Did you make the decision to become a realtor in Massachusetts? If yes, many factors play to your advantage. Working as an agent in the property industry can be a gratifying career.
Usually, the talk is about income and salary. Real estate agents, indeed, earn high, with an average salary of about $95,800 per year in the United States. However, becoming a real estate agent in MA offers more than money.
Notably, you also get flexibility, as you can work on your schedule from home or the office. In addition, you make many connections, which can open doors to opportunities in other sectors. Not to mention, you’ll be helping improve people’s lives by ensuring they get their dream homes.
At Homes by Ardor, we’ve trained many realtors who are now experts in the field. In this post, we’ll explain how to become a real estate agent in Massachusetts in detail. We’ll start by breaking down what being a real estate agent entails.
What It Means To Be a Real Estate Agent
The primary duty of a realtor is to help clients buy, sell, and rent landed properties. In between, you’ll handle a lot of communications, including texts, emails, and phone calls. Also, you’ll process documents, create plans and budgets, attend meetings, and keep records.
Before now, anyone who wanted to do this job would rent an office to attend to clients. However, the internet changed the industry as it did other industries. Many real estate agents now operate online via listing and broker websites.
Despite the pervasion of the profession, you can’t just wake up one day and call yourself a realtor. You must obtain a realtor’s license in Massachusetts or risk getting into legal trouble. The United States has no national licensing requirements for real estate agents. Therefore, you must specifically meet that of your state, which, in this case, is Massachusetts.
It’s important to note that an agent and a broker are not the same. Both may fall under the “realtor” umbrella term, but the difference is that real estate brokers can work independently. Meanwhile, agents can only work under a broker – usually a real estate brokerage firm.
As you kick off your career to be a Massachusetts real estate agent, you should take note of these tiny differences. Even if you plan to become a broker, it’s best to first become an agent and update over time.
Do You Want To Become a Real Estate Agent in Massachusetts? Here’s How 1200
Now that you know what awaits, here is the promised step-by-step guide on how to be a real estate agent in MA:
Step 1: Meet the Eligibility Requirements
Before anything, you must verify that you’re legally eligible to be a Massachusetts real estate agent. The requirements are two folds. First, you must fulfill the MA real estate license requirements. Second, you must meet that of the broker you intend to join after obtaining your license.
To be eligible, the first criterion is to be at least 18 years old. This is a critical requirement, considering the highly technical transactions that occur in the property market. Nevertheless, you most likely should be up to 18 already.
The next eligibility requirement on how to become a realtor in MA is having a valid social security number. It’s an essential requirement in almost every licensed profession in the US to verify that applicants are citizens. All US citizens and eligible US residents typically own a social security number, so meeting this requirement will be easy.
Finally, you must have people willing to vouch that you have good character. You should, indeed, have a good personality to relate to clients in the real estate market. You need at least three people to demonstrate this, and none can be your relative.
Step 2: Complete the Pre-Licensing Education
The Massachusetts real estate board mandates that agents complete a pre license course. You can attend the classes in person or virtually if you’re a fan or online courses. Either way, it’s a relatively straightforward course and takes 40 hours to complete.
Note that you can access the course from various educational bodies. What’s important is that you get a valid certificate to show you completed the program. For the sake of your real estate career, however, only choose an approved and reliable learning platform.
At Homes by Ardor, we recommend using the Massachusetts board website to find an authorized real estate school. The website features over 140 institutions, so you can pick one near your location. When selecting, pay attention to the school’s license expiration date.
What goes on in the pre licensing class? Well, as mentioned, it’s a short course with straightforward lessons on becoming a real estate agent in Massachusetts. You’ll learn how to build a real estate business and the basics of the industry. The classes more or less prepare you for the main state exam you’ll take later.
Step 3: Pass the Course Final Exam
After completing the pre license classes, the next step in how to become a real estate agent in Massachusetts is to take the course’s final test. It’s essential to gain approval from the state’s real estate board. If you pass the exam, you’ll get your pre license to apply for the main licensing exam.
Typically, you’ll pay an exam fee to sit for this test. However, the primary requirement to apply is to pass a background check. You’ll submit your course completion paperwork along with your application. Then, the board will inform you of the processes involved in the background check. It may include submitting some specific documents, filling out forms, and undertaking an in-person assessment.
If your background check returns positive, you get approval to sit for the exam. The exam usually features 100 questions, and you must score at least 75% to qualify. It’s a relatively high score to attain, but it’s not difficult. You should find the questions easy if you attend all 40 hours of the online classes.
Step 4: Apply for the Massachusetts Salesperson License Exam
Step four is where things get serious. With your pre license, the Massachusetts board will welcome your application for the real estate salesperson examination. No lessons are in-between. You simply apply and take the license exam. This is why it’s critical that you first complete the pre license real estate classes.
