that allows you to target by carrier route. The program is called Every Door Direct Mail; more info is available on the USPS site here.
Real Estate Education costs will be an expense in the future, but in NJ, you're only required to complete continuing education every two years. As a new real estate agent, you'll have plenty of time, so you won't need to factor in that expense when getting started. Estimated costs run from $25 per course to packages of all educational requirements for $99. The most common form of continuing education in NJ is an online class.
To be successful as a real estate agent, you need to juggle many tasks. Maintaining a budget and forecasting future expenses are not often discussed but are the most critical aspects determining if a new agent survives their first year on their new career path.
With no annual salary, financial planning is vital to ensure success.
Use the info above to estimate how much it will cost to get your real estate license in NJ, and from there, continue the habit of budgeting and planning to ensure peaks and valleys do not catch you off guard in commission.
PS. Here's the next most common question we hear about starting real estate school in New Jersey:
Some real estate education courses will squeeze all of the education requirements into two weeks, while others will space out the required 75-hours of coursework mandated by the state. While it's possible to complete everything within one month, we see most students completing the entire application process in 6-8 weeks.
In this article, we break down everything you need to know about deeds and legal descriptions to help you pass the real estate exam, and get your NJ real estate license.
Part-timers have great opportunities regardless of going full-time or not.