How Do I Become a Real Estate Agent?

What’s Involved in Becoming a Real Estate Agent

The first thing you have to do if you want to sell houses is get your real estate license. Go to the website for your state’s Department of Real Estate or Bureau of Real Estate and find a list of approved online or in-person real estate courses. We do occasionally offer these classes. The pre-licensing education classes include successfully completing 99 hours of approved courses and costs approximately $500.00 or more.  Some people prefer the flexibility of online classes where others focus better out of the home.

Applicants for the real estate license must pass the two-part standardized licensing real estate exams that are administered by a professional testing service, and pay the examination fee. Each of these two sections is graded separately. You need to pass both with a score of 70% or better and submit the Pass Report to DREC in order to obtain your license. The licensing exam takes 2 to 3 hours to complete and you will know immediately if you have passed or failed. If you do not pass, you can take the exam again after 24 hours. You must pass the exam and apply for your license within one year of completing the pre-licensing course.

State of Delaware Real Estate fee schedule, visit:

A real estate agent license in Delaware can be issued to a non-resident who is currently licensed and practicing within another state. These applicants usually do not need further Delaware real estate education but do need to take the Delaware state law portion of the real estate exams.

State of Delaware Application for Real Estate Salesperson Licensure:

You will also have to pay for fingerprinting and a background check which costs approximately $52.00. Visit:

You’ll have to take post-licensing classes to meet ongoing licensing requirements. To renew a real estate license the agent needs up to 21 credit hours of real estate continuing education courses.  Licenses are renewed biennially, and resident licenses expire on April 30th of the even year and nonresident licenses expire on April 30th of the odd year. Approved real estate schools for continuing education are located throughout the state. Continuing Education Courses vary. If you are a member of SCAOR, education classes are $35.00 per class and sometimes there are even a few that are free. Non-member fees are $55 per class.  Most classes are 3 hours in length; therefore you will need 7 modules (classes). Your real estate education will continue for the rest of your career. You can also earn special designations that help define your niche in the market. Most agents find the value of continuing education to be well worth the cost.

New real estate agents almost always work under the supervision of a broker. Real estate brokers offer agents marketing support and legal protections. When deciding where to hang your hat, interview at least three different brokerages in order to get a feeling of how they work. Some agents prefer big brokerages because the well-known company names help give them credibility. Other agents like the mom-and-pop shops because they’re more flexible about working from home and choosing your own vendors.

Even though you’ll be working under the umbrella of a broker, real estate agents are independent contractors. You must put the name of the Real Estate Company you belong to on your business card, but you have to buy those business cards yourselves. Other common expenses include sale signs, open house signs, and a basic website. As an agent, you’ll encounter many miscellaneous real estate business expenses as well. These include your cell phone and internet bill, office space and supplies, computer hardware and software, client meetings/lunches, and client closing gifts. Your broker may cover some of these, but probably not all. So be sure to add them to your list of costs to consider when starting a real estate career.

Membership dues, while a tax write-off, are a notable expense. As a real estate agent, you’ll likely become a member of your state and local real estate boards and the National Association of REALTORS®. Your local real estate board may require a monthly fee—sometimes paid directly to the association, other times paid to your broker. State association fees vary from state to state but are typically a few hundred dollars, as are the membership dues for the National Association of REALTORS®.

2020 SCAOR membership dues: $175.00 one-time application fee + $260.00 annual dues

2020 DAR (Delaware Association of REALTORS®) dues: $180.00 annually

2020 NAR (National Association of REALTORS®) dues: $150.00 annually + $35.00 assessment

2020 Multiple Listing Service (Bright MLS): approximately $35.00/month billed quarterly by BRIGHT MLS

2020 SCAOR SentriLock (lockbox card access) Fees: $125.00 annually and $150 annually for a SentriLock only membership

Visit and click on the education tab for upcoming classes.

Please note: This may not be all the information you need! You should reach out to another REALTOR® or Real Estate office and speak with someone about their experience to obtain additional information.

Best wishes!

Sussex County Association of Realtors

Phone: 302-855-2300 | Fax: 302-855-2319

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