Real Estate License Cost: How Much Are Real Estate Classes?
Sorting through the real estate licensing process can be a confusing task, especially when it comes down to how much it will cost to get a real estate license. The careers that require a real estate license can be very lucrative but breaking into the business does require an up-front investment that some new agents don't know to plan for.
The steps, requirements, and associated costs vary from state to state and fee requirements can change at any time, so you'll want to check the official sources specific to your area. However, we're going to walk you through the different costs and fees associated with the application process, then outline the specifics for three popular states: Texas, California, and Florida.
How Much Does A Real Estate License Cost?
This is a more complicated question than it seems. Let's break it down into the various steps of the process so you have a roadmap for calculating what a real estate license will cost you.
You'll want to check current requirements, approved schools, current fees, and other details with the official website of your state's real estate regulatory agency, often called a "real estate commission." These can be less user-friendly than other sites, but it's the only place where you can be sure the information is accurate and up to date.
California 135 Hour Basic Salesperson Prelicense Package
Get required DRE-approved pre-license courses plus free real estate math practice.
California 135 Hour Premium Salesperson Prelicense Package
Includes mandatory pre-license training, state license exam prep, and more!
Florida 63 Hour Premium Prelicense Package
Includes mandatory FREC-approved pre-license credits, license exam prep & more!
Florida 63 Hour Real Estate Prelicense Basic Package
Get FREC-approved pre-license training plus free real estate math practice.
180 Hour Premium Texas Pre-Licensing Package with Online Proctoring
Includes mandatory pre-license training, license exam prep, and online proctoring.
180 Hour Basic Texas Pre-License Package
Includes mandatory pre-license training, license exam prep, and more!
How Much is Real Estate School?
The price of real estate classes will vary based on many factors, but you can expect to pay somewhere between $200 and $1,000, typically.
Some factors to consider:
- How many hours of "pre-licensing" coursework does your state commission require? The complexity of your course requirements often impacts the real estate class prices.
- Where is the list of approved "pre-licensing" schools on their website? Bookmark it, and confirm your school is there before you enroll. If you stray from this list, your courses won't be accepted, which can be a huge waste of time and money.
- What's the best delivery method for you? Some people need a classroom to thrive, but online pre-licensing courses are generally cheaper. Plus, on-demand coursework lets you fit your career prep around your current schedule.
- Do you just need the coursework, or do you want to invest in exam prep and practice as well? Even if you're a good test taker, it can save you from repeating your exam (and paying a second fee) if you practice before the big day.
- Does the state require your final exams to be proctored (or monitored by an impartial third party)? This has associated fees. In some cases, states allow online proctoring that saves you time and trouble.
- How long are your courses valid? In many states, you need to take them within 2-5 years of the application. If you delay your application beyond that, you'll have to repeat them.
Once you've answered these questions, you can look for a school that's the right fit. Check their students' pass rates for the state exam as well as their commission approval status.
How Much Is The Real Estate Exam?
In most cases, your state licensing exam is the next step, though some states require you to submit part or all of your application first.
You have to pay an exam fee that is usually somewhere between $30 and $100 per exam attempt. Some states give you multiple attempts before you have to pay the fee again.
How Much Does The Real Estate Application Cost?
This can be the trickiest part because you can't just look at the application fee itself. You need to check your state's application requirements and look for ALL expenses and fees that you'll need to pay.
Some fees – often the fingerprinting, background check, and state exam – may need to be paid to a third party, rather than the state.
That can include an:
- Application fee
- Fingerprinting and/or Background Check
- Additional fees that vary by state
In a few states, this can amount to less than $100 or more than $500. However, most applications fall in the $200-$400 range.
To have an active license in most locations, new agents need to "hang their license" or officially associate with a real estate broker. In some states, an applicant without a sponsoring broker has to pay one fee for an "inactive" license application and another fee to "activate" it once a sponsor is attained. This can also impact your application cost.
Cost to Get a Real Estate License by State
There are other expenses that you should plan for immediately after you receive your license, which we'll outline below.
But first, here are a few state-specific examples of how much a real estate license can cost.
For the sake of a firm number, we'll use our own Premium pre-licensing courses that include exam prep.
Texas Real Estate License Cost
How much does a real estate license cost in Texas?
- Pre-Licensing Courses (w/required proctoring): $415 or more
- State Exam Cost: $54 per attempt
- Application Cost: $185
- Fingerprinting Cost: $38.25
That's a total cost of $693 (or more) in Texas, if you use online proctoring for the final exams, buy state exam prep, pass on the first try, and have no special circumstances.
In some situations, applicants may also want to submit a Fitness Determination request for $50 before starting the training and application process. This ensures that you don't waste time and money if you're ineligible under the "honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity" requirement.
Please note, the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) eliminated some previous application fees in January 2020.
You can learn more about the steps in the process with our Texas real estate licensing guide.
California Real Estate License Cost
How much does a real estate license cost in California?
- Pre-Licensing Courses: $115 or more
- State Exam Cost: $60 per attempt
- Application Cost: $245
- Fingerprinting Cost: $49
That's a total cost of $469 (or more) in California, if you buy exam prep, pass on the first try, and have no special circumstances.
You can learn more about the steps in the process with our article on How to Get a California Real Estate License. Since California has two potential application paths, it's more complicated than most.
Florida Real Estate License Cost
How much does a real estate license cost in Florida?
- Pre-Licensing Courses: $145 or more
- State Exam Cost: $36.75 per attempt
- Application Cost: $83.75
- Fingerprinting Cost: $50
That's a total cost of $232 (or more) in Florida, if you buy exam prep, pass on the first try, and have no special circumstances.
You can learn more about the steps in the process with our Florida real estate licensing guide.
Once you've received your license, there are usually other expenses you need to plan for, whether it's the following day or throughout your first year.
- Living Expenses: most new agents have no income for at least six months
- Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance: roughly $30/mo
- REALTOR® Association Fees: at least $185 a year, but reportedly as much as $1,000
- Marketing & Business Expenses: varies around $1500-$2000 a year. Some expenses may be covered by the brokerage, but don't count on it.
- Desk Fee (if applicable): your sponsoring broker may require a desk fee, commission split, or a mixed fee structure. Desk fees are due monthly whether you sell anything or not. They can run up to $2,000 per month.
- Post-License Education (if required): Georgia and Alabama, for example, require additional coursework within the first year. Budget around $100. In other states, coursework won't be due until your second or third year.
There aren't many opportunities to control the cost of earning your real estate license, but your pre-license real estate classes are one area where you have choices. It's a balancing act – you want a quality training provider that will help you prepare for your career and pass the state licensing exam on the first try, but you also want to keep the price down.
We have 15 years of experience helping real estate agents accomplish their pre-licensing and continuing education goals through online coursework. Our classes are convenient, cost-effective, and always available, so you can fit your studying around your busy schedule. They're also self-paced and mobile-friendly so you can study however you prefer. Get started today!