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A Guide to Real Estate License
Reciprocity & Portability

Real estate is an extremely flexible career. No matter where you’re located, there’s always a need for real estate agents. If you decide to move from one state to another or want to practice in another state, you can bring your career with you as long as you bring your real estate licensing up to the regulations of that state. But what does that mean? Are you going to have to retake the real estate licensing exam? Say it isn’t so!

Don’t worry. In most cases, you won’t. In this article, we’re going to talk about what you’ll need to do to make your transition from one state to another as easy and pain-free as possible so you can keep practicing as an agent. First, let’s talk about real estate license reciprocity.

What is real estate license reciprocity?

Need to move? The first thing you should do is look at the real estate license reciprocity guidelines between the state you’re living in now and the state to which you’re considering moving.  

Real estate license reciprocity is an agreement between states that allows the holder of a real estate license in one state to fast-track the process of getting a license in another state. In many cases, this means an agent can bypass the pre-licensing courses and go straight to taking the real estate exam. This method is a way of acknowledging the legitimacy of other states’ education and licensing process.

What is real estate license portability?

Not making a permanent move? The ability to sell real estate from state to state in a short-term manner is governed by real estate license portability laws. There are three primary classifications:  cooperative, physical location, and turf. 

Cooperative

Cooperative states that have real estate portability agreements allow a licensed real estate agent from one state to enter another state, conduct business, and receive commissions. There’s just one stipulation. The visiting agent must co-broker the transaction with an agent licensed in the state the sale takes place. 

Physical location

States with a physical location real estate license portability law allow real estate agents to represent their clients in out-of-state purchases or sales as long as they do so remotely. Out-of-state real estate agents are not permitted to be in the state where business is being conducted. 

Turf

Turf states with turf laws do not allow agents licensed in another state to conduct business in that state. You will need to refer your client to an agent licensed in that state. You are not allowed to be part of the transaction at all. 

Want to know what the real estate license reciprocity guidelines are for each state? Click a state below to learn more about their specific reciprocity guidelines. 

Real estate license reciprocity details for your state

Alabama Kentucky Ohio
Alaska Maine Oklahoma
Arizona Maryland Oregon
Arkansas Massachusetts Pennsylvania
California Michigan Rhode Island
Colorado Minnesota South Carolina
Connecticut Mississippi South Dakota
Delaware Missouri Tennessee
Florida Montana Texas
Georgia Nebraska Utah
Hawaii Nevada Vermont
Idaho New Hampshire Virginia
Illinois New Jersey Washington
Indiana New Mexico West Virginia
Iowa New York Wisconsin
Kansas North Carolina Wyoming
Louisiana North Dakota

For more information on how to take your real estate dreams to the next level, check out our core course,  Sell It Like Serhant. This course is our complete guide to getting more clients, making more money, closing more deals, building a team, and structuring your day for success.  

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Author

  • Ryan Serhant is one of the most successful and well-known real estate brokers in the world. After a decade leading one of New York City’s top-ranked real estate teams, he founded SERHANT., the first brokerage designed for the marketplace of tomorrow.