Getting Started

To assist (in exchange for some form of compensation) others with activities related to the transfer of ownership of real property almost always requires a license or registration.

Real estate in North America is licensed and regulated at a state/territory level. Requirements to secure this authorization to practice real estate vary somewhat in each state/territory. Contact the state/territory in which you plan to carry out your real estate activities. View our list of agencies for further information.

Usually the appropriate licensing agency requires completion of a prescribed course of study (often called "pre-license education") and then passage of an examination. Various requirements related to your supervision by and affiliation with a real estate company may apply after successful completion of the examination step. Other common requirements may include mandatory insurance coverage, mandatory payment toward consumer protection funds and/or mandatory continuing education. Contacting the appropriate licensing agency is your best source for detailed information. For a simplified overview of global licensing requirements, purchase a copy of the Digest of License Laws and Current Issues in its hardcopy or online format.

In addition to researching the legal and licensing requirements, anyone interested in pursuing a career in real estate brokerage may benefit from reading the wealth of publications available from various booksellers and in many libraries on practical aspects of the field and especially those that seek to help individuals evaluate their suitability to this type of work.