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How to Get Your Real
Estate License in

Have you ever wanted to sell townhomes in Grand Rapids? How about the nicest condos available in Holland? If you’ve found your way here, it must be because you’re thinking about getting your real estate license in Michigan. In that case, I have some good news for you. There’s never been a better time to get into the real estate industry, and the Michigan market is booming with demand! Maybe it’s been your goal to get your real estate license for some time now, or maybe you’re considering the real estate business as a new career with great earning potential. I can definitely relate to that. 

You’re here because you want to know how to get your real estate license in Michigan. Fortunately, most of the requirements and the overall licensing process tends to be pretty similar across the United States. However, you will notice that some of the finer details change depending on which state you’re pursuing licensure in. 

Here’s a basic list of what you’ll need to get your real estate license in Michigan. 

  1. Ensure that you meet the pre-qualifications. 
  2. Complete your pre-licensing course hours. 
  3. Pass your coursework final exam. 
  4. Choose a sponsoring broker to work under. 
  5. File your state application with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). 
  6. Pass the Michigan state real estate exam. 

Let’s take a look at each step in greater detail. 

 1. Make sure you’ve met the pre-qualifications. 

The Michigan Board of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons requires few prerequisites before you can start your education courses. You’ll simply need to be at least 18 years of age and of good moral character. Proving that you’re of good character will involve submitting to a background check at the time of your state application. That’s it for the first step. No high school diploma or GED is required. 

2. Complete your approved pre-licensing education course. 

man taking exam 

Anyone who wants to become a real estate agent will need to take 40 course hours of approved pre-licensing coursework from a trusted education provider. The state of Michigan just requires a single course: the Fundamentals of Real Estate for Salespersons course. This will cover both general real estate practice and state real estate law. Specifically, there must be at least four hours of coursework dedicated to civil rights law and equal opportunity housing.  

You may take these classes in person at an approved real estate school or with a higher education provider, such as a local community college. Otherwise, you’re welcome to take interactive online courses that will fully prepare you to become a new licensee. 

3. Pass your real estate course final exam. 

In order to receive the certificate of completion for your coursework, you must pass with at least a 70 percent on your course exam. The examination will test your competence with real estate practice in the state of Michigan. I recommend that you take advantage of practice tests and other resources offered by your education provider to pass on your first try. 

You’ll know your exam results immediately. If you pass, you’ll get your certificate for license education completion right away, making you eligible to apply for the state exam. If you didn’t pass on the first attempt, you can retake your course exam as needed. 

4. Select your sponsoring broker. 

You aren’t required to work under a broker when you submit your application for the Michigan state licensing exam. However, you will need to be sponsored by a licensed real estate broker before you can practice as a real estate professional. Because of this, it’s a good idea to go ahead and determine which brokerage you’d like to work with. 

The state requires you to have a sponsoring broker because salespeople are not legally authorized to complete real estate transactions on their own. A real estate broker, on the other hand, is licensed to oversee salespeople in real estate activities. Even if you weren’t required by the state of Michigan to have a sponsoring broker, I would still recommend it. Out of all the mistakes I made when I was starting out, not joining a team was definitely one of the biggest. 

Do keep in mind that you should be choosing a broker based on how well they fit your needs instead of the other way around. But luckily, brokerages are always on the lookout for new real estate agents. You’ll need to be thorough in your research as you decide who to work for.

Start with researching the business name and whether they’re in good standing. Do they have a good reputation in Michigan and the rest of the U.S. (if applicable)? What is their training approach and education like? Are you okay with how their real estate commission package works? Will you have room to grow as a salesperson with this broker? These are all questions you need to be able to answer before you commit to broker sponsorship. 

5. Complete your application for the Michigan real estate exam. 

Before you’re eligible to receive your license, you’ll need to submit your state exam application with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). When you apply, you’ll need to provide proof of course completion with the full hours of education. This is also when you’ll submit your criminal history and background check. Being convicted of a crime does not automatically bar you from obtaining your real estate salesperson license. LARA will determine on an individual case basis whether you demonstrate good moral character. 

You’ll also need to be able to cover the examination fee of $79. The state real estate examination is given by Psychological Services, Inc., and you’ll be registering with PSI services to take your exam after the state of Michigan authorizes your application. You can take the PSI exam in person at a testing center, or you can schedule a proctor for an online exam. All exam appointments must be made at least 24 hours in advance. Visit PSI Online for more information on e-proctoring if you’re interested. 

6. Pass your real estate salesperson license exam. 

 You’re almost there! The state exam is the last of your license requirements before you can receive authorization to sell. Whether you’re taking the test in person or online, you’ll need to bring two forms of valid ID (one must be a photo ID), blank paper, writing utensils, and a basic calculator on the exam date. 

The exam is a 115 multiple choice questions test that you’ll have 180 minutes to complete. The test is divided into two portions, and you’ll need to earn a passing grade on each of them. The first section is a national portion, which will test your understanding of basic real estate principles. The second section is a state portion, which will be specific to Michigan real estate law. For more information on the exam, see the candidate information bulletin. 

If you pass your license exam, you’ll simply receive a mark of “PASS”. Numerical scores for passing grades aren’t available in Michigan. Then all that’s left to do is to file your official license application and submit the $88 application fee. The Department of Licensing is no longer accepting paper applications for licenses, so you’ll need to use their online system, MIPLUS (Michigan Professional License User System). Simply create an account and provide proof that you’ve completed all of the requirements when you submit your application. Congratulations on getting your salesperson license! 

It is important to point out that obtaining your initial real estate license does not make you a REALTOR in the state of Michigan. This is because realtor is a copyrighted term owned by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Each member of NAR is bound by specific ethical guidelines. 


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

No one can answer that question better than yourself, but since the 40 hours of education can be treated like a single workweek, driven students are able to get their licenses in a matter of weeks. It’s also not uncommon for students to take up to six months, depending on their own schedules. If you’re at all familiar with my books and other works, then you’ll know that “initiative” is my favorite word. It’s the reason I’ve been able to achieve so much. The only thing I can tell you for sure is that the best time to start working on your real estate salesperson license is RIGHT NOW. Only you can control how long it will take.  

Does Michigan have reciprocity with other states? 

The state of Michigan has a unique approach to license reciprocity. LARA will have to review your individual situation to see if you have roughly equivalent experience and education to match the state’s requirements. If you’ve earned your real estate license in Michigan and are wondering if you’ll be able to practice in other states, you may be able to! Michigan currently has reciprocity agreements with the following states.

Is there anything that aspiring sales agents can do to gain an advantage? 


Absolutely! In fact, I make sure of it. I’ve designed the exact program I wish I had when I got started in real estate. My Sell It Like Serhant: Pre-Licensing Sales Accelerator, is a state-qualifying course combined with the same sales system that I use as the No. 1 real estate agent in New York City. This is a unique package that gets you ready to crush the state’s licensing requirements and learn what it really takes to sell in the most competitive markets in the U.S. 

You’ll receive the best instructor support available, three important real estate ebooks, including Principles of Real Estate Practice, The Real Estate Math Handbook, and our Quick-Start Guide with the latest exam preparation and tips. You’ll also have access to 10 progress exams as you complete your education credits and five final practice exams. Michigan students also get our Pass or Don’t Pay guarantee to eliminate any risk associated with taking our course. That’s how confident we are that we can get you licensed! 

This package also includes my Sell It Like Serhant: Real Estate Core video course which provides you with my insights for generating leads, creating new markets, closing sales, and everything else you’ll need to dominate in your new career. You’ll also gain a membership to access all of my other helpful resources, tools, and videos from my esteemed team members. 

 With my program and course guide, you can use your wall to push yourself forward at your own pace from the comfort of home. Get started on the road toward success today! 

Additional Content


  • 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.