Ready to get your Nebraska real estate license?
Becoming a Realtor is an incredible opportunity for entrepreneurs, with nearly limitless growth possibilities. While the thought of going through the licensing process may feel a little daunting at first, we’re going to walk you through the entire process and help you become a real estate agent in Nebraska.
5 Steps to Get a Real Estate License in Nebraska
The Nebraska Real Estate Commission (NREC) requires that you be In order to become a licensed real estate agent you must be at least 19 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and pass a criminal background check. If you meet the basic requirements, you’ll just have to complete a few simple steps:
01 | Complete the 66-Hour Real Estate Pre-License Course
Sign up with an approved real estate school and take your pre-license courses online, virtual or in person. In the 66-hour Nebraska real estate course, there are three sections you’ll need to complete:
- 30-hour Nebraska License Law
- 30-hour Real Estate Principles & Practices
- 6-hour Developing Professional Conduct and Ethical Practices
Once completed, there will be a final exam that’s administered for the course. When you pass the course exam, they will issue a “Certificate of Completion” that you can submit when applying for your license.
02 | Complete a Background Check
The NREC will send you fingerprint cards that you’ll use to get your prints made and background check report. It can take 4 to 6 weeks after you’ve summitted your fingerprints for your report to be delivered to the Nebraska Real Estate Commission, so we highly recommend getting this done as soon as possible.
Once NREC reviews your criminal background report, they will email you to confirm that you can take the state license exam or will request more information from you before approving. If you do have a charge on your background report, including DUI charges, we highly recommend that you go through the background check first and ask the real estate commission if you could get a preliminary approval before signing up to take the real estate course. Learn more about Nebraska background checks.
02 | Submit Application for Exam
In order to sit for the Nebraska Real Estate Salesperson Exam, you’ll need to submit payment of $285 ($135 application fee / $150 exam fee) as well as several other documents through their online application portal. Documents include:
- Course Completion Certificate: Verification of your 66 hours of real estate coursework through an approved school or university
- Education: Copy of High School Diploma, GED or home school equivalent
- Criminal or Lawsuit Information on Application Complete
- Passport-Type Photograph: Must be taken within the last year, only includes your head and shoulders
- Citizenship attestation: As part of the application, you must attest to being a U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted resident
If you would prefer to just mail everything into the real estate commission, you may download the paper application. NREC does recommend that everyone review the paper application first, even if you are submitting online, just to make the application easier, NREC recommends that you print the paper application out so you’ll know exactly what information you’ll need to assemble to complete the online application
Typically, real estate commission will review your application within 48 hours, but you can always check the status with the NREC online portal.
04 | Pass the Nebraska Real Estate Exam
Once your application is approved by the Nebraska Real Estate Commission, you will be able to register for the licensing exam. PSI administers the exam for NREC, so you’ll be able to contact them directly to schedule your examination. Just go to PSIexams.com or call 800-733-9267 to get your exam date.
Make sure you study, study, study! Only 60% of people pass on the first try. If you need to, enroll in a real estate exam prep course to make sure you’re 100% prepared. There are 130 multiple choice questions and you’ll have 4 hours to complete the examination. To pass, you need to answer at least 75% of the questions correctly.
FYI: After being notified that you passed the state exam, you must complete the licensing process within 30 days. If you aren’t ready to jump into real estate yet, you just have to complete the license application and state that you want to be “inactive.”
05 | Select a Sponsoring Broker
- In order to activate your license, you’ll need to select a broker. Scroll below for tips on what to look for when picking the best real estate brokerage for newly licensed agents.
Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Nebraska
There are several expenses you’ll incur when working to become a real estate agent in Nebraska:
- Pre-License Real Estate Course – $320 to $700
- Exam Application Fee – $150
- Salesperson Application – $135
- License Fee – $70
- Background Check / Fingerprinting – about $50
- State exam prep courses or materials – $25 to $150 (optional)
** Total Cost to Get Licensed = $730 to $1,200
But wait… there’s more! What many aspiring agents don’t realize is that there are several other expenses to consider when becoming a real estate agent in Nebraska. There are MLS fees, Board dues, monthly broker fees, marketing and advertising costs, etc.
Find the Top Real Estate Schools
To get your real estate license, you’ll have to attend a school that’s approved by the Nebraska Real Estate Commission. There are at least a dozen approved real estate schools throughout the state. Some are online, others in person, and a few do a combination of the two.
Here are a few of the most popular schools:
- Real Estate Express (online + high pass rate)
- REsults Coaching (online, webinar or classroom)
- McKissock Learning
- Randall School of Real Estate (Omaha)
When shopping for the best online real estate schools in Nebraska, you’ll want to compare pricing, but there are a few other things you will need to take into consideration. If the course is 100% online, do they offer any phone support if you have questions or need help with a particular subject? Do they highlight their “pass rate” on their website so you can see how many students pass the state exam on the first try? Do they offer any guarantees, study guides, or practice tests?
How to Select a Nebraska Real Estate Brokerage
In Nebraska, you must affiliate with a real estate brokerage in order actively help home buyers and sellers. This is often referred to as the “sponsoring broker” or “managing broker.” Aligning with the right brokerage firm can be key to your success when you are a newly licensed real estate agent.
When researching and meeting with different brokerages, keep in mind that many are independently owned franchises. So one Keller Williams Realty or RE/MAX office could be completely different from another that’s just 10 minutes down the road. The culture, training, support team, and sometimes even the fees and commission splits can vary from franchise to franchise.
We also highly recommend looking into virtual or cloud-based brokers. Several are perfect for new agents, especially those that are starting as part-time agents. You often have support after traditional business hours, live classes are recorded so you can learn at your own pace.
PRO TIP: Don’t worry about commission splits, focus on SUPPORT.
When you first get licensed, many agents are looking for a brokerage firm with the best commission splits or lowest monthly fees. We would highly recommend that you make the financials #2 or #3 on your list. The most important thing you should look for in a brokerage is how they support brand new real estate agents. Do they offer a special training program for rookies? Who will help when you have questions? Will you have a dedicated real estate mentor?
Frequently Asked Questions
- How hard is the Nebraska real estate exam?
- What if I don’t pass the real estate exam?
- How long does it take to get my Nebraska real estate license?
- Who are the best real estate brokers in Nebraska?
- How much do Nebraska real estate agents make?
- Is Getting a Real Estate License Worth It?
How difficult is the state real estate exam?
The average pass rate in Nebraska is only 60%, so the real estate licensing examination is not easy! The salesperson exam consists of 130 questions; 80 national and 50 state-specific questions. All questions are multiple-choice, and you’ll have four (4) hours to complete the licensing exam.
PRO TIP: If you aren’t a math person, be sure to check on the math exam tips offered by VanEd.
What if I fail the Nebraska real estate exam?
It’s not uncommon for people not to pass the exam on the first try, so don’t be too hard on yourself! If you fail one portion (i.e. state or national), you only need to retake the failed portion. The cost is $95 and you can take the exam as many times as you need, but you have to pass both portions within 90 days of passing the first portion. If you aren’t able to pass both the state and national portion within the 90 days, you must retake the entire exam again.
TIP: We highly recommend that you sign up for an exam prep course to make sure you pass both sections in the 90 day window. Exam Prep Scholar is a great option. Only $39 and they guarantee that you’ll pass on the first try or their course is free.
How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Nebraska?
For most, it will take between 4 to 6 months. If you take the real estate pre-license course online, you can expedite the process. We also recommend getting your background check submitted as soon as you start the real estate course, as that can take up to 6 weeks. If you stay focused, it is possibly to get your license in about 8 to 10 weeks, but be prepared for it to take a few months.
What are the best real estate brokerage firms in Nebraska?
While there aren’t any official reports on the the “best” brokerages in Nebraska, we can share the most popular with you:
- Nebraska Realty (Omaha, Benson and Lincoln)
- Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador
- eXp Realty (virtual, great for full or part-time agents)
- kwElite Realty (team with KW)
- Milford Realty (Springfield, Elkhorn, Omaha and more)
How much do real estate agents make in Nebraska?
The annual earnings for real estate agents in Nebraska are going to vary greatly from person to person and location to location. To calculate how much you could potentially earn as a Nebraska real estate agent, follow these steps:
- Google “average home sales price in (Your Town)”
- Multiply the average sales price by 2.5%
- Multiply that by the number of homes you think you’ll sell
- Then factor in the broker split to see how much you’d earn on an annual basis
- The average sales price in Omaha is currently $240,000.
- $240,000 x 2.5% = $6,000
- Let’s say you plan to sell 5 homes your first year.
- $6,000 x 4 homes = $30,000
- Your new broker has a 70 / 30 commission split.
- $30,000 x 70% = $21,000 (YOUR NET)
If you live in Papillion and the average sales price is $425,000 you would net about $53,000 if you sold 5 homes…. over $30,000 more each year. Your location, level of experience, and broker splits are going to play a big role in how much you can make as a real estate agent in Nebraska.
Is Getting a Real Estate License Worth It?
Honestly, it depends on what your goals are. If you just want to sell a few homes each year to friends and family, you’ll have to crunch the numbers (like we did above) to see if the cost of getting and maintaining your real estate license is worth it.
If you plan to make a career helping people buy and sell homes in Nebraska, then absolutely! If you decide to jump into real estate full time, please make sure you have at least six months of savings in the bank. If you don’t have that yet, then you may want to keep your current job for a short period of time until you are able lay the foundation for your new real estate business and build a consistent stream of business.
Other Articles + Resources You Might Like:
- Start Building Your Real Estate Business BEFORE You’re Officially Licensed (free guide)
- Should New Agents Join a Real Estate Team?
- What Expenses to Expect as a New Agent
- Nebraska Real Estate Commission – Fee Schedule
- More advice for new real estate agents
Contact Info for Nebraska Real Estate Commission
301 Centennial Mall South, P.O. Box 94667 | Lincoln, NE 68509-4667
Phone (402) 471-2004 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org