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How to Get Your Real
Estate License in

Have you ever wanted to sell beautiful homes and lots in Annapolis? How about the nicest seaside apartments in Ocean City? If you’ve managed to find your way here, you must be thinking about getting your real estate license in Maryland. In that case, I have some great news for you. There has never been a better time to get into the real estate business than right now!   

Whether it’s been your goal to get your real estate license for a while now or you’ve started considering it as a new career with greater earning potential, you can build an extremely successful career in the real estate industry. I should know, after all, as the No. 1 real estate agent in New York City on my ninth season of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York.” 

 A good deal of the licensing process and education requirements to are similar across the United States, but you will see the finer details change from state to state. Let’s get started with a list of the basic requirements you’ll need to meet to get your Maryland license. 

  1. Meet all pre-qualifications. 
  2. Take your approved pre-licensing education. 
  3. Pass your course final exam. 
  4. Pass the Maryland state exam. 
  5. Find your sponsoring broker. 
  6. Complete your online license application. 

When I first started as a real estate salesperson, I never dreamed that I would achieve the things I have. I had no real connections to the business and had to build my knowledge base on my own. If I can create a successful real estate career out of nothing, then you can find ways to succeed too. Let’s take a deeper look at each of the steps to get your license. 

1. Make sure you meet the pre-qualifications. 

The state of Maryland only requires two pre-qualifications before you can begin your real estate education. The first is to be 18 years of age. No high school diploma or GED is required. The second pre-qualification is that you must be of good character and reputation. 

A criminal history check will be performed on all candidates. However, having misdemeanor convictions or felony convictions on your record doesn’t automatically bar you from getting your license. The Maryland Real Estate Commission (MREC) will review each candidate on a case-by-case basis. If your application is denied based on your background check, you have the right to appeal the decision. 

2. Complete your approved license course. 

After passing the pre-qualifications, your first step is to complete your license education with an approved education provider, such as a real estate school or local community college. To get your salesperson license in Maryland, you’ll need to complete a single 60-hour pre-licensing course. This Principles and Practices for Salespersons course covers general real estate practices as well as Maryland-specific laws and regulations. You may complete this class in person at a real estate school, or you can take an online course. 

3. Pass your pre-license course final exam. 

Once you’ve completed your pre-license courses, you’ll need to pass the final exam in the presence of a credible third-party proctor. Maryland partners with Professional Services Industries (PSI) to provide online proctoring to students. You’ll need to schedule your exam at least 24 hours in advance with PSI Services, and there will be a processing fee of $25 for each attempt at the exam. 

 You’ll need to bring a valid photo ID, blank paper, writing utensils, and a basic calculator when you take your exam. There are 110 total questions on the final exam, and you’ll need a minimum score of 70% in order to pass. You’ll see your exam results immediately after submitting the test. When you pass the exam, you’ll receive your certificate of completion for your course by email. If you don’t pass on your first attempt, you’ll need to retake the exam and cover the processing fee again. 

4. Pass the Maryland real estate exam. 

Once you’ve completed your course’s real estate exam, the next step is to pass the state exam. This exam will also be taken through PSI, and you can visit the PSI website to schedule. There is a $44 exam fee for each attempt. You may schedule to take the test at an approved PSI testing center, or you may take the real estate salesperson license exam online with an online proctor. 

The Maryland real estate licensing exam is divided into two portions. The first is the national portion, which consists of 80 multiple-choice questions. You’ll have 90 minutes to complete the national portion. The next is the state portion, which consists of 30 questions. You’ll have 30 minutes to complete this portion. You’ll need a passing score of at least 56 on the national portion and a passing score of at least 21 for the state portion of the exam. You may retake the exam if you don’t pass on your first attempt, but you’ll need to cover the exam fee again. Please see the PSI Candidate Information Bulletin PDF for additional information. 

5. Select your sponsoring broker. 

Congratulations on completing your required education! You’re getting close now. The next step is to find a real estate broker to sponsor you before you complete your license application. You’ll need to work for a brokerage when you first become a salesperson because real estate salespeople don’t have the legal authority to complete real estate transactions on their own. A broker, however, does have the authority to operate and oversee real estate agents during real estate activities.  

Even if new agents weren’t required to work under a licensed broker, I would still strongly recommend it to anyone looking to grow within the industry. One of the biggest mistakes I made as a new licensee was not joining a team.  

