How to become a real estate agent Massachusetts

Do you want to start your great career in the professional real estate market and sell property in Massachusetts? That’s a tempting idea for different people. It can come in handy if you are fully disappointed in your current job position (i.e. in marketing), or if you just want to re-start your career. Real estate is also a good option for young and ambitious people as selling properties is a true launchpad for further self-promotion. So, we have a portion of content to share with you in our guide about how to push your career by becoming a licensed real estate agent.

Yet, a free cheese is only in a mousetrap. Becoming a real estate agent is not as easy as you can see it at a glance. What do you need for this? Let’s start with the basic requirements provided by the local government for real estate specialists.

  1. The first thing is that you have to be older than 18 years. There is no limit for seniors, so if your year of birth is earlier than 2006, you can try to get a license as a real estate agent with no problem.
  2. Next, you need to have a social security number. That’s an obligatory requirement. Though, you can apply for a license even if you are not a state resident or even if you are a foreigner. Give them your social security number, and it’s OK. Do you think that’s all? No! It’s just the beginning. Then you have to complete different requirements of a pre-licensing period. Which are they?
  3. Find the class for real estate agents and apply for their attendance. It is obligatory for a realtor to get an education in the form of a 40-hour class in one of the licensed schools or courses.
  4. Get your certificate of completion when you finish your education.
  5. Find a sponsor among MA real estate brokers working in the realty business.
  6. Apply for the examination and pass the exam which consists of 120 questions.
  7. Pay the commission for passing an exam or retaking it if you don’t manage to pass it instantly.
  8. Pay for your license processing and printing in case you succeeded in passing the exam. OK, is it all? Still, it is not! What else you may need to become a real estate salesperson? Some additional activities might come in handy.
  9. Pass a criminal background check and submit your fingerprints.
  10. Obtain a special E&O insurance which protects you from any mistakes during your sales and deals. It costs somehow around $30 per month, yet it is worth getting.
  11. Get access to the MLS database which ensures you get listings about all properties which are proposed for sale or rent across the state.
  12. NAR membership is also a good option for a novice realtor as it enters you into the community of real estate agents with its additional benefits, training classes to upgrade your skills, and so on. Besides, it works in favor of your reputation.

Uhhh… sounds impossible? Yet, we are here to make it possible to ease the task and help you avoid numerous pitfalls on your way to the real estate salesperson license.

An interesting fact:
– Do you know how much does average real estate salespersons earn in MA? According to recent data, the average salary for a real estate agent in this state is $84,775 per year! If you are engaged in commercial real estate deals, the rates go up, and you can claim an average earning of $100,733 annually! While an average salary in the state reaches only $65,752 annually, being a real estate salesperson is a big deal.

6 Steps to becoming a real estate agent in Massachusetts

Now it’s time to focus in this guide on the basic stages of getting real estate education and licensing in the real estate niche.

1. State of Massachusetts real estate license requirements

First, what does the state of Massachusetts require from candidates to get a real estate license? And whom to contact to gain it?

As the industry of selling homes and commercial property is connected to big money, a realtor should have an impeccable reputation along with education, experience, some soft skills for appropriate communication with customers, and so on. Yet, these are not a must. Instead, the government of MA requires you to:

  • Pass a criminal background check to make sure you are not a criminal or a fraudster.
  • Complete your educational courses.
  • Pass the exam in a state-approved licensure.

The good news is that you may get your real estate license instantly after you complete the exam and receive the answer that you succeeded. If you go to the testing center personally, you simply have to pay the fee and get the license printed and approved here. If you manage to take the test online, you’ll be provided with the opportunity to pay using your bank card online too and get the license in a paper form in the PSI Exam office.

2. Complete 40 Hours of Required Pre-Licensing Education

Before you decide how to pass your exam to become a real estate pro, you have to study some important things to get the necessary knowledge for your future work. Currently, this knowledge can be received in special classes provided by a school approved to train real estate students. In Massachusetts, different schools offer this type of classes. They give you the right to study both onboard and online, so you can choose the most convenient type of classes. This course consists of 40-hour classes that cover the overall knowledge required from a realtor. Educational material may be studied using your PC remotely in the format of real-time video classes or lessons that you can learn remotely when you have free time. Yet, we recommend spending some more time and visiting courses in person.

