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Becoming a real estate agent in NYC might be the most rewarding decision you ever make. It can be a highly enjoyable and profitable passion. And if you work with the right firm from day one, you will have the highest chance of success.

Why should you become a real estate agent in NYC?

While there are many more reasons to get into real estate in NYC than we can possibly list, some of the most compelling reasons for becoming a real estate agent in NYC are the following:

Earn significant amounts of money by keeping 100% of your commission

In addition to having one of the highest average sales prices in the world, New York City also benefits from having the highest standard real estate commission rate in the world. Mathematically, $1.87 million (NYC’s average sale price in 2015) multiplied by 6% (standard all-in real estate commission), means that as a real estate agent in NYC you can earn over $112,000 per deal.

And if you join a 100% commission split firm, then you can expect to keep every penny of the commission you earn. There’s no need to share 50% or $56,000 of the commission you earned with your managing broker simply because he is your ‘manager’ but had nothing to do with the actual deal you successfully completed.

Control your own schedule and maintain full lifestyle flexibility

Many real estate agents in NYC value the schedule flexibility their job affords them. With the average commission check in excess of $100,000 in NYC, it doesn’t take more than a few deals (maybe just one if you work at a 100% commission split firm) to pay for a year’s worth of living expenses. That means as a real estate agent in NYC you can afford to have extra time to dedicate towards other passions or sources of income.

Work for yourself - need we say more?

One additional benefit of becoming a real estate agent in NYC is the fact that you will essentially work for yourself and run your own business. The amount of money you earn and number of clients you help is directly related to the effort you put into the opportunity and not what an employer or boss ‘decides’ you deserve to be paid. You don’t ever have to worry about managers breathing down your neck or subjecting you to facetime or other time wasting activities. That’s just bad for your health, fullstop.

Spend your time in an area you are passionate about

If you are passionate about NYC real estate, there’s no more effective way to put that passion to work on a daily basis than by becoming a real estate agent in NYC. Being a licensed real estate salesperson in NYC gives you the ability to represent both buyers and sellers of condos, co ops, townhouses, as well as parties in commercial real estate deals. The greater your passion is for NYC real estate, the more successful you will be as al real estate agent in NYC!

Build an organic client list over time by adding value and earning referral business

The truth is that if you are a passionate and focused real estate agent in NYC, you will actually add value to the experience buyers and sellers transacting in the city. And if you do a great job with one client, it’s likely that you will receive frequent referrals down the line from that original client you helped. Over time, you will be rewarded with a stable network of clients and relationships that will land you deal after deal.

How much does it cost to become a real estate agent in NYC?

Answer: Under $200

Believe it or not, you can become a real estate agent in NYC for under $200. Here are the costs:

  • Purchase a Pre Licensing Course – $100

  • Pay the New York State Exam Fee – $15

  • Submit the New York Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Application – $50

  • TOTAL COST: $165

Keep in mind that your cost will go up significantly (by between $200 and $400) if you opt for an in-person Pre Licensing Course. We’ve found many legitimate, online providers of the NYS Pre Licensing Course for under $100. If you want a referral, please contact us.

How do I become a real estate agent in NYC?

In order to get your real estate license in NYC, you must complete three simple steps:

Step One: Complete a 75 hour New York State approved Pre Licensing Course

Although getting your real estate salesperson’s license in New York isn’t too difficult, you absolutely must be licensed in order to become a real estate agent in NYC.  The first step is to find a New York State approvedreal estate course to fulfill your mandatory 75 hours pre-licensing education requirement. You have two options for completing your 75 hour New York State approved Pre Licensing Course:

Option 1: Online Pre Licensing Course for New York Real Estate Salespeople

Do you prefer the flexibility of taking a course online and controlling your own schedule? If so, you are in luck. There are many New York State approved real estate schools which offer an online version of the Pre Licensing Course. If you search for it, we’ve seen good quality online real estate schools which offer the Pre Licensing Course for under $100.

An online Pre Licensing Course gives you the flexibility to take each lesson whenever your schedule permits. In order to advance to subsequent lessons, you are generally required to pass a brief quiz on the subject material. The benefit of taking the online Pre Licensing Course is that you can generally complete and pass the course much more quickly than you would with the in-person course. This is because you can dedicate as much of your time as you’d like towards the course, and you won’t be at the mercy of the schedule of your in-person course.

Option 2: In Person Pre Licensing Course for New York Real Estate Salespeople

Some potential NYC real estate agents may find it helpful to attend a more structured, in-person course and to be able to network with others looking to become a real estate agent in NYC. A typical in-person Pre Licensing Course would consist of 15-20 classroom sessions, with each being 3.5 – 5 hours. As you get into real estate in NYC, you may find the networking benefits and in-person training to be beneficial from a networking and knowledge retention perspective. Typically, such a course will run $300-500 with an additional $50 or so to purchase the textbook required by New York State for the in-person Pre Licensing Course. You can expect the in-person Pre Licensing Course to take up to eight weeks to complete. Therefore, if you have lots of free time and/or want to complete the course more quickly we recommend you opt for an online course.

