It may seem a little overwhelming to go through the licensing and training to become a real estate agent in Ohio, but we are going to walk you through the entire process. So whether you are planning to do real estate part-time or are making it your new full-time career, we are going to share everything you need to know to get your license in the Buckeye state!
The Ohio Department of Commerce – Real Estate Division requires that you be In order to become a licensed real estate agent in the state of Ohio, you must be at least 18 years old, a US citizen or a lawfully qualified alien, and complete the following steps:
STEP 1 | Pre-License Real Estate Course
STEP 2 | Background Check
STEP 3 | Choose a Sponsoring Real Estate Broker
STEP 4 | Apply for Your Ohio Real Estate License
STEP 5 | Pass Your Real Estate Exam
Once you decide to become a real estate agent in Ohio, you’re probably excited and want to get started immediately. Before you leave your current position, it’s important to understand how long the licensing process can take in Ohio.
On average, it takes between 8 to 16 weeks to get an Ohio real estate license depending on how quickly you get through your pre-licensing course, pass the state exam, and complete all the application forms.
While you may not want to wait that long, there are a few ways to expedite things. First, taking an online course is the way to go. Instead of attending scheduled in-person classes a few times each week, you can learn at your own pace online. We would also highly recommend ordering your background check as soon as you start your course, as it could take 6+ weeks to complete and get approved by the licensing division.
There are several fees involved when working to become a real estate agent in Ohio…
What many aspiring Realtors don’t realize is that there are several other costs to consider to become a real estate agent in Ohio. Whether you’re building a new business and opening a restaurant, gift shop, or starting your real estate empire, keep in mind there are always start-up costs involved.
Here are some of the most common expenses:
To get your real estate license, you’ll have to attend a school that’s approved by the Ohio 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:
Please note that in Ohio, real estate licensing classes can only be taken at a college or institution that offers an associate degree (at a minimum). There are several popular online schools that have partnered with a local Ohio college or university in order for you to take your course online.
In Ohio, 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.” Picking the right brokerage to work with can be key to your success as a newly licensed agent.
We would recommend shopping for the best broker once you’ve completed the pre-licensing course and are waiting to take your state exam or while Ohio is processing your application. There are a few ways to do this:
Focus on What’s Most Important: New Agent Support
When you become a real estate agent in Ohio, many of you are looking for the best broker commission splits. We would highly recommend that you make commission splits #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 have a formal training program? Will you have at least 3 people you can reach out to if you have questions? Are they available outside traditional business hours? Do they have mentors – and what exactly will the mentors do to assist you?
Most agents will describe the real estate licensing exam as “not easy.” There are 120 multiple choice questions for both the state and national portions of the exam and you must answer at least 70% of them correctly. We highly recommend taking lots (and lots!) of practice tests and if you still aren’t feeling confident, enroll in an exam prep course.
The Ohio exam has 120 questions, 80 on the national portion and 40 questions on the state-specific portion. You’ll have 180 minutes (3 hours) to complete the Ohio real estate exam.
It’s not uncommon for people not to pass the exam on the first try. If you fail one or both portions of the exam, you can submit an application to retake the exam along with the retake fee of $39. You can take the Ohio real estate exam multiple times, as you’ll have a one-year period to pass the exam after receiving your scheduling information from PSI.
According to Indeed.com, the average is $101,000 in the state of Ohio. When trying to figure out how much money you could make as an Ohio real estate agent, you’ll need to look at the time you’re willing or able to invest in your new business, the home prices in your area, and what your broker commission splits will be.
According to Realtor.com and Redfin, the average sales price in Cincinnati in 2022 is $220,000. If you sold four homes in your first year, you would gross about $24,000. If your broker split is 70 / 30, you would keep $17,000. Factor in your expenses (i.e. MLS, board dues, broker fees, marketing, etc) and you’re probably going to make a profit of about $14,000.
To become a real estate broker in Ohio, you must hold an active salesperson license for two (2) of the last five (5) years and comply with the education requirements outlined on the Ohio REALTORS website.
Ohio offers full reciprocity with Arkansas, Connecticut, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The good news is that if you are licensed in these states, you do not have to take OREC’s pre-licensing course, but you do still have to complete a background check, take the Ohio Real Estate Law course and submit both an Ohio Reciprocal Application as well as a Consent to Service form.
Ohio requires that all real estate agents do 30 hours of continuing education every three years. They make it easy to remember because it is due by the real estate licensee’s birthday. Of the 30 hours, it has to include 9 hours of mandatory core courses.
Honestly, it depends on what your goals are when you become a real estate agent in Ohio. If you just want to sell a few homes each year to friends and family, you’ll have to crunch the numbers to see if the cost of getting and maintaining your real estate license is worth it.
If you plan to jump in and make a career in real estate, then absolutely! The real estate market is booming. It can be a challenge moving from a salaried position to a commission-based business, so it’s important to 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 lay the foundation for your new real estate business.
Kerry Lucasse and the Building Better Agents team talk with hundreds of newly licensed real estate agents each year. Most have no idea how challenging the first year or two can be and how much you need to learn to be successful. This business is not as easy as it looks on TV! Real estate can be a rewarding and profitable business if you are a self-starter who is 110% committed to being successful and you have the support of a great mentor and brokerage.