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What Are the Requirements to be a Real Estate Broker?

Real estate brokers must pass exams where they learn about the technical, ethical and legal aspects of real estate.
Documents associated with a real estate sale.
Article Details
  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A real estate broker is a person who is licensed to buy or sell land and related property on behalf of others, and the requirements to be a real estate broker depend on where the person is being issued a license. Age and legal residency are common requirements to be a real estate broker, and the person commonly needs to be at least 18, if not 21. A broker is expected to be honest, so his or her criminal history will be checked, and a felony may bar this person from getting a license. College or continuing education courses typically are required to ensure the person has adequate knowledge of the real estate field. He or she also must have been a real estate salesperson, or have general real estate experience, for a number of years.

Most areas have an age requirement for someone to get a real estate broker's license, and that age usually is at least 18. Legal residency also is a common requirement, with the person either living in the country or region since birth or being a legal alien. The applicant also may be required to live in the specific licensing area for a few years before being licensed.

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Another of the requirements to be a real estate broker is honesty. To check this, most licensing agencies will research the applicant’s history for any criminal charges. If a felony is discovered, the applicant may be automatically rejected. This requirement may be waived under certain circumstances, such as the applicant being acquitted or if the felony does not show a lack of honesty.

To ensure the applicant is knowledgeable about the real estate field, he or she usually will have to take or have completed college or continuing education classes. The specific classes vary from area to area, but they generally cover real estate practice, law and methodology. Along with the specific classes, each area may require a different number of classes. Some people may be exempt from this requirement if they also have a law degree, though these people may have to take a test to qualify to skip the classes.

Several years of experience in real estate also is generally among the requirements to be a real estate broker. Most areas demand that the applicant have experience as a real estate salesperson, or agent, for two or three years. Other areas may accept three or four years of general real estate experience in lieu of sales experience. The experience usually has to be current, typically within the past five years.

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