Step 1.5: Pass your school’s New York State Pre Licensing Course Final Exam

Regardless of whether you take an online or in-person course, you are required to pass your school’s Final Exam before you can earn your Certificate of Completion and take the official New York State Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Exam. Your school’s Final Exam is required by New York State to be a proctored, in-person exam. As your school wants you to be the best prepared for the actual New York State Real Estate Salesperson Exam, the school’s exam will likely mirror the format of the official State exam and may even be slightly harder than the official State test.

As soon as you pass your school’s Final Exam, you can expect to receive a Certification of Completion via email or via regular mail. Once you receive the Certificate of Completion, you will then be eligible to sign up for the official New York State Real Estate Salesperson Exam. Your Certificate of Completion will look something like this:

Step Two: Pass the New York State Real Estate Salesperson Exam

This written exam is multiple choice, consisting of 75 multiple choice questions. It’s 90 minutes long and has a minimum passing score of 70%.  In order to sign up for the exam, you must schedule your appointment online by first creating a free eAccessNY It’s generally recommended to make your appointment two to four weeks in advance so that you may secure the most convenient testing time. The exam costs $15 per attempt, and there is no limit to the number of times you may retake the test in order to pass. You must bring the following items with you to the exam:

  • A valid, current, government issued photo ID

  • A print-out of the “Summary of Your Submission” confirmation page from eAccessNY.

  • The New York City exam location is currently 123 William Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10038.  You should schedule your exam at least 2 weeks in advance if you’re looking to become a real estate agent in NYC and 1 week in advance for the rest of New York.

NYC Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Exam Map & Location:

Exam Site Policies

  • Calculators are permitted if they are battery or solar powered, silent, nonprinting and do not contain an alphabetic keyboard. PDA’s are not allowed.

  • Cellular phones, beepers and any other electronic devices MUST be turned off during the exam.

  • Dictionaries, books, other reference materials, large bags and briefcases are not allowed at the exam site. Do not bring these materials to the exam site as there is no place to store them.

  • Eating, drinking or smoking is not permitted at the exam site. If you bring food or beverages, you will be asked to dispose of them before entering the exam site.

  • Visitors, guests and children are not permitted at the exam site.

  • Any person found using notes, books, or other aids; giving or receiving help; removing examination materials or notes from the exam site; causing a disturbance or engaging in practices contrary to the rules of proper examination conduct will be dismissed from the exam site. Any decisions regarding disciplinary measures will be made by the Exam Supervisor at the Department of State.

When will I receive my score?

  • After the exam you will be able to view your score directly online by logging into your free account on eAccessNY.

Step Three: Find a sponsoring broker to work with

Regardless of whether you take an online or in-person course, you are required to pass your school’s Final Exam before you can earn your Certificate of Completion and take the official New York State Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Exam. Your school’s Final Exam is required by New York State to be a proctored, in-person exam. As your school wants you to be the best prepared for the actual New York State Real Estate Salesperson Exam, the school’s exam will likely mirror the format of the official State exam and may even be slightly harder than the official State test.

As soon as you pass your school’s Final Exam, you can expect to receive a Certification of Completion via email or via regular mail. Once you receive the Certificate of Completion, you will then be eligible to sign up for the official New York State Real Estate Salesperson Exam. Your Certificate of Completion will look something like this:

How do I choose a brokerage to work for in NYC?

The most important decision for someone looking to become a real estate agent in NYC comes down to deciding which brokerage to work with.  As you’ll learn from your real estate licensing course, a real estate salesperson must work under the supervision of a licensed broker.  It is illegal for any salesperson to receive compensation from a client directly; rather, the real estate commission must be paid to the licensed broker or brokerage.  The salesperson will typically work for a brokerage under an independent contractor agreement and be paid by the brokerage according to the commission split they’ve agreed upon.

You will have to choose a brokerage based on a variety of competing factors: what you want to specialize in (commercial, residential, sales, rentals or leasing), the commission split, whether or not they provide free leads, and what sort of agent tools, technology and support the brokerage offers. Here is a breakdown of the things you should consider when choosing a sponsoring brokerage:

Deciding Factor 1: Brokerage Specialty (Sales, Rentals, Commercial, etc.)

Residential Sales

  • Residential sales commissions average 5-6% in New York City, with half typically being split if there is a buyer’s agent involved.  With average property values of $1.87 million and commission rates averaging 5-6$%, that equates to just over $100,000 for the typical real estate commission check.

Residential Rentals

  • Agents starting out often prefer to work on rentals because they are typically quicker and easier to close.  However, the commission is typically much smaller at 15% of total annual rent.