You can apply for this examination on the Massachusetts real estate board website. When filling out the form, select the “MA Salesperson” option, not “MA Broker.” Generally, you’ll enter your personal information — email, password, address – and make payment.
The exam fee for real estate agents in Massachusetts is $85, but for real estate brokers, it’s $106. Know that this fee is non-refundable, irrespective of the outcome of the exam. The good news is that it stays valid for one year.
Finally, you must select a test center to complete your application. You’ll typically find many testing centers on the MASS.gov website, and deciding the exam date is up to you. If you prefer taking the exam online, that’s also workable. However, based on our experience at Homes by Ardor, we advise visiting a testing center.
Step 5: Pass the Real Estate Licensing Exam
To become a realtor in Massachusetts, you must pass the real estate exam. This real estate licensing exam consists of two parts, including the General portion and the State portion. As a result, it’s more detailed than the pre license test.
The General portion covers national real estate information and constitutes 80 questions. You have 150 minutes to answer all. The State portion covers real estate information in Massachusetts and comprises 40 questions. You have 90 minutes to finish them. In total, there are 120 questions to submit in 240 minutes.
You must score at least 70% in total to successfully pass, and you must perform well in both parts. Suppose you pass one part and fail the other. In that case, you’ll have to retake only the latter. You can reapply and retake a failed real estate license exam after two days. However, you’ll have to pay a new fee.
Before your date, practice and study as much as possible. If you’re not ready, feel free to reschedule, but inform the organizers at least three days ahead.
Step 6: Pay the Licensing Fee
If you pass the salesperson license exam, your ambition of becoming a real estate agent in MA is almost completed. You’ll get your license immediately if your exam result is favorable. However, that’ll only happen if you’ve paid the associated fee. The exact amount varies, depending on your circumstances, but it should be around $150.
In particular, you’re paying for the issuance of the real estate license. It’s a relatively expensive fee because the license typically stays valid for over three years after you receive it. Hence, you won’t be paying for renewal anytime soon.
You can pay the licensing fee on the day of the MA real estate exam at the test center. Note that test centers don’t accept cash. So your payment options include credit card, personal check, cashier’s check, or money order.
Not paying the licensing fee on time is risky. Your results may become invalid, meaning you’ll need to resit the real estate license exam.
Step 7: Receive the Massachusetts Real Estate License and Join a Brokerage
Once you get your license from the Massachusetts real estate board, you can say, “Congratulations!” You’re now part of the community of real estate agents in the Northeastern state. The final step is to join a brokerage.
For your real estate license in MA to stay valid, you must have a sponsoring broker. Thankfully, many brokerage firms operate from the state. You just need to select the right one.
Notably, you can either go with a traditional or online brokerage. Online brokers are more popular today, but which to choose depends on how you wish to operate. For the best experience, consider Massachusetts real estate broker firms with online and traditional presence.
Massachusetts real estate agents have a vibrant market to explore. You can become one of them by following the step-by-step guide in this post. While each step is critical, they all revolve around obtaining a real estate license.
The last step that requires joining a brokerage firm is critical. As stated, you must work with a sponsoring broker or risk losing your real estate license. You can work with us at Homes by Ardor to make the task easier. Drop us a message, and we’ll help connect you with top brokerages in Massachusetts.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to get a real estate license in Mass?
Getting a Massachusetts real estate license costs around $500 in total. You’ll pay fees during the pre license test and another during the Massachusetts salesperson licensing exam. When your certificate is ready, you’ll also pay an issuance fee of up to $150.
What is the salary of a realtor in MA?
Data from Indeed shows that Massachusetts real estate agents earn up to $85,543. While it’s a high sum, it’s lower than the average in the US.
How long is the real estate course in Massachusetts?
Becoming a real estate agent in MA requires completing a 40-hour course. Once you complete the classes, you take the course final exams. If you score high, you can apply for the main licensing exam. Do well in the second exam, and you will receive a Massachusetts real estate license.
Does MA real estate license expire?
Yes, Massachusetts real estate license expires after some years. Usually, it’s about three years after your first approval. When your license expires, all you have to do is apply for renewal.
How many times can you fail the Massachusetts real estate exam?
You can take the Massachusetts real estate licensing exam unlimited times until you pass. Note that you’ll pay a new application fee each time you retake the exam.
Kris Reid is the CEO of Ardor SEO, a company that helps real estate professionals get more leads and customers to predictably grow their business.
Over the years, Kris acquired extensive knowledge of SEO and its practical applications in various industries, with the main focus on real estate.
In 2021 Ardor launched the Icons of Real Estate Podcast to share proven strategies from the top producing icon agents with the real estate community.
After obtaining the real estate license in 2022, Kris joined eXp Realty and launched Homes by Ardor, the platform that was built to be the fastest way to buy or sell a house. Homes by Ardor also provides leads for its partner companies and realtors.