 The most important advice I can give you when choosing a real estate brokerage is to make sure that the brokerage fits your needs and not the other way around. Do some research into every brokerage you’re considering before you commit to one.  

For starters, investigate the broker’s reputation to see if they’re well regarded in your state. You’ll also want to know how the brokerage plans to support new agents with their education and training programs. Check to see what kind of technology they’re equipped with and whether they have access to a multiple listing service (MLS). An MLS is essentially a way to support agents with sales leads from multiple sources. It’s also a good idea to ask about how much room you’ll have to grow within the brokerage. Once you’ve picked your sponsoring broker, you’ll be nearly ready to practice. 

6. Submit your real estate license application. 

The last step left for you to become a licensee is to complete the online application with the Maryland Department of Labor. You’ll need an account to access the salesperson application and complete the application process. Then, you’ll need to provide proof that you’ve completed your hours of education and passed your exams. You’ll also need your sponsoring broker’s registration number and office location information. Make sure to complete this application within one year of passing your state exam, or your score will expire. You’ll also apply for license renewal with the Maryland Department of Labor when the time comes. Congratulations on getting your initial salesperson license!  

It is important to note that becoming an initial licensee does not make you a Maryland Realtor. This is because the term “Realtor” is copyrighted and owned by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and they have their own requirements for entry. Each member of NAR is also bound by a specific code of real estate ethics.  

If you wish to pursue your broker’s license or become a property manager in the future, there will be a separate licensure process as well. 


Does Maryland have license reciprocity with other states? 

You may be able to get a waiver for some of the Maryland license education requirements if you’re a licensed attorney, have a university degree with a major study in real estate, or have your real estate license from another state. The state of Maryland has license reciprocity agreements with the states of Pennsylvania and Oklahoma. If you have an active license in any other state, you may apply for an Out-of-State License Recognition. You’ll need your original license history document from your home state along with a personally signed cover letter and contact information, including your email address. 

Send all of this information to Education Administrator, Maryland Real Estate Commission, 500 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202-3651. If you qualify, you’ll then be sent all the information you’ll need to take the state exam. 

How long does it take to get a real estate license? 

There really isn’t anyone who can answer that question better than you. Driven students who treat the requirements like their job have been able to complete everything within a few weeks, but it’s not uncommon for the licensing process to take months. The only things I can tell you for certain are that the best time to get started is right now, and you have full control over your own pace to get through the licensing requirements. 

Is there anything that aspiring real estate professionals can do to get an advantage? 

 Absolutely! I make sure of it, in fact. I’ve created the real estate training program that I wish I had when I first started out. The Sell It Like Serhant: Pre-Licensing Accelerator course provides everything you’ll need to become a Maryland licensee and learn what it takes to sell in the biggest markets in the U.S. 

This approved state-qualifying course is combined with my own sales system that my team and I use at my brokerage in New York City. You’ll get the 60 course hours that you need to qualify for the state exam, and you’ll have the exam prep that you need to pass the state exam on your first try. This package includes 10 progress exams that you can take throughout the state-approved course, and you’ll have five practice state exams to help you with each portion of the exam. Three of these practice exams cover the state portion, and two cover the national portion of the exam. 

You’ll also have constant support from expert instructors, three important ebooks that will help you pass your course, and my “Quick-Start Guide” loaded with all the latest information and tips. Best of all, Maryland students get our Pass or Don’t Pay guarantee. If you don’t pass the Maryland state exam on your first try, we’ll give you your money back! 

As if these benefits weren’t enough, this package also includes a membership to additional resources from me and my team members. The biggest is my Sell It Like Serhant: Real Estate Core package. This is a 42-video online course that teaches you the same sales system that my team uses to generate leads, build new real estate markets, close deals, and plenty more. Once you have your real estate license, this course teaches you what you’ll need to know to succeed in virtually any market.  

You already have the potential to get your Maryland real estate license and become a great sales agent right now. Let us help you unlock it, and get started on your own road to success today! 

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  • Ryan Serhant is a founder, entrepreneur, producer, public speaker, bestselling author, star of multiple TV shows, and Chief Executive Officer of SERHANT., the rapidly growing tech-forward real estate organization comprised of two core businesses: brokerage and education. Founded in 2020, SERHANT. is a content-to-commerce technology ecosystem revolutionizing the sales industry. SERHANT. is home to the first ever full-service, award-winning, in-house film studio solely dedicated to real estate content, and its digital education platform is comprised of more than 14,000 members across 110 countries.