Commercial sales and leasing

  • Commercial deals ranges from the sale and leasing of Class A trophy skyscrapers in Midtown Manhattan to any residential real estate with greater than 4 units (apartment buildings or multi-family properties).  These type of transactions are more specialized than your typical residential sale and usually require more experience.  There is no standard commission for a commercial deal and fees are negotiated on a case by case basis.

Deciding Factor 2: Commission Split

With the average NYC commission check being over $100,000, it’s important that you fully understand the commission split charged by your sponsoring Brokerage before signing up to work for them. Many of the traditional ‘brand’ name brokerages in the city take over 50% of the commission you earn on every deal. That can end up being over $50,000 in commissions which you loose for every deal.

40/60 and 50/50

  • A more traditional starting real estate commission split for a new agent at a traditional firm would be 40% to you and 60% to your managing Broker. With this type of arrangement, you have the opportunity to increase the split to 50/50 over time if you demonstrate solid performance and close deals.

100% commission split

  • We believe that the key to an agent’s success is the alignment of interest and motivation. Therefore, we offer our agents either 100% or 75% of their earned commission. What better motivation would you have as an agent in NYC than the prospect of keeping 100% of a $112,000 commission check?

Deciding Factor 3: Free Buyer and Seller Leads

With over 25,000 Licensed Real Estate Salespeople in NYC and only 5,000 closed deals per year in Manhattan, it’s no surprise that the industry is very competitive. With that said, the rewards for top performers are substantial. As you start out your career, it’s important to ensure that you have the highest possible chance of success

Our agents are primed for success from the very moment they join our team. We offer free leads, a 100% commission split as well as the most effective tools you need to conduct your business without delay or distraction.

Finally - Select your brokerage and complete your Real Estate Salesperson application

Once you’ve chosen a sponsoring brokerage, you can complete the remaining part of the application directly online via your eAccessNY account. The steps are as follows:

  • Step 1: Log in to eAccessNY and enter the license number of your sponsoring broker

  • Step 2: Complete the section of required personal information

  • Step 3: List the name of the New York State approved school where you completed your Pre Licensing Course

  • Step 4: Pay the application fee directly online ($50) and submit your application

At this point, you are officially a licensed real estate salesperson in NYC. If you decide to join us, you can expect free leads and training from day one. A New York State Real Estate Salesperson’s License is good for two years. Licenses may be renewed online via eAccessNY.

Choose a Plan:

KEEP 100% COMMISSION

$399/month - Partnership Plan

Keep 100% of your hard earned commissions. Benefit from our full suite of agent tools and services. Best for agents who close 2 or more deals per year.

  • Keep 100% of all commissions earned
  • Direct access to professional office space throughout the city

KEEP 75% COMMISSION

$129/month - Associate Plan

Keep 75% of your hard earned commissions. Benefit from our full suite of agent tools and services. Best for agents who close fewer than 2 deals per year.

  • Keep 75% of all commissions earned
  • Receive free buyer and seller leads

Additional information on how to become a real estate agent in NYC:

What is the Real Estate Salesperson Curriculum?

The curriculum for your 75 hour Pre Licensing Course is mandated by New York State and consists of the following sections:

  1. LICENSE LAW AND REGULATIONS – 3 Hours

  2. LAW OF AGENCY – 11 Hours

  3. LEGAL ISSUES – 10 Hours

  • Estates & Interests 3 Hours

  • Liens & Easements 2 1/2 Hours

  • Deeds 2 1/2 Hours

  • Title Closing & Costs 2 Hours

  1. THE CONTRACT OF SALES AND LEASES: – 3 Hours

  • Leases – 1 hour

  • Contracts – 1 hour

  • Contract Preparation – 1 hour

  1. REAL ESTATE FINANCE – 5 Hours

  2. LAND USE REGULATIONS – 3 Hours

  3. CONSTRUCTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES – 5 Hours

  4. VALUATION PROCESS AND PRICING PROPERTIES – 3 Hours

  5. HUMAN RIGHTS AND FAIR HOUSING – 4 Hours

  6. REAL ESTATE MATHEMATICS – 1 Hour

  7. MUNICIPAL AGENCIES – 2 Hours

  8. PROPERTY INSURANCE – 2 Hours

  9. TAXES AND ASSESSMENTS – 3 Hours

  10. CONDOMINIUMS AND COOPERATIVES – 4 Hours

  11. COMMERCIAL AND INVESTMENT PROPERTIES – 10 Hours

  12. INCOME TAX ISSUES IN REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS – 3 Hours

  13. MORTGAGE BROKERS – 1 Hour

  14. PROPERTY MANAGEMENT – 2 Hours

You may find more detailed information about the Pre Licensing Course curriculum via http://www.dos.ny.gov/licensing/re_salesperson/re_sales_curric.html