A career in real estate offers an incredible opportunity for those of you with an entrepreneurial spirit. While the thought of going through the licensing process may feel a little daunting at first, it really is quite simple: meet some basic requirements, take the Missouri real estate pre-license course, pass the state exam and apply for your license. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the entire process of how to become a real estate agent in Missouri.
The Missouri Real Estate Commission (MREC) requires that you be In order to become a licensed real estate agent you must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and be lawfully present and able to work in the US. If you do have a criminal record, certain convictions will cause an automatic denial of a real estate license, but other offenses are reviewed on a case by case basis. Assuming that you do meet the basic MREC requirements, you’ll just have to complete the following steps:
There are two sections to the course, the 48-hour Salesperson pre-examination course, and a 24-hour Missouri real estate practice (MREP) course. To successfully complete the education requirements, you’ll have to pass the school exam with a minimum score of 75%.
Anyone that applies for a real estate license in Missouri will have to go through the background check process. To get started, you must register with the Missouri Automated Criminal History System (MACHS) using MREC’s four-digit registration code 0004, which gives the FBI and Missouri State High Patrol permission to send fingerprint data to the Missouri Real Estate Commission.
After you’ve enrolled, you’ll receive a list of all the locations where you can have your fingerprints done through IndentoGO. The current cost is $43. Your fingerprint / background check report is normally submitted to MREC within five business days, but there can be delays, so we would recommend getting your fingerprints done while you are taking the pre-license course.
For more information about the Missouri background check process, download the Fingerprinting FAQs Guide from the real estate commission.
Once you’ve completed the background check and passed your course exam, you can schedule your Missouri state licensing exam with PSI, the firm that administers the testing. PSI administers the estate salesperson licensing exam and the cost is $65. Schedule your exam and download the PSI Real Estate Candidate Handbook here.
There are a total of 140 multiple choice questions on the Missouri Salesperson Exam. The National section has 100 questions and the state section has 40 questions. You have to answer at least 70% of the questions correctly on the National portion and on the Missouri portion, a minimum of 75% need to be answered correctly.
FYI: This is a challenging exam! While Missouri doesn’t release the official pass rates, the unofficial reports state that less than 60% pass on the first try. Make sure you take an exam prep course beforehand so that you are 110% prepared.
In Missouri, 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 is key to your success when you are a newly licensed real estate agent. Keep reading below for tips on what to look for when picking the best real estate brokerage for newly licensed agents.
This final step is simple! Once you pass the exam, you can apply for your Missouri real estate license. Just complete the MREC Application Form and pay a total of $90 ($50 for application / $40 for license).
Please note that you do have to apply for your real estate license within 6 months of completing the pre-licensing course.
There are several fees involved when working to become a real estate agent in Missouri…
Wait, there’s more! What many aspiring agents don’t always realize is that there are several other expenses to consider when becoming a real estate agent in Missouri. Some of the most common costs you’ll experience as a new real estate agent:
To get your real estate license, you’ll have to attend a school that’s approved by the Missouri 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:
When researching the best real estate schools in Missouri, 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, find out if they offer any phone support or a Facebook group 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, practice tests, or exam study guides?
In Missouri, 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 is 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 Coldwell Banker, Sotheby’s or Keller Williams Realty office could be completely different from another that’s just 10 minutes away. 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.
While many newly licensed agents are looking for the best commission splits when shopping for brokers, we would highly recommend that you make that #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. Make sure they have a training program, dedicated mentors, and multiple people you can contact when you need help.
While Missouri doesn’t disclose the state real estate exam pass rates, several unofficial sources claim that only 50% to 60% pass on the first try. If you ask any Missouri real estate agent, they will definitely describe the licensing exam as “not easy.” The salesperson examination consists of 140 questions; 100 national and 40 state-specific questions. All questions are multiple-choice, and you’ll have four (4) hours to complete the licensing exam.
It’s very common that people don’t pass the real estate salesperson exam on the first attempt, so don’t give yourself a hard time! You can retake the exam as many times as you need to until you pass both the state and national sections. There is a time limit — you need to pass the exam and submit your license application to MREC within 6 months of completing your coursework.
Good news! Missouri offers full reciprocity with all 50 states. If you want to become a real estate agent in Missouri, you do not have to take the full course, you just have to take the 24-hour state portion (aka Missouri Real Estate Practice) and then pass that section on the state licensing exam.
Honestly, the earning potential in real estate is almost unlimited, but it will depend on how hard you work, what the home prices are in your area, your broker commission split, and several other variables. The average agent earned about $67,000, but full-time experienced agents average approximately $89,000.
If you’d like to figure out how much you might be able to make as a real estate agent, check the average home sales price in your area and then use the formula in the following examples:
Big difference right?
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 want to make a profession out of selling properties in Missouri then absolutely! The housing market is exploding. It’s crucial to have at least six months of funds in the bank when transitioning from a salaried career to a commission-based business. If you don’t have that yet, you might want to stick with your existing career for a while until you’ve laid the groundwork for your new real estate venture.