Recommended Course
Recommended Courses
Off- or online study packages that include a practice test and course completion certificates.

View Approved Courses

Besides, you can select the schedule to take courses in a matter of a week, or two depending on your lifestyle. The best idea for how to select a school to get an education as a real estate broker or realtor in MA is to check the list of approved courses by the state government. Do not forget they offer paid services, so you may have to prepare some money from your budget to take classes.

After you study all the lessons that are included in the classes, you receive a certificate that proves you acquired the necessary education. This RE certificate is intended to make sure the government that you are ready for the exam and took the classes tip-top.

3. Submit Fingerprints and Pass a Criminal Background Check

The next step you have to take is getting through the RE security check. It is not offensive as the real estate industry is engaged in top-dollar and expensive properties, it is a cornerstone and it is a governmental policy that requires some privacy checks from you. Thus, checking your criminal background and collecting fingerprints of future brokers and agents is a must. You can do that in governmental centers by scheduling an appointment on the official website. The results you have to provide when you apply for the exam.

4. Gain Approval from the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons

The following stage is what approaches you to your license as it is an application for approval of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons. It’s an authority that regulates the rights of certain persons, businesses, and schools to provide services in the field of real estate. You can get more info and apply for it using the same state website or contacting the authority in the following ways:

5. Pass the Course Final Exam

The exam for the licensing of a real estate salesperson is almost a finishing step after your classes. It is provided by the PSI Exam with lots of convenient options including passing tests on weekends. It can be taken both in person, for example, in one of the testing centers in Boston, Auburn, West Springfield, and other areas in Massachusetts, or through the Internet. In the last option, you need to use a web camera and speakers to take the test online under the surveillance of a testing center employee.

To get access to the exam, you have to do the following steps:

  • Register on the PSI Exam’s website or in person at your local testing center;
  • Pass your background check;
  • Provide your course certificate;
  • Pay the fee;
  • Select the time to pass the test.

How Hard Is the Real Estate Exam Massachusetts?

Often, it is not too hard to take the exam to become a licensed real estate agent in MA, at least it is quite possible. Its questions are devoted to multiple topics including law, finance, the real estate industry, and some math. Do not be afraid about the last option. You are eligible to use a calculator. The total time for your attempt to complete the exam’s tasks is 4 hours or 240 minutes. If you want to wager your chances and learn more, here is a candidate’s bulletin with brief information about the test.

How Many Questions Are on the Massachusetts Permit Test

A real estate agent exam in Massachusetts consists of 120 questions which are divided into 2 sections. The first one is the National section which consists of 80 questions. The second is devoted to Massachusetts real estate laws and it consists of 40 questions. Most of them are studied during the classes.

What Score Do You Need to Pass the MA Real Estate Exam?

Typically, you need to pass the real estate exam at least with a 70% score. Moreover, each section of the exam is evaluated separately, so if you pass the exam’s National section once and fail the second one, you have to retake at least only the second section and vice versa.

After you completed all tasks, you’ll be provided with an answer whether you passed it or not instantly.

What Happens if You Fail the Real Estate Exam in Massachusetts?

There is nothing to worry about! You have an unlimited range of chances and you can apply for retaking your exam as many times as you need. Just remember that you have to pass the exam within 2 years after you get your real estate agent’s education, namely, the classes we talked about earlier. Also, it is required to pay for each exam attempt $54.

6. Find a brokerage firm or a sponsoring broker

The practice of being affiliated with a reliable real estate broker is also implied in Massachusetts. Thus, when you want to get a license as a real estate salesperson, you have to take one more step. That is, apply for a sponsorship from one of the local brokers. Moreover, if you want to become a real estate broker yourself and obtain a license for your operation, it is a must for you to:

  1. Be hired by an already working broker for 3+ years;
  2. Work for 25 hours a week as a real estate salesperson affiliated with this broker;
  3. Obtain a real estate brokerage license.

Yet, before you come to this stage, it’s time to get in touch with the best brokers in MA and try to interest them in hiring you and make one of them your sponsor. Whom you can apply for this? Here is our top-5 list of brokers.

  • Brenda Cuoco & Associates Real Estate Brokerage;
  • Lioce Properties Inc;
  • Keller Williams Realty;
  • Compass;
  • Coldwell Banker Realty.

Although these are the best-rated licensed real estate broker companies in MA, there are also lots of others who can help you with the successful start of your real estate agent’s career. So, just knock and it shall be opened unto you.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Massachusetts?

Let’s consider the costs you’ll need to get off your budget to obtain the license of a real estate agent in Massachusetts. This estimate depends on a couple of factors thus, the pricing may vary. Which factors impact the calculation?

  1. The school you apply for to pass the training course;
  2. Attempts you take to pass real estate exams as each attempt costs you an extra $54;
  3. Your age which defines the fees you need to pay for your application and license processing.

To get the total costs, please, inspect the table we prepared for you.

Title Price
Pre-licensing 40-hours courses at school $229-$400
Registration fee to complete the exam $85
Re-taking exam fee (in case you failed to pass the exam for the first time) $54
Application fee to obtain the license $103-$150
License processing fee $539-$600
Total cost: $1,010-$1,289

How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Massachusetts?

Just take a look at our table to consider time expenses. Yet, we can say it is not calculated in months, but much faster.

Type of education/classes Time required
Full-day on-board student 1 week
Full-day student (20 hours a week) 2 weeks
Part-time students (10 hours a week) 4 weeks
Part-time candidates (5 hours a week) 8 weeks

You can choose the schedule for your classes almost in any school and it’s up to you to shop online a little to select the most convenient class plan and the school for your licensing for the most appropriate cost.

Massachusetts real estate license reciprocal states

Well, in case you are not sure whether you’ll work in the field of real estate only in Massachusetts, the question of your license reciprocity is relevant to you. There is a list of states which provide reciprocity for real estate agents who gained their licenses in Massachusetts. Here they are:

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

You’ll not need to get any other real estate license if you move to these states from Massachusetts and you can work as a broker or a realtor anywhere within their borders.

Massachusetts real estate license renewal requirements

With no exceptions, a Massachusetts real estate license is provided for 2 years. Thus, you’ll have to renew it once in 2 years and it is better to do that in a couple of months beforehand or at least timely. If you have no idea whether your real estate broker/agent license is expired, you can check it online using the governmental Elicensing website. Then you can decide how to prolong it.

  • You can do this online using the E-Place platform.
  • Besides renewal, you’ll also need to take 12 hours of CE (continuing education) to become an eligible RE agent.
  • When you fill in the reactivation form on the website, please, send it to
  • You’ll have to pay a fee to renew your license. For real estate brokers, the licensing fee should be paid of $142. For RE salespersons, it is $103 in Massachusetts.
  • Then you’ll have to wait for a month or two for the Massachusetts Real Estate Board to process your renewal.

That’s all, your license as a real estate broker or agent is valid and you can work with no trouble!

Now it’s time to assume our guide and answer the most significant questions about how to start your work as a real estate salesperson or broker in Massachusetts.

Becoming a real estate agent MA: FAQs

How much money can I make as a Massachusetts real estate agent?

An average salary for real estate agents is over $86,000 per year, yet, it depends on your skills, your affiliated broker, and your strive for work. The difference can be considerable depending on the company or agency you practice in, the type of properties, and the number of concluded deals and orders.

Can I get my Massachusetts real estate license online?

Yes, you are welcome! Just keep in mind that all licenses become provided in paper forms, so after you remotely take courses, apply for the MA Board of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons, and take the exam, you still have to pass a criminal background check and fingerprinting in person and get your license in the testing center.

Pre-Licensing Courses
About the author
Michael Baker is a journalist with over 5 years of experience in the real estate industry. His knowledge of licensing processes, procedures and requirements makes her an expert